A long and winding road.

Delicate thoughts of a dangerous mind.

A long and winding road.

Postby Elaura » Mon May 13, 2013 8:03 pm

Greetings from the twilight zone.

This thread is intended to discuss a new adventure my husband and I have embarked upon.


On the afternoon of May 2nd, I had my first routine mammogram. I was not surprised when the VA outsourced my appointment to a private facility. The truth is, the number of disabled female veterans over 40 really doesn't warrant a government run clinic in every town. I was impressed to discover private clinics devoted to breast health are really very nice, especially compared to my last mammogram, which was conducted five years ago, in a Naval Hospital in Okinawa, hastily pending my discharge from the US Army. Although military medical personnel are always smart and professional, the private clinic was wonderfully clean, comfortable, soothing, and the staff was friendly and much closer to my own age than the fresh-out-of-high-school faces I was accustomed to seeing on active duty.

The procedure was quick and painless. The only indication it wasn't 100% routine was when the clinician filmed my right breast, then my left, then re-positioned me to take a few more angles of my right breast.

On the afternoon of May 3rd (Friday), I received a call from the clinic, informing me they were going to call my Primary Care physician and recommend a follow-up ultrasound on my right breast.

Here's where my unique situation becomes apparent. Although I'm certain many insurance companies function in a similar manner, with patients having to run their doctors' recommendations by their insurance companies to make sure a procedure is covered, the interesting thing here is, the folks at the clinic don't have to tell me what's going on or why they are recommending the follow-up. The radiologist, under any and all circumstances, would read the films, dictate his report, and send it to the patient's doctor.

However, in this situation, my doctor isn't the one getting the recommendation either, really. In this case, the report was sent to an administrator I have never met, who called me the following Monday to tell me the VA approved the follow-up procedure and someone would be contacting me about that appointment soon. This administrator, not being a doctor, was also not at liberty to discuss the findings of the report, only the recommendation.

My follow-up was scheduled and performed on May 10th (Friday). Again, I was impressed by the soothing atmosphere and friendly nature of the staff. The ultrasound went fine as the clinician quietly slid her wand over my skin, typing away on her keyboard and occasionally placing a small ruler on my breast and typing some more.

This morning, bright and early at 9:00AM, I received another call from the breast center. The woman on the phone informed me the radiologist recommended a biopsy and they would forward the report and the recommendation to the VA. She did not know, however, if the VA would want me to return to their facility or drive 2 1/2 hours to the city to have the biopsy performed at the nearest VA hospital. I have not yet heard from the VA, nor spoken to my Primary Care Physician (who happens to be a male Orthopedist in his mid sixties, by the way). Fortunately, I do have a routine gynecology appointment with him scheduled for the 21st, so regardless, I'll be face-to-face with him by the end of this month.

By this time, I have done enough research to know the purpose of self-breast exams, mammograms, ultrasounds, and biopsies. I understand what one may feel is not always visible and what may be visible may not always be something one can feel. Extra images and ultrasounds are often required to make certain what appears to be a mass or shadow on a particular angle of a mammogram is not, in fact, just an artifact. Once determined to really be there, ultrasounds can help in determining whether or not a mass is solid or liquid-filled.

I have, today, done a great deal of research concerning biopsies, what can be determined by them, and the methods most commonly used to take samples of breast tissue.

I have not yet heard back from the VA.

My husband and I have informed our families. Yesterday being Mother's Day, we could hardly avoid speaking to his mother and my brother and his family, who all live out of state. We share our home with my mother and uncle and are not particularly close to much of the rest of our respective families. As his mother is much older and has battled cancer herself and my sister-in-law's mother is a five-year survivor of breast cancer herself, we are getting sound advice from both sides and no one is running around like chickens with their heads cut off; however, as one might expect, our minds are racing down dark and unfamiliar pathways.

Ah, and now my thoughts have petered out and my fingers are telling me it's time to go do something else. Feel free to comment. I'll post again either when I feel like telling more of the story or when there is more to tell.
Available for weddings, funerals, hand fasting, and baptisms.
Image
User avatar
Elaura
Chaplain
 
Posts: 2473
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2011 12:52 am
Location: About ten feet to Jac's left.
Title: Mrs.
Gender: Female

Re: A long and winding road.

Postby fleet » Mon May 13, 2013 11:24 pm

You are now added to my prayer list. :wave:
Why? I like big ones, that's why.
User avatar
fleet
Enforcer
 
Posts: 2489
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:50 pm

Re: A long and winding road.

Postby Raym » Tue May 14, 2013 8:48 am

I know how that feels, my father had a colon tumor removed in February and now is undergoing therapy.

My thoughts and love are with you, Elaura :)
I don't have a dirty mind. I just have a sexy imagination.
User avatar
Raym
Lurker Extraordinarie
 
Posts: 858
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2011 4:32 pm

Re: A long and winding road.

