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The perils of efficiency

I have wonderful doctors, and am receiving excellent medical care. They all communicate well with me and with each other, and are exceptionally efficient at scheduling things when necessary. This is excellent, and I appreciate it, but sometimes it is rather overwhelming.

When you start imaging people, you sometimes find random things. Both my recent MRIs showed a largish uterine polyp. No changes in it between images, and it apparently looks just like a polyp. But there’s a rare genetic condition that increases risk of both colon and other forms of cancer, including uterine (Lynch Syndrome), so I was referred to a gynecological oncologist (which is far too unwieldy a phrase, so everyone refers to them as gyn-oncs). They set me up a consult for Monday.

The gyn-onc explained Lynch Syndrome to me, assured me that this thing looked just like a standard non-cancerous uterine polyp, but that she wanted to take it out anyway. How about Friday, since I’m probably starting radiation next week? Er, okay. Oh, and in Danville, because she only does this procedure in the OR, and she lives too far away to have OR privileges at Mount Nittany. Er, okay. WonderfulFriend has agreed to drive me to Danville once again, where I can have more bits poked, prodded and biopsied.

This one at least is a totally unnecessary and unwanted bit. I’ve had heavy periods my entire life, and removing this polyp will probably help with that. (Chemo. Some lucky women don’t have periods when they’re on chemo. I am not one of them: I’m over three weeks into the heaviest period I’ve had in my life. I am anemic, cranky, and greatly hoping that polyp removal will help with that too.)

In the unlikely event that the biopsy comes back positive, well, I’m starting pelvic radiation real soon now, so there’s no big rush to do anything else. The polyp will have been totally removed anyway, and the radiation will take care of the area. Beyond that, I won’t worry about it unless I have to.

In other news, that $900 drug? My actual copay turns out to be $15. I do not understand the medical system at all, but I’m pleased with this particular result.

This post is dedicated to Jay Lake, who faced his own cancer diagnosis with an honesty and forthrightness that I admire, and am trying to emulate. Even in the topics that nobody talks about, like this post. I told him so, and he was kind to a newly-diagnosed colon cancer patient. Thanks, Jay.


  1. neurondoc says:

    We don’t understand the medical system either, which is a very sad (and scary) thing.

  2. Sarah says:

    But at least there’s someone out there who knows who to call and pester. I haven’t had to do anything really to deal with insurance & such: there’s some wonderful person (or people) who’s done all that for me.

  3. Aoife says:

    I don’t blame you for not worrying about the polyp. Worrying solves nothing. However, I do hope you are able to get some time to digest this info., and also time to have a life without thinking about it. You are strong willed, and that strength amazes me. I know, you have no choice. But Snark and Science are working so far. I just want to punch something right now, on your behalf. But I also hope you have time for Joy, because if anyone deserves it, that person is you.

  4. Janiece says:

    So. What will you name this new superfluous mass?

  5. Sarah says:

    I’m totally comfortable with “Gone” as a name.

  6. Laura says:

    These things must be eradicated. And really, a heavy period on top of chemo etc. is completely adding insult to injury. Hugs! And gratitude to your WonderfulDriverFriend. I will be imagining surgery daleks, Seek, Locate, Eradicate.

  7. cori says:

    Sorry to hear about the additional suckage.
    When you say a biopsy, is she just looking at Nasty Mr. GONE or are she also taking endometrial material as well (biopsy or D/C ?

    Post-endometrial adenocarcinoma with a family history of fatal colorectal cancer and early colonoscopy that showed benign polyps, I’ve had the Lynch syndrome talk with my docs too.


    1. Sarah says:

      D&C, Cori. It all went well.

      I don’t have a family history that suggests Lynch, but I’m so young for colon cancer that it makes them wonder. Results next week sometime.