Monday, November 16, 2009

What's your sign?

Today, I went to the Cancer Pavilion!.

Cancer Pavilion! makes me think of a scene from the greatest movie of all time, Trading Places. Eddie Murphy (Billy Ray) and Dan Aykroyd (Louis) are pretending to be acquaintances from an African education conference.

Louis: Nenge? Nenge Mboko? It is me, Lionel Joseph!

Billy Ray: Lionel! From the African Education Conference!

Louis: Yah, mon, I was Director of Cultural Activities at the Haile Selassie Pavilion.

Billy Ray: I remember the pavilion - we had big fun there!

Both: Boo-boo yah, boo-boo yah, boo-boo yah, hah! Boo-boo yah, boo-boo yah, boo-boo yah, hah!

Billy Ray: Oh, memories!

I'm guessing the Haile Selassie Pavilion was waaaay more fun than Cancer Pavilion!.

See, I had this spot on my breast. And then it went away. And then it came back. And then I freaked out.

Oh, and somewhere in there, my gyn went out of business. So I contacted Cancer Pavilion!, where my mom and I are in the genetic counseling program because, well, we rock the breast cancer hizz-ouse.

And the genetic counseling people had been all, "OMG, anytime you need anything, we'll hook you up!" Except, in reality? That really meant, "We'll grudgingly help you get an appointment in three weeks."

And then the spot went away again. Which was good - don't get me wrong.

But today I went to Cancer Pavilion! and spent three hours, of which I saw the actual doctor exactly 90 seconds. She basically felt me up, told me the spot was dermatitis, and told me to get a mammogram when I turn 40.

I should have just gone to the Minute Clinic inside the CVS.

I'm torn. I'm torn between being thankful that the spot did go away and that the Cancer Pavilion! people thought it was no big deal ... and being supreeeeemely annoyed at the folks at Cancer Pavilion!. I have an intense family history. I look like a pirate due to the scar from a lumpectomy I had when I was all of 23 years old. Could someone please just acknowledge that I did the right thing by coming in? That would be far more palatable than being treated like I was wasting their time.


However, I'm saying two little (ok, big) prayers of thanksgiving tonight. One, thank you for my health. And two, thank you for the gorgeous woman with the long blond hair in the waiting room. She overheard that it was my initial appointment at Cancer Pavilion! and basically followed me into the ladies' room - but not to be creepy. She told me that she had the same doctor, that she'd had breast cancer diagnosed in January and had been clean since her radiation ended in June, and that it wasn't any big deal. She just kept telling me: You'll be fine, I promise.

And ... she was right. Thank you.

Image courtesy of Google Images. Lookin' good, Billy Ray!


sherilee said...

That was kinda sweet, the blonde lady... sorry about the momentary stress, though. You'd THINK health care practitioners could get it more on the ball, but these stories abound.

Did you hear the news today that a new study recommends age 50 for first mammograms, and every two years after that... really? Give it a decade and a rise in breast cancer and they'll switch it back. Whatev.

Glad you're OK. I'm on my way in to get a weird month-old red skin patch near my hairline checked out tomorrow... I'm currently convinced it's skin cancer, so I'm looking for the "it's dermatitis" diagnosis as well...

Patti said...

I am pretty much done letting anyone mess with the breasts. Every mammogram results in a lumpectomy/biopsy/some other ridiculously expensive procedure that leaves me exhausted from worry, poorer from deductibles, and frustrated with the system. I don't know the family history demands I too be careful but when the experience is so unpleasant it makes it difficult to want to subject yourself to it.

Glad the blonde lady gave you some comfort and glad you got the all clear!

mel said...

Glad to know all was well.

They should have treated you better though. Who cares if they see thousands of women a day, week or year or see this or that all the time. Drs should be more respectful of your fear and time, period.


8 said...

Glad the answer to what you were seeking was good news and not bad. Don't forget to stand up for your rights as a patient. If you have questions they need to listen and answer. You are your best advocate. I hereby acknowledge you making the first step in coming in to the Cancer Pavilion!

Anonymous said...

THank goodness! And thank goodness for your blonde haired angel lending you the words you needed to hear.

Iron Needles said...

Glad you are taking care of yourself. Always good for you for doing that, no matter how others might 'silly' it away.

Also...I will see your 'pirate scar' and raise you two 'hash marks'.

日月神教-向左使 said...