Sunday, March 20, 2011

it really wasn't such a big deal

I went back to the oncologist on Friday (the 18th) and he assured me that the abnormal PAP really didn't have anything to do with my cervical cancer. So there really wasn't any urgency for me to come in and he apologized that I had been stressing about it for the past 2 1/2 weeks. The follow-up was to make sure that other cells weren't becoming cancerous; and, since that was expected to take a long time for them to go from "abnormal" to the dreaded "Cancer", this was not an appointment that we needed to rush into. Of course that wasn't really apparent when the nurse told me that the doctor didn't know if there was medical significance to me being HPV positive. Maybe I missed something as I was frantically writing down things she said. And I can sympathize that it's hard to remember that patients are not versed in medical jargon. I probably do the same thing in my job: forget that people don't know everything that I know and just bombard them with information. I guess the big lesson learned for me is that I should have called her back and asked "why is it not a big deal?" rather than waiting to find out during my appointment.

In other news I found myself a primary care physician. My Oncologist had highly recommended that I see a general practitioner about all my "non-cancer" stuff. My new primary doctor strongly recommended that I go back on the estrogen hormone replacement therapy to help ensure that I don't have significant bone density loss. Since that's one of the worse side effects of going into early menopause I'm now officially back on the patch. It may have had unexpected positive side effects as well. I had been running, but really struggling with breathing and having sufficient energy to make it around Greenlake without feeling like I was running uphill the whole way. The day after I went back on the estrogen patch I had the fastest run in months. Four days later on my next run I beat that time by almost 15 seconds/mile! Go me!

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