Monday, May 10, 2010
Oh, Pappy Day!
The only thing worse than getting an annual pap smear is having to find a new doctor to give it. It’s not like I have a wart or something that can be seen by just anyone. This is my vagina we are talking about. I don’t just whip it out and show it to anyone. Anymore, that is.
The last GYN I had was a crazy wackadoo with cancer issues. After my hysterectomy last year I had to go in and see about getting me some hormones. But what I was in for was a front row seat on a train to Crazy Town, USA. She looked over my family history and lost her marbles and insisted that I get a mammogram and have the BRAC-1 testing done to see if I carry the gene for breast cancer. So at first, I humored her, and thought ok, no biggie, we can do this. THEN SHE SAYS: “And if the BRAC testing comes back positive you have some serious decisions to make. You may want to decide to lose your breasts.” And I immediately grab a hold of the girls and think “Are you fucking kidding me lady??? These are MY breasts, and I don’t lose them like a spare set of car keys. They make me, ME. And have you seen them?? For 35 and having two kids, the twins have held up exceptionally well.” But I have already been through 12 years of cancer at this point, and I think to myself that maybe this wouldn’t be such a bad idea, even if only to be proactive.
The first thing I do is go for a mammogram. I am greeted by this teeny, tiny little 20-something who looks like she barely got her associates degree in boobie smooshing, and I wonder how the hell her cold little hands are going to handle a set of 42DD’s. But this is her problem. The mammo itself wasn’t all that bad. A little weird to have someone other than my husband or my drunk girlfriends manhandling my tata’s, but other than that, relatively painless.
Then two weeks later I get a letter in the mail from the lab. A fucking letter!! Stating that the mammo showed a “shadow” in my right breast and “Come back soon ya hear!” or in real speak, come back in 6 months for a follow up. That was it. Hi, you may or may not have breast cancer but we don’t have the courtesy to call and tell you so here is a letter and thanks for stopping by! In a panic, I call my GYN, wait two weeks to see her, spend 2 hours in the waiting room, only to be called into her office for a grand total of 5 minutes, in which time she tells me nothing any different than the letter. And the letter didn’t cost me a $20 co-pay. So I wait 6 months. When I go back there is a new teeny bopper working there and I tell her that I am not leaving the office that today until someone reads the x-rays and tells me whether or not I get to keep my tits or start shopping for new ones. She tells me they don’t normally read the x-rays the same day and I interrupt and say “I know, you send letters in the mail. Which is cruel and inhumane. And if someone doesn’t read the x-ray today I swear to God I will murder you all and piss on your dead skulls!” Ok, I didn’t say the murder and pissing part but I did threaten to smack her in the head with my boob and then cry until I got my way. Out of kindness (or fear, but it doesn’t really matter), she agreed to have someone look at the x-ray.
Maybe it’s because I threatened her, or maybe it was because they had to get a better look at the shadowy boob, but that second mammo hurt like a son of a whore. But the outcome was that they believe whatever is in there lurking is benign and so I get to keep my flabby boobs awhile longer. I also decided against the BRAC-1 testing. I figured there was no sense in living a life full of fear when we live in a technological era where breast cancer has a high rate of remission. I can live my life proactively and get yearly mammos, or I can have some crack pot tell me I “may or may not” get cancer in my lifetime and constantly wait for the anvil to fall on my breasts. I choose to live without fear thank you very much.
After this ordeal, I can’t bear to ride the train back to see Dr. McCrazy so I have been avoiding it since February. This has now put me about three months past my due date for my yearly GYN raping. And speaking of which, since I have no internal plumbing left, what is left to pap or smear? Are they just making my vagina is still there? Do they holler into my empty lady space and see if anything echoes back? Can you get cancer of the anti-uterus or non-existent ovaries? I mean, c’mon now. I should be forever exempt from cold metal stirrups and long sticked Q-tips scraping my vaginal wall.
But alas, I am not exempt and I need to suck it up and find a new doctor. One that will give my dried up system some estrogen before I grow testicles and a beard and one who doesn’t want to cut off my boobs. Is that too much to ask for?