This is a quick update on my story before I publish the more important post on uterine cancer risk factors–hope you ladies of a certain age will check back very soon.
Today I had my triple-header medical appointments. Amazingly, I left the house about 11:00 AM and returned about 2:30 PM–all went without a hitch. But the paperwork never seems to end, despite electronic medical records and doctors carrying laptops into exam rooms. But that’s OK and should be my worst problem.
- First, I saw the gastroenterologist, who happens to be a Parsi like my husband–it’s always pleasant to establish a personal rapport with a doctor. He agreed to do a colonoscopy and esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) at the same time before I have the hysterectomy, as recommended by my oncologist. My father had colon cancer, which is a risk factor for uterine (and breast) cancer. I also have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Unfortunately–or fortunately, depending on your perspective–the first available date to do both procedures together is Wednesday, December 11–two days before my surgery. This means that Thursday would be my only day to rest. The advantage is that I’ll be pretty well cleaned out for the surgery and can perhaps do a less aggressive pre-op prep. The primary disadvantage is that any pathology results might not be available before December 13. The scheduler said she would watch for cancellations and move the appointment up if possible, but I’m wondering whether I should just leave things as they are.
- Second, I had my annual screening mammogram at the new PINK Breast Center, which was very homey and as comfortable an environment as you can hope for when “the girls” are being temporarily smashed into tortillas. The discomfort lasts such a short time, and the benefits are so great, that I don’t think twice about getting a mammogram done–and the procedure itself really is not a big deal and takes only a few minutes. The technologist took a quick look at the films and said my breasts look very healthy–OK, good–but of course I need to wait for the radiologist’s report.
- Third, I saw a dermatologist for a pinkish spot on my scalp, which she called a “neoplasm of uncertain behavior.” I’ve had this for a couple of years, during which time it’s gotten a little deeper in color and itchier, but no bigger. She took a biopsy–before I even had time to get nervous about it (the local anesthesia burns)–to rule out “BCC.” Can’t fool me–I used to work for general surgeons, so I recognized this as the abbreviation for basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer often caused by exposure to the sun. I’m not a sun worshipper, but the spot was right in the part of my hair. My oncologist had said that if a biopsy showed a skin cancer, he could arrange for a surgeon to remove it after the hysterectomy while I’m still under anesthesia. So we’ll see what the pathology report shows in one to two weeks. I also asked the dermatologist to look at an assortment of other moles and skin tags, and she said everything else–a benign nevus, a rough seborrheic keratosis, and a dermatofibroma–were harmless. When I left the office, the receptionist handed me a printed report with everything above–and without my having to ask for it.
Let’s hope the results from today’s medical visits are as good as the appointments were.
Oh, and BTW: I wore my “Anne Perry” necklace and earrings today and received a number of compliments on them. If you’re interested in what this cryptic message means, click here.