Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Curious George

I have a very low hairline with a distinct widow’s peak, so I'm looking a bit like Curious George right about now.

The other day while I was in the fish tank waiting for my blood tests to come back, a nurse popped in to siphon a tad more saying my doc wanted to run a CA2729 test. Intriguing, never heard of it. In all my begging and pleading with my previous doctor about how we will track my disease... isn't there a blood test? some sort of cancer marker? antibody test {correctly, I've learned called an antigen}?, you know like the PSA test for prostate cancer, anything? No, no she told me over and over, there was no such test for breast cancer and then she'd leave and send in the social worker to calm the hysterical patient.

So I'm curious about this new test, this CA2729 and trusty iPad companion in hand, I look it up... it's a breast cancer antigen test. Can you hear me screaming? It's not a perfect test, maybe not even a good test, it is fairly unreliable and hence controversial. But it exists and should it's existence not be revealed to a patient asking over and over for exactly such a test? I told her straight up, I'm someone who needs data, I can't just wander around for five years with no clue what's happening inside me because we both know once I'm symptomatic it's way too late. I need some kind of data. Isn't there any blood test to monitor?

Hello CA 27.29. Unfortunately, she's deprived me of knowing what my number was while I had big ugly tumor, I would like to know that number, I hope it was really fucking high because then I'd feel great about the fact that my number now is completely normal. I would have liked the data to make a correlation between my tumor and post-tumor numbers and who the hell is she to make the decision that I'm not entitled to that information because she's not a fan of the test.

The other thing I'm wondering about is why isn't foregoing reconstruction, but having a plastic surgeon sew you up one of the options? I wish I had thought of this earlier, but who thinks of these things in the moment? I didn't know how simply Frankensteinian my incision would be, but it's probably not a lucrative enough job for a plastic surgeon. All in or all out I suppose. It's strange, looking in the mirror and seeing such androgyny having been curvaceous and long haired most of my life. Very surreal. Not traumatic, just really, really odd.

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