Friday, February 7, 2014

DCIS - I meet the medical oncologist


The waiting room smells like the winter clothes of a hundred smokers. There is no exhaust ventilation, just heat.   Above the check-in window is a sign with lots of circled words and underlining:


Apparently smoke odor is okay.  I would opt to wait in the hall, but I have to fill our more papers than I've ever seen before.

The woman in the next chair talks with me for awhile and suddenly says:  "You have the best doctor!"  Then my name is called.  I've gained weight, no big surprise.  My blood pressure isn't too high for a visit to another oncologist I've never met. 

Finally I meet him.  He is nice, and outlines the whole DCIS story quickly, without talking down to me.  I admit I'm interested in Tamoxifen, so before long we're on the subject of side effects.  Leg pain of course comes up.  I mention the nerves to my legs, and he says: "Tell me about the spine fusion."  He's a good listener; reassures me:  "In 17 years of doing this, I've never seen a case of endometrial cancer."  

My suspicions were correct:  No more diphenhydramine, period. Find something else for the allergies and sleep.  And no more soy bars, soy plants, soy anything. So phytoestrogens are dangerous.  His exact words:  If it says soy, run!

He motions me to sit up on the table, listens to my heart and lungs, looks at the still-pink breast. 

The word on Tamoxifen:  "If you're going to have trouble, it will be in the first month." He tells me to wait a couple more weeks until my sinuses settle down and I'm myself.  Then start taking the pills.  Come back in six weeks.  

It was pleasant.  But it was the second doctor visit in two days about DCIS.

I get some soy-free food and go home very tired.

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