First, let me state that I really prefer the Staying Alive option right now. Earth school and all the blessed people I am sharing life with are all wonderful reasons to stick around for a long time.
This morning I am frustrated though. We are headed off for another doctor appointment. I see my surgeon every three months, oncologist every four. Breast exams at the surgeon’s office, mammogram orders every six months, a mess of blood work that all of a sudden my insurance is denying. Tamoxifen daily, side effects nightly. Lymphedema.
Beneath it all, the question, where is this getting me? Is this protecting me from cancer? (Read dying, as that is our cultural definition of the word cancer) Science simply doesn’t know. It’s a jumble of statistical crap shoots – and we all know, statistics apply to groups, not individuals.
The places I feel more confident are in food and lifestyle choices, and that said, I have not become a vegan again. Oh… So many voices in my head about food!
So, surveillance. That is just about all the docs can do. Watch, wait. Anticipate?
I know the root of surveillance is not survive, yet they seem connected for me. I’m not much interested in surviving though. It’s a word that gives such power to such a small part of ones life.
They tag team the surveillance – one doc really wants the mammos, because this is the time we are concerned about. Another wants the tamoxifen – it raises survival rates. Then the blood work, what do my markers show? At least my surgeon’s office actually examines my breasts and my PT and lymphatic therapists are working with me to heal and manage the Lymphedema issues. Touch feels like someone is paying attention. Touch feels like someone cares.
So today, we are headed up to the surgeon’s office, her PA, who we love, will do her best to support and advise and keep me following the rules.
I will continue to sink in and check in with my gut and see what rules really apply to me. I’m cranky this morning, so I’ll defer big personal policy changes to a more settled time however.
My doc today, during our talks about the system, said repeatedly. We have become slaves to a broken health care system. We are stuck in something that doesn’t work.