Most of the time, I’m quite satisfied to be a woman. But once a year the aggravation of the yearly female exams frustrate me. First, it’s a visit to the gynecologist to be checked that all the parts are functioning properly. The next step is a mammogram. And that wasn’t enough this year. I had a suspicious spot on my breast and had an ultrasound. Thank God, it was only a cyst. It was nerve wracking though. I didn’t want to hear the words, “It looks like cancer.”
The doctor also referred me for a bone density scan. The results were near average for my age. The technician measured my height. I lost three-fourths of an inch in height somewhere along the way. It’s common, I’m told, but it means I need to weigh less due to my diminished spine. Oh, dear. The diet continues.
Her consultation also included a recommendation to speak with a genetic counselor about the colon cancer that occurred in my family. I did that. Now, I have to ask one of my sisters to get medical records of her colon cancer surgery she had at the age of thirty. The geneticist also wants reports of her colonoscopies. Well, we’ll see how all that goes. It could be a time consuming project for my sister. After all that, then the genetic counselor will decide if my sister needs a test for a mutated gene for colon cancer. If she tests positive, then I would also be tested.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad I have good medical care. A lot of people don’t. It’s the hassle of it all that keeps me on edge for three or four weeks. Am I whining? Yes. Don’t want to hear it? I don’t either.
At least this year, I didn’t need a colonoscopy. My brother died of colon cancer and I miss him so much. He didn’t get his screenings. In the time he was diagnosed until he died, he told everyone he met to get a colonoscopy.
Once I get the genetics taken care of I can put aside my worries about these exams for this year. Every woman should have these tests. A friend of mine acquired medical coverage under the Affordable Care Act two months before she was diagnosed with colon cancer. She had a pre-existing condition that had prevented her from obtaining medical insurance. Fortunately, she was stage two and not worse. I hope she will have a long full life thanks to good care. Please, ladies, get your yearly exams. It’s worth it regardless of the inconvenience.