From the category archives:


What Oncogene?

September 15, 2009

Dr. Guru calls at 9 AM. Less brusque than during post-op a few days ago. (Less stressed out, I suppose.) “No cells in the margins.” What are the margins? He does not say and I do not think to ask. (Before the tumor is removed, the surgeon inks a line around it. A clean margin […]

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The Ten Second Post-Op Consultation

September 13, 2009

Monday morning, 7 AM as usual, I am back at work after my Friday lumpectomy. I feel a bit listless, like walking in chewing gum. My brain is gauzy, but I have no pain.  The week-end has been one long folk fest filled with visitors and forced relaxation. The worst  now is not being able […]

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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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Dr. Guru Super Star

August 23, 2009

Suddenly, a flurry of activity, like when trees and leaves are set in motion by an approaching storm. The curtains, surrounding my gurney, open and flap, close and flap, as doctors, nurses, and technicians come and go. Doctor Guru’s wife, my anesthesiologist, arrives along with her second in command (or perhaps a resident in training)  […]

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Uncertain Destinies in the Waiting Room

August 20, 2009

In the waiting area, before receiving my mysterious “wire,”  I immediately set eyes on a young woman, at the most 25 years old, too young to be wearing a hideous hospital gown and a plastic ID bracelet at the Magnolia Cancer Center. The middle-aged woman next to her is fully dressed. I feel emotional as […]

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Surgery Day Hurray

August 15, 2009

The day I have worried about, fought for, and pushed for, is finally here. Last time I had surgery, 26 years ago,  two healthy full-term babies, a boy and a girl, were removed from my body. This time the surgeon will remove a specimen of malignant neoplastic tissue, surrounded, I suppose, by normal grizzle and […]

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Dr. Guru, I Am Mad. Where Are You?

August 7, 2009

Thursday, I only have one thing on my mind, one thought circling my brain like a  hungry wolf.  I want to go under Dr. Guru’s scalpel, I need for him to get rid of my nasty, ugly tumor. Now. Not a word from Dr. Guru’s office.  Not a word about the MRI results.  Not a […]

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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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Seven Sick Reasons Not to Check Your Breasts

July 27, 2009

I. Nobody in my family has breast cancer. But: Eighty percent of  post-menopausal breast cancer patients do not have a family history. II. I need to wait until my son’s wedding, my husbands 50th birthday, our 20th anniversary trip/my daughter’s high school graduation/until after my high school reunion. But: What could have a higher importance […]

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