And things are hectic and crazy and disorganized and emotional. And all I want to do is go to the zoo with the boys but I can't. I have to unpack and de-clutter and make important decisions about where things will hang on the wall and not cry. There's so much to do... I just don't know where to start. Here's my to-do list in no particular order:
Right now the crawling-into-a-box option is looking good to me. Particularly after this afternoon when I tried to follow up on a referral with a breast oncologist. Here's the phonecall that broke the camel's back:
Me: Hi, my OB/GYN referred me to see Dr. Soandso and I wanted to make an appointment.
Witchy Receptionist: Ok, why are you being seen by Dr. Soandso?
Me: Well, I just found out I have the breast cancer gene and my OB/GYN thought I should see a breast cancer specialist to coordinate all the screening stuff...
WR: You do realize this is the Arizona Cancer Center, right? Dr. Soandso only sees people who actually have cancer. I don't think Dr. Soandso is the right doctor for you to see. Maybe you should check in with your general practitioner or your mailman or something.
ME: FINE! Then I'll come back when I actually HAVE CANCER and kick you in the shins. Really super hard.
Just kidding. I wasn't rude with her even though she spoke to me like I was an idiot and refused to schedule my appointment. Instead I told her I'd have my OB/GYN get in touch with them again to clear things up.
And then I hung up the phone and cried and cried and cried. Mostly because I was worried that she was right. Dr. Soandso probably has more than enough actual cancer patients, she doesn't need some young 25-year-old whining in her ear about a disease she doesn't even have (the receptionist actually said, "you're only 25, why are you worrying about this?")
Then I stopped crying and realized one thing.
That witchy receptionist is an idiot.
The National Health Institute guidelines recommend that BRCA carriers begin screening at age 25. I'm young, but not too young to start. They also recommend that the screening be done at a facility that has a breast MRI machine. Something that I doubt exists at my general practitioner's office. (Plus, I don't even have a general practitioner.)
I'm pretty sure the Arizona Cancer Center sees non-cancer patients all the time. In fact, they have an entire High Risk Program within their breast cancer clinic. Maybe Dr. Soandso won't end up being the doctor who manages my screening but she was who I was referred to and all I wanted was an appointment. Instead I came away feeling like a total hypochondriac, something I'm constantly worried about.
So today I was reminded of lots of things I don't have...
I don't have blinds on my windows. I don't have plans to make dinner (sorry, Clark). I don't have furniture to fill my empty rooms. But guess what? I DON'T HAVE CANCER! And even though that means I'll have to fight to get appointments with "actual cancer" specialists and even though it means I'll constantly be explaining myself and feeling silly and insecure, that's okay. It's fantastic even. I'd rather be a BRCA carrier than an idiot witchy receptionist.