I've got my yearly breast MRI scheduled. I'm not totally fond of tight spaces, so the MRI is pretty scary in and of itself. Not to mention that the original MRI results last year were the turning point in my diagnosis. It's really a good thing that I'm not superstitious at all because this looming appointment will happen on...
Dun, DUN, Dun...
Friday the 13th.
The significance of the date escaped my attention until I relayed the info to my mom and she said, "OOH, Friday the 13th?"
While pointing that out was probably not the smartest thing to tell a person who's anxiety is already a bit high about a medical test, it is, sadly, far from the worst things people have said to me.
And surprisingly enough, it's those in the medical profession that, unknowingly, make the biggest snafus.
-Many times those taking notes for doctor's files will say, "So you had chemotherapy?" I'll say, "Yes. And then radiation." Their eyes get big and with a surprised voice they say, "Really?! Chemo AND radiation?!"
What's Wrong With That?: All I hear is "Whew, you nust have been pretty bad off! Do you have a good life insurance policy?"
-Which brings me to another point. I did have people inquire about my life insurance policy merely days after my diagnosis.
What's Wrong With That?: Duh.
-One time I was talking to a nurse about my risk for lymphedema. She shrugged off my risk and said it was unlikely unless I had positive nodes. I say, "I did have positive nodes." To which she somberly replied, "Oh... Well it really only matters if it was a lot. How many did they remove?" I say, "Ten. Out of which, three were positive." She says, "Whoa, that is a lot!!"
What's Wrong With That?: I hear: 'Yep, you're totally screwed. Better read up on lymphedema now...'
-Then there was the man at HEB who, after discovering my diagnosis, (this was back during treatment) said he'd just had a family member pass away from breast cancer so he'd be happy to pray for me.
What's Wrong With That?: While most patients are not ignorant of the fact that they have fatal diseases, it's probably not too smart to remind us of it.
-And one of the most frustrating things of all is when a person-- doctor, nurse, layperson, whatever-- says, "And you're how old?!" after hearing of my cancer history.
What's Wrong With That?: While it is perfectly ok to be surprised by a young, seemingly healthy person's history of disease, it really doesn't help anyone to let your surprise show. It makes us feel like a freak of nature.