Monday, November 20, 2006


The Time of the Tumour

No, don't all start running about waving your hands in the air as if you've just seen some mayonnaise. I don't have another one.

I just think enough time has passed that I can talk about it a bit. You see, I've told this to a few people but I don't think I spewed the details all over the interwebs, which is sort of startling, but nevermind. At least I don't think I did and I'm too lazy to check my own archives. If I've said this before then just skip over it or whatever.

The tumour I had was supposedly a sort of rare one, called a Phyllodes Tumour. When the surgeon first said to me that he thought that might be what I had, as it was growing so startlingly fast (I mean tripling in size in a few weeks) I at first thought he said "Pilates Tumour" and I'm all like dude, you've seen my ass, do I LOOK like I do Pilates? And who knew you could get sick from that?

Anyhow, I didn't know the whole thingie until after he'd taken it out. He told me that it was bigger than his fist. And when you think about it, really, that's a whole extra boob.

When he told me that it was 100% benign, his grin lit up the whole room. It might have been almost as big as mine. See, he doesn't get to say the "B" word as often as he'd like. In fact he's the same man who told my dad that his asscancer was malignant. And then he took it out (the cancer, I think Dad still has an ass but I really don't want to know) and it was encapsulated and hadn't spread and he's been cancer FREE, not just in remission, for six years now. But anyhow, like I said, the dude doesn't get to give good news as often as one might like to do.

So this was all good. And he said that because it was benign, I have a 10-20% chance of it coming back. And if I get another one, that'll be benign too.

But here's the scary part, and the bit I haven't talked about a lot. If it had been malignant (which it wasn't!) then there would have been an 80-90% chance of it coming back. And those tumours allegedly don't respond to chemo or radiation. It's surgery, surgery, surgery, metastasis, death. Not fast, but the prognosis is about 12 years, max. Not enough when your kid is only five years old, as she was at the time.

80-90%. That's a lot. Like if someone said "if you drive this car, you have an 80-90% chance of the brakes failing" would you drive it? If someone said "if you walk down this street, there is an 80-90% chance you will be mugged and beaten to death ... I think you'd plan a different route.

So it was a bit freaky, and yeah, that would have sucked, because I also have enough wool for about 40 years and none of you bitches are getting it. I'm staying until it's all gone.

BUT, and this is something I only discovered recently, when he took out my tumour, he also took out my dentalphobia. I don't think he even knows he did it, but it's gone as if it never existed.

I've always been totally paralyzed at the thought of going to the dentist. Even for a cleaning I often made two or three appointments, got freaked out, cancelled, acted like such a twat that someone got mean to me and then I cried. Very happy situation for both me and the dentist.

But it would seem that's all gone. I had a root canal last week and it was all "oh just fine, do it dude, it's only teeth." And the dentist said that this or that horrible thing could happen and I said "fine, we'll deal with it if it does". And I had a three-hour root canal (followed by three days of ibuprofen-munching pain) and it was nothing. I went in again last Friday, had my teeth cleaned for the first time in several years (and there was much gouging and poking and stuff) and I was completely relaxed. And then the doc came and did the cover for the "access filling" or whatever he called it and I was completely chilly.

And seemingly I'm having a "difficult extraction" on December 8 of one of my wisdom teeth with "deep decay and bulbous roots". He said it wouldn't be fun. I said then I'd call in sick to work. He said there could be sinus collapse and all sorts of horrible stuff. I said then if there is I have medical coverage haul me in and get my head rebuilt, I just. Don't. Care. And if there isn't then we don't have to stress about it so let's not even bother in advance.

Dude. Me? Saying that?

I never knew that the dentalphobia thing lived in my left breast. But it's completely gone.

And I'm eternally grateful.

tomomrrow: toad testicles

Has anyone ever told you that you are completely glorious? Because damn, that needs to be said more often.
("none of you bitches are getting it." I like you more and more every day.)
Congrats on the benign-ness. Those phobias live in the weirdest places.
Dude. That post rocks. And makes me giggle and smile.

"All of life's big problems include the words "inoperable" or "indictment." Everything else is small stuff."
Wool is totally a reason for living. You just put it in words we can all understand.

I do hope you'll be put under for the extraction. And that everything goes well.
Perspective, it's priceless! Life is short, teeth are teeth, I love your posts. Thanks for sharing!
Um, toad testicles?
Congrats on the total benign-ity.
I have dental phobia too, due to a horrible horrible practitioner my parents dragged my sisters & me to when we were little. He must have been cheap, or took instalment payments or something. He always said I was lying when I told him something he did hurt, and he actually slapped one of my sisters once.
I have a lovely dentist now, known him for years, trust him absolutely, my children think going to him is actually a treat, but still go white-knuckled in his chair. He's very sympathetic, but old fears die hard.
Uh, here's me jumping to the front of the line to hear about toad testicles. Also, since you seem to be the wisest of the wise - do elves have a physical need for an outhouse? We just wonder...

