Friday, April 06, 2007


Ach, another busy week. Here's some tidbits:

1. I went to see the dermatologist to look at a "funny looking" mole. (It turned out to be a benign fibroid.) But, the nurse during the check-in conversation said the doctor would like to do a full-body mole check, would I please disrobe and put this flimsy paper gown on? Boy, was I glad I shaved that morning and put on my pretty underwear!

2. I went to a different pet store to get Anna's toad more crickets. These look identical to the previous batch (same price, 10 cents each). But these are the loudest crickets I've ever heard. I bought them right before a meeting at work, and they chirped away while we ate lunch and talked. One of the other doctors thought it sounded nice, like auditory aromatherapy. It does kinda sound outdoorsy, but when it's in your house, it just sounds like an annoying cricket in the wall. And 10 of his closest friends. They are loud, and stinky, and cannabalistic with a penchant for suicide by drowning.

3. Anna had a picture chosen to be published in our tiny regional newspaper. Several students' pictures were featured with the title, "What do you want to be when you grow up." Anna's picture features a girl with exuberant yellow curls feeding a fish to a black and white orca. "I want to be a killer whale trainer," it says in well-formed kindergardener letters. We are so proud of her.

4. Francesca loves our home, but she likes to escape. Colin often assists her in this, leaving the back fence gate wide open. Today, as Anthony put mulch in the yard, he saw the dog come streaking across the front yard. Fortunately, the pizza delivery girl was arriving, and Francesca made a bee-line to sniff her, so Anthony caught her easily. He turned around to see Colin sticking his head out the front door.

"Why did you let Francesca out, buddy?" Anthony asked him.

"Daddy, I saw the pizza car!" He recognized the pizza chain logo on top of the Honda, and opened the front door wide.

5. One of my favorite patients, who has been in cancer remission for a year, seems to have a recurrence in his bladder (previous cancer was in his lymph nodes - lymphosarcoma). His owners love him dearly, and had previously decided not to do a second round of chemotherapy if his cancer recurred. But, this possible cancer is causing him symptoms like a bladder infection - frequent urination, straining, urgency. We aren't sure it is the cancer without a biopsy. Biopsy means invasive abdominal surgery. Is surgery worth it if they aren't going to do more chemo? What if its a different disease process, or different cancer? Would they be willing to try partial chemo? They love the dog so much, but realize quantity of life is not the same as quality of life. The quality of his life right now is good (pee issues aside), and they don't want to say goodbye. They struggle to make the right decisions for their dear dog, and I struggle to advise them, based on my limited knowledge, previous experience, and consults with other doctors.


A.Norma. said... wondering here why you had to disrobe???? and did the Doctor find any?? :o) I have been thinking of having a mole(flesh coloured one) removed from my lip (left side) as my face has dropped. ya know like faces do when one gets is nearly IN my mouth hahaha but Noel said "don't bother cos I don't notice it" I just had to laugh ...shows how much he looks at my face,huh,Ladies? I believe they bleed a lot when cut off (the root I suppose) anyway I would like some opinions ,please...

Jennifer said...

I think if the mole is growing, bothers you, or makes the doctor think it needs biopsying, then it needs to come off. If not, you can leave it alone!

A.Norma. said...

Thanks, gave me the same advice for the Dog!! she has lost weight (intentionally) and still the horrid fatty lump is there waggling under her chin..poor thing..only person it bothers is ME! xx

Emily said...

Tough call on your patient. (last bit)

I'd love to see Anna's drawing. Can you scan it in or send us a link to the paper's site?

Laura said...

You know, I have to do those all over checks with the dermatologist annually. Lucky thing, too: otherwise I might never shave in the winter!