Another day, another moron

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?

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6 Responses to Another day, another moron

  1. I’m so sorry to hear that your OB/GYN practice needs some serious sensitivity training. I LOVE the practice I use and have seen almost all of the doctors there now. So if you really do want to investigate a new option, please let me know and I’d be happy to share details.

  2. Amy Cardinal says:


    You dont know me but I heard about your journey through my best friend that works with your husband. I understand so much of what you are going through Jenn, even though my journey was not as difficult as yours. First of all, you are amazing. As a survivor myself of 9 years, you are spot on in your emotions. But you sure got there way quicker than I did. And this is but one of the many morons that you will meet on your journey. And it’s a journey that doesn’t end. It’s always with you. Don’t let anyone tell you how to feel.

    Second, I have a wonderful OBGYN. Her name is Wendy Berenbaum. I had a hysterectomy one year after my mastectomy. It’s been a long journey and I still struggle with the anger over the unfairness of it all. But you will choose the path that’s right for you and I know you will kick the crap out of this. I used to get mad when people would tell me how strong I was. I wasn’t strong. I had two choices. Curl up in a ball and let this take me, or do what I had to do to live. I chose the latter and you are too. It’s who you are. Take the best care of yourself that you can Anderson others do for you as well.

    • fickelchook says:

      Thank you so much, it sounds like you’ve been through so much. If you have your friend ask for my info at work, Eric will give it to you. It sounds like you would be a great person to talk to.

  3. Jessica says:

    “turns out cancer makes morons out of everyone ” i think we need to make t-shirts

  4. Denise says:

    Augh – people can be sooo stupid yet so “smart”. Painful. My husband reads all your blogs, I didnt know until he was talking about it tonight. I know your journey will help educate all who have come in contact with you. Thank you for your spirit, kindness and kick ass frankness.

  5. kristina474 says:

    Uhg, what an ass. 😦
    Lovely reply from Amy!
    We know you didn’t choose this, that you didn’t get this because you are strong and can fight it, seems all so weird to say comments like “you are strong, you will kick its ass”. But at the same time their is something to be said for mindset. My mom use to say you have to trust in the doctors and all you can do is fight mentally so to her it was 80% mental game. You have to think tough, be a fighter, find the positive, move out of the hate and unfairness and into the love. Do they have counseling to help you through this? Listening to those of us who haven’t had cancer say strong comments to you though seems odd, like how would we know. I know most of us have to sound like insignificant asses most of the time. Sadly you would think people in the medical field would know though, would be better trained. Nope. Bigger asses it sounds like.
    I’m a huggy gal, so hugs to you from far away! I hope you find peace and clarity in all of this.

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