Diagnosis

A Little Self-Medication Can’t Hurt…

Monday, May 2, 2016

Finally, Monday rolled around.  I had a busy day planned at work, and since I had just called Dr. Hugs’ office on Friday, I resolved to wait another day before nagging again.  It turned out I did not need to — around midday, the phone rang.  Dr. Hugs wanted me to drop everything and come into the office.  Could I come in at 3pm?

I panicked a bit; I had a critical presentation to my boss at 3:30pm, which meant, if I was lucky crossing the train tracks, the soonest I could get there was 4:15pm — and that was assuming my meeting did not run over.  I got the nurse to agree to that, and then frantically ran up to my boss’s secretary’s deck.  Without thinking, I said, “I think I have breast cancer and I need to go to the doctor right after this meeting.  Can you help make sure that happens?”  In her extreme awesomeness, she did not miss a beat, and shifted a few things around to ensure that I’d make it to the appointment on time.

I arrived at Dr. Hugs’ office breathless but on time … and then proceeded to wait almost an hour.

Dr. Hugs has been my primary care physician for most of my adult life, and we have a good rapport (aside from long wait times).  Once I finally got in to see her, she walked me through the Pathology Report.  In summary: Slow growing (yeah!), stage 1 (yeah!), hormone receptor positive (yeah!).  She anticipated lumpectomy + radiation, no chemo; but this would all need to be confirmed.

In the back of my mind, of course, were Dr. Rad’s comments that there were “multiple masses,” and that they’d only biopsied the two largest.  So, Dr. Hugs really only saw reports about those two sites on the biopsy report, not all the other little ones.  My gut told me there would be more to the story.  (Foreshadowing!!)

Dr. Hugs explained that my next step would be to meet with three specialists: the Hematologist Oncologist, the Radiation Oncologist, and the General Surgeon.  (Like a Christmas Carol, only with cancer.  A Cancer Carol?)  She anticipated that I’d have a plan within a month.  She strongly suggested that I bring Tad or a friend with me.  At first I demurred; I’m not a very emotional person and didn’t think I’d need a shoulder to cry on.  But she explained that because of the volume of information that will be given to me, it will be good to have someone along to pay attention and take notes.

On my way out the door she said, “Are you sure you don’t want me to prescribe you some Xanax?”  I said, “No thanks, I’m fine with gin & tonics…”

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