called the breast center at the hospital where i had my thyroidectomy, recommended to me recently by a recent survivor. they don't do biopsy. got transferred to their associated radiology clinic, they wanted me to give them specifics about the requested procedure that i could not give without looking at the database i'm pretty sure they were looking at while we talked. got transferred to a different branch. they were confused about different things. got transferred, finally, to the branch i don't exactly want to do a biopsy at but fine, if they can get me in and we can get this over with so i can maybe start living in my body again some time in the foreseeable future? but apparently, this isn't just something you can just schedule? you have to talk to the clinic's "biopsy coordinator."
she was in a meeting.
the scheduling person requested i call back in a half hour. i asked which number i should call and she told me, "oh, just the one you called originally." not able to keep the sob out of my voice any longer, i said okay and hung up without explaining i had no fucking idea what that number was, as i'd been transferred more times than years i've been alive and i just really want to get this fucking thing scheduled before i go catatonic about it, which is a real risk, here.
forty-five minutes later i called the phone number posted on the webpage for my not-first choice branch and found myself explaining the whole situation* again to a new scheduling person on the clinic's general scheduling line. after waiting on hold for several minutes, i was told the coordinator would be in tomorrow morning at seven and requested i call back then. i should just use that same phone number, because their branch
have a direct line.
i mean... what.
so yeah, that's not... making me feel like this is a normal thing that almost every woman goes through at least once, maybe more than once, and it's almost always "totally fine." i'm finding that this is what a lot of women cancer patients are told, it's almost always totally fine, until we are told we have cancer.**
correction: it's how a lot of women cancer patients are handled.
and i'm sick of it. i am so fucking sick of being handled as a woman cancer patient. i am so fucking sick of being minimized and marginalized by the only institution i can turn to for accountable help. talk to me about what is happening. tell me what is actually going on. don't shove a bunch of pink "awareness" crap over the documentation of what is going on in my body. and let me schedule the fucking appointment you told me it was no big deal to schedule with less than four calls in under two days, dig?
* the whole situation being: "hello, scheduling person. i need to schedule a biopsy."
**then we don't have any tools to deal with the reality of our not totally fine situation, because almost everybody in our immediate experience, friends! family! doctors! only ever tell you, only ever insist on believing themselves, that it will be totally fine, which is more handling. sometimes it isn't totally fine, sometimes it's totally horrible, and what would actually be helpful for us to hear (from the people who love us, so long as they mean it) is no matter what happens, i love you and will be here for you.