Today started out pretty well. I spoke to the genetic counselor who let me know that I did not test positive for “the cancer gene”. There are actually two known genes, and they suspect there are two more. It’s great news that I don’t carry one of the known ones, but I am sitting in a prime spot for suspicion of an unidentified gene. Luckily the two unidentified genes do not appear to have the same links to increases in ovarian cancer. So, I have to sign some forms and a group in Seattle will follow my case to search for one of the unknown genes. This is the same group who identified the first two so they must know what they are doing. Hopefully someone can learn from all of this.
This afternoon I went to see the OB/GYN in an effort to be the best cancer patient around. I needed to have my lady bits checked out since chemo induces menopause. Yet another fun side effect. Anyway, I am clearly a glutton for punishment. First, the doctor badly botched giving me my diagnosis. Then, the next week, I ran into the same doctor at the hospital where she had no idea who I was even after me telling her my name. I had to tell her that I was the patient she told had cancer the week before and that got the memory going. So, when I needed a quick appointment, I called them again. Maybe I should be writing this about what a moron I am. I got the appointment with the head of the practice so I thought it would be good. Nope, turns out cancer makes morons out of everyone. After waiting over an hour to see the doctor (because apparently my file hadn’t been forwarded from the other office and the fax machines don’t work), he came in. He greeted me like a 4 year old who had lost a puppy. I was pretty surprised to see the sad sap routine. Note to health professionals: Cancer patients do not need to be treated like preschoolers. We know it sucks. We talked about the situation and he looked at the notes the nurse took about my meds. He said something about how I was just on Taxol and said “so you’re not getting the real chemo”? I think I played it off pretty well – I told him how the trial worked and he had the big reaction about the second round meds. But seriously. Note to everyone: don’t talk to a chemo patient about them not getting “real” chemo. Don’t discount something that huge. I’m not sure what “real” chemo consists of, but I didn’t ask. At the end of our appointment, he gave me the chipper “now you come back in a few months when you’re all better” kind of departure which I found rather off putting as well. Is it just cancer that makes people act so weird or is there something else going on here? Am I missing it? I’m not going to come walking back in that door in a few months and be “all better”. It doesn’t just go away overnight. And I officially need a new OB/GYN.
During my appointment, I had almost an hour and a half of waiting. That’s a lot of listening to people. I find myself doing that a lot. Listening to their concerns – uncomfortable shoes, dealing with their family for the Labor Day BBQ, what they are going to do on their long weekend. I can’t help but be a little jealous of the small, insignificant concerns. Then there are the others, who are in a good enough mood to be singing in public in the afternoon. Seemingly without a care in the world. Excited about it being Friday. I wonder what it would be like to be one of them. It wasn’t very long ago that I cared about lots of things. Now it all just seems distant.
I don’t have much appetite today – toast and water with lemon is about it. I’m pretty run down, but not too bad. I’ve been working on cleaning the house which has gotten me pretty tired out. Time to get excited about the weekend, right?