Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Oncologist appointment and grooming

It's the first day of spring! To mark the new season, Gozer got a stylish new cut that makes her look trim and not at all scruffy. I saw my oncologist.

Today was my regular 3-month oncologist appointment. I didn't see my regular oncologist but the substitute that I saw in December. When I realized that I was seeing the substitute again I was worried that they'd transferred me away from my previous oncologist without telling me. I was quite upset in thinking that they might have done this. It's one thing to see another oncologist if the regular oncologist leaves the center for one or another reason but it's quite something else if the regular oncologist is still there and sends the patient to see another doctor without telling the patient, which is what I was concerned was happening.

I called the cancer center to find out why I was seeing the substitute oncologist and first I was told that my oncologist was still my oncologist but that I'd be seeing the other one, which left me feeling more worried although I tried not to dwell on those worries. Yesterday the nurse called to tell me that my regular oncologist was on vacation this week. Whew! To be honest, I very much like the substitute oncologist and would be happy seeing her regularly; my concern was that the changeover was happening without my knowledge. I was very relieved to find out that nothing is changing with respect to my oncologist.

Back to the visit. My CA 15-3 tumour marker has dropped to 32, which is back in the normal range. Yay!! This means that the pain in my lower back was most likely caused by slipping or being pulled on ice while walking Gozer. The oncologist also looked at the changes to my left breast and said that the bumps look nothing like skin mets. I already figured that my back pain wasn't mets and that the changes to my breast, as ugly as they are, are sarcoidosis. If my tumour markers had gone up, I'd have asked for a biopsy of the bumps on my breast but I'm not going to worry about that now.

I do wish I had a doctor who dealt with and treated my sarcoidosis but I don't know where or how to find one. I'd prefer to see a specialist close to my home, if possible, but my family doctor really only knows specialists in that city. I guess I could go to that doctor at the walk-in clinic I visited in the fall; he seemed to be very knowledgeable and might know a local specialist.

This afternoon while I was seeing my psychologist, Gozer got her hair trimmed in a "pet cut". She looks adorable. Her body and leg hair was clipped very short and her beard, mustache, ears, and tail were left longer. For the first time we can see all the little spots in her hair: she has three big dark grey spots and multiple little dark grey spots all over. She's so pretty! We took before and after pictures but they're still on the camera and I'll try to put them up tomorrow.


Kristin said...

Great to hear that your tumor markers are in the normal range!
Kristin (KristinSchwick)

Anonymous said...

Not to panic you, but have the area of concern on your breast biopsies. Visit with your surgeon about this. I wish I had.

Chantelle said...

Now I'm curious: what happened to you? If you'd rather not post your experience here, feel free to email me [ cjames AT alumni DOT uwaterloo DOT ca ]

To be honest, I have thought about calling my surgeon and having him look at it and possibly biopsying it. I'm pretty sure it's the sarcoidosis and that it isn't mets but it is ugly and quite wide-ranging. It showed up about six or eight weeks ago and it seems to have stabilized now.

The most recent (2006 recurrence) scar is different than it was before, the area above the breast where I had two dimples is different, and raised, red skin has formed a ring around the areola, which is also new and different.