This might be the week I start to get some answers! Which is good, because my visit to the oncologist actually left me with more questions, specifically about Lumpy. But I’m getting a bit ahead of myself – first, a little update on all the fun since last Monday.
Previously on “The Adventures of Lumpy & Leaky”
When we last saw our Dynamic DD Duo, Lumpy was in the clear, and I was waiting for a call from the hospital to schedule an excisional biopsy for Leaky. I’d had blood drawn, hoping to get to the bottom of my ongoing low grade fever, and was a few days away from an consult with an oncologist.
Quick! To the Bat Phone!
The beginning of last week was filled with phone calls. The nurse navigator called from the oncologist’s office with some preliminary questions, and said it would take about ten minutes to go through them. Because of my apparent allergy to answering with a simple yes or no, it was more like ten hours. And because the more stressed out I become, the worse my jokes get, the poor woman was subjected to moments like this –
Her – “Do you work outside the home?”
Me – “No, I’m a stay-at-home homeschooling mom.”
Her – A few more questions, then “Do you drink alcohol?”
Me – “Did I mention I homeschool our kids?”
The nurse from my PC’s office called early Tuesday morning, and said all the results of my blood test were normal. Blood sugar, iron, prolactin, thyroid, and a handful of other things (can’t remember the list, but she’s mailing the report to me) are all within normal parameters. It’s awesome and frustrating news, all at the same time. But these normal results do help me feel a bit more confident that there’s a simple, non-sinister explanation for this.
Got the call
The hospital scheduling department also called Tuesday morning to set up the biopsy. The wicked nice and extremely patient woman asked me if I’d discussed any preferred times with my surgeon. I told her yes, and she said, “Great! When would you like to have the surgery done?” I answered, “Two months ago.”
Luckily, she laughed, and said she’d find me the first available spot. Since I’d been told before it might take a few weeks to get in, I almost fell over when she asked, “How does next week work for you?”
A nice place to visit.
Bright and early Wednesday morning, hubby and I headed to see the oncologist. I was honestly feeling a bit silly about going, since I don’t have a diagnosis, and I figured it would be a quick in and out consult.
Just walking in to the place, knowing it was a cancer center, felt surreal. Instead of a typical waiting room, this one had comfy seats, some of which reclined, and two separate areas – one more traditional, and one with a television, fridge, snack bar, and multiple little areas to sit. The woman who checked me in somehow turned the process of reviewing insurance information into a conversation about our kidlet’s names, and it felt like having coffee with a new old friend. By the time all was said and done, I think we’d been offered snacks and drinks more often than a visit to my friend’s Italian nonna!
And for simplicity’s sake, since I’m now up to three doctors, I’m going to start referring to them as my PC (primary care doc), Dr A. (the general surgeon who was first on the case) and Dr B. (the oncologist).
Another day, another doctor.
After the wicked wonderful nurse (who was the same poor person who had to deal with me for the telephone questionnaire) brought us to the room and got us situated, Dr B. arrived. Straight off, I stopped feeling silly about being there – she immediately put me at ease, and in no time flat, we were joking about my interesting case and wondering if I could score a spot on Mystery Diagnosis (a dear local friend joked about the same thing a few days later – great minds!).
Then she got down to business, and started talking about having the biopsy done on Lumpy. After a moment, I interrupted her to clarify it was Leaky who was going under the knife. Long story short, she was confused because while Lumpy’s biopsy (which she gave me a copy of) was benign, it showed sclerosing adenosis surrounding the fibroadenoma (say that 3 times fast!). She thinks it should be biopsied at the same time as Leaky, so Lumpy doesn’t feel left out and decide to act up (not her words, but I’m sure that’s what she meant). She’s going to talk to Dr A, and will call me early in the week to let me know what they decide.
She had me lay down on the table to do a quick exam, but before my head made it halfway down, my eyes went a bit wonky as my vertigo kicked in. Nothing like needing to have two people slowly lowering you to a table (with a concerned husband standing by) to make you feel a thousand years old, but it passed quickly. And finally, 52 days after I discovered the bloody discharge, someone asked to take a culture! I’ll spare you the details of the process, but suffice to say it involved a great deal of joking around by all of us.
Beyond wanting Lumpy biopsied, she also suggested I invite myself to my mother’s genetic testing referral in a couple of months. She said it would be a great way to ask questions and get information before scheduling my own. She also said to keep in mind (not that she was recommending it) that there are treatments for breast cancer prevention (like Tamoxifen) that we could explore if I wanted to down the road. She’s also setting me up with a referral to a dermatologist, since there’s a family history of skin cancer, and I’m typically a whiter shade of pale. I left with a big binder full of information and business cards – they said I didn’t have to take it if I didn’t want to, but I figure, the more you know…
Coming up on the next episode of “WTF Is Going On?”
The rest of the week was spent watching hubby and the kidlets (primarily the eldest) install a new-to-us bathroom cabinet (someone bought it, installed it, changed their mind, and re-boxed it before leaving it curbside down the street from us with a note saying, “Free to a good home”), and replace the sink (the landlord bought a new one for us and we said we’d put it in… almost 5 years ago…).
Now I’m waiting for phone calls about –
~ the bloody discharge culture results
~ the dermatologist, to set up an appointment
~ the hospital with pre-surgical instructions
~ Dr A or B, with their decision on Lumpy
~ the hospital the night before, with my surgery time
In the meantime, I’m trying to behave and eat healthy. For example, at lunch, I drizzle a little hemp seed oil on some whole grain bread, then spread it with some with Teddy’s peanut butter and sprinkle it with a generous helping of hulled hemp seed. But then I top it off with Nutella, because… wait, it’s Nutella. It doesn’t need a reason.
There’s less than a handful of days to go before my surgery, but in a
hideous hilarious bit of a bad timing bookend, since it happens just before Labor Day (much like I made the discovery over the 4th of July weekend), Dr B is guesstimating I won’t hear any results until the middle of next week. So, yay.