Sunday, October 11, 2009

I don't have breast cancer

While the title of this post could lead you to believe that this post is a rant on Pinktober, and while I could easily rant for a long time about the disgusting commercialization of boobs at the expense of real women dealing with a potentially fatal disease, that's not what this post is about :)

I went to see an ob-gyn about chemo boobs at the recommendation of my PCP. She was a neat lady and I felt like she was competent. She sent me for a mammogram and a breast ultrasound, since breast cancer risk is higher for those who have had radiation to the chest.

I went for those tests the next day. It's funny. At no point have I even remotely thought that I might have breast cancer. And yet, going for a mammogram — my first ever, since I'm just shy of 34 — I was nervous at the outcome.

It varied between pretty uncomfortable and low-grade pain. I can see why women don't go for these things when they're supposed to. The ultrasound, of course, was easy.

The ob-gyn had written the orders so that I could be given the results by the radiologist right then and there, which was nice. I have a few small cysts, but that's pretty normal. Both docs could feel them, though I can't. Nothing to be concerned about. Fabulous.

So later this week, I went to the podiatrist about some plantar warts. In the course of talking, I mentioned that I've had these removed once before, though clearly, it didn't work. He asked if they'd been biopsied. Um... no?

Apparently, there is some kind of carcinoma that looks like plantar warts, and if they've been around for a while and don't respond to treatment, they should be biopsied.


Well, in the time that these things (two of them) have been growing, I've had five PET scans. I'm going to need to believe that if they were cancerous, we would have known about that by now. He said that he's never had a patient whose warts turned out not to be warts, and he's been a podiatrist for 30 years, but he's read about it in the literature. At least he's keeping up to date.

And so these little cancer things pop up and pop back down. And it's so weird when and how they show up. And I wonder if I would react to them the same way without my history, and I have to assume it would be different. If I hadn't had cancer, the possibility of a wart being cancer would be ridiculous, because things like cancer happen to other people, to older people, to less healthy people, not to me...