Postby neildarkstar » Tue May 14, 2013 8:56 am

It's difficult to know how to respond to a post like this, so just let me say that my family and I will be hopin' and prayin' for ya.
"If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans." - Movie "Flypaper"
User avatar
neildarkstar
Jac's Hero of the Day
Jac's Hero of the Day
 
Posts: 2839
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:57 pm

Re: A long and winding road.

Postby Spirited Treasure » Tue May 14, 2013 9:43 am

Good mojo sent your way Elaura -hugs-
I am but a fragment cast apart from the whole.
A bit of flotsam to cling to in the storm.

I am a fly in the ointment, I am a whisper in the shadows.
I am also an old old woman. More than that you need not know.

Step carefully. No path is darker than when your eyes are shut.
-Flemeth, Asha'Bellanar, Witch of the Wilds
User avatar
Spirited Treasure
Defender
 
Posts: 928
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:45 am
Title: Free Spirit
Gender: Female

Re: A long and winding road.

Postby Jac » Tue May 14, 2013 11:51 am

Thanks guys, we do appreciate it. :shades: Hopefully the VA will get back to us today to let us know their decision.
User avatar
Jac
The Boss
 
Posts: 6009
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 8:36 pm
Location: Somewhere on the left side of insanity, the right side was taken.
Title: Elder Wolf

Re: A long and winding road.

Postby tealpanda » Tue May 14, 2013 1:19 pm

Good luck to you.
User avatar
tealpanda
Journeyman
 
Posts: 161
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2011 11:21 am
Location: Maryland
Gender: Female

Re: A long and winding road.

Postby Elaura » Tue May 14, 2013 8:36 pm

Thank you to everyone! No word from the VA today, if they don't call by noon tomorrow, I'll be blowing up their phones with my questions, so we'll have some sort of answer by COB tomorrow.

Incidentally, I spent most of the day in bed, hiding from the world, but this evening, I've decided to color my hair, take a nice long shower and drag Jac out to Walmart.

I'm sitting here waiting for the haircolor to set. It's a nice auburn, so right now I look like a cranberry topped clown. I do my eyebrows, too, so Groucho Marx is a close second. Jac says I look very comical; he doesn't know about Walmart, yet. :D I told him it would be worthy of an Alanis Morissette song if now that my favorite haircolor is down to $3 a box and I've stocked up, I lose all my hair, but rather than say, "Oh, that's not going to happen" or "We don't know that yet" he just said, "It'll grow back." I love my husband. He always knows the right thing to say. I'm not big on placating. I prefer to ignore something as long as I can and then put it behind me as fast as possible. It's nice that he works with me on that. :D

He's looking quite nice this evening, himself. During the first ten minutes of my wait, I shaved his head and shaped his beard and mustache for him. I'm thinking our evening, after Walmart, will involve ice cream and some degree of what we like to refer to as "fun"; as in, "Wanna have some fun, later?"

As for ice cream, I highly recommend occasionally throwing caution and budget to the wind and getting a pint of your very favorite flavor all to your very own. When one is in any sort of relationship, one tends to consider everyone's tastes when buying a whole gallon of ice cream. So, rather than getting a gallon of my favorite, we usually compromise and get a gallon of chocolate, because we all love chocolate. Tonight, I'm getting a pint of something just for me . . . coffee, or butter pecan. Hmm, I wonder if they sell ham and pineapple individual pizzas? This could be a nice trend.

Oh boy, time for my shower. Thanks again for all the love and support. Hope my ramblings aren't too disjointed. :D
Available for weddings, funerals, hand fasting, and baptisms.
Image
User avatar
Elaura
Chaplain
 
Posts: 2473
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2011 12:52 am
Location: About ten feet to Jac's left.
Title: Mrs.
Gender: Female

Re: A long and winding road.

Postby Raym » Wed May 15, 2013 11:48 am

Capt. John Sheridan: "Are you trying to cheer me up?"
Cmdr. Susan Ivanova: "No, Captain."
Capt. John Sheridan: "Good. I hate being cheered up. It's - depressing."
Cmdr. Susan Ivanova: "So, in that case - we're all going to die horrible, painful, lingering deaths."
Capt. John Sheridan: "Thank you. I feel so much better."

I just love Babylon 5 :lol:
I don't have a dirty mind. I just have a sexy imagination.
User avatar
Raym
Lurker Extraordinarie
 
Posts: 858
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2011 4:32 pm

Re: A long and winding road.

Postby Elaura » Wed May 15, 2013 2:47 pm

Me too! Thanks for the reminder! I think Ivanova is one of my all-time favorite characters in any fiction.

In an on-hold loop with the VA. They are probably all out to lunch. I'll have to call back later.
Available for weddings, funerals, hand fasting, and baptisms.
Image
User avatar
Elaura
Chaplain
 
Posts: 2473
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2011 12:52 am
Location: About ten feet to Jac's left.
Title: Mrs.
Gender: Female

Next

Return to Welcome to my parlor . . .

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

  • Advertisement
cron