Woman claims she spent a year trying to convince doctors there was something wrong with her body after her severe stomach pain and swelling was dismissed as stress and acid reflux
The 47-year-old woman says she reportedly spent one year having her severe stomach pain and other symptoms dismissed by doctors as anxiety and acid reflux. Unfortunately, she was eventually diagnosed with rare form of disease. The elementary school teacher said that she has always been a really healthy person. Two years ago, she began getting severe stomach pain and night sweats at night and saw a doctor about the issues. Her concerns were dismissed by the doctors. The unfortunate woman then went to see another doctor, who also dismissed it as nothing serious, suggesting that she pulled a muscle and prescribing her a muscle relaxer. The brave woman didn’t accept the diagnosis and insisted she get more tests.
The elementary school teacher from Massachusetts, Heidi Richard, reportedly said that doctors repeatedly shrugged off her symptoms as indicative of less serious problems and it took her demanding an MRI for her to get her cancer diagnosis.
During an interview with Today, Heidi Richard reportedly said: “I believed them, even though I knew something wasn’t right. I was always asking to be seen or asking somebody to listen to me. It was frustrating.”
The 47-year-old teacher said that she is now 18 months in remission. She is getting ready for the marathon on April 18 and has reportedly raised over $11,000 for an early detection nonprofit, the Daily Mail reports.
The 47-year-old teacher also said that she has always been a really healthy person. Two years ago, Heidi reportedly began getting severe stomach pain, vomiting, and night sweats at night and saw a doctor about the issues in March 2019.
Unfortunately, her concerns were dismissed by the doctors. The teacher told Today that the doctor chalked her pain and vomiting up to stress or anxiety and gave her an antacid.
The 47-year-old woman said that the pain continued, and grew so bad she was unable to eat.
Heidi then went to another doctor, who also encouraged her to keep taking the antacid and also gave her anxiety medication. The second doctor also believed that her issues were stress-related.
The 47-year-old teacher reportedly said: “Something wasn’t right, I said. I know my body, I told them. But the replies came back with authority. You’re young. You must be anxious. You’re under stress. Maybe it’s mono. It could be acid reflux.”
Heidi also said that her symptoms got worse and she also experienced fatigue, back pain, and swelling on the side of her neck.
She went to see a doctor, who, unfortunately, dismissed it as nothing serious, suggesting that she pulled a muscle and prescribing her a muscle relaxer.
The brave woman didn’t accept the diagnosis and insisted she get more tests. She was given a CT scan, which led to a biopsy.
According to the teacher, in April 2020, she was diagnosed with stage 4 diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. By then, the disease had spread to her abdomen, spleen, bone marrow, sternum, lungs, groin, and neck.
According to Daily Mail, the mass in her abdomen was also pushing her intestines, which was causing her stomach pain.
Heidi Richard reportedly said: “I often wonder if I would have been taken more seriously if I were male. Doctors kept saying, “Oh, it’s anxiety or you can’t handle the stress of your job or you’re overreacting. It’s not a big problem.” I don’t feel like they would have said those things to me if I had been a man.”
Her treatment reportedly included months of chemotherapy and an autologous stem cell transplant, and she has been in remission for a bout a year and a half. She is also getting immunotherapy.