There is a bit of nervousness and apprehension as I approach my oncology follow-up visits.
I know to expect the following; a vaginal exam, a pap smear, and my scar gets a review.
I never really thought I would ever blog about these things, but here I am talking all about my girly bits.
My oncology center has a pretty new office, it is fancy schmanzy. I was able to see their previous office space several years ago. I helped a colleague through their own diagnosis. The space has different kinds of patient rooms and this visit I got a room that I call a throne room. They have these modern chair-that-turns-in-to-an-exam-table-complete-with-stirrups-that-miraculously-appear things.
After being ushered in to the room by the nurse I proclaimed that I was glad I got to get a throne room. I sat down with royal aplomb, gestured grandly, and proclaimed myself as queen of my own cancer.
This is the chair, with me in it… and yes, you can see my butt poking from behind that silly paper drape if you look hard enough:
Anyway, turns out that my abdomen is not lit up by my disco ball ovaries.
My oncologist is incredible, there is a gentleness to him that is unseen in so many other physicians. All the Ob-gyn’s I know consider him their go-to guy for their patients with oncology needs. I understand why.
When he examines me, there is a certain gentleness. A real look at his handiwork not in how they reflect on him, but on how they are for the patient. If you are open to the idea of therapeutic touch, I would say this doctor was born with it.
So, as I lay on that table-formerly-a-chair, I asked him what he had done with my ovaries. He explained that he had tied them down to a ligament. He followed up by explaining that they are about 3 cm lower than where they used to be. he added that they should continue to function as long as they normally would. My ovaries were not left to roll around. Nor were they hung up on my ribs like a disco ball.
I told him my story was better. He laughed and said he thought so too.
Cancer patients tend to develop a kind of crush on their oncologists. I can totally see that. It is not the kind of crush where you feel love. It is the kind that comes from feeling gratitude, It is pretty amazing.
I am still reflecting a lot on gratitude. It is hard to properly express gratitude to people in this experience. Gratitude, it seems, is my lesson that is still being developed in this experience.
On The Facebook today, I came across an essay on suffering and gratitude. There was something intense to ponder in the message. And the message was made moreso when the essay ended with this message:
I am grateful for your hair, the beauty of your eyes, your way with words, your heart that always is ready to give, your willingness to grow, your willingness to not know, the way you garden, naked, early in the morning, your love of family, your love of wine, your love of Scrabble, your glass-half-full ways, your love for your son, your belief in God, your belief in the power of poetry, your belief in the power of love, your Catholic ways, your love of your mother, your love of Mother Divine, your pale white skin, your lips, your smile, the way you love your friends, the way you love. (Source)
It appears that little piece was about a woman named Adele. I believe Adele is pictured at the bottom of the page in source link. That part, though, touched on some of the things that people comment about me or that I feel about me. In some divine sense, I want to believe that I was meant to see it. And to relish this sisterhood I share with this woman named Adele.