I thought about just returning to blogging by ignoring that I've been gone for the past few weeks, but today is Thanksgiving and the past couple of weeks have given me much to be thankful for. Two weeks ago I went in for a routine checkup and my doctor found a suspicious lump in a breast. Since, within the past year, two people I knew from my graduate school were diagnosed with breast cancer, I was obviously worried. I embarked on an adventure in modern medical technology that I had not really been exposed to before; other than some stitches and a broken arm as a child, I have never really needed medical attention. It is truly amazing what can be done these days. I had my first mammogram and ultrasound....the ultrasound in particular amazes me. I have to admit, to me it kinda looked like my TV had gone on the fritz but I believe them when they say that some weird lines really are ducts. I have been poked and prodded by an amazing array of people and have become slightly blasé about baring my breasts to strangers. (General Disarray suggests that this might not be long-term acceptable and should definitely not be transported into other areas of my life such as committee meetings, lectures, etc). To add to the stress of the entire event, I traveled and gave a seminar in a high-powered department in my field. Let me tell you, though, there's nothing like being worried about having cancer to make a slightly aggressive question about one's research seem less important!
I went in for a surgical consult this week and, given my mammogram, ultrasound (both were apparently clean), age, family history, and the "feel" of the offending piece of tissue, the surgeon was "reasonably confident" that there was no need to even conduct a biopsy (actually, it was so small that they would have had to do a lumpectomy). I figure if a surgeon doesn't think they can justify cutting into you, you must be in pretty good shape. Some follow-up visits to make sure the lump doesn't change and that's it. So, as I said above, I have a lot to be thankful for. First, I'm thankful that I don't have cancer (that's a no brainer) and can spend a peaceful Thanksgiving with my wonderful husband who tried to keep me from worrying too much by quoting statistics to me as proof of why I obviously didn't have cancer. I am also thankful for medical advances which helped both my friends who did have cancer this past year to fight theirs - allowing them to also enjoy this Thanksgiving, and hopefully many many more, with their loved ones.
So, Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
(And Nat, best wishes on the birth of your daughter today!!)