Tuesday, December 1, 2009

200th Post--and it's Deja Vu all over again

Yep, it's the 200th blog post. And coincidentally, I journeyed back to UCLA and the good and great Dr. Karam again yesterday. And, for those of you keeping track, you'll quickly figure out that my 3 month check-up was only a month ago so there's no way it's time for the 6 month check-up. No, I went back because I found another lump in my right breast. This time it was right breast 2 o'clock. Deep breaths. This time, it's only a build-up of hardened tissue caused by all that radiation. But what a couple of weeks it was worrying about it! There's actually a funny story here and now I can tell it (because my parents read the blog and others who don't need to be worrying about me right now, I didn't post about this until I knew it was nothing to be concerned about).

A couple of weeks ago, I felt the lump. And just like last time I got a second opinion from Chris. He didn't think it was anything, but I did. In fact, I had a whole little spiral downward of "oh shit, here we go again." (You may remember I mentioned having a really shitty week? Yeah, this was the beginning of it). And then a couple of days later was The Pink Ribbon Place's professionals panel that I was moderating. Of course, Dr. Karam was one of the speakers. So after the event, when folks were still hanging about chatting, I mentioned the lump to Dr. Karam. He offered to exam me... uh...it..uh, the lump. It seemed like the prudent, if somewhat odd, thing to do--hey, it would save me from driving to UCLA. We set about trying to find a private room for a private exam. Recall that the event was at the Community Room of the Riverside Police Department, which isn't really set up for, you know, breast exams. But it was Captain Meredyth Meredith to the rescue. She's a breast cancer survivor herself so she understands the sort of panic a lump can cause. Off we went to her office, and yep, Dr. Karam examined "right breast 2 o'clock" in the privacy of the Captain's office, with her stationed outside (weapon and all!). Too funny. If, you know, I hadn't been worried that my cancer had come back before I'd even grown my hair back out! Dr. Karam's opinion (which turned out to be correct, naturally) was that it was hardened tissue caused by the radiation. I was relieved, but also noted that his bottom lip was sticking out during the exam and to me, he looked more concerned than he was letting on. Or, maybe that was just me. He suggested that I come in for an ultrasound, just to be sure.

I, being me, decided I'd rather wait until after Thanksgiving and getting some stuff taken care of at work before thinking about being cancer girl again. I underestimated how much the not knowing would weigh on my mind. I should have just recalled the "if this were any other dog" lesson I learned when Seamus was post-treatment. I should have just remembered that I once upon a time (long, long ago) had cancer and therefore I'm always going to get "special treatment" and need to have things checked out. It doesn't mean it's cancer. I'll have to get used to that.

Yesterday I and my lump and my entourage headed out to UCLA. Because hey, we may as well make a fun day of it, right? Brein and Roryann Clements and Sheena Meder and Ronaldo Fierro joined us for the afternoon--which started with Bloody Marys (aka spicy courage) and French Dips at Cole's in downtown LA.

Then, we were off to UCLA for my ultrasound. The entourage had Starbucks (and worried about me, I'm sure) while Chris and I visited with Dr. Karam and the ultrasound machine. The good news was, as mentioned, it's just hardened tissue. The bad news was my cough--which is just not going away and my ribs on the right side (weakened from the radiation) are really painful. So, I got a Z pak prescription (antibiotics). We'll see if that kicks it. But hey, no cancer! (The top picture is me with the entourage after I came out and gave them the thumbs up that we were free to proceed with our fun LA day without any cancer tagging along; which is good because Ronaldo "hates" cancer people. So he keeps telling me.) The ultrasound was otherwise uneventful. Chris did ask if it was a boy or a girl and looked really emotional staring at the ultrasound. But that's because he says it looked like pork belly, and he's a big fan of pork belly.

After those touching moments, we were off to the Beverly Hills Cheese Shop. Mmmmmmmm!!

And because that wasn't decadent enough, we made our way back downtown to the Pacific Dining Car for Caesar salads, steak in Bearnaise sauce, creamed spinach and onion rings. Oh, and there may have been a celebratory martini. And wine.

Ironically, in celebrating my good health, I managed to over-eat, over-indulge and feel not so hot that night, but hey, you know....it could've been a lot worse.

And that's my 200th blog post! (Now, just leave a comment so I know you're still out there!)


  1. Well I was honored to be a part of your entourage, but I wont lie, I'm just realllllly happy it turned out to not be cancer becuase that would have really ruined my day. ;)

    Lets do this all again (sans the ultrasound) and I promise I will drink this time!

  2. Well--of course I care and I love it that you have an entourage!

  3. Geez, Teresa! And I was about to comment that it IS about that time of year for you to have a crisis. So so so so happy you are OK. And so excited for you two be going on a tropical vacation! You deserve some time off from real life.


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