Dr. Deva just called and said that the results of my ultrasound and sonogram came back fine. Huzzah! Now I’m good to go in the ovary department for the next four months or so. I seriously never stop being amazed at some of the things that come out of my mouth since having gone through this crazy journey. “Good to go in the ovary department.” Yep. It’s always an adventure!
No word yet on the results of my pelvic ultrasound and sonogram. I suppose “Tuesday at the latest” might have meant this Tuesday? Like tomorrow? Yes? I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt. Actually, not really. They should have sent my oncologist the results last week. Guess who’s making some calls tomorrow? That’s right! Me! I wanna know what’s going on down there, darn it!
Last night I was looking online at possible surgeons here in New York that I might be able to speak to about breast implants. As I think I mentioned before, I have slowly been letting the idea of getting (small!) implants begin to work it’s way into my psyche. At one point I was totally opposed to the idea, but the more I speak to people and hear that I “don’t have enough tissue to donate” I really don’t feel I have much of a choice except to broaden my horizons a little bit. At least for now. So, I have slowly but surely been researching my options, knowing full well that this surgery is in my future, but unsure of exactly when in my future it may be.
I found one site last evening that looked pretty good. The surgeon in question had a very good reputation, and even a nice little blurb on their website that was just about breast cancer reconstruction. I thought that was a good sign. I wrote to their contact email about coming in for a consultation. I gave my whole history with breast cancer and said exactly what I was looking for. Someone wrote me back and said they would call me in the morning to set up an appointment for me to come in and speak to the surgeon. Great! Except it wasn’t.
This morning I got the call. Everything was going fine until the receptionist mentioned that she would need a credit card number to secure the appointment. I asked how much a consultation with the doctor was normally and she said $200. Two. Hundred. Dollars. To sit and talk to someone about breast implants. Not even to have anything done. Just to talk. Two hundred dollars. Okay. Fine. So then I said “I guess your office doesn’t deal with Medicaid then?”, hoping that maybe, just maybe I would get lucky this time. And then she said “Oh. You’re looking for that kind of doctor?” Excuse me? That kind of doctor? Congratulations in instantly making me feel like a piece of crap because all I can afford is “that kind of doctor”. I said that the call was over and hung up the phone. I know that was probably not the right thing to do but I was so upset at her comment that I knew if I remained on the line I would start to cry.
Let me take a moment to explain something here. It’s not easy making these calls. It’s not easy talking about my breasts being removed. It’s not even easy thinking about it, so whenever I have a minor setback like this, something that to anyone else would probably be small, it feels huge to me. It feels awful, like nothing will go right ever. It’s just a feeling, but it’s what comes up for me and I’m trying to just be aware of it and move on. I had just hoped that someone who had read my medical history and responded to the email in which I had written about my having the BRCA2 gene (and breast cancer) might have been a bit more sensitive to what I was going through and might not have made a remark like that.
Later I was talking to a friend and he gave me some good advice. He said not to let her get in my way. After all, she’s not the surgeon. She’s not the one who would be giving me the procedure or who I would even talk to to begin with. And he’s right. It’s just now I’m to embarrassed to call back since I hung up on her. Guess I’ll just have to get over that and call her back. It’s the only way I’ll get in for a consultation. And I guess I’ll be paying $200 out of pocket just to talk about a surgery that I have no idea when it will happen or if I will actually get implants or not. I guess maybe this is me learning to take responsibility for my actions and do the right thing. I just need a few more hours to calm down…
I know this is going to sound strange, but my most relaxing moment today was when I found myself lying in the dark with music playing softly in the background. The fact that I had a rod with a camera attached to it shoved up my lady bits is a side note. Alright, I was getting a pelvic ultrasound. And sonogram. Good stuff. Actually, despite the fact that my ovaries were being probed it really was quite relaxing. I suppose one becomes immune to these sort of things after awhile. Like when I go in for blood work and have five or six vials drawn at one time, all while discussing what I did on my summer vacation, etc., with the nurse who is collecting my blood. The new normal, everybody!
So today I found myself back at Beth Israel to take another look at my insides. I think mainly we wanted to see what is (was?) going on with the cyst which had appeared on my ovary at one point. I was a little sneaky today. Normally you have to drink water until you feel like you are going to faint from having to pee so badly and only then can you go back for testing. The first round of tests involves having an ultrasound transducer (a little science for you this evening!) rolled around on your abdomen, back and forth back and forth and all around until you are convinced if you do not use the restroom right at that moment you are going to burst. After the first external test you are free to pee. Sorry, I had to. It rhymed. Then you come back into the room and it’s off with the pants and up with the camera for some state of the art trans-vaginal imaging. I know, I know. But I strive to be honest on this blog so I have to call ‘em like I see ‘em. The reason I was sneaky today is because I had only had enough water to make me almost feel like I was going to pass out, not the usual cramp inducing amount. So, I told a little fib about how very full I was. Somebody always comes to ask you if your bladder is completely full or not. Not wishing to put myself through anymore unnecessary discomfort I said yes. I did have to use the bathroom. Just maybe not as badly as I was supposed to.
The technician who was administering the test and capturing the images asked me if I “was bleeding”, meaning did I already have my period for this month which I do not. Again, you must forever excuse the level of “too much information” which appears sometimes on this blog. I pondered her question and what it might mean for the rest of the exam as I stared off into the shadows in the corner of the room while ‘It’s Just One of Those Days’ by I believe Monica came drifting over the airwaves. Good one, radio. Good one.
I did two sneaky things this afternoon. The first being my slight water fib, the second was that when the technician left the room so that I could get dressed I had a look at the screen with all of the images of my ovaries on it. I had no idea what I was looking at or what any of it meant but of course I tried my best to decipher what might be going on in each frame. The outcome? I have no idea. I was told that my oncologist should have the test results back by Tuesday at the very latest. So, we shall see! Or not see. I’d prefer to keep my privates private for the time being. At least for the next six months, if that’s quite alright with everyone.