An envelope arrives from UCSF this morning.
Envelopes are always arriving from UC: Please fill out a survey about your recent visit to clinic X. Please pay that co-pay you forgot to pay on your last visit. Here’s a summary of your latest charges. Don’t forget this month’s events at the Cancer Resource Center! I don’t always open the envelopes. They tend to pile up.
This one looks like any other. For some reason, I open it: “Your recent left breast diagnostic mammography examination showed no features of breast cancer…”
Then, the UC lawyers have the clinic add a lot of caveats: Mammograms don’t show all cancers…be sure to come back in six months…call us in the unlikely event you feel a lump…keep in touch with your doctor.
When I was newly diagnosed, the nurses and nurse practitioners used to call me. Then, it seemed there were so many calls that I began to number them on this blog.
Now, we’re back to letters. The last time I got a letter that was this momentous was the certified letter the radiologist’s office sent me in July 2010 that my biopsy showed CANCER and that, if my internist had not yet told me, I should probably hightail it to a breast cancer center.
I think of the letters as brackets: The first divided my life before cancer from my life with cancer; this latest marks a division between cancer treatment and everything that comes after. Onward.