Longform

Missed Diagnosis

Page 10 of 10

In May, Laurel flew to Ireland for a prescription for Anvirsel, an anti-viral drug made from the oleander shrub that's used for breast cancer patients by some Irish doctors but has yet to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Since then she has been put on an FDA "compassionate use list" to continue taking Anvirsel while enrolled in a Montana doctor's study. But she recently learned that she may still have to resort to more chemotherapy after all.

She summons her energy from a deep spirituality, from wishes for a cancer cure for the sake of her eleven-year-old niece--and from sheer will. "Statistically, I should have been dead a long time ago," she says. "There's something I'm doing that's working."

Laurel insists that she didn't want her ob/gyn to lose her medical license. "I have really only wanted two things in regard to this lawsuit," she wrote to the board after it initially dismissed her case. "First, that Dr. Kimbrough be more careful, caring and diligent when she is faced with another woman with...a possible diagnosis of breast cancer. Secondly, a display of sympathy, empathy, compassion or an apology."

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Gayle Worland