A rough start, a good ending

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I work with a very nice lady, Irene, who hasn’t been feeling very good. She finally went to her Doctor. After a general pelvic exam, he had her go in for some more imaging stuff (sorry, I have forgotten whether it was sonograms or MRIs). They found a lump on one of her ovaries. She went in a few days later for a blood test. This morning she had to go talk to a specialist. Everyone at work did their best to keep her spirits up. And, like I told her, she wasn’t using her ovaries, so they could be safely removed. That did make her laugh.  (She older than me by several years.)   After she left for her appointment the rest of us sat at a table, taking our morning break and trying really hard not to think about the what ifs. But it’s always there, in the back of your mind…

Before we expected her, Irene was back. It wasn’t cancer. However, the tumor is the size of an orange so it will have to come out. This time the jokes about useless female body parts had humor and joy in them. She’ll be out for most of August, but that’s okay by us.

It all made me think, though. As far as we have come with the diagnosing and treatment of the various cancers, the initial reaction is still terror. Next to basil cell carcinomas and squamish cell cancers, ovarian cancer is, if caught soon enough, is one of the few cancers that are “relatively” easy to get rid of. It’s not always a death sentence anymore. But, judging by Irene’s reaction to the possibility, the “C” word still carries a lot of fear. We really need to work on that…

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