I’m breaking it down by the numbers, folks, and there is no redeeming bottom line (yet) that I can see. I mean, I’m looking for it. I am. But mostly all I’m finding is that I’m crabby. Which is not, strictly speaking, a discovery.
On the one hand, everyone keeps assuring me that I probably don’t have cancer. Which is great! I mean, I’m PROBABLY not going to get hit by a bus today, either. Or come down with a flesh-eating virus. Just knowing that these things are IMPROBABLE is enough to keep me from worrying about them. And so it ought to be with this, except that the whole slightly-puzzled expression that tends to come with this assurance is throwing me off my game just a tad.
The surgeon I saw this morning was a pip, though. After she’d finished her poking and prodding and hrming and drawing pictures (another one that draws cartoon boobs! perky! excellent!) she said, “Well, I don’t think you’re dying.” And that was… probably reassuring.
For those keeping score at home, let’s review the current standings.
Weeks since the beginning of Boobpusapalooza: 2.5
Number of times I have consulted Dr. Google about my symptoms: 6
Number of doctors I have visited about my symptoms: 4
Number of people who have felt me up in conjunction with said visits: 5
Number of lumps discovered and deemed suspicious: 3
Number of lumps the latest doctor insists I actually have: 1
(Reason for the confusion: 1 big lump! Previously assessed as 2 different lumps! Am SPECIAL!)
Number of ruptured cysts suspected: 1
Number of “highly inflamed ductal channels” suspected: 1
(Number of times you will now ponder the potential market for a new “Flaming Duck Bills Channel”–from the fine folks at The Discovery Channel–today: Results may vary)
Number of monstrously enlarged lymph nodes taking over my left armpit: 1
Number of antibiotic pills I will have ingested as part of this adventure once all is said and done: 48
Number of “good bacteria” that will remain in my intestines: 0
Number of pounds I have inadvertently shed thanks to said antibiotics: 5
Rating of general helpfulness of these antibiotics on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the best: -42
Number of doctors who insist I have an infection: 2
Number of doctors who insist I show no signs of infection: 1
Number of doctors who freely admit they haven’t a clue: 1
Number of ways in which I am ready to be all done with this nonsense now: 12 (from Sunday)
Number of days I was told I’d have to wait for my mammogram: 70
Number of messages on my machine when I got home: 2
Actual number of days until my mammogram, which was bumped up to “urgent”: 14
Molecules of warm fuzziness I gleaned from the accelerated scheduling: 0
Number of plates in my body: 0
(Why that is important: Because apparently my boob is hoping to have an MRI, too. I think perhaps it has Munchausen’s! Can’t we just call a shrink specializing in melodramatic mammaries?)
Number of times I winced while the surgeon explained galactograms: 3
Number of times I thanked her for deciding not to do one: 2
Number of snappy one-liners and otherwise lame jokes I cracked at my appointment this morning: about 10
Number of times my mortified inner voice begged me to PLEASE STOP TALKING: about 8
Number of times the surgeon asked me if I’m a writer: 1
Number of times I had to wonder if I should be flattered or insulted by that: 1
Total copayments shelled out thus far: $100
Percentage of my month’s earnings that works out to be: Shut. Up.
Number of definitive diagnoses: zilch, zip, ZERO
Oh, WAIT! I’ve got it!
Having a date on Valentine’s Day with two large plexiglass paddles and a chart that reads “unidentified mass in left breast”: Pricele–
No. I can’t even type it with a straight face. Not priceless. Sucktastic, I believe, is the correct term.
Oh, pardon me. PROBABLY sucktastic, I meant.