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posted at 3:29 pm
on Jan. 31, 2012

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Susie had to head in for another breast biopsy today.

This is her third.  The first one was six months ago because there was something ominous on an ultrasound—I picture it like the bad guy from the Green Lantern movie or The Fifth Element or, well, any horror movie where the bad guy is a big lump of goo.

The second was right after the first, because they didn’t find anything the first time but they decided that it COULD be because they aren’t any good at taking biospies and they “missed” so they wanted to do it again—but really it turned out to be because there wasn’t anything the second time either.  (Except, having raised the idea that a biopsy might just “miss” the lump, the positive result of the second test was now tainted by the fear that they just had two strikes instead of one.)

But at least that was over, we thought.

Well, Susie went back for her now-really-frequent checkups, because once you have a false positive, that puts you in the same category as someone who actually had a real positive.  Imagine: if you fail a drug test, but you get retested and it turns out it wasn’t a valid result, but your company now wants to test you four times as often as anyone else just because their test own was faulty once… seems unfair. Why not just tell Susie: you’re fine, go be normal? But I guess preventative medicine doesn’t work that way.

Anyway, she went for a test recently, and they said, oh, wow, yeah, definitely that’s some cray-cray brand new breast thing you have there that we missed the first zillion times we looked at your breast and that you can’t even feel, and don’t worry about it it’s probably nothing again, but why not get lots more tests now.

So we spent a super-sized lunch hour at the Rapid Access Breast Clinic—I’d have called it the Breast Rapid Exam, Analysis and Surgical Treatment center if they’d have asked me—and they stuck a significant amount of needles in her (i.e. more than zero) and I got really faint and later felt bad for feeling worse than Susie did about the whole procedure. It’s hard to be a supportive spouse when you can’t, you know, look at what’s going on in the room and the folks say things like “No passing out, sir.”

The biopsy goes like this: lie down, get ultrasound so they know what to poke, get a numbing shot, then get a needle with a hollow core that pulls out a bit of tissue that goes CLICK, then they wipe up the blood (way less of a hole than a blood donation) and then you apply direct pressure and then you get dressed.

And afterwords we ate donuts.

In a week, we’ll get to stop worrying.

Overheard

“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

...who said it?

“Almost every American I know does trade large portions of his life for entertainment, hour by weeknight hour, binge by Saturday binge, Facebook check by Facebook check. I’m one of them. In the course of writing this I’ve watched all 13 episodes of House of Cards and who knows how many more West Wing episodes, and I’ve spent any number of blurred hours falling down internet rabbit holes. All instead of reading, or writing, or working, or spending real time with people I love.”

...who said it?

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

...who said it?

“I play with variables constantly.”

...who said it?

“Only the person who has learned Continual Love coming from a heart of Gratitude/Worship can effectively deal with the problem of loneliness.”

...who said it?

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