Today I Learn… I make a point of learning something new everyday. This is what I learn each day

1, Apr 4, 2012

Her Being Headstrong and Unreasonable Killed Her

Filed under: Life — admin @ 12:32 am

Last weekend, I read the story of Shonnie Medina from Discover magazine, a young beautiful Hispano woman (a member of a New Mexican ethnic group descended from Native Americans and Spanish colonials) and how she died of breast cancer at age of 28. The cancer that killed Medina was caused by a genetic mutation.

What struck me is the doctors’ opinion on what killed her. “Being headstrong or unreasonable was the quality that the doctors in Alamosa and Denver blamed for her death—for Shonnie was right about dying young. She carried in her cells a dangerous genetic mutation and died when she was 28, after refusing surgery for her aggressive, inherited breast cancer. Jealous of her body, oblivious to the gene, she insisted on another style of care.”

Shonnie Medina’s story reminds me of some patients that I have worked with. One of them died at age 40 of breast cancer. She had it when she was 31 years old. After surgery and chemo, she refused hormone therapy because she wanted to have more children. After 8 years, the tumor came back with a vengeance and took her life the next year.

I would say being headstrong and unreasonable could kill many patients like Shonnie.

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