Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Two Accomplishments

Today I met with my new GP, Dr Alison Kneisel at One Sky Wellness Center. I have needed to establish a relationship with a primary care physician for, oh, ever since I left grad school and no longer had access to the student clinic. So, almost a decade. The main reason I haven't done this is that, during that past decade, I've been pretty well taken care of by oncologists, with rarely much of a breather between bouts of cancer treatment. And frankly, a little bit of a cold doesn't even register on my illness-to-wellness scale.

I've had these scaly patches on my lower legs for long enough now to bother me though (I'd say about 3 months), and not only are they itchily, drive-you-insane annoying, they are also unsightly. The unsightliness hasn't mattered much here in Seattle where fall is in full (and today, gloriously sunny and crimson and gold) sway, but Ian and I are heading to Chile for 8 days at the end of November and it's late spring there—i.e. short skirt weather—and I'm vain. And so, circumstances finally built up enough pressure for me to search out a doctor. Dr Specht is great and all, but her focus is on saving my life, not my narcissism.

Another reason I haven't searched out a GP is that, in my lull times, I've been superstitiously sure that anything an allopath can tell me about myself is going to be cancer. And, that's been true for the last ten years, so my fears in that vein have been pretty well realized. Anyway, as I said, itchiness, vanity, and the knowledge that Dr Specht has crises to deal with and someone else can cover my minor annoyances, finally came to a head and today I saw a new GP. Accomplishment One.

Accomplishment Two: The scaly patches on my legs ARE NOT CANCER. They are eczema, or a slight yeast infection, and they will most likely go away with the assiduous application of a prescription steroid cream. They may be related to the cancer indirectly—in that my body may have been more susceptible because of all the torture and drama it's dealt with over the last 17 months or so—but that is all. They are a normal, run-of-the-mill, itchy inconvenience.

Release breath.

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