(LOS ANGELES) — A California woman who gave birth six months ago says seeking a second opinion after one doctor told her to lose weight may have saved her life.
Jen Curran, 38, of Los Angeles, said her blood pressure was high and her OB-GYN detected a high amount of protein in her urine during the second trimester of her pregnancy, which was her first.
She was quickly diagnosed with the pregnancy complication preeclampsia and put on bed rest.
“My reaction was, ‘Let me stay relaxed because of this baby,'” Curran told ABC News’ Good Morning America. “I definitely put it out of my mind.”
Two months after Curran gave birth to her daughter, Rose, Curran’s doctor observed her protein level was even higher than it had been before pregnancy. Curran’s blood pressure was back to normal.
Curran, co-founder of The Ruby LA, a comedy theater and school, said the doctor told her to lose weight.
“It was like a slap across the face,” Curran recalled. “As someone who’s been overweight on and off for most of my life, it hasn’t been a health issue for me, but I didn’t feel like I should argue with her.”
Curran’s gut instinct told her that her medical issue was not one that could be solved by weight loss. She sought a second opinion and was diagnosed with bone marrow cancer.
“Completely shocking,” Curran said of the diagnosis. “I have this memory of him telling me that I have bone marrow cancer, but I can’t I don’t feel like I’m in the same room with him.”
Curran shared her story on Twitter to encourage other people, especially women, to be their own advocates when it comes to their health.
“Lose weight if you want to. But if you think something is seriously wrong with your body, and a doctor tells you weight loss is the key to fixing it, get a … second opinion,” she tweeted.
Curran began chemotherapy on Tuesday.
Her intuition served her well again right after her cancer diagnosis when she asked her doctor is she would be able to freeze her eggs. When that doctor was against it, Curran once again sought a second opinion and was told by a fertility doctor it would be safe to freeze her eggs.
She had her eggs retrieved and now plans to continue to grow her family once her cancer goes into remission.
“So many of us are so afraid to stick our neck on the line, [to] question authority,” Curran said. “When it’s for our kids we will much more readily do it, but do it for yourself because your kids need you around. Your family needs you around.”
“And women are so brilliant and intuitive. Women know their bodies,” she said.
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