It took a lot out of me when she took a bit out of me

It never ever ends.
I had some spotting (not on my face) in late December and early January, and since that can be a sign of uterine or endometrial cancer, and because those cancers can be caused by tamoxifen, which I'm taking, I knew I needed to see a gynecologist. I have the Boyish Gyne, who felt my breast lump and said it was nothing, and never apologized for missing the cancer, and I never meant to have a male gyne, so I wanted a female. Long story short, I googled Breast Cancer, Menopause and Chicago, and found Dr. K, called her office last week, and got an appointment last Friday. (Don't ask why I waited until late February to take care of this. It was just one of those things.) Today I went to have her take out some of my endometrium lining to have it checked. She said I might want to take a Valium, which I did. Still it was uncomfortable. L came with me and I held his hand while Dr. K did her work, which included probing around with what she called a French Tickler. I think that is not its patented name. She said it was hard to get the cells, which was a good sign. If it was cancer, there would be lots and lots of tissue. So that's good. She calls with the results on Thursday.

I told her that I just found a web site on which a young woman is posting photos of her cervix.
The doctor thought that was strange. She said once she had a patient, who had psychiatric problems, who was waiting for her, with her own speculum already inserted.

I don't see anything wildly strange about that. I always meant to go to one of those gatherings where you buy a speculum and borrow a mirror and look inside yourself.
But I never did.

Afterward the gyne we went to see B, who is in a rehab hospital after having a pump implanted that will send out liquid to lessen the pain in his legs. At least that's the idea. B is getting occupational and physical therapy, and I think that's very good. Still his legs hurt. Arthritis in the joints, they tell him. He's reading
Rachel Shukert's Have You No Shame?, which I brought him. I read aloud from it the other night and B, L, and I laughed until we couldn't speak any more. This afternoon L the girl was visiting B, and asked if a non-Jew would think the book was funny. I recounted some of it: that when she's eight or nine, in the 1990s in Omaha, she would make lists: People who would hide us from the Nazis. Her mother gets into the act and makes her opinion known. ("'The Nagels?' she shrieked. 'Are you kidding me? The Nagels would own slaves if they could.'") I told L that a non-Jew who knows Jews and lives in an urban area would get the book.

Valium is a powerful drug. I felt woozy for about five hours. I can't believe housewives were on this. How did they function? (Not very well.)

Here is a picture from the cervix project, bringing introspection to a whole new level:

Why does it gross me out? Even if I didn't know what it was, I would feel disgusted. I'm supposed to embrace my innards but this exposed cervix is so tonsilly, so pink and gooshy looking I want to gag. But why? It looks like raw meat torn of its skin and fur. It looks like it shouldn't be out in the world. And it isn't; it's in.

Where's Georgia O'Keeffe when we need her?


Ruth said...

Oh, shit, Sandi. Sorry you're having to go through something like this again. It just sucks. Let me know how you are. (Did you see the study about how stressed people are waiting for biopsy results? Who KNEW?)

Cancer Bitch said...

It seems like it'll be OK. I'm not stressed about it, surprisingly. It's the small things that get me.

Ruth said...

By the way, I immediately ordered the book you mentioned, even if I am a semi-WASP. The line about the Nagels sold me.

Cancer Bitch said...

She was another of the fine blurbers of my book.

Anonymous said...

Hope those results indeed will be OK.

Now, what gatherings where people insert their own speculums and hold mirrors to see their own cervixes (or specula and cervices)?

-- the Philadelphia cousin

Shopping Kharma said...

I'm so sorry you are going through even more worry and crap! Will be sending you lots of healing vibes your way that you are OK! I wish you all the best!

Cancer Bitch said...

Thank you for the healing vibes! Same to you!
C. Bitch

Cancer Bitch said...

Note to Cousin D:
You're too young. I'm too young. Women were doing their speculum gatherings in the 1960s and early 70s.

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