C is for “Cancer” Part 1

Those who are around during the wee hours of the morning get to hear the good stories!

I won’t go into details about events leading up to the cancer. Rather, I’ll start with the diagnosis. That came on February 19, 1990. I had a bleeding episode so bad (at the office) that I couldn’t even leave the ladies’ room. My boss (a woman) had to come in the bathroom looking for me. When I told her what was wrong, she insisted right then and there that I leave work and go right to a doctor.

Not having a regular gynecologist that I was seeing at the time, I remembered my friend had one she used. I remembered his last name. I opened up the phone book and, as is my weird habit, I started looking from the back forward. I found his name. Wxxxxxx Schxxxxxxx (“Dr. W.”). And fortunately, he was near downtown. I called his office and made an appointment to come in that morning.

When I got there and met with the doctor, he took my history and symptoms. He stopped scribbling on his pad when I told him that I often had to take several purple Xanax and many many Motrin and even then the pain wouldn’t even come close to subsiding. I often lay awake at night writhing in pain. He looked up and said, “My God! Didn’t that tell you something was wrong?” I just thought every woman went through this or something similar.

He asked me what I had to eat that morning and I said, “A Pop-Tart.” He hesitated briefly, then said, “Well, you might be sick to your stomach, but I want to go ahead and do this procedure.” The procedure was a D&C, colloquially known as a “dusting and cleaning,” but actually a “dilatation and curettage.” Tissue obtained from the lining of the uterus during this procedure would be examined to determine what was wrong.

I went ahead and underwent the procedure on an outpatient basis. I remember being sick as a dog when I woke up in the recovery room. I had to lay down on a couch for several hours until the nausea subsided. They gave me some cookies and juice to drink. And I was to see the doctor in several days to learn what was wrong.