Say Cheese

12 Dec

Today I visited my dentist’s office. Not my favorite place to be, but it was just a routine cleaning and check-up. I didn’t even get nervous.

After the X-rays were taken, I followed the dental assistant down the hall. I glanced at the “No Cavities” bulletin board displayed in the hallway. Somewhere in that sea of smiling faces were pictures of my three kids. I like that. But I think that maybe there should also be a “No crowns or root canals” board. That’s where I’d like to see my smiling face.

The hygienist got me situated in the dental chair and fastened a paper bib around my neck. Then she handed me a clipboard with my medical health history form and asked me to update it if necessary and then sign it.

I so clearly remember when the same thing happened five years ago…

When the hygienist handed me the clipboard five years ago, I was quick to find the line where I needed to sign my name, just as I had done many times in previous years. But then I paused, realizing that this time a significant update was necessary. I looked back over the form, and for a long time, I stared at the box that I needed to check. The one next to the word “cancer.”

Stupid tears had filled my eyes as I handed the clipboard back to the hygienist.

“You okay?” she had asked.

And I had nodded, pretending that checking the cancer box hadn’t been incredibly difficult.

Today, I realized that yet another update needed to be made on my medical health history form. Finding the medication section, I took my pen and crossed out the nasty word “Tamoxifen.”

Then I went back and crossed it out two or three more times.

With a smile, I handed the clipboard back to the hygienist. This was one of the good days. No cavities. No crowns or root canals. And no more Tamoxifen.

Somewhere, if only in my mind, there has got to be a “No Tamoxifen” bulletin board. And you can be sure that my picture is on it.

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