Today I met with my oncologist for the first time. This is not to be confused with my radiology oncologist, with whom I’ve met twice. My oncologist is a brilliant woman. So much so, that inside about 5 minutes I realized my eyes were glazing over. I had no understanding of about half of what she said. In spite of my difficulties tracking with her (I suspect the lack of sleep last night had something to do with this), I gleaned a few interesting tidbits of information. Not that you care, especially, but I thought they were interesting, and since tonight, after interacting with my teenagers and yet again going away from the exchange with the label of “Worst Mother Ever” verbally stamped on my soul, I’ve decided it is time to make it all about me. Hey, I figure if my teens can insist everything is all about them, then I can do the same.
First, I learned that not only can a thermometer read your temperature, it can now detect the amount of oxygen in the blood. I am pleased to report that I exceed the expected level of 95% with an impressive 99% oxygen. My blood pressure was slightly elevated today, which was weird.
Another thing I learned was something my surgeon and my radiology oncologist both told me: some experts don’t believe DCIS is really cancer. My oncologist is definitely in the “it’s just per-cancer” camp. This is not to say she minimized my situation or concerns; she did not. She just added an additional and very informed perspective. I mean, I get it. I get to keep my boobs, The decision for radiation treatment was left up to me, and chemo is not happening. Compare this with a friend of mine who, a decade ago was diagnosed, ended up having removal, radiation and 32 6-week sessions of chemo. She is alive and was declared by her doctors to be cancer free just a few months ago. I have nothing compared to that.
The third thing I learned was that there is actually a pill one can take to reduce breast cancer. The reduction percentages are small and some of the side effects, though rarely occurring, are worrisome: possible clotting or increased risk of uterine cancer for starters.
I also learned cell phones were not allowed in the waiting room. This tidbit dawned on me because I can read this:
Finally, I learned another great way to make $100 go away really fast: have an oncology consult. My next oncology appointment is after radiation. I’m sure that will be loads of fun.
That was not such a fun party. Lots of great information, but no food or beverages. Next time, I’ll know it is BYOB.