Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Free Money!

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, wanna get some fast cash? Well, if you're lucky enough, you too can get breast cancer and spend a day at the hospital getting felt up. But, at the end of it, someone asks you to sign something to be a part of a "Research Study" and BAM! One fresh benjamin, a part of it to be spent on the parking.

Intrigued? I spent my day at Northwestern Hospital. I have decided that suburban hospitals are fine and all, but I thought maybe my alma mater needed another couple hundred grand of my money. Oh, wait, my insurance company's money. Not that it was my money when I went to Northwestern. Thanks Mom and Dad. Northwestern is home to a fancy schmancy breast center so I had some consults.

Other than stifling the urge to scream, "Go Cats!" in the waiting room and then look around like I had no idea where it came from, it was a pretty uneventful but long and good day. I got another ultrasound- more gel. At least 6 different people touched me up. The joys of being at a big research hospital is that I saw research fellows, residents, teaching sessions, some guy training to be a plastic surgeon who looks not a day over 25- all of these were a part of my day. The people there are awesome. Really helpful, really knowledgable. The fertility doctor we met with was like the really cool uncle. Fertility doctor you say? Yep, one really shitty side effect of chemo is that I may go in to menopause.. so boys and girls, just like Kendall in All My Children, I am going to get pumped full of hormones and have my eggs harvested (actually, she only carried her best friend's baby which turned out to be her own... long story). Alan's part of the process is way easier. Anyone got a magazine? I will write more about this whole extravaganza another time. It's one of the more depressing aspects of this journey.

I did, however, schedule my first and hopefully only surgery. I'm going under the knife a week from Friday, on March 10. We're doing a lumpectomy and a lymph node biopsy. Hoepfully this will be all I need. There is still a possibility that I could need a mastectomy later, but we won't know how agressive we need to be until they analyze the tumor itself. Sometime in the next few days we will all sit down and have a science lesson as I teach you about Maria my tumor, types of breast cancer and all the determining factors in my treatment. Bring a notebook and a pencil.

So what about the cash you ask? This is where it's fun. At the aforementioned fancy schmancy hospital, they do a lot of research. So I was asked to be a part of some study where they take samples of my tumor and study it. Sure, I say- it's not like I want to keep it. The one with the cash, however, is a study on "information and communication." What does it entail? Alan and I talking for about 8 minutes today with some chick about what info we wish we had, what we cared about, etc. For this 8 minutes, we got $100. Then they call us a few times over treatment and give us another $100 at the end.

Hey, I got to show my tits and make $100. And I didn't even have to go to New Orleans to do it. What'd you do today?


Chris said...

I got A's in all my high school science classes. I was even a tutor for a while. Maybe Maria and I can study for these tests together...like a study group. If we get her ready, she can totally ace that biopsy. And I promise not to feel her up on the study breaks.

Anonymous said...

At least we don't have to learn about physics...I hate physics. As for the magazines...I have a sneaking suspicion that Alan doesn't want mine...if, however, he ever changes his mind, not only can I help him out, but you guys my get a spot on Oprah.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great deal, Courtney. Where can I get some tits?