Thursday, August 11, 2011

The old appointment bait and switch

I am, for the most part, over my irritation...I was led to believe that my appointment today was with the surgeon, but when I got there it was with yet another radiologist~a Bob Hoskins look-alike~~a very nice man whose job was to say to me "yes. You have cancer. Now, before I set the appointment up with the surgeon, do you have any questions?"
I did, I must admit, let my impatience & irritation show.
He was very kind, & suggested that I "consider" a he held up a size with his hand, of a large roma tomato or a medium lemon. When I remarked that I would not have anything like a normal breast shape after that, he said no...but I would have my breast.
Goodness. We are fond of that idea as a society, aren't we?

I realized, after I got home, what was really going on, I think.
Our culture has so successfully brainwashed people to react to the word "cancer" like the townspeople react to zombies, that most people go through layers & layers of high reactivity.
I believe that Dr. Bob's role was to serve as a buffer for that, so that if a patient were going to wail, or yell, shiver uncontrollably, or mutter incoherently, Dr. Bob could, hopefully, let them discharge some of that so the patient could actually be as present as possible when meeting with the surgeon.
In the scheme of (normal) things, I guess it is a functional enough idea.
He must have said 5 times "Now, I know it will be impossible, but try not to worry & stress too much between now and then." And 5 times he smiled indulgently when I assured him that I wouldn't.

I did decide that perhaps I "should" consider a lumpectomy, if it were medically possible...So I researched images.
I have friends & clients that have had mastectomies, so the stark blankness of the chest on one side, well, I am used to that. It is a bit of a surprise when you first see it, but at the end of the day, it is nothing alarming.
But the images of lumpectomies...Especially with women my size, with lumpectomies in the lower outer quandrants, as I would have...No.
Every woman should make the choice that will give her the greatest opportunity of survival and self esteem; I am not standing in judgment of any woman's choice, let me be clear, but I know that I would rather see a blank skin slate in the mornings...
That's just me.

So, next Wednesday I meet with my surgeon.
What an amazing world this is.


mrs mediocrity said...

A whole week? The waiting part is just awful.

Of course the choice should be yours, and only yours, it is your body.

I like the way you assign little personas to all of these people, it is a good way to navigate through the crazy medical system.

Hugs to you

Jean J. said...

Interesting Skye (I missed this yesterday) ... I'm sure you are right about Dr. Hoskins's role here ...the surgeon doesn't want any wailing in his office. But how sad (& bizarre) to think of all the people who have sat & swallowed their feelings while sitting with a surgeon....most people not having thought through & worked on their life/death, health/sickness issues as you have. As always, we learn as we go. But you are also teaching as you go. Love, Jean

skye said...

Thanks, Jean. Yes, this is for me, &/but if I can help even one person out there decompress some of the cultural "big bad juju" on cancer so that they can be less reactive & more present & at choice, should they or a loved one walk this road, then you know me: bring it on, baby!! A breast is a teeny, teeny price to pay to help anybody cut free from the terror that most people have about cancer.

Good health (but mostly freedom) for us all!!

d smith kaich jones said...

i have a friend who recently had a double mastectomy, and another friend who had one breast removed at about the same time. each made their own choice, each approached it differently, and i can say to you right here, because it is you, and you know me, that their conversations were too much for me. i couldn't listen. until. she of the double mastectomy will be having reconstructive surgery and decided to have whatever they call thems inserted to begin to stretch her skin. they are hard and they hurt (although less each day) and they are so not breasts that we all began to laugh and to cop a few feels - including her. :) it demystified so much; she will be okay.

as i was reading this, i, too, thought what a wonderful teaching this is. more demystification.


skye said...

Thanks, Debi, yeah.
Implants, & the expanders (that's what they're called) are so totally not breasts, but hey, if my ins. co. will pop for it (pun!!), I will gladly receive it.
Though I may bitch about it at some point. But I would prefer that if it's possible...

Linda Teddlie Minton said...

Skye, your choice is what I have decided would also be my choice, under the same circumstances. Thanks for helping to demystify our fears.