Wednesday, July 18, 2012


This is pretty much how I feel about wearing paper medical gowns.

(  found here : )

I do not know a single woman who says 
when its yearly physical time. 

My turn rolled around today.
I have a new, new doc.
He truly reminds me of Mr. Bean.
They have the same eyes and smile.

(from / Mr. Bean's Holiday)

He walked into the exam room and ran into the door on the way in.
Last time I was there with Randy...
Doc lost his rolly stool out from under him and nearly hit the floor.

Being a klutz myself,
I find the quality endearing.

Donning the paper gown was a trip...
they have a tiny dressing room.
I kept thinking... so this is how Superman
felt changing in the phone booth.

Everything went well enough.
Good in fact.
I've lost 8 pounds in 2 1/2 weeks.
My BP was down.
He took away one medication because I no longer need it.
All my blood sugars and AC1 test are outstanding.
The healthy diet and cardio are doing their job.
He said he did not find any lumps.
 Wah hoo!

I'm sure you don't want the gory details of the actual
But here are some strange things about the "visit". 
( Visit... as if this is a pleasant experience. Ha!)

I have never seen a speculum with a headlight before!

Why do they wait so long to see you that you have time to work up a good 
boob sweat?

I entertained the question...
Yikes!  Is that a finger or a baseball bat?

Someone farted and it was NOT me!
I've never seen a nurse hurry out of a room so fast.
I think that was a sign of guilt.

The worst part over,
he allowed me to play Superman in the phone booth again
and regain my clothing
while he made a phone call.

This part is weird and serious.
He returns to tell me that he is sending me to an
that's a cancer specialist.

My immediate reaction was to say
"But you said there were no lumps."
I remember my mother's Oncologist...
and losing her vividly.
Oncologist is a very scary word.

He quickly raised his hand and said no, no...
nothing wrong with my breasts, uterus or tired old ovaries...
but with my family history...
a preventative double mastectomy would be something to seriously consider.
They would of course do breast reconstruction.
He patted my hand and continued. 

But we aren't there yet...
(to butchery and plastic fun bags)
What I need to do is go see the Oncologist and let him
map my genes.
Then have one of my sisters genes mapped...
both gene maps will be compared
IF I have a different map
I get to keep my own boobs.
If our genes match exactly...
I get to lose my old friends and get Barbie boobs.

I am unsure right now how I feel.
In a way... 
avoiding cancer and getting a boob job sounds pretty good.
So does keeping my old gals since I am rather fond of the girls.
I guess its a win-win situation.
But it doesn't feel like one.
It feels creepy and weird.

I know I am being irreverent here.
This is how I deal with things that are scary for me.
No offense to any other person's experience with
breast cancer.

Much much better to laugh than the alternative.

 Here is a serious question for you friends.
If this were you... or your wife...what would you do?
Would you do the gene testing and willingly give away your/ her breasts
if they found the bad gene?
Or would you wait and let cancer show up
before any surgery...
living blissfully oblivious until the cancer hammer fell?

Randy was already sleeping when I got home.
So other than talking with Doc Bean,
I haven't spoken to anyone about this.
I know what Randy will say anyway...
that this is my decision and he will support me on it.

If you are uncomfortable with answering that question...
that's cool...
I think I just needed to say this out loud.
Well, sort of anyway.




  1. This may well be the strangest question I'll have to ponder all day. My wife has "history" too, so I wonder.

    If I had to advise, I'd probably say why not get the test first, and see if you even need to bother considering. If the test says no, you're all done. My 2 cents.

  2. I'd definitely go and see the Oncologist first, talk to him/her and see what comes out of that. I'm assuming "Dr. Bean" is just a GP so it's possible that the oncologist will have a totally different approach.

    Still, if it were me making the decision-I think I'd go with the surgery. My boobs are just boobs. I'd rather have good health and be proactive then constantly wonder.

  3. It's a tough decision, but I would wait to see what the oncologist's opinion is before I could even wrap my head around this. I wish I could help more...

  4. Wow. That is a big and scary question to ponder. If it were me, I would definitely go ahead and do the gene mapping to help assess my risk.
    It is hard to consider prophylactic mastectomy, but if the gene mapping indicated I was at high risk, I think I would seriously, seriously consider going ahead with it rather than waiting.

  5. Cricket- I am sure that you are right. After a not so good night's sleep, I am feeling better about this. Waiting and hearing what the oncologist says is the best action at this point.

    silverthoughts2- Surprisingly enough, my husband said the same thing... they are just boobs and it wouldn't be like they vanished. They would be replaced. Sort of Boob.2

    Cube- You help just by listening to me. Tons.

    laura b.- I actually asked my doc of over 20 years about this when I was younger. He advised against prophylactic mastectomy BUT at that time, they were not gene mapping for it.

    All- At first I was thinking about having part of me vanish. That freaked me out. But after thinking more, its not much different than letting them take my appendix. The point would be (if the gene mapping says that I do have the gene) there is a part of my body that is sick that needs to be removed. The object is to out step cancer and that is a very good thing. I would be among the very lucky who got to find out before it could take root.

    That's way better.

  6. What? He's asking you to consider a double mastectomy simply based on family history? My mother had breast cancer, and I'm not willingly lopping off my breasts unless I need to. It's not a win-win in my book. Reconstruction is fine if you need it, but it's not the same as natural breast tissue and you lose your nipples, the most sensitive part of your breasts. I would get a second opinion and not necessarily from an oncology surgeon. By all means, get the gene mapping but find out what your odds are - not every woman who carries the BRCA gene is destined to get breast cancer. I may be biased about this, but I also didn't opt to get rid of my ovaries when I had my hysterectomy, even though it would eliminate my risk for ovarian cancer.

  7. First off I am glad your visit went well and you are doing well. As far as your question, I really don't know but if it was Mrs. Shife I would want them to do whatever necessary to make sure was not going anywhere. Best of luck with your decision and I am sure whatever you do it will be the right one. Take care.

  8. Secret Agent Woman- Believe me, I will certainly get a second opinion before I do anything. I really was blind-sided about this. I went in for a physical and left with this question in my head. I won't do anything rash. This is why I asked this question... thank you for your input. I had not thought about nipples. They are important.
    There is so much to think about that it might be too big for my head.

    Mr.Shife- Thank you. Your support and everyone's is important to me. I really hate crap like this.

  9. "I had not thought about nipples. They are important."

    This may be my all-time favorite response to any comment I've ever left. :-)

  10. Hmm, because I'm terrified....terrified of any cancer, I think I'd get the screening and give my pair of breasts up for adoption.

    I'm glad the doctor's visit went well and that your blood pressure is down. Congrats on the 8lbs!

    1. I am with you on breast cancer terror. It is the scariest thing.
      I'm pretty thrilled with the weight loss. Now if I can keep it going.

  11. i really don't know what i would do posed with that question. it's so far outside my experience since i am adopted. i have zero family idea, none. i could be a ticking time bomb or i could come from a long line of healthy centenarians. i don't think there is a right or wrong answer to the question though. you have to make the decision you feel most comfortable with...the one that lets you feel confident and peaceful....and for different people that may yield different answers.

    1. Yikes! No family history would be scary too. This gene mapping thing was new to me. I knew that they could do it, but did not know that they would do it, if you know what I mean. I am impressed that insurance will even cover it, but it does. I am fortunate that I have a choice that my sisters before did not have and a useful tool to help with it. I feel blessed.
      You are right of course. In the end, whatever happens, I will do what feels right to me. But all of it scares me silly.