Re-Excision After All

by Maggan

in Re-Excision,Surgical Oncology


Three distinguished physicians, all cancer specialists,  seem lukewarm – or indifferent – to the merits of chemo therapy, in my case. I feel as light as a swallow, and just as fast, as I leave the Magnolia Cancer Center. I tip the valet $10, but before I can drive away, my cell phone buzzes.

“Charlie Alpha. You need a second surgery. Guru will call you himself. Just wanted to give you heads up. Please don’t rub his nose in it. This will be a very hard call for him to make.”

Dr. Alpha, the radiation oncologist, sounds kind of excited. Perhaps he, like me, thrives when he is on the barricades slaying dragons. “I hauled your pathologist back to work on her day off,” he brags. “Made her stay with me on the phone till we had gone through the whole path report, slide by slide. But her report is right. He is wrong.”

“But it will take for ever, weeks, even months to get time for a second surgery.”

I was mindful of Guru’s incredibly busy schedule and what, I assumed to be, low interest in stage one node negative patients who needed unnecessary re-excisions. He would just drag his heels.

“No, he won’t. He owes you.” Says Dr. Alpha. “It has to be done. See you in about a month.”

I almost make a re-excision unnecessary by turning onto West Wesley right in front of an oncoming car.

I call my friend Marie to let her know that I am on my way earlier than expected.  The Professor’s appointment lasted a scant 20 minutes v. the  hour long visits with Dr. Weary and Dr. Alpha.  Also, I  call my husband, my oldest daughter, and my sister-in-law to tell them about the re-excision but everyone is tied up at work . I get voice mail for all of them.

At Marie’s, the table is set for tea in the garden with her best bone china cups with the oriental motif,  and plates filled with cream puffs and cookies. Cecilia has baked her fabulous Valrona chocolate and orange muffins. Just what the doctor did not order.  I have come full circle from our tea the afternoon when I arrived   anxious  after my biopsy, suspecting that the irregular image on the screen was a cancerous tumor, not an errant hazelnut or benign cyst.

This time I am not anxious.  Well, a little bit perhaps. I have had a pain in my side for a couple of days. Could it be ovarian cancer? The Magnolia Cancer Center had a whole table covered with ovarian cancer brochures. Why did I not take one?

I make a mental note: schedule an appointment with a gynecologist . But first I need to find a new one now that I have fired the wooden and unhelpful Dr. Morte.  I also need a colonoscopy. I am overdue by a decade, according to the colonoscopy brochures.  Who performs those procedures? Colonoscopists? Is there such a thing? Maybe a gastro-internist-something? I tell myself I need to research who would be the best person to stick a tube with a light up my rear end.

At the same time I wonder: How did my parents make it into their 80s and 90s without any of these procedures? The most invasive procedure either one of them had was probably an x-ray and a blood pressure check.

But here I am with all these doctor’s appointments to schedule.  Apparently, many more dangers  lurk  inside the human body these days.

If true, is it the result of added hormones, pesticides, genetic alterations, microwaves,  chemicals and additives in practically every household item, noxious industrial fumes, car exhausts, and the exhausts nobody talks about: exhaust from cargo ships where dirty fuels and inefficient engines can make one single cargo ship contribute as much to pollution as 50 (FIFTY) million cars.

And when will Dr. Guru call back about the new surgery?

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

K January 20, 2010 at 5:53 pm

I wish I had read this December 10, 2009.

Thank you for the play by play…
I am 36 years old…stage 1 grade 2..infil.duct. carc. lumpectomy was jan 7..just found out insurance had been stalling on the oncodx test. everything moved so fast and this feels like I hit a brick wall.

reading this reminds me: I need to be proactive in my care…get my head out of the sand…find out what I need and to be stop being scared of having too much information.

thank you again,
be healthy

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