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Where is my megaphone when I need it?!

I want to start this blog post by acknowledging the recent passing of Jessica Pettway, a social media digital creator, mother, wife, and beautiful soul. She was an amazing woman, and while I (like many others) only recently became aware of the illness that she succumbed to, it does not take much to know how courageous she was in sharing her story with the world.


Her case was the motivation for this post today. Mrs. Pettway’s cancer was misdiagnosed. Her doctor told her she had fibroids, and that was the cause of her heavy vaginal bleeding. I do not want to be her voice and regurgitate her story, so I implore you to read her post. The link is below.



In 2023, almost 800,000 people died or were permanently disabled due to misdiagnoses, with strokes leading the charge of misdiagnosed medical problems[1]. As it relates to fibroids and cancer, according to the USA Fibroid Center, uterine fibroids are not cancer; however, a cancerous growth can hide within a fibroid.[2]


I am not an MD; I do not know anything about Mrs. Pettway’s cancer or the doctor who misdiagnosed her, nor am I an expert on fibroids. But do you know what I have experience with?



In 2008, I remember being in a grocery store and was literally keeled over in pain, and my right breast being the source of said pain. I had been feeling some weird tingling in the area for several months leading up to that moment, but the grocery store incident was the straw that broke the camel's back. And damn near mine.


Y’all. I went to FIVE DOCTORS…count them; one, two, three, four, FIVE, before anyone would listen to me. One flat-out told me I was imagining the pain, and several said it was just stress and that I just needed to chalk it up (I was working on my degree at the time). Behind door number five was a doctor who cared, listened to me, and tried to get to the source of my problem.


Come to find out, I had a benign tumor that was removed via biopsy. And now, because of my family history of breast cancer, I have received a mammogram every year since 2006. Mrs. Pettway tried telling her doctor many times over that something was not right. Why didn't they listen to her? Could a few additional scans have saved her life or afforded an opportunity for earlier treatment?

Where is the call to action for doctors to stop ignoring their patients (especially black and brown ones)?! Yell it from the mountaintops, for Pete's sake. Stop ignoring us, damn!


There is no time like the present to advocate for yourself and listen to your body. I mean, ALWAYS listen to your body. If the first doctor will not listen, ask another one. Hell, get three opinions if necessary. Your life could, quite literally, depend on it.


[1] O’Mary, Lisa. “Misdiagnosis Seriously Harms 795,000 People Annually: Study,” WebMD, 2024.

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Such an important message, Amirah! I tried 4 different doctors and had two horrific endometrial biopsies (without an ounce of empathy or acknowledgement of my anxiety and pain levels) before I finally found a doctor who listened. Five+ years of "there's nothing wrong with you" until someone said "it's perimenopause and there IS something we can do." It wasn't life or death in my case, but it sure was a whole lot of unnecessary pain and discomfort. So glad you are speaking up about these issues!

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Thank you. It's infuriating to feel as if we don't know our own bodies and when something isn't right. I am so glad you found relief!

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