What they really mean 1

I’ve been waiting to post a long list of medical euphemisms. But today, when I came across the last in this list, I just couldn’t wait:

“Well-tolerated” – You won’t die. But that doesn’t mean you won’t suffer.

“Exision cavity” – That hole where they cut out a piece of your breast.

“Re-exision” – They’re going to cut some more of your breast away.

“Infusion Center” – Place where they drip poison into your veins so that the cancer doesn’t come back.

“Cranial prosthesis” – A wig that the insurance company will pay for.

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About leftbreast

I have had breast cancer. I was diagnosed at 47, and am now 49. I have finished "active treatment," two surgeries, chemo, radiation, monoclonal antibodies. These days, I only take a drug to suppress my uptake of estrogen, since my tumor was highly reactive to that hormone. I have been married to my husband Pete for 21 years. I have a stepdaughter, Maureen, 30, and a daughter, Erin, 10. I've been a freelance magazine journalist for 20-plus years, covering everything from Chinese foreign policy to Catholic nuns to endangered species. I have had a great life. I have lived in Asia and all over the United States. I have spent nights with tree-sitters in Oregon and with astronomers at the Mauna Kea observatory in Hawaii. I've been to a cocktail party on the poopdeck of a British destroyer docked in Shanghai. I've taken the bus to Tibet, and tramped through the cloud forests of Panama with biologists. A magazine sent me on a raft trip down the Colorado through the Grand Canyon; another sent me to cooking school for a week. I have spent time with celebrities, presidents and heroin dealers. I love my work. I have a loving, supportive family and more friends than I probably deserve. I have had the space and time to camp, ski, cycle, garden, cook and spoil my pets (an Australian shepherd, a German shepherd and a tabby cat). If it all ended tomorrow, I would have to say that it has been a really, really good ride. When I was in thick of treatment, I was simply fighting for more time. Now, I'm trying to connect the experience of cancer with the rest of my life, with the time that's been won. I hope the cancer never comes back, but if it does, I'll be ready. That's what this blog is about.
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2 Responses to What they really mean 1

  1. Catherine says:

    Ha ha–UHC would not pay for my $300 cranial prosthesis. But I know someone else whose insurance paid for her $4000 (human hair) cranial prosthesis.

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