Crappin’ monkeys. Once you have breast cancer, every doctor visit becomes way escalated. In the days pre-breast cancer, my typical OBGYN visit was pretty uneventful and status quo. Now post bc, every visit offers some new and very annoying, most probably painful procedure.
So here’s the latest. I had my annual OBGYN visit a week ago. Because my breast cancer was ER positive, I’m on Tamoxifen, and they monitor me very closely for endometrial or cervical cancer since they’re both side effects of Tamoxifen (nice, you can get a new kind of cancer from trying to prevent breast cancer from returning).
They do ultrasounds and internal exams with wands, it’s a whole crazy new gynecological world for me these days, post breast cancer. But, this last exam went well, and I was anticipating good news from my doctor once he reviewed the results.Just got the call about a half hour ago that he wants to do another endometrial biopsy. ARGH!
I had one in May of 2012 and hated it. It’s painful and creepy and scary and annoying. I find that when I have to repeat a procedure that I’ve already had which was invasive, scary or painful (or all 3), I get really nervous since I know what’s coming. It’s sort of like how I felt right before every chemo, knowing that it’s going to be scary and that there will be some invasion and pain involved, but also knowing that I’ll get through it.
I wanted to tell them no. I wanted to say I wouldn’t have this same procedure done again — it appears that I have a thickening of my endometrial lining for two years running now because of the Tamoxifen. OK, well I’m going to be on Tamoxifen for another 2 1/2 years. Are we going to be doing an endometrial biopsy every one of these 5 years of Tamoxifen? We tried Arimidex and I had terrible joint pain from it, so am not going back on that, so we’re stuck with Tamoxifen, which other than this endometrial lining issue, I’ve tolerated pretty well.
BUT. I have to be honest and diligent with myself. I can’t stick my head in the sand. I have to at least consider having this stupid, scary, annoying and painful procedure done again.So, I called the office back and asked for some info. How thick is the lining, what’s the difference between my lining now, vs. my lining last year, and how thick is a “normal” lining?
Normal = 5 ml. Mine now = 7.6 ml.
So, I do the Math. 7.6 ml is 51% higher than the norm, so I guess that clinches it. I have to have the procedure done (again) and scheduled it. But I told her that it’s painful and asked for her thoughts on how to deal with it, she said take 3 Advil an hour before. She was nice, said she understood (it’s really good for nurses to be empathetic, even when I knew I was being a baby about this). Let’s hope that helps.
The appointment isn’t until Dec. 2nd, but at least I booked it. Today, I’m annoyed. Tomorrow, I’ll deal with it, but needed to get this off my chest (NO PUN INTENDED).In the meantime, the quote by Eleanor Roosevelt sure provides some solid perspective. What a rock she was.