I had my second annual check up with my oncologist last week. My doctor is great, very involved in BRCA research and a renowned expert in genetic breast cancer issues. Still, the appointment left me feeling dissappointed. First off, it was rushed. Basically I took my shirt off, we talked while she felt me up, she printed out a few things and that was it. No more than 5 or 10 minutes. I’m sure this is a standard occurrence with doctors in this day and age, but come on. I had to smell my armpits to make sure my BO wasn’t so bad that it made her want to spend as little time with me as possible. That’s sure what it felt like.
Aside from that, nothing really happened. I’m not sure what I expected. Maybe, “Congratulations, Cara. You no longer have a BRCA 1 mutation!” or “Guess what? They’ve found a cure for breast cancer!” or maybe even a little self-esteem booster, “Cara, I’m really glad you came in today. I can see you take this whole BRCA thing seriously.”
But instead, I just got felt up. I also asked if anything had happened in the past year on the BRCA front that would affect me. (A miracle drug! A cure! A new study that might get me free doctor visits!) Nothing. A prostate cancer study. For men. In their forties. That’s it. And I left with a piece of paper telling me my first MRI is scheduled for next summer, preferably 7-10 days into my menstrual cycle.
Sheesh. I guess, though, that’s what taking preventative measures for BRCA means… waiting. For good or bad news.