Thursday, May 13, 2010

a bad patient

i hated going to my oncologist yesterday. i hated the waiting room with the tacky lamps and purple accent wall with faux greek artifacts. usually it is filled with people and i am so busy pretending that i am not one of them that i barely noticed the waiting room itself. but yesterday it was the end of the day, and it was just me and a guy whose insurance company was telling him he had to go somewhere else for treatment. just him and me sitting in this horrible gate-to-hell waiting room.

when i saw the doctor, i told her that i hadn't started the arimidex yet and that i didn't want to. she told me that most of her patients did just fine on it--except for the joint aches. i told her that while i was grateful, it did seem to me that doctors minimize the whole chemo experience--which is, in fact, horrible--and that just because her patients seem to do well on arimidex didn't necessarily mean that that was what they actually experienced.

she took took that pretty well, but, as her job is to keep me alive, she tried another tack and rolled out the numbers: the whole oncotype recurrance stats are based on patients already taking arimidex or tamoxifen, and that is because without it, the risk doubles.

then she brought out the big guns: the risk, she pointed out, of "dying of breast cancer." (they don't usually use those words. it's usually, the risk of "a distant recurrance," etc.) my risk would increase to 30-40%.

ok. she made her point. i'll try it.

it's just i was so happy in denial...

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