From the category archives:


Lumpectomy At Last!

August 26, 2009

My surgery is expected to take two and half to three hours. Dr. Guru promises that he himself will do the whole procedure. “Won’t even let a second year student help,” he says. He will make a slit in the twelve o’clock position on my right breast,  a slit under my right arm, and a […]

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Hypochondria Galore

August 6, 2009

No MRI results. No pathology report on the calcification in my left breast. No surgery date  – yet – to remove the cancerous hazelnut in my right breast. Five weeks have passed since I received my diagnosis. Five weeks since I was told I may have lived with breast cancer for a whole decade. And […]

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The Stereotactic Biopsy Procedure

August 4, 2009

After the MRI, I am scheduled for a biopsy of my left breast. Do I have cancer there also? The Breast “Care” Center, where I had my annual mammogram less than six weeks ago, did, of course, not even mention these calcifications. Did they see them?  I guess I am lucky they finally noticed the  […]

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“Ask an Expert” – It May Save Your Life

August 1, 2009

You don’t understand your doctor’s mumbo-jumbo, or have doubts?  You are confused about the correctness of your diagnosis or your pathology report? You are too scared to wait six months to find out what may lurk inside your boob?  You have a family member, or a friend, with breast cancer and you want to figure […]

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My Medical History Is…Lost

July 22, 2009

My medical records have evaporated. Buried in some nuclear waste site? My “health file” at home contains a brochure regarding an ancient, and expired, insurance plan. Not a single piece of paper refers to past doctor’s visits or mammograms. Not a single reference to the benign findings of my earlier biopsy. Certainly no pathology report. […]

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Finally – First Meeting with the Surgical Oncologist

July 5, 2009

Finally, I meet with Dr. Guru, my surgeon oncologist, after a two week wait. It seems like ten light years. The waiting room is enormous, empty except for an elderly couple. I notice that they do not carry an over-sized,  brown x-ray envelope, like I do. The staff in the reception  is slow and overweight, […]

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Are My Cells Undifferentiated?

June 27, 2009

Three days have passed since my diagnosis. When office work slows down, I feel panicky and restless. I debate whether to leave the office, but instead I turn to Google and type in “ductal invasive carcinoma” and “undifferentiated cells.” It turns out to be extremely bad news. Undifferentiated cells are abnormal looking cells that have […]

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My First–And Last–Visit with Dr. Morte, Part II

June 26, 2009

“What are undifferentiated cells?” I ask my new gynecologist, Dr. Morte, as he reluctantly stumbles through my pathology report. Undifferentiated cells sound pretty good to me. If cancer cells are no different from normal cells in my body, would that not be a good sign? “You have to ask your oncologist. I don’t know the […]

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My First–And Last–Visit with Dr. Morte, Part I

June 21, 2009

Doctor Morte, my new gynecologist, looks ascetic, with a largish, oval head on a thin neck stem. Thick accent. Is he Persian? I cannot place the accent, and it bothers me. I used to be good at identifying foreign accents and nationalities. He sits on a chair across from the awful examination table with the […]

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