Tuesday, April 6, 2010


I'm devising coping strategies for my various problems at radiation.

I've recently come to understand that I should not be taking the rad. onc.'s less-than-stellar bedside manner personally, and that it's more him than me. This helps. I wish he could have an assistant with him, to guide him in situations that require interacting with other humans, similar to the way in which people with visual impairments are assisted by seeing eye dogs.

So, I'm going to IMAGINE such an assistant every time I have to interact with him. Meet the rad. onc.'s guide dog, LuLu:

When I first met the rad. onc., his opening line to me was, "So...this all started with a lump?"


"Hi, I'm Dr. [name], it's nice to meet you! I've spoken with your surgeon, and I've reviewed your medical records, and I'd like to spend a few minutes talking with you to hear what the journey has been like for you so far. I understand it was your nurse practitioner who palpated a lump in your breast, leading to your breast cancer diagnosis?"

When I said that I was still trying to decide between mastectomy and radiation, and that I feel confident that I would be okay with mastectomy if it is better for my health, the rad. onc. replied, "You might feel differently in 10 years. Some women want to preserve nipple sensation."


"What a difficult decision to have to make! You have my sympathies, but of course I can't imagine what having to make such a decision feels like, since I'm male! I'm assuming you're talking extensively with K about what mastectomy would mean, and I can tell you about what radiation would be like. Do you want information about a local support group for women with breast cancer? It might help to talk with other women who have needed to make a decision about radiation vs. mastectomy."

LuLu also comes over to let me pat her, and assures me that just like on the radio when the offensive words are bleeped out, she will bark louder than the rad. onc.'s voice if he ever attempts to say the words "nipple sensation" to me ever again.


  1. did he really say "nipple sensation"?


    This is like male gyno i saw (my first gyno, he was a turd) who said that my sex drive was far below average, and that "a woman your age in a relationship should be having sex at least 5 times a week!"

    Five times a week? Jesus! He gave me such a complex. What a pig!

    He is also the doctor who said i wouldn't want a nuvaring because "you don't want to have to touch yourself down there." Implying that my body is gross. Uh huh. Sure. Like you never scratch your balls, dude...

    Seriously some of these people shouldn't even be allowed to talk to patients! *rar*

  2. this is brilliant!! britta, seriously, you amaze me. i know you are struggling so much and so unhappy with this situation, and here instead of quitting you come up with a wonderful, imaginative, humorous idea i never would have come up with in a million years. in my own health struggles i have never been able to find a coping mechanism that's this silly and comforting.

  3. steph, yeah, he seriously said that!! :::shudder:::
    wow, what a creepy gyno you had! ugh! glad you got away from him! he has NO right to have ANY say in your sex life... JESUS.

    thanks, megan. :) i'll let you know how it goes with lulu this afternoon when i have to meet with the rad. onc. lulu could accompany you to visits as well; she teleports instantly! ;)

  4. well, truthfully, i was having anxieties about whether or not i was normal and how often people are supposed to have/want sex. Because my sex drive sucked (still does, a lot, but what do you want for someone who works 5-6 days a week, plus practice, plus i'm on antidepressants that kill your sex drive anyways!)

    So i asked him what was "normal". Normal for him to spank it, maybe. Normal in a porno!

    Dude, whatever. He was a loser.