The next time you get annoyed because FedEx or a similar mail carrier has misplaced your package, think of how Marline Van Duyne feels. The 47-year-old, who was diagnosed with breast cancer this year, underwent a preventive double masectomy in Utah last month and then waited, scared for her life, to find out what she would need to do to keep the cancer from returning. Her breast tissue and tumor were transported to a lab that could test it to determine whether chemotherapy would be needed.
Marline waited. And waited. And waited. And the answer didn't come -- because, as it turns out, she says she has reason to believe FedEx lost her breast tissue sample.
According to her doctors, the type of cancer from which Marline suffers doesn't necessarily require chemo -- 80 percent of people with it don't end up needing the treatment. But the grandmother, who found out she had cancer after waking up one morning and feeling pain on her left side, doesn't know what the heck she should do because her test results have been delayed as a result of this unfortunate mishap.
Needless to say, Marline is irate and can't imagine why her body part is being treated like a letter. She decided she was just going to meet with doctors and tell them she would go ahead with the chemo regardless, just to be safe -- which, I have to admit, is a choice I'm pretty sure I'd make as well, if I were in her shoes. I wouldn't be able to stop wondering -- what if I'm part of the 20 percent of people who need chemotherapy? Why take that risk?
But boy, would I be pissed off if I started the harsh treatment and then discovered FedEx had found my tissue sample somewhere in the desert and it turned out I didn't need chemo.
Thankfully, just before her scheduled appointment with doctors, Marline got news that her hospital had 20 additional pieces of her tissue preserved in paraffin wax blocks and that this could be sent to the lab to be tested. Let's hope, after this long, painful, and scary-as-hell ordeal, Marline gets rewarded with some good news for a change and doesn't have to undergo chemotherapy.
What would you do if you were in Marline's shoes and thought FedEx lost your breast tissue sample?
Image via David Guo's Master/Flickr