One of my patients said something funny in the clinic. She has survived breast cancer. Five years ago, she had her left breast cut off, lymph nodes taken out, chemotherapy done, and she lived with the sword of Damocles over her head for five long years. When she came to see me, a glow was about her. She could barely contain her excitement that it was time for me to order a mammogram. I had never ordered a mammogram for her. Her oncologist had been dealing with mammograms this whole time.
She had graduated oncology, as if oncology was some sort of perverse high school where the hazing of freshmen involves surgery and chemo, and graduation is accomplished simply by being alive after five years. The dropout rate is so atrocious that if it truly was a school, it would've been shut down long ago.
Now it was time for her to be followed by her PCP once again for the routines of life. She had spent five years thinking that the cancer would come back, that her days were numbered. She didn't think that it would be five years. She did not think she would graduate. Now, her joie de vivre was renewed.
"Dr. IFinding, when was my last cholesterol level? Do I need one? Because I'll be damned if I'm going to survive breast cancer just to die from a heart attack." I love my patients so much sometimes.
By the way, I've been putting up flickr pictures to accompany my posts. If you want me to stop, let me know. I think the pics add a little character to the posts, but I can certainly understand if you think they're a detraction.