Friday, January 30, 2009

A Lump in My Throat

I recently discovered a small lump in my breast, right after returning from the USA... At times like that you really wish you weren't in Russia. A good friend got me the name of a top Russian oncologist and I could go there for a consultation -- but today I had both a mammogram (my first -- absolutely no big deal) and ultrasound at the medical clinic where we usually go and everything is completely normal. 

Given both tests' results, I don't need to follow up with an immediate second opinion/second mammogram. I'll keep doing self-exams and will go for another set of tests (perhaps at a different clinic with a different radiologist) in late spring.

Waiting for the radiologist this morning, though... and waiting for the results... I felt so very scared.

My doctor has now become a good friend, though, and he put me at ease during the last week both when he gave me my initial exam and today.

He and I also had a good chuckle in the process... 

Earlier this week when he diagnosed Natalia with Strepp, he also gave me a breast exam. Natalia was almost asleep in a partitioned area of the office while he examined me, so she wasn't watching. After the doctor finished and left to schedule my mammogram, I got up to get dressed. Natalia then saw me with nothing on above the waist and yelped, rather loudly, "Get your shirt on before the doctor sees your boobs!!!!"

(Hmm... He'd done quite a bit more than see them just minutes earlier...)

Turns out that everyone in the waiting area had heard, and they tried to hide their giggles as we walked out... 

The nurses had also told my doctor, who was rather amused. We then also chuckled about his eclectic English vocabulary. When he first moved here from France, he knew hardly any English at all. I've watched him go from being a rank beginner to becoming rather proficient! He no longer needs me to translate for him when he examines the girls, for example. 

But "lump"? "Fibroid'? Not exactly the most useful English vocabulary! Certainly not going to come in handy on a tourist's visit to New York! :-) 

I'm glad that I don't now need to also master a whole new area of Russian vocabulary... A journey inside Russian medical clinics, though, would have provided a whole new bunch of blogging fodder... I'll thankfully now find something else to write about!


Annie said...

Well, thank heaven! I think perhaps, though, it was your anxiety that made the mammogram seem like "nothing". Either that, or my next one will be done in Moscow!

But you brought back memories. For this last adoption we had to have the "medical exam". This seems to vary from something major for some parents to nothing but a handoff of money for some others. I'm wondering if this mostly relates to a) gifts and efficacy thereof, or b) work in hand at the clinic that day. My "7 doctor exam" was really a 2-doctor exam. I talked to the psychologist - and for some reason unknown to even myself I felt compelled to talk to her in Russian. I have no idea how I did it! - I'd head out into a sentence, not know the vocabulary but out words would come, anyway - and apparently they were the right words; she responded as though I made perfect sense! Praise to the subconscious!

But the other doctor was the oncologist who did a breast exam. The amusing part was that despite my foray into major Russian-speaking with the psychologist, the translator - a young man - accompanied me into this physician's office too. Let's just say, a breast exam by a male doctor who looks just like Freud (its all I could think of!! even his clothes! it was like I went back in time!) was even odder with a 25 year old man only a couple of yards away sitting in a chair with his nose to the corner.

Anonymous said...

Dr Peter, i presume?????? he was great, and his assistant natalia. i sent him pics of rachel after she was born and apparently he was *thrilled* that we did that - he showed off her pic at a staff meeting too.

so thankful that everything turned out ok! how scary! poor thing!

miss you!

Tina in CT said...


Tami said...

Whew is right! So glad you're okay and that everything checked out. Thank goodness you have a good doctor.

The Expatresse said...

In 1987 I found a lump. Except we were in Taiwan at the time. I probably would only have required a needle biopsy, except my dad's wife and husband's landlady both had JUST been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Long story short: I threw a big fit, had it removed/biopsied. All was fine and has remained fine . . .although my mammogram films look like someone shook the salt shaker on them.

First in a series of me having a medical crisis in a foreign country. Hey! It's what I do!

Carey and Norman said...

Glad that your exams didn't show anything to be worried about. I can imagine that this is not the type of scare you want while overseas. Glad you are okay!