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Friday, January 8, 2016

Ungracefully Aging

I recently ran into some friends who, after a few moments of catching up, looked at me with all seriousness and softly asked “How are you?”

I haven’t put many updates out regarding my health since there isn’t a lot to tell; which is a good thing. I really don’t want to be known as “the cancer chick” but I cannot help but have that attached to me, especially since I have been so open about it. I have so many other things going on that I try to focus on them but even though I try my best to move on, it is a part of my life I can never forget and I appreciate that my friends care enough to ask. So here is a quick update.

Right now I have nothing but good news. I went a few months ago for my 2 year check-up and everything was good, my mammogram was clean, my reconstructed side hadn’t popped or anything horrific-  so that’s nice, my blood work is also good (not that they check much). Even my cholesterol and blood pressure is good – go me!

I don’t go back to the oncologist until May and I see a new doctor since mine is retiring next month. I hope she is good and doesn’t constantly bring up how all the meds and surgeries may cause a dry vajayjay like my current oncologist liked to warn me about in her thick Russian accent. Yes, she did that at nearly every visit. Even the ones with my Dad and Mother-in-law present.


Because I had that hysterectomy in April I had to do a bone density test which, by the way, is the easiest test I have EVER taken.

The worst part of a bone density scan is that you cannot have calcium 24 hours prior. When you consider that I have had MRI’s, CT scans, and PET scans, etc. this was a joy to attend. Also, I don’t really do dairy due to the lactose intolerance I have developed so it didn’t make me cry to not have to choke down the enormous horse pill I take twice a day every day.

For the scan you have to lie down on a table while they x-ray you. It is fast, comfortable, and does not involve needles (Yippee! I celebrate those things!). Obviously this test is typically not for women in their 30s. Even though I was well aware that I have the organs of an 80 year old trapped in the partially sagging skin of a 37 year old, the questions asked made me that much more mindful that I am aging poorly and have to endure tests that are designed for people approximately 30 years older than me. It must have been fate that I dressed up as Sophia from the Golden Girls for Halloween since I have to go to appointments typically for that age bracket.

Question 1 – Why are you here?

My response: My doctor ordered this test to get a baseline since I had a hysterectomy a few months ago.

My thoughts: Can you not read the damn chart? I am not here because I have nothing better to do.

Question 2 – Is there a possibility of you being pregnant? Wait – no you wouldn’t be here if there were.

 My response: Polite smile.

 My thoughts? Didn’t we just go over how I had a hysterectomy?

Question 3 – Do your pants have a zipper?

My response: Yes they do.

My thoughts: Can you not look at me and see that I am young enough to where I don’t yet wear polyester pants with an elastic waist band? Not yet…

Question 4 – Are you wearing a bra?

My response: Yes I am.

My thoughts: For real? Why wouldn’t you wear a bra? Especially since most people who get this test are at the age wear if they don’t have on a bra then their chest is settling on their stomach.

The x-rays took all of 30 seconds and I was able to return to work, Yay (not really). I had an appointment with my oncologist a few days later who went over everything with me and assured me that my test showed that I shouldn’t break a hip if I fall down anytime soon. Which is a good thing since I went skating a week later and fell on my behind, leaving a bruise the same size and shape as my cell that was in my back pocket.

I don’t go back to my oncologist until May, when I get to meet my new one. Here’s to hoping that my next visit goes just as well as the last ones and we don’t have any conversations about my hoo-ha.