Due to my proven poor calendar skills, I went on to discover I had scheduled my monthly oncologist appointment for the same day as my ob/gyn appointment (the REAL one this time), with very little turn around time between the two. The silver lining here (you KNEW there'd be one, didn't you?) was I got out of dressing like the Easter bunny for the preschool Easter parade and egg hunt (and I was sooooo looking forward to it).
|Trial run as the Easter bunny. Probably for|
the best I had to give up the gig.
The oncologist asks the same basic questions about my overall health. "Feeling okay?" (Yes.) "Any menstrual bleeding?" (Oh, believe me when I say you will be the FIRST to know if THAT happens.) "Bone pain other than the aches you've already been experiencing?" (Nope.) Then he'll ask me something I wasn't expecting. "Any dizziness or heart palpitations?" (What?!) We still go through the whole "look up, look down, look at my thumb, gee, you're dumb" routine each time I'm there. If I'm not careful, I get ahead of him. This visit, I had the added pleasure (said with sarcasm) of getting a breast exam.
The breast exam is weird because (a) the boobies have no feeling, but there's pressure when he's examining them, and (b) he was my friend first and my oncologist second, so it's still a little awkward to have him do this, as clinical as it is. So I stare at the ceiling and wait for it to be over. At one time, there was talk of me having an MRI to be used as a baseline at my one year anniversary, but Dr. Croy told me that insurance companies are balking at this procedure as unnecessary. As much as I detest having an MRI, I find this a little unnerving. There's still breast tissue there; it's impossible for every bit of it to be removed during the mastectomy. But unless a lump of some kind is felt through a manual exam, then the insurance companies aren't interested in spending money on screenings. Sigh.
From the oncologist's office, I go to the infusion center for the shot of Zoladex in my stomach. The nurses let me choose the spot for the shot each month, which I do by closing my eyes and poking around on my ahem, flat tummy for the numbest area. (Yeah, the area from about an inch below to two inches above my abdominal incision is still numb, just like the boobular area.) Then it's out the door and off to the next appointment.
|Nekkid except for this snazzy gown.|
So, there I sat on the exam table, naked except for the gown (open to the front) with a paper blanket over my lap, chatting about my ovaries with Dr. Lacey. The first words out of his mouth? "I don't want to touch that tram flap." Removing the ovaries (an oophorectomy, which is a silly sounding word) would require three incisions in my beautiful tummy, and then it wouldn't be so beautiful anymore. And insurance probably wouldn't be real keen on it, since the Zoladex injections were working for me. (Apparently, going down through my throat is NOT a viable option, although you never know until you ask.) He asked if I were having any menstrual bleeding. (As the ablation he did was supposed to take care of that, he would be the SECOND one to know if I had, right after I got off the phone with the oncologist.) I shared with him the 37 day siege that started in the hospital, two days after my bilateral mastectomy, and that I had been laying for him at the time, and he did look properly chagrined. (Feel free to brush up on THAT story here.)
Exam time, part one. Enough said.
Exam over, and Dr. Lacey's conclusion? I have THE BEST TRAM FLAP RECONSTRUCTION HE HAS EVER SEEN. In fact, he proclaims it "amazing." Shout out to Dr. Geter - I love youuuu!
Do you believe me now when I tell you the entire package is awesome?
And I'm resigned to the fact that the ovaries are here to stay. No phorectomy for my oo's.
11 Zoladex injections down, 49 to go.