Fighting For A Diagnosis: A Teacher’s Story Of Being Ignored By Her Doctors

By Divya G

Heidi Richard has always been a healthy individual and used to be a runner back in her high school days. However, in 2019, her life took a big turn when she started to experience stomach aches one night. She also had night sweats and even vomited quite a few times.

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After the symptoms started, Heidi visited a doctor, where several blood tests were conducted. But the doctors straightaway told her it was happening due to anxiety and stress. Still, the medicine provided by the doctor didn’t help, as the stomach pain started to get much worse than before.

She instantly lost around 30 pounds of weight and looked pretty thin and weak. Heidi went back to the doctor, but still, nothing was found after doing some tests. But the stomach pain started to occur during the day, making it difficult for her to conduct her activities.

In February 2020, she participated in the Providence Marathon but couldn’t continue as she experienced swelling in the neck and back pain. This time, however, she was determined to learn about the cause of her illness and went for an imaging test.

The CT scan showed something very strange, which made her opt for a biopsy. Later on, Heidi found out she had Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma and was already in Stage 4. After suffering for quite a long time, she was able to learn the reason behind the stomach pain.

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In 2021, she had an Autologous Stem Cell Surgery after several months of chemotherapy. After that, the teacher slowly started to recover.

Heidi Richard’s case simply shows how some doctors tend to dismiss symptoms in females as things like anxiety. If she hadn’t put all her time and effort into finding out the real cause of her illness, she would never have discovered that she had cancer!