Kind of had a weird morning.

Well, really, I’ve had a weird few weeks. A lot of medical emergencies in my family and among my friends’ families. I seem to be at an age where people in my cohort are starting to get sick or injured more frequently. Or finding out about lifelong issues that haven’t become a problem until recently. It makes me feel very old, and not just because of the stress of it all.

I had a doctor’s appointment for a full MOT (it was speculumtacular!) and to get a referral for a therapist specializing in attention deficit disorder and anxiety, so that’s fun. It was not fun asking for help, but I’ve been putting it off long enough. I’m still not ready to talk about it much in this space, but may in future. Like, the far away future, since she said the waiting list is pretty feckin’ long. (My words, not hers.)

What did come up, and this surprised me, was BRCA genetic testing, which was a bit of a mindfuck. I have talked about breast cancer here a fair bit, particular how it is bizarrely marketed. (Seriously, we are all VERY AWARE of breast cancer, how about putting more money into research, eh?)

My mother died from it, my aunt had a mastectomy 15+ years ago, but I STILL see it as a foreign thing that happens to other people. Because I’m naive? Because I know that there was no other family history, so I don’t really need to worry until I’m menopausal?* Because I live a healthier life (maybe) than they did (she says while inhaling a bag of cheddar chips)?

Cancer doesn’t discriminate, so really, it’s because I’m a naïve idiot.

It is highly unlikely that I have the BRCA gene (see above), but my doctor offered to set up an interview with a geneticist to see if I’m a candidate for testing. The advantage she said is that, if I am tested, and test positive, I am eligible for MRI breast screenings in future. The disadvantage is freaking myself out thinking about it. (Overtesting can lead to false positives and terrible emotional distress, doncha know.)

That having been said, while I’m now, finally, realizing that (holy shit) I could get breast cancer, or any other cancer, and really having a wee crisis about it, I said yes, hook me up with some science. I want information, it turns out. Like, as much of it as I can get. Somehow, this surprised me a little bit even though, ironically, I hate surprises and always have. TELL ME MORE ABOUT MY BODY, PLEASE. And thank you socialized medicine for making it available to someone as stupidly poor as I am these days.

I’ve also been hooked up with a requisition for a mammogram, so hurrah for tit health all around, eh?

In other news, I came in 233rd (kinda – they don’t seem to have accounted for the hundreds of ties) in the World Quizzing Championships last week. Only 2nd in Ottawa, 11th in Canada. I’m blaming that poor result on stress. Well, and that it was MUCH harder this year. The winner overall had 10 points fewer than last year. So, yeah, I did OK.

I still have to learn all the sports before my Jeopardy! audition in a month, though.

* Holy shit, I’m not ACTUALLY that far off from menopausal – who wants to have kids with me, stat?)

3 thoughts on “Sidra.

  1. Ali

    I got a bit cranky when I realized that now I have to change my answer when doctors ask me “any history of heart disease in your family?” This getting older shit really, really sucks. I am SO looking forward to my own speculumtacular (totally adopting this word) in July, let me tell ya.

    • megan

      I like/trust my doctor enough that the ladybits exam barely fazes me at all, thank goodness. If she ever retires, that might change.

      But yeah, I hadn’t been since they upgraded to a computer-based system (so oldschool), so I had to rehash all the many causes of death in my family. Few patterns, which makes everything a bit less predictable. “So, three of your grandparents got to their 80s and beyond, but neither of your parents made it to 60? Huh.”

  2. Rachel McPhie

    My personal experience with the “overtesting” phenomenon came during pregnancy, when I had to undergo two anmiocenteses based on the results of genetic testing, which ultimately proved to be a false positive. The risks of the amnios themselves were not insignificant, and during the whole experience I definitely had moments when I wished we hadn’t done the genetic testing in the first place! Ultimately, I am like you though, and want as much information as possible before making medical decisions. Good luck and cheers to tit health!

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