Last week I had an appointment with an allergist - I am interested in getting those shots that are supposed to eventually cure you of your allergies (temporarily; apparently it's only good for 10 years). My doctor turned out to be young, gorgeous, efficient, and really nice, so while I was there, I opened up to her a little. I know I should probably not need my doctor to have any of the previously mentioned attributes in order to share information about my own health, but what can I say? I was comfortable. Anyway, I mentioned to her that my eczema had flared up a little... on my breasts? I thought she might be interested in knowing that. She didn't examine me (it was my choice: Do you want me to examine you, she asked? No, I said, because surely it's nothing!) but then she said, kind of on our way out of the room, "Not to scare you, but if you want, I can recommend you to see a dermatologist, because if it's only one breast that's affected, it could be a sign of cancer."
Sure. "Not to scare you" - as if that line ever works. After she said that, I had to think: is it just one? Or both? So since then, I have been looking at them rather intently, which is... interesting. It's not a big deal: I've had eczema for years, and this is a very mild case. A little moisturizer, and ta da! It's gone. But I commit the ultimate sin (super hot showers), so every morning I get out of the shower, and you know? There's itchiness, dryness, and it's not going away. And I am too shy to do a self-exam. I know: I'm stupid. No: I just don't want to feel something and be all, OH MY GOD I FELT A LUMP and then have to deal with the subsequent drama and calming down and panic that will involve. I'm no expert.
(Note: I think women should do their own self-exams. I've done them in the past, I will do it in the future, I'm just not crazy about it. Sure, it causes "anxiety." But some stuff you just have to shut up and do.)
After not thinking about it (yeah right) or doing anything for a couple of days, today I found this (note: this was the first link that came up, so any hysteria I'm feeling is silly and unfounded, I know).
Paget's disease. I could have it.After writing it all down and allowing myself to think about it, I felt a lot better. I talked about it to Patrick at home, and he was calm and cool and said, "Hey, just see the dermatologist, and I'm sure it's all fine, but then you can feel better." Exactly my thoughts, too, man, but this is why I married you. This morning I took a break at work and went to the car and made the phone call. I feel better already. I'll keep you posted. Or not.
Of course I probably don't, but after last year's cyst scare (that turned out to be nothing), and everything that's going on with my mom, and the fact that I uttered the words "I actually like my breasts" to somebody (karma! God is punishing me for being vain!, which is funny, because one is totally noticeably bigger than the other one... still, I like them, okay!)... I'm a little bit freaked out.
I think I will call her and ask for that referral. I really like dermatologists, anyway. They're always so clean.