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Shelly H., SC

Today I had a fine needle and core biopsy on lymph nodes above my collarbone. I'll be waiting for the pathology results, probably 4 to 5 days, but what's the rush? I asked for the x-ray because I wasn't bouncing back from a URI about a month a go like I usually do. If lung cancer screening guidelines were being followed, I certainly met the criteria as an ex-smoker for a screening CT, but haven't even had an x-ray for over 10 years, but the pap smears and mammograms. Yee haw! During the biopsy, the pathologist, as she was holding the syringe to pull the samples from the ultrasound guided FNB being performed by the radiologist asked me, "Do you smoke?" Trying not to move, I said shamefully, "I did." Next time a health care professional asks me this question, I think I will say, "Why yes, since you are so concerned in the cause of my disease, I did smoke; but I really think it was my bestiality practices with puppies, kittens and goldfish that make me feel like I and my loved ones really deserve this disease, don't you agree?" Please don't hold it against me and give me good care anyway." I'll come up with something kinder to say in response, but today is the last time I'll say quietly and shamefully, "I did." when someone who is supposed to be providing my health care asks me if I smoke. My PET scan doesn't look good, radiologist said findings "compatible with at least Stage 3B disease". Guess I won't have to worry about retirement.

First Published: May 9, 2014

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