Sunday, June 9, 2013

In Which My Life Turns into an Episode of House

Seriously, my life could not get any crazier. 

First off, let me say, I am a HUGE fan of the TV show "House." HUGE. FAN. I am positive that I've seen every episode at least twice, and am thankful it is one of the few good shows that has re-runs airing late at night when I can't sleep. I can actually tell you which channels at which times the re-runs air if you're interested.

Now, to the funny part of the story...

Memorial Day weekend (Sunday), I am watching House re-runs. Because why wouldn't you if they are on?! Have you seen the show? Then you know how with 5 minutes to go, Dr. House swoops in with his brilliant diagnosis and saves the day. In this particular episode, (which I know I've seen but I've kept watching on this day because I can't remember what the medical mystery was), with three minutes to go, House finds a spot on the bottom of the patient's foot that turns out to be a melanoma that has been causing all the cancer-related symptoms (because melanoma is cancer, right?). When they show the "spot" on the bottom of the guy's foot, my brain says, "Hmmm...that looks a lot like the spot on the bottom of my foot. You know, the one that's been there for probably three years, and just appeared one day? Dark purple/brown/black, never goes away, never changes color. Hmmm..."

Of course the first thing I do is start Googling everything I can to see if this is a real thing or just made up for TV to make Dr. House appear even more brilliant than I know he is. Holy crap, it's real. You can get melanoma on the bottom of your foot. Double Holy crap. There's a healthier than average link between skin cancer and breast cancer and vice versa. AWESOME!

Second thing I do? Start laughing! Uncontrollably. Because, seriously? What else are you going to do?

Third thing I do? Mention all this to my husband because this is the first time I've actually told anyone about said spot on foot. Because why would you?!

Fourth, fifth, and sixth thing I do? Stop surfing the Internet. Demand dermatologist phone number from a friend who has a good one (but I refuse to tell her why. Good thing she's on vacation for the weekend and not too curious about details). Count down the hours until Tuesday morning when I can call for emergency appointment.

Tuesday morning, I make Keith call because I cannot do this and keep a straight face. We do NOT mention anything about the House episode. Truthfully, upon further inspection (all weekend long), I must admit the spot has changed slightly since chemo started. Now it is lighter around the edges with a dark spot in the center. So along with my entire medical and treatment history, this is why we tell them we are concerned. Soonest appointment I can get is Friday. Good Lord.

Friday 5/31 is appointment day. No, I do NOT say, "so, I was watching this episode of House over the weekend..." because even I know that sounds like CRAZY TALK. CRAZY. TALK. We talk about my cancer/treatments, she looks at the spot on my foot for 3.6 seconds and says, "Yeah, that's got to come out within 30 days." SUPER! Good thing I already have a surgery scheduled for 6/14, and just happen to have the best surgeon around who can do all these things for me. It'll be one stop shopping.

The scoop? It could be melanoma, but might not be. However, it MUST come out because of it's stronger than average likelihood of being melanoma, and no one wanting to risk leaving it alone, especially me! When it is removed, it will be biopsied so we'll know for sure, but at that point it will be out so unlikely to require further specific treatments.

So now my surgery this Friday is a Three-For-One: (1) Port removal; (2) Re-incision/scraping around for breast cancer cells; (3) Removing this "spot" on my foot. Lucky me. It means I won't be able to walk on my foot for at least 2 weeks, and I can't use crutches for most of that because of the re-incision surgery. Super fun.

All in all, it's been a funny couple of weeks here. I self-diagnosed via a House episode. I've spent more than my share of time wishing Hugh Laurie was my doctor (because that might actually make all of this worth it). And I've learned some valuable lessons:

(1) Always pay attention to spots and lumps.
(2) Never find something wrong with you on a weekend or a Holiday, but especially a Holiday weekend.

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