Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Meeting More of My Team

My wonderful surgeon got me into see her equally wonderful colleague, oncologist the next day. Dr Rizzo - deemed by the Washingtonian Magazine as one of "DC's Very Best Oncology Doctor's of 2017", is a slight blond with thick fashionably round glasses. She speaks knowledgeably about this process called cancer treatment, and without hesitation describes our plan. 20 weeks of chemo first (once every 2 weeks for 8 weeks, followed by once a week for 12 weeks) Triple negative cancer patients respond to chemo. Hopefully well enough to shrink or depose the cancer completely. So chemo first and then surgery.

To be followed by: lumpectomy, mastectomy, with or without reconstruction. A bit overwhelming. I can easily say I've never been a big fan of my boobs. They've never done anything for me except get in the way of sports and attract the opposite sex (which, while perfectly fine humans, are of no interest to me personally if they are attracted to my boobs…make sense?). So I'm absolutely clear I want them both off my body, I'm initially not in favor of reconstruction surgery. I don't need boobs. I don't prescribe (or I don't want to prescribe) to the social “norms” or pressures of what a woman's body ought to look like. I don't need them. They would serve no purpose. But both doctors urged me to give this some thought. And so with everything else we have to decide, I have some time on this decision.

I told Dr Rizzo about my previous adventures with blood clots, hemorrhaging from blood thinners, and subsequent surgery to stop the bleeding. Oh, and also, “the day I thought I was having a heart attack" which turned into a low heart beat followed by numerous tests to figure out why - which were of course all inconclusive. 

In being careful and thorough, though she recommend I see a cardiologist for an echo cardiogram. And, as it turns out, she just happens to have gone to school with one, also according to the Washingtonian – one of 2017 DC's Very Best Cardiology Doctor's. Dr Oskoui, as luck would turn out, could see me on the same day. And some good news. My heart is strong and I'm ready. I liked the cardiologist. I certainly understood why we he respected by his colleagues and by his patients. And by the way he talks of Dr Rizzo, he clearly had a crush on her at some point in their lifetimes. Very cute.

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