(Warning! The following post may make you feel oogie though only if you are a pathetic whining wuss!)
My visit this morning with Dr. LePew went without incident, (no split peas were harmed during this appointment). We shared our greeting of "bon jour, Docteur LePew, como se va?" Then the requisite discussion of recent weight loss (which he mentions each visit), the inevitable twenty minute wait in the 65 degree exam room, sans pants, clutched to the exam table with a too-small drape (paper does not drape anyway and fabric is much harder to shred in twenty minutes), starring at the poem taped on the ceiling as a distraction from the noise of the chainsaw in a distant exam room, mulling over whether Wednesday's Child was full of woe or does Thursday's child really have all that far to go? Finally, Docteur arrives, washes his hands (there *is* a god), grabs a pair of purple latex gloves, and prepares for the exam.
I mentioned my latest (dis)appointment with my regular gynecologist, who during my annual exam did not perform several annual tests except to feel for breast lumps, and look up there. Dr. LePew said when I see the other doctor again, if he does not do these things, I need to fire him.
While we're speaking Dr. LePew performs the pap smear (*chainsaw noise*) and I mentally move into my body to enable a better understanding of the performance. This is not meant to be exciting because I'm in there to learn. He's scraping, not swirling the plastic scraping thingie (medical term alert!) as I my mind had pictured. He told me while he was scraping that he was at/near the apex of the uterus and he was moving the instrument around, not just scraping from one place. He added that prior to a diagnosis of endocrine (uterine -- pronounced ute-RHYNE) cancer, "the pap smear is not a useful diagnostic tool" -- though post ute-rhyne cancer diagnosis, "the pap smear is a [very] accurate tool for recurrence."
I thought you might want to know that when you go for your annual and the doctor performs (or does not perform) the tests, pap smear etc., he's only checking for one kind of cancer unless you have a tumor growing off your forehead and he actually looks up at your forehead. This makes me wonder how many different kinds of cancer we could actually *get* down there? I suppose you can get any-kind-of-part-you-can-name cancer (and the tests are few and far between until the cancer has manifested it's ugly little cancery head) and unless the tumor is hanging out, bulging, pus-filled and/or sprouting wings there aren't a lot of annual tests except the test for cervical cancer, the infamous pap smear.
Docteur said that about 75% of recurrence occurs near the apex of the uterus. Or --- the cancer can recur in the rectum. Docteur also said that (a large percentage of) colon cancers are felt within a finger's length of the rectum (not down the line using the big hose that the colonoscopee-ers use).
While Dr. LePew performed the rectal exam, I climbed back in there (so to speak) though he also explained what he was doing while he was doing it. Over the noise of the power drill and chainsaw, he seemed delighted that I wanted this detail. Docteur said he has to feel with a finger in the vagina and one (hopefully) finger in the rectum to feel that space between the two. I wanted to know the detail so I can write about it here and either offer information you may not know about (this process with regard to) endocrine or ute-rhyne cancer, or make queasy people vomit.
I don't have to see docteur until April which means I have graduated although I'm not quite what prizes I qualify for at this level. I asked the docteur about chemotherapy causing other cancers (because this subject had come up in another support group last week). He said chemotherapy doesn't cause other cancers though he went on to say that radiation *can* cause cancer. With regard to my cancer diagnosis, I have chosen not to have radiation (except for an already life-time of assorted x-rays, and post-cancer diagnosis, countless CT scans and one MRI).
I suppose I really am doomed, what with all that radiation, being born on a Wednesday, split pea soup coming out my..., oh, my, yet, depending on one's definition of doomed, aren't we all if you really stop to think about it?
Overall, Dr. LePew said he was really impressed with me, (my health and I) -- though his impression (ended up - pun intended) having nothing to do with the split pea soup. And I ate more soup for lunch today - look out world!