Thursday, 4 October 2007

More Medical Tragedies

I truly do live in Medical Hell from time to time.

I went back to the orthopedic doctor and unsurprisingly, I am still not cleared to ride. OK. I'm not happy about it, I don't love it, but he's the doctor and quite frankly, without a note from him (or the gods) I won't be allowed to set foot on any of the rigs.

I knew that this was likely to go this way. That makes it no easier, however.

Oh, but wait! That is not all. I got a call from my gynecologist's office, they need me to go to the Morristown Memorial Breast Center (its actual name is whole lot longer than that, obviously the Ripples gave them a boatload of money to get it named after them BOTH. Yikes...). Fine - I'd been told that I may - in fact, very likely - would be called to go back.
Very often they like to have more images to get a better baseline for future comparisons. No problem, that's perfectly okay. I call the doctor's office back and ask them to please have Dr. Bissinger write the script and please fax it to me at work. Would he also please call me back and let me know if this is just to have additional pictures on hand for baseline needs or has he found something.

It is always a trial to reach me at work, so I leave instructions with the desk person or assistant that I spoke with to please let him know he can leave specific details on my voicemail. I'm the HR Manager, and NO ONE can access my voicemail besides me. He called back shortly after, probably while I was out handing out payroll.

Had someone walked in to my office at the moment I was listening to that message, they'd have seen the colour leave my face in a second. A second. He found a 1.17cm (approximately three-quarters of an inch) opacity on the film of my left breast.

Yikes.

I mean, really unbelievable YIKES.

Now, the fact is that 1. most of the time, these things turn out to be nothing. OK. 2. An "opacity" could mean dirt on the lens, dirt on the film, a spot on the film, something normal in my breast, a possible cyst, or a possible tumour. 3. If it is something, then it can be biopsied to make sure it is benign. If it is (worst-case scenario), a malignancy, then surgery is in order and breast cancer, next to many skin cancers, is the most treatable, with a very high success rate. Either way, the tumour could be benign or it could be cancerous. It is best not to panic until there is more definitive information to go on. Like if it even is a tumour.

Yeah, right.

Name one person - ANY one person, male or female, that when faced with the possible prospect of dealing with the BIG C, something that can potentially kill you - who wouldn't be thinking about this all the time? Now, I have had this knowledge for all of five and half hours now, so what can I tell you? I'm not at all happy and quite upset. Ray told me he'd go with me to any appointments I'd like him to - his schedule is wide open - and I love that. Everyone I've talked with has been exptremely supportive and wonderful. But I'm UPSET. And until I have had that first good night's sleep and some time to digest it, I'm gonna be UPSET. I have an appointment for 17 October but I'm going to call tomorrow to see if there are any cancellations to get in sooner. The sooner the better. That doesn't mean panic, but if this isn't time sensitive, then what the hell is?!

Medical hell.

As I posted in late September on Baby's First Mammogram, the mammogram part is fine. I really did not find it bothersome. They can flatten them like pancakes as much as they want when I go to Morristown if that gets an answer even faster. Should it turn out to be something real, the next step is either a second opinion or a biopsy. I suspect I'll go with biopsy first, second opinion if something like cancerous or dangerous or whatever comes up. Certainly if the word "surgery" ends up in there, I will require a second opinion - and even a third if I get conflicting information.

Don't mistake me, I am not one to get nuts and panic. However, I am one to think about things like this from all angles to prepare myself for whatever I need to. I am not in total control of my life and how it might end, but what I do have control over, I fully intend to maintain that and my living status. I am not done with my life yet and I'll be damned if I'm going to let anything with as high a cure rate as that stop me from fulfilling all that I plan to do and be as yet!

Here's a little story for you, dear reader:

My aunt Toby, who worked in a cardiologist's office, had a friend whose wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. She did not do a single thing about it, was in total and complete denial over it. She let it go on, growing and matastasizing beyond belief. And one night, in the bathroom of a restaurant, this not-quite-middle aged woman exsanguinated and bled out there.

Not me. I have zero intentions of ending my life that way!

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