New mum diagnosed with cancer after a doctor told her to lose weight

Photo: Jen Curran / Instagram
Photo: Jen Curran / Instagram 

A new mum who was told to "lose weight" in order to fix the protein detected in her urine, has been diagnosed with multiple myeloma (cancer of the bone marrow) after seeking a second opinion.

Jen Curran, 38, from California - who gave birth to daughter Rose in February - took to Twitter to detail her story, which highlights how toxic attitudes to womens' weight potentially contributes to a preventable loss of life.

There's every reason to believe that if Jen had heeded the advice of the first doctor, who didn't want to see her back "for months", this may have resulted in a very different - and potentially tragic - outcome for the new mum, who has just begun her first round of chemotherapy.

Jen's thread  - which has been retweeted 16,600 times and liked more than 57,000 times - begins with the summary of what she's been through, which she then pads out in her ensuing tweets.

The OB remained concerned about the protein in Jen's urine and recommended she see a kidney specialist after the birth of the baby.

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Since Jen had a new baby to take with her, she booked in with a local doctor covered by her insurance. At that appointment it was discovered that the protein in Jen's urine was even higher than during pregnancy and straight after Rose's birth.

Jen explained why this is a really bad thing.

The doctor, however, wasn't worried and told her that "It can take up to a year for things to return to normal after pregnancy." This was when the alarm bells started to ring for Jen. But the bad advice didn't end there.

Jen then explains how her instinct told her the doctor wasn't on the ball.

She then details her own journey with weight loss and how she wasn't even remotely in that space anymore, writing, "I knew in my gut something else was wrong."

Jen sought a recommendation for a different kidney doctor from the original OB who was worried about the protein in the first place.

The initial results showed nothing wrong, but then a more detailed set of results came through indicating Jen had too many 'kappa light chains' in her blood. She was referred to a hematologist-oncologist who took a biopsy of her bone marrow.

The results showed that Jen had multiple myeloma.

She has just begun chemotherapy and since going public with her story, Jen has learned that "this happens all the time."

Posting a screen grab of her appearance on Good Morning America, Jen urges women to go with their gut instinct.

"This happens all the time. So trust yourself and listen to your intuition."

Jen's Twitter thread was shared by British actor and radio presenter Jameela Jamil, who is an anorexia survivor who grew up in a 'fat-phobic' family.

She is now a body positivity advocate and raises awareness about toxic weight culture, most recently sharing a petition to remove the Weight watchers app which targets children as young as eight.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Jen Curran (@msjencurran) on