Feeling great and my future career??

15 Aug

Tuesday workout:  3 mile walk, 2.5 mile run

So…hopefully my surgeon doesn’t stumble across this, because I’m technically not supposed to work out for two weeks post-op, but seriously, I feel great, and I can’t see how a light run will hurt anything.  I’d guess  that I’m probably more active at baseline than his average patient, so if the average person needs to take it easy for two weeks, it would make sense that I would need less, right?  Plus, I AM still taking it easy.  2.5 miles at a slower than normal pace for me IS taking it easy : ), and the way I look at it, if I’m a little more tired than normal because of the minor blood loss during surgery, it’s no different than working out at a high altitude.  Both situations are just training your body to adjust to less oxygen carrying capability.

I ended up getting to actually enjoy some of the weekend with my parents, who had come up for the surgery, even though they apparently didn’t really need to.  Saturday morning I was feeling well enough to venture out for a late brunch, and Sunday we went to church, went on a Goose Island Brewery Tour (I hardly drank any beer though…it was more for my parents to experience it), and walked around by the lake for a little bit.  I still did take it easy, though….there was a fair amount of (for me) sitting around and sleeping on the couch while watching tv.

Me and Dean at Publican for brunch with my parents on Saturday morning.

My wonderful parents with us at brunch, who drove up from Kansas City to be with me for my surgery.

After brunch we went grocery shopping for dinner. Apparently when you have surgery, your whole weekend centers around eating. haha. For those of you not from Chicago, Stanley’s has the most amazing, most cheap produce ever. I’ve been bragging about this place to my parents, and so they wanted to see this place in person. Broccoli anyone??

My dad couldn’t believe the size of the sweet potatoes there. haha.

My surgeon said that most people need a week off from work, and that at the earliest I could consider returning to work Wednesday, so I went back today.

I am done with working in the ED until November….thank goodness!!!   It was so busy and hectic, and I am so glad to be on a normal sleep schedule again and thus a much less angry, short-tempered person!

I am now on Breast Imaging, which involves reading mammograms, breast MRIs, doing ultrasounds, and biopsying breast tissue that could potentially be malignant.  I’ve only been back for one day, and I had forgotten how much I really enjoy this area of radiology!  When I decided to apply for residency in radiology after debating between radiology and a surgical field, I knew that I’d want to remain in an area of radiology that had both people contact and procedures involved….yes, there are radiologists who do much more than just sit in a dark room!!   The two areas of radiology with the most patient contact are breast imaging and interventional radiology (IR), which I’m currently debating between.  For those of you not familiar with interventional radiology, it’s an area of radiology that uses imaging to guide you through a procedure, so in an essence, you can kind of think of it like doing a minimally invasive surgery/procecure.

I like IR, because I love doing procedures.  The days just go by so fast, and I love the satisfaction of seeing a problem and being able to address it and fix it right then and there.  That is very satisfying to me.  I like being able to SEE the results of my actions.  A lot of IR patients, though, are very, very sick, and your interactions with them are different than the ones you have with the patients you see in breast imaging.  In breast imaging, a certain number of patients may get called back from their screening mammogram to get additional images if the radiologist potentially sees something.  The breast imager sees each of the women who get called back, often scans them herself, and then tells them their results.  It’s a very understandably nervracking experience for the patient, and I for whatever reason feel very comfortable being in the role of the physician in these circumstances.  I love being able to deliver the good news to them that there’s nothing to worry about.  You can literally see all the worry and anxiety melt away from them, and it’s such a great feeling knowing that you just made their day by delivering to them the good news.  On the flip side, though, you of course have to be able to tell them news that potentially may not be good.  That is never easy, but at least you are hopefully making a difference in their life by finding a cancer in its early stages BEFORE it spreads, and that is wonderful thing if you are able to do that for them!

So anyway, I have to make a decision pretty soon about my future career!  Eek!

Some of my prior posts that I wrote last year when I was on my breast imaging rotation:

4/5/11:  Terminal Cancer at 32.  Thoughts about what it is like to have terminal cancer.  This was written while on my breast imaging rotation.  I was struck by how many young people get cancer and by the pain they must endure.

4/13/11:  Telling a patient she has cancer: Delivering bad news and how different people respond to fear.


Additional pics from the past several days:

My mom LOVES the city view from North Avenue Beach, which is where I took this pic on Sunday.

Dean and I took my parents to Goose Island Brewery for lunch on Sunday. My mom is not much of a beer drinker. I insisted that she should try and would love Matilda, but in case you can’t tell, she wasn’t too impressed.

We took the brewery tour for $10, which ended with a guided beer tasting. Totally worth it! I didn’t finish any of my samples, though, but it was fun to at least try a sip of each. I may have to do this again when I’m not two days post op!

My dad and Dean at the beer tasting after the tour.

My dad and Dean deep in thought after tasting one of the beers. They take the beer tasting very seriously!

My mom and I.

6 Responses to “Feeling great and my future career??”

  1. Losing Lindy August 15, 2012 at 7:26 pm #

    you are such a combo of your parents, I can’t decide you look more like.

    I am glad you are feeling great!

  2. runningthewindycity August 15, 2012 at 7:43 pm #

    How good is brunch at Publican? Amazing!

  3. Kristy Hill (@KristyH5) August 15, 2012 at 9:18 pm #

    glad to hear you are feeling great!!! I love Goose Island Matilda!

  4. LTaylor August 20, 2012 at 11:18 pm #

    I hope you consider staying in breast mammography. I am a two year survivor of stage 3 breast cancer: I had just turned 40, married my soulemate and wham – full blown cancer the day before thanksgiving…. It was hard to hear the news yes, especially by myself But it would have been a thousand times worse if I had been treated like a fragile piece of glass. Telling people bad news , said with empathy compassion and strength can will bring you respect. Encouragement decency and confidence. Do not choose your rotation based upon how many negative conversations you will have to endure – choose the rotations based on how many lives you get to show your love to. A handshake. A hug. A smile. The deli v that you give so she knows you’re coming back …. Maybe with ice cream . The doctor that stays emotionally attached is remembered in only one of two ways when he dies: 1- a cold old man who would crack a smile or pat your back for nothin: probably thought he’d catch a flu and died if he touched a sick person. Must have been why he never acknowledged me….
    Or two- always paperwork. Don’t they have nurses for that? I’ve been in my hospital room for three week and he’s seen me for 10 minutes. What besides paperwork is more important than me getting home today ?

    • LTaylor August 20, 2012 at 11:19 pm #

      Err the doctor who stays unattached

    • Julia August 25, 2012 at 8:26 pm #

      Thank you so much for your comment. I’m so sorry about all you’ve gone through. It breaks my heart when anyone has to deal with cancer, but especially someone so young as yourself. You made a statement that was really fabulous and really affected me: Do not choose your rotation based upon how many negative conversations you will have to endure – choose the rotations based on how many lives you get to show your love to. Wow. I am writing that one down. Thanks for sharing that with me! I have decided to apply for a breast imaging rotation in a large part because of the potential impact I can hopefully have on other women by helping catch cancer at an early stage and for hopefully being able to carry them through their diagnosis in a compassionate way.

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