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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Congratulations, You're Not Pregnant!

I think I've had more pregnancy tests in the last two years than pizzas. (And trust me, I eat a lot of pizza.)

When I was younger this would have been fine. Good even. I spent many years being terrified of getting pregnant. (I think we've all played that "Where's my period??" game.)  

But now I find it pretty annoying. Everyone's super concerned with the state of my uterus. To the point where I had to talk about condoms in front of my mom at my first onco appointment. As a 28 year old, I was no less horrified than when I would have been at 12.

It doesn't matter if I am in chemopause, or if I tell my doctor I haven't had sex in approximately 3,000 years: I'm getting the damn test. My first day of radiation my treatment was delayed a few hours because of pregnancy test mayhem.

Once, before one of my ER surgeries, I was administered a $99 pee-on-a-stick pregnancy test. Um, there's a Duane Reade like across the street, guys. We don't even have to buy the generic brand or clip a coupon to get a better deal.

(Speaking of pee tests, can someone please invent a better way for women to pee in a cup? I can't be the only one trembling with fear that I'm going to drop the cup in the toilet and pee all over my hand.)

I guess what bothers me is the implication of all these tests. That what, if the test is positive, that I overhaul my treatment plan, or cease treatment all together, for the fetus? Because that's not what I would do. It just isn't. But I feel like that's the expectation.

I know there are medical reasons why they obsessively test for pregnancy. But the little blue plus or minus is a loaded thing for anyone. What if I wanted to get pregnant, and every negative nest felt like another failure? I don't know. They're just so cavalier about it. But the medical community is cavalier about a lot of things. Like the time when Matt's oncologist laughed when I asked about clinical trials. (There were posters all over the hospital - "Ask about a clinical trial!") Like he actually laughed in my face. Ugh. Going down a bad road here.

ANYWAY, please be more sensitive about pregnancy tests all doctors everywhere k thanks bye.

8 comments:

  1. It's a matter of prioritizing. Some do not want to get pregnant young, some women at their later years want it so bad. And I understand how you feel as someone who's longing to become a parent. How’s your test, by the way? I believe you have to talk with your doctors, especially your OB-Gyne, for possible solutions for your pregnancy. Good luck! :)

    Adam Heller

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    1. Thanks :) Pregnancy is not actually an issue for me (not something we want) but it is for so many young women I know.

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  2. Oh man, I'm really sorry you had to talk about condoms in front of Mom.

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    1. Ugh I know. Basically the worst part of having cancer.

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  3. They're cavalier because you are a "patient" and not a person. A "28 yr old woman who presented with blah blah blah", not Emily, the young writer who has breast cancer.
    Sorry you are being pestered with ridiculously overpriced tests - sorry about the 3000 year dry spell (same here, by the way, but too embarrassed to talk to my oncologist about it!) and sorry about chemopause. I hated my period when i had it, and now wonder every day if it will come back. Because as crappy as periods are, it would be a sign of still being young and healthy.

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    1. YES 10000%%%%.
      I'm sorry you're still in chemopause. :( Mine has come back. I was so happy when I got debilitating cramps again. I am totally serious, and completely afraid of real menopause now.

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  4. They made ME take one before they would do a CT scan last week (everything is fine!!) and I was like, you guys. That would literally be an act of god.

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    1. Who knows? The Angel Olive might have whispered something in your ear. You could be pregnant with immaculately conceived cat-human hybrids.

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