80-90% is an astounding odd. And the 'b' word is melodic at least. Still, I think if I worked hard enough at it, I COULD get some of your wool.
Benign. A nice word all by itself, but when paired with something medical, it just becomes one of the finest words you can hear!

By the way, you got me through my own tiny little (and benign) lump. Thank you!
Congratulations on the benign-ness of your tumour! That's awesome. Mine wasn't benign, I've been sliced, diced, marinated ( chemo) and I get cooked ( radiation) next month. Even so, I still dread the dentist! LOL
Toad testicles has me intrigued ( a sentence I thought I would never write)
I wonder if my fear of heights is extractable as well... that would rock.

I'm sure I'll need to live till 100 to knit all my yarn. I guess I'll start taking a multivitamin again.
I'm so glad it was benign. So very glad.

I used to have a male yoga teacher that swore that his parents lived in his left shoulder blade hahaha.

I'm curious to see what might shift for you with the removal of the bulbous widsom tooth.

Glad your benign status removed the potential for a "ticker" being installed on your timeline. Not to get all philosophical, but a couple of years ago an incident in my own life turned me into an "enjoy it while you got it" (ie TODAY) kinda of gal. You just. never. know.

benign benign benign.
What a lovely word. It's not something I think _I_ am that way much, but it's nice that so far, all the stuff inside my body is that way.

benign. reminds me of typing "begin". What a great beginning too... dental phobia GONE!
I can't WAIT until tomorrow!
I've always thought "benign" was such a pretty word........

My daughter (this is dead seriousness) thinks the word "enema" is a pretty word. But I digress. How'd we get on the topic of pretty words? Oh, yes, BENIGN. Good.

Those avalanche hats are some serious hatness. Man, that must be some good warmth. Awesome.
I picked my current dentist because I knew her from my spinning guild. Think about it. I knew she was good with her hands.
benign... friendly...having no ill-will... fabulous. What would we have done with your stash anyway--most of us have our own... (No. You can't have it.)
I know exactly what you mean. I had a cancer scare when my daughter was just a few months old, and I was out of my head. Nothing makes you so grateful than being well, does it? Congratulations. I'm SO happy for you. That was a great feel-good post.
Benign is a very nice word, indeed.
Three things: 1. Benign! In our family it rhymes with "Finnegan" and we love that word -- hubby's mom had benign tumors as well. And you can say it that way in public and people don't know what you're talking about. 2. I'd like to get my dental phobia removed too... I don't have any tumors though, but do you think if that doctor removed something else it would work? 3. And you leave us hanging with toad testicles? Wicked sense of humor there, Lapin.
(oh, and 4 I guess... kids saw me typing the word Lapin and went into the Monty Python riff: Qu'est que c'est? What? What eez it? C'est un lapin du bois! What? It eeez a rabbit, made of wood...) Snork.
I know what you've been through, Rabbitch. After having breast cance with the whole mastectomy shebangle 9 years ago, I have spent the past month seeing doctors who sent me for tests. When they got the results I got reponses like "we don't think its anything, but ...lets do another test". Finally , after 1 month, 3 MDs, 4 tests involving big machines,and having needles stuck in my remaining boob and an assload of stress-inducing uncertainty...I got the B-word!!! The MOST BEAUTIFUL WORD in any language.

Now I never had a dental phobia thingie for them to remove, but does anyone know where the "eat everything in sight " thingie is located? I really need that removed!
Benign is a good thing! Congrats & lest you want hoards of knitters clammoring for 40 years worth of yarn, take good care of yourself. Can't wait to hear about the toadie testies.
If ever anyone was to have a rare anything, it would be you. Luverly word, "benign"!

Don't you dare leave us dangling about the toad testicles!!

And btw, my word verification for this post was "unbad". Really.
Well! I am certainly putting you on my favorites list! Toad testicles....can't wait! Congrats on the good results!! Scares do put everything else into proportion don't they!
Benign's a very very very good word for the Big C. It's like a big snuggly blanket you just curl up and sigh in.

Now Dad's gonna have to wear a fat wallet and three handkerchiefs in that pocket for the rest of his life. A flat butt's reasonable but half a flat butt makes you want to try to plump up the flat cheek.

Blogger gave me "uwgic".
Benign is beautiful. Cancer is cantankerous. I am very very glad you plan on sticking around, because as you know, I've grown rather fond of you. Though cancer does seem to help put things in perspective for some folks. Okay for my mother anyway. It's done remarkable things for her, on the level of the disappearance of your dental phobia. Amazing stuff.
I'm so happy for the benign verdict. You helped me so much with this post, more than you will know. I too have dental phobia (and some major work coming up soon) but you've given me a way to think of it so the process doesn't seem so scary, compared to what could be. So thank you. and I wish you well on your Dec. 8th dental appt.
So much wonderful news! I'm very happy for you. :)
So glad that someone can go to the dentist and just not care. I would love to be able to do that. I get physically ill just going in to the dentist's office.
What could I get removed to get over that?
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