I'm trying to be patient. I'm trying to keep my mind on other things. I'm constantly reminding myself that there's a much bigger chance I'll get good news as opposed to bad.
I'm not doing a very good job with any of those things.
I went to see a new OB/GYN Thursday afternoon, a task I always dread, although I don't really know any woman who enjoys the process. I've especially been putting it off because my old (or should I say old school) doctor, while not a misogynist, views women as silly little girls who don't know anything about their own bodies. When my family practice doctor urged me to check into some symptoms I've been having, I was relieved to find that that Dr. Pat-you-on-the-hand-with-a-condescending-tone wasn't available, but Dr. New Guy had some openings right away.
When I went in for my appointment, I braced myself for the possibility that the new doc could just be a clone of the old one. Refreshingly, he wasn't. He actually talked with me instead of staring at my chart and crossing things off. He seemed genuinely interested in hearing what I had to say. His manner was comforting. That comfort did little for me, however, when he leaned in, looked me straight in the eye, said that he was "concerned" about the combination of symptoms and risk factors, and told me that we "really need" to do an endometrial biopsy.
It's one thing for a sister or a friend to say you really need to go see the doctor. It's even a little unnerving to google your symptoms and see the frightening possibilities, but you can still tell yourself not to pay attention to the information overload, and the worries magically evaporate. To see the eerie combination of kindness and gravity in your doctor's eyes as he describes in detail the procedure that will check for cancer cells lurking within your body - well, that can make your blood run cold.
The biopsy was quick. Painless? Not so much. Since I left Dr. New Guy's office, I've been trying to concentrate on anything but the test results: homework, unpacking, movie night with Rhett and the kids. Every cramp I feel jolts my memory of the painful procedure and the possibilities associated with it. No matter what I do, the soundtrack of my worry and fear plays in the background music of my brain. I'm an impatient control freak with huge fear of the unknown, so waiting for results I can't control is cruel punishment indeed.
I keep scouring the internet trying to find the story of someone with similar risk factors and symptoms who got a negative biopsy. I'll find someone whose story is almost identical to mine, but when she says she was diagnosed with cancer, I'll brush it off because she had two kids instead of three or maybe she's 38, not 35. The biggest problem is that the bullet dodgers don't post their stories; they let out a relieved sigh and go back to their PTA meetings. I've decided that when I (hopefully) get good news back from Dr. New Guy, I'm going to post my story on every endometrial cancer message board I can find. Then when some other impatient control freak with an information addiction is searching for a tiny glimmer of hope, she'll find it, and maybe that will make the wating a little less excruciating.