Tuesday, September 13, 2005

So How Do you Feel About That

Dr. X turned and looked at me, with a goofy, semi-empathetically look on his face, and asked "Yeah, so how do you feel about that?".

Part of me wanted to make a witty statement to show how strong and laid back I am. "Well Dr. X., it looks like my aspirations of being the world's-most-educated stripper have just been flushed down the toilet. It's a shame too, because Playboy really wanted to do a Neuroscience spread."

I opened my mouth, but the words didn't come out. I paused and sighed.

Part of me wanted to be a total bitch to express how ridiculous his question was. "Well Dr. X., I am just disappointed that they won't be taking more tissue and that the scar won't be larger. I'm really looking forward to the nipple discoloration and the inability to breast feed on that side. That will be great if I ever have twins!"

I opened my mouth, but then felt bad and stopped. As much as I complain about the lack of empathy and personal connection in the medical field, it would be wrong of me to wield my sword-like tongue.

Part of me, the exhausted and defeated me, wanted to answer him with my new beaten-down-catch phrase. "Well, it is what it is".

That's what I said.

Forget that I've been sitting around on standby for a chance at having my boob made into a pancake in the procedure that they deceivingly call a mammogram. Mammogram sounds so pleasant--like candy-gram or song-gram. It kind of has the tone of being a mommie-gram if you think that Latin root for mother is Mammo. Listen, they stopped teaching Latin in most schools decades ago, so many people have to improvise.

Forget that I haven't been able to work because I've been on standby, waiting to leave at a moments notice when a cancellation comes up. When I say standby, I mean standby. I won't even fly standby because it's such a waste of my time--why on earth would I want to wait around without deodorant on just in case I have to hop on over to the boobie-IHOP. You do what you have to do is this world of overbooking, I guess.

Forget that the mammogram itself is useless in someone my age because you can't see anything in dense tissue. I've had two ultrasounds that have come up negative so what was the point of doing a mammogram?

I would have been able to swallow this all down if Dr. X had not said "I don't know why we did a mammogram, it's really useless in someone your age--I'm sorry we wasted so much of your time". No shit, Dr. X. I have a computer and know how to use the internet; I knew all of this before I spent the last three days waiting to be squished and squashed and felt up by strangers.

OK, that's fine--I can actually live with that. What really got me is that after I explained, "Well, Dr. Z wanted a mammogram and another ultrasound just to see if maybe we could find the lump and avoid the surgery--it looks like surgery is now our only option", Dr. X decided to say "Yeah, so how do you feel about that?" I wanted to kick him really hard to bruise his testicle and then ask him "Yeah, so how do you feel about that?". How would you like to be Dr. One Nut?

So, let me fill in the gaps if you haven't pieced it all together already. A couple of months ago, when I mentioned that I was waiting for results and that I was "melting inside", I was actually waiting to see if the lump in my chest was a cyst or a solid mass. The evening that my husband had to go to the emergency room, I found the lump--what crappy timing. Actually, it was my dog that found the lump making the money that we pump into him for his shots and expensive organic dog food totally worth it.

So, the lump...it is a solid mass. Most likely, given my age and my family history, it is not cancer. The fact that we can't find it using ultrasound is a really, really good sign. I'm actually not afraid of it being cancer since I have statistics on my side. A million people go through this--none of you need to worry, I promise.

Because the lump is hard and attached to my breast tissue, it has to be taken out. If we could locate it using ultrasound, we could biopsy it without cutting me open, but I'm having no such luck right now.

So, how do I feel about it, you may be wondering. I think more than anything, I'm upset that it's just one more thing to occupy my time and slow down my thesis. My lab is a mess, my relationship with one of my mentors is miserable, and I spend every waking (and sleeping) moment feeling like I'm just not going to be able to keep my head above water for one minute longer. Because I don't feel like it will be anything other than a non-cancerous growth, I'm extremely agitated over the whole circus called my left breast.

Bad boob...bad, bad boob.

If you put "que sera, sera" on depressants you get "it is what it is". The two are similar, but not the same.


At 11:54 AM, Blogger shrinkykitten said...

Oh SFTR, I'm so sorry. I just read this after having emailed you. This is absolutely no fun at all. And I know you likely remember about my knee biopsy, so you know I have some sense of what some of this is like. I remember being very scared and feeling like I was in an alternate universe almost. Take good care of yourself, let me know if you need anything.

At 12:15 PM, Blogger she falters to rise said...

I need some new bras--half sizes will be good if you have them;)

At 12:17 PM, Blogger trisha said...

shit, rox.

i don't know what to say.


i will come back after i take this child to school and say something other than shit.

At 12:29 PM, Blogger muse said...

I'm so sorry to read this! I wish I could... I don't know, find magical words to make it better, or do something, anything, to help you.

I'm thinking about you, girl!

At 12:53 PM, Blogger she falters to rise said...

I like how I can't comment on Trisha's site because of "questionable content" but Trisha comes and shits all over my site:)

I'm fine--really I am. There are so many women, men, and children who are going through things 100 times worse than this. I have the benefit of knowing the odds are in favor of it being nothing--many women aren't so lucky.

At 1:09 PM, Blogger BrightStar said...

Even if you know you're fine, it's probably been an all around unpleasant / scary experience, and I'm sorry you have to go through it.

LOL @ bad boob.

At 1:11 PM, Blogger trisha said...

you can't comment? damn that mt blacklist. lemme go fix!

At 1:56 PM, Blogger trisha said...

Yes, but we don't know and love those other people. And just because it could be worse doesn't mean it doesn't suck.

At 11:11 AM, Blogger sue said...

I feel for you... my mom went through that something like 8 times. It was never anything, but always had to have the surgery. Every time was trauma and worry, 'cause you just never knew for sure until they went in. I'll be thinkin' good thoughts for you.

(Your DOG found it? I've heard that can happen... wow.)

At 2:13 PM, Blogger BotanicalGirl said...

Sorry to hear about this! It really was stupid for them to schedule you for a mammogram at your age. You can't see diddly on them. I also hope they don't screw up your ladies too much. :/

At 3:25 PM, Blogger Pink Cupcake said...

Oh, you poor thing. I'm very glad things look positive, but am sorry you've had to go through so much recently. Take very good care of yourself, okay? Hugs. :)


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