We are without water again over here, mostly because our landlord is a cheap-ass (last time the contractor told him they could do a very temporary band-aid of a repair for $500 or fix the issue for $2,000, and they went for the band-aid, which turned out to be exactly what the guy predicted: TEMPORARY, and now they are saying that the contractor is a crook because he won't give them the $500 back, even though he told them the repair wouldn't last, and are insisting on a second opinion, OY). And naturally I was up much of last night with hives, and I called in to work at Beta Job because I really needed to take Benadryl and sleep that off. Then I got up and read the instructions on the patient information section of the Breast Center's website, and freaked out because you can't wear deodorant and I COULDN'T SHOWER. Then I pulled it together and scrubbed my pits with bottled water and headed out.
I have a theory about doctors' offices: the nicer the waiting room, the more fucked you are. The hematology/oncology practice that follows my oldest and youngest children for their bleeding issues, for example, treats the majority of pediatric cancer patients in the area, and has snacks, art supplies, cartoons on several televisions, a mural of the night sky with track-lighting stars painted on the ceiling, and therapy dogs circulating several days per week.
Therefore, I was very worried when I arrived at the Breast Health Center (alone, because Hotter had to wait for the contractor to come and check out the water situation) to find a Keurig and many flavors of coffee and creamer, a table full of complimentary candy and pink knick-knacks, a lot of marble and mahogany, and very comfortable couches. By the time a nurse ushered me back to an exam room and provided me with paper-tape-sealed, hotel-style microfiber robe with a monogrammed lapel to change into, I was scared silly.
The doctor, who was very nice, came in and talked to me for a few minutes about my family history, medical history, and various risk factors. Then she felt around and said that yes, she could feel the lump too, but it felt "good." Bad lumps, she explained, tended to be harder, NOT mobile, and more irregular in shape. "I'll bet it's just a lymphnode," she said. "Let's see what it looks like."
She proceeded to do an ultrasound, and explained what we were looking at. "This is your skin, and this is fat, and this is breast tissue, and this is muscle. And THAT," she said, clicking and measuring, "is your lump. Definitely a lymphnode. People hear that and freak out, but the ones with cancer in them tend to be big and black and turgid. This one is .76 centimeters. That's teeny. It probably just cleaned up a little infection of some kind and got scarred from it, which means your immune system did its job. And look, I can smoosh it. That is NOT cancer!"
Figure Two: This is a picture of what breast cancer does NOT look like! WHOOOO TITS!
The doctor went on to say that I should absolutely have yearly mammograms from here on out due to my family history, and that if I ever noticed a new lump or this one suddenly started to grow, to call her and she'd bring me in for an immediate ultrasound, but that she didn't think I even needed to undergo testing for the BRCA-2 gene since The Narcissist was the only one in the family that anyone knew of who'd had breast cancer and Steve (the name I gave the mass on my left ovary prior to its removal, a.k.a. The Steviction) was benign as well. She gave me the card of an organization that will do a mammogram for free if I am without insurance again, and tried to get me in for one today, but the imaging center was super-busy. So I'm going back for that next week. "If you tell them you have a lump, they'll code it as diagnostic, and charge you whatever your deductible allows. If you tell them you don't have any known problems, they'll code it as screening, and it will be 100% covered thanks to President Obama. I'm not going to tell them you have a problem of any kind, so what you say to them is up to you," she said. I told her I didn't have a problem, I had a lymphnode. "Exactly," she said, smiling.
I had been planning on going to a reading after the doctor if I got good news, but was just too emotionally spent (plus I'm greasy-haired and frumpy, and all of my non-work clothes have holes and I was rocking some huuuuuge pitstains due to not wearing deodorant in case of mammogram). Instead, I stayed home and made dinner for my family, and basked in the normalcy of Hotter and the boys bickering over food. And now I'm going to go and wash my hair with as little water as possible, so I can go to work tomorrow and not look gross, and google houses for rent in the area, because MFA Landlord is pissing me off mightily and we still haven't signed a new lease, which might be for the best.