First Follow-up

In the here and now, I have just had my first follow-up appointment. In short, my oncologist did a little examination. I have remained slightly concerned with the fact that I still have some movement limitations in my arm, 10 months after surgery. However, when I peeled my shirt off over my head, a smile sprung to his face. “Look at that! It is amazing how you can do that.” My heart sung both with praise from him (Akin to getting a gold star in Kindergarden. I have some weird drive to be teacher’s pet.) and with the confirmation that I have not somehow failed to properly look after my recovery.

He then listened to my lungs, did a little physical sizing-me-up with with his hands the way you pack little bits of (whatnot) into a pile with your hands: A little cupping pat on the hips, the ribcage, the shoulders. I’ve no idea what this looks for, but I trust Dr. god. He listened to my lungs. He felt along the line of my scar. He kneaded my lymph nodes. He gave me a pleased smile. “See you in 3 months.”

I was confused about what follow-ups would entail. I had read over and over that it meant PET scans, bone scans, all sorts. My onco said that the new guidelines are just to do blood tests once a year. Here, however, I would get them done every 3 months. If I wished for scans, I could have them. All I have to do is ask at any time. I have decided I am fine with not getting various radioactive substances shot into my veins several times a year unless I suspect something. I will have a work up of scans when/if I move back to the US for a final clean bill of health before changing medical systems.

It feels like a long time since I have to give blood. The needle in the soft inside my elbow took me back a little to less cheery days. But just for a moment. Just enough to remind me how good today is.

blond wigI have also packed up my wigs to be sent back to the friend that lent them to me (Thank you, Helen!). I have not figured out what to do with the handful of terrible ones I and my dear family ordered off of ebay. Yup, that’s a real wig that I got (photo above) and somehow I had no idea it was going to be that bad, though I’m not sure how photo could disguise that. (What?! I wanted a “headband” wig! I thought I would look like Fran Dreshner on The Nanny! They looked so cute!) People would have felt pity for me, but not because of the cancer. I am sure you all agree it’s appropriate to thank Helen again for the nice wigs she sent me after.

• ebay wig: $20

• wig from cancer specialty store: $1300

• photo of yourself looking more ridiculous with a wig than you will bald: priceless

(got other captions for the photo above? them them in the comments!)

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Filed under breast cancer, hair, humor, this time THIS year

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