I am Zebra Watch Me Kick


Over 25 years ago, during a routine physical, a lump was identified in my right breast near my right axcilliary. Subsequent tests, including a needle biopsy, were inconclusive as to the reason for the lump. Ultimately, the lump was surgically removed. I still remember awakening after surgery and being told that the lump was not breast cancer, but was merely a benign tumor.

Two years later, I found a lump in my right axcilliary about one inch from the site of the “benign” tumor. I asked the physician about it, who assured me it was merely a cyst. Over the next five years, I asked at least four different physicians about the lump, which seemed to be getting larger and more sensitive. Each physician assured me it was either a cyst or a benign tumor. Finally, one physician agreed with me that it should be removed as “an abundance of caution”.

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The year was 2001 and that axcilliary lump was the site of my first diagnosis of neuroendocrine cancer. That lump has lead me down a rambling path of surgery and sandostatin and scans.

We neuroendocrine cancer fighters are called zebras because of the difficulty and delays in getting a correct diagnosis: “When you hear hoof beats, think horses, not zebras.” But there’s something else about zebras: Zebras have an incredible survival instinct. A cornered zebra rears, kicks and bites in defense. Did you know that zebras can actually kill lions, generally by a hard kick to the head that breaks the jaw and causes the lion’s eventual starvation? Not unlike the cornered zebras in the wild, I imagine kicking this neuroendocrine cancer right in the head!

Jez’s Blog  

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I am Zebra Watch Me Kick
Article Name
I am Zebra Watch Me Kick
Description
We neuroendocrine cancer fighters are called zebras because of the difficulty and delays in getting a correct diagnosis:
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Arizona Carcinoid & Neuroendocrine Foundation, Inc
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