The last couple of weeks I have been running around having follow-up check ins with the people who took care of me during my breast cancer treatment.
First I went to see the radiation oncologist. It was strange driving back down there for a quick one-off, weeks after I'd gone there every single day for 28 visits. Oh my Lord, did I really do that? Typing it makes me tired. So that was a quick stop, she just took a peek at where I'd had the radiation and pronounced it great-looking. My rectangular boob tan has mostly faded. She said to keep doing whatever skin care regimen we were doing and I said we would. That regimen was: Pure aloe (not the weird hybrid aloe lotions that contain alcohol), massaged in nightly by Matt, and almost never wearing a bra.
I've kind of gone back to the bra.
Then I went to see the oncologic surgeon who did my mastectomy. I had never noticed, back in the bad old days of going to see her for those first times, that her office has an amazing view of Atlanta. I just never saw it. But this time I sat in the waiting room and admired it fully. This doc is super competent and talks about a hundred miles an hour, and she awakens my congenital need to appear to be the bright student. So she had her turn at admiring my rack. Then she started making plans for the future, namely, that she wants to see me again in March and then yearly for MRI's, mammograms, and ultrasounds. Here you should picture the balloon that is my mood slowly leaking air in a sad, spluttering way and coming to rest on the floor.
She is all diligence and caution, wanting to follow me and maintain proper surveillance. She talked about that. And it's like, there is no way to tell her that I hate the sound of this and that I never want to see her again. I could feel the pain of my cognitive framework being hammered into a new shape. Here I am thinking of myself as cured and moving on, someone who won't have to deal with this again, but she thinks of me as high risk and someone to keep a close eye on. And I want her to do that, I want her to do her job. I just don't want to be anywhere nearby, you know?
I am thinking of myself as cured and I would like it if everyone would get on board with that.
Then, early this week, I went to see Dr. Hottie McTrottie the plastic surgeon, so she could check how I'm doing post-radiation. In this office, the whole narrative they're dedicated to is that of restoring looks and function, of making you over after all the bad stuff has happened, so they don't tend to be such downers. Also, as I've mentioned, their robes are nice, thick terry-cloth, way nicer than at the other docs'. I mentioned this to the radiation tech one day--that the robes were nicer at the plastic surgeon's--and she looked at me and said, "This ain't the plastic surgeon's." Yep, got it.
So Dr. Hottie was all, hey! Lookin' good! Let's finish the reconstruction in April! Keep on keepin' on! And they took more pictures of me--bad, bad lighting--and then I bought some Latisse. You see, my eyebrows and eyelashes have never totally bounced back from chemo and they're pretty sparse. So this will be a fun experiment.
Next week I'm going back in to see my medical oncologist. I guess she's the quarterback of this crew. At that visit I suppose I will get a feel for what the follow-up will be like for the next few years. They do bloodwork at each visit, and maybe I'm due for another scan? I don't know.
I'm feeling a lot of anxiety around all of this.
Then late next week I'll go see my gynecologist, the one who went to our college and is kind of cute. Really cute, actually. It's normal for a gynecological patient to bring the doctor lunch, right? And maybe a mix tape? I mean, I don't want to seem weird.
That's what's going on with me. Because we need to talk about me some more and the adventure of my sensibilities. Thank you for being a listening ear, friends. It means a lot to me. xo-B