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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Update on recent activities

First, the storms have been coming pretty regularly through Omaha, but nothing bad has happened at our place. The worst thing that happens is that the computer and cable modem are unplugged, in the hopes that any lightning will not find its way in to cause damage.
Second, I attended a Cancer Survivorship conference for health professionals (attending as a member of the medical center faculty) - more on that momentous occasion in another post.
Third, less than 30 days until Number One Daughter comes back from her year away as an exchange student in Austria. Yep, I am happy, and looking forward to that homecoming.
Finally, I have had an MRI and a head/neck surgeon visit recently - and nothing was out of the ordinary. I will claim that No Evident Disease (NED), thank you. The only thing that I wished hadn't happened during the visit: the physician assistant, who is new enough to maybe not know how to take me, made the comment that maybe I 'knew too much' about my cancer and the many ways it can sneak back in. Possibly she thought because I knew about the possibilities, I would be worrying for nothing. On the contrary-knowing things keeps me from worrying. It is when the health professionals are not straight with me that I spend sleepless nights, wondering what is coming next. I think we will get along fine - she and I will meet again in July - but I wish I had had someone with me during the visit to bolster my will to address her statement directly. I agree with a statement in a book I reviewed for the recent Cancer Survivor's Day (June 1), 100 Questions & Answers About Life After Cancer : anyone who has had cancer should get to ask as much about signs and symptoms as they wish, without being considered a hypochondriac. Face it - we have different lives after diagnosis and treatment, and those differences need to be respected.

1 comment:

Dee said...

Well said, Terri. I agree - the more I know, the better I rest at night. It doesn't worry me to know about all the signs and symptoms that could be expected. We are intelligent people, too, and we can figure out what things should cause worry and which shouldn't. We know our bodies - and we know when things are wrong and our questions and our awareness of our bodies shouldn't be questioned. The situation that happened with the PA hasn't happened to me - yet - but about 8 weeks after my mastectomy, I noticed a red rash in the skin under the implant. I started monitoring it and it started spreading. When I first mentioned it to the doctor, they felt it might be a reaction to this new skin ointment. So, I stopped using it and within two weeks (doctors said it would take at least that long), it hadn't cleared up. So, I had it checked. Turns out there was cancer in the lymph channels in the skin. But I kept perservering and asking questions about what it was because I knew it wasn't right and I knew that the risk was there that it could be cancer. I knew what the symptoms were and what to watch out for.

Know that the next time this happens and you don't have anyone physically there to help you assert your position, there's a whole army of us behind you in spirit giving you the courage to say something.

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