Wednesday, March 31, 2010

GYN Roulette

My biopsy results were promising. I don't have to see an oncologist but will have a colposcopy. Having always had normal pap smears and an uncomplicated gynecological history this is my first trip down the medical system's rabbit hole.

The GYN who performed the biopsy & pelvic exam recommended a hysterectomy. I was surprised that she would base such a drastic measure on a pelvic without the results of the biopsy, vaginal/abdominal ultrasound or CT scan. She hastily explained that the lesion was gross, visible and had to be removed regardless of the outcome of the biopsy. I understood that, I'm the one harboring this thing, I'm on board with a coup. But I asked was a hysterectomy the only option if the biopsy didn't indicate cancer? Would we have to throw out the baby with bathwater? She smiled at my lame attempt at humor but was adamant that a hysterectomy was in my immediate future. We spent more time discussing the cutting edge robotic technology one of her colleagues was spearheading, then if there was any other course of action. It didn't make me feel any better to think that my uterus & cervix could be disposed of faster then I could get a pizza delivered.

I know full well that giving a patient the worse case scenario and going from there is the name of the game. But not to give even a passing nod to other scenarios is not something that I'm going to pay for. And as an woefully underinsured American I'm definitely paying for every minute of the good doctors time.

Granted I was shellshocked but here's my transcipt of our chat post examination:

You need a hysterectomy,

20 forgettable words

You can have the hysterectomy at one of these hospitals

20 forgettable words

There is no other option but a hysterectomy

20 forgettable words

But you are in great overall health so you should recover easily from your hysterectomy.

So when she called to give me the good news and schedule the colpo (look at me I'm already speaking the talk of someone who spends way too much time googling gynocological ailments) I knew that I was going to find another exam table to spread my wares on. My single days long behind me I found having 3 pelvic exams in 5 days exhausting.

During my search for a new GYN I found the HERS Foundation who were extremely nice but unfortunately unable to point me to any specific local doctor. But they did validate my feelings of unease with my initial GYN which was of enormous comfort to me.

I've found a new GYN courtesy of google so lets hope that the roulette wheel has been kind to me this time around as I continue on my road to wellness.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Magical Thinking

As much as I enjoy Didion, I still haven't read The Year of Magical Thinking. But I read her interviews and watched her do the talk show rounds when both the book and the play debuted. I fully understood the term and am now employing a great deal of it myself.

As in "surely if the biopsy was cancerous- especially a high grade-they would have gotten me the results by now."

I think it but don't believe it and work my way through another weekend of limbo.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Is such an unfamiliar term for me that I keep referring to it as being benign or malevolent.

I have a mass in my uterus and life has taken a decidedly different tone.

Hopefully I will have the results by tomorrow. As these things go I feel pretty calm about it. Given my general health, I'm optimistic about the outcome. Either way I doubt if there are any more children in my future, which makes me sad but grateful that all this is occurring after I've already become a biological parent.

Whatever the results I'm headed for surgery, hopefully I'll leave the table with my ovaries, uterus & cervix in tact.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Figure Eights

As part of my quest for the kiddos to be in Florida but not of Florida, I've found an ice rink 5 minutes from where we will be staying when we move. Group lessons are relatively affordable and spending part of the summer indoors seems like a good idea to me.

Jokes about the state that is "a sunny place for shady people" aside, I'm determined to give the kids as many opportunities to learn sporting activities as we can.

I hate to exercise because for me that means time on a treadmill or elliptical machine. I take classes occasionally and that helps but the monotony of coming up with endless work out podcasts runs stale pretty quick. But the lack of sporting knowledge in my life is a real deficit.

I'm pretty certain that I'll have the time, money and inclination for tennis lessons but I think I missed the ice skating boat...


My turn with one of the library's copies of Julie Powell's second memoir Cleaving finally came. Buying books doesn't happen often when you've got two tuition bills and the endless stream of monetary responsibilities that come with private schools.

Long story short- I liked it.

For a number of reasons her first book was of little interest to me. I had read bits and pieces of her salon blog but I think part of it was sheer envy. Why hadn't I thought of that? With time and money to spare I had spent much of 2000-2002 cooking out of the ordinary recipes. From the slightly exotic (babas au rhum) to the dated (baked alaska) I had a blast- plus I ended up pregnant. My blackness makes me less marketable but America loves breeders, in theory if not in practice. So I've neither seen Julie & Julia nor read the book.

But a story about a marriage in trouble, anonymous sex and food is right up my alley. The first two more then the last simply because I'm more of bread and pasta, cake and ice cream kind of girl and this book is first and foremost about meat. Powell's six months as a butcher's apprentice leads to a jaunt around the globe which includes plenty of sausage making and drinking goats blood. Not for those of us happily disengaged from the source of their meat. Though I'm not one of these insipid parents who are irritated when their precious progeny spot whole dead animals at an upscale artisanly butcher shop. Quelle horreur progressive mommies- hope little Madison/Marley/Mandela isn't scarred for life...

This year long quest is in part fueled by the breakdown of her marriage and an affair with a college friend/lover who is well known to her husband. So well known in fact that he stays as an overnight guest and they pet on a couch before the husband wakes up. Let's rub the lipstick off our teeth and say "Messy, Messy, Messy!" ala Wendy Williams. Maybe that should be my blog cum book cum movie deal- my year of trying to get thru that train wreck of a show. Aww- who am I kidding, I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for Wendy because of her Hot 97 FM days.

Anyway, in addition to that affair she has a series of encounters with strangers for submissive sex. Sparked by the unraveling of the affair, they are described as unsatisfying which makes sense given the context.

My own experiences with anonymous sex (some of it light BDSM, some vanilla) were much the opposite. But the circumstances that found me in strange apartments doing familiar things were buoyed by a sense of fun and excitement. Looking back at my early 20's- with no one to answer to and nothing to lose (except of course my life. I was as cautious as one could be and statistically more likely to be killed by one of the losers I was ostensibly dating) I feel a sense of joy and contentment.

A decade ago, Jim and I would cuddle up and read books simultaneously, stopping every couple of pages to discuss or debate. Those days are long gone, our taste have diverged quite a bit as I plow thru an endless stream of mindless romances & thoughtful short story collections while he favors Elmore Leonard (who is still churning them out at 80!)

Cleaving is that rare find that holds something for each of us. He's started it & will probably skim all of the relationship sections and devour the meat ones. I see lots of pig centric meals in my future!