03 October 2007

National Breast Cancer Foundation

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National Breast Cancer

Watching the River Flow

Annual physical. Check.
Dentist. Check.

Until next week, I'm finished with people in white coats. What a relief. Next week, another dentist appointment and an appointment to discuss genetic testing, which I'm going to cancel. With any luck, that will wrap up all of my medical commitments until December. I'm breathing easier already.

I don't know if this is an industry-wide change, but my primary care physician has a brand new way to do pap smears. Guess what? It involves more pain.

For ten years, I refused to have a pap smear. I had had one of the best ob-gyns in town, a man. From the first time I ever had one, they always evoked memories of my sexual abuse as a child. In my late thirties, I found a woman general practitioner whom I trusted. Since that time, they've all been bearable, until last year. My regular doctor was out, so I had a nurse practitioner do my annual physical. I thought the painful pap smear was because she was a stranger. Maybe the new, improved pap smear methodology was implemented last year. Welcome back to childhood.

I had a accident with my puppy (who weighs 50 pounds) on Sunday, when he rammed his hard, pointy little head into the bottom of my chin. There was a lot of blood (mine) and I was afraid I'd loosened a tooth from the force of his head against my jaw. My dentist says I'm fine.

It's been a tough couple of weeks, so I'm taking a break from work (and maybe the computer) for the rest of the week. Tomorrow, my mom and I are going to have lunch at a little restaurant about 30 miles from here. It's in an old grist mill, with decks perched among the trees, along the banks of the river. You can hear the river rushing beneath the tree canopies. It's one of my favorite things to do and something my mom and I did every year until I was diagnosed. We've been deprived of the fun for the past two years. I was determined to find a way to do it this year, so my colleagues in Crazy Land believe I'm on my way out of town to see more doctors.

I don't even remember when I last had a day completely devoted to relaxing and doing something I enjoy. It's finally here.

I may be away from the computer until next week; I'll have to see how it goes. Until then, I invite everyone to take a day for themselves and remember what's important in life.

01 October 2007

From My Friends at M.D. Anderson

Here's a link to the people who've taken such great care of me for the past two years. They have some excellent information about breast cancer and, if you go to the main site, you can find links that lead you to articles about other types of cancer.


Research indicates that breast cancer is a chronic disease. There is no cure, but survival rates continue to rise for most forms of breast cancer. Don't forget your monthly self exams and never, ever miss annual mammograms after the age of 40.

Men can get breast cancer, too, so encourage your male friends and family members to be alert to changes in their breasts.