Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve hated going to the doctor’s office even though I like and have a good relationship with every last one of my doctors (I’ve known most of them for a very long time). But, there’s just something about the visit and the anticipation that makes me squirm in the waiting room seat.
So just imagine how I felt when I had to add a new doctor onto my already long list just because of this stupid mutation? Dr. Wickerham was my new doctor’s name and he was going to be my breast doctor (or, boob doctor, which is what I like to refer to him as) since he specializes in high risk patients like myself.
In all honesty, there were only two things that bothered me: 1) I didn’t know how I felt about having a man be my boob doctor and 2) None of the doctors I knew really knew Dr. Wickerham personally (which was something I wasn’t used to because my personal care doctor knows everyone and tells my mom, who works for him, about the people I would go see). But alas, the only way for me to get rid of these worries was to suck it up and go see Dr. Wickerham….not that I had a choice anyways.
I forget the exact day I went to his office, but I do remember it was the same day I got my third tattoo, so it was either the first or second week in August. I was glad that both of my parents decided to come with me to the appointment because once I saw the entrance to the Breast Care Center, I thought I was going to pass out.
Walking through the center doors, all I could think was, “This is my life now. I hope I like this doctor.” So, I signed my name on the sign in list and then went and sat down with my parents. And as I was starting to relax and joke around with them, the front desk lady called me back to put my information in the computer….and what name do you think came out of her mouth? Not Alexandria…not Alexandra… but Alexander Groves (which she still calls me). Right there, I was done and just wanted to go home. If that’s how the appointment was going to start out, I didn’t want to be present for the rest.
Thank God, soon enough, I was being hauled into the patient rooms (with my parents right behind me) by a very friendly nurse who could actually pronounce my name. She definitely was a saint compared to the front desk lady. Anyways, after the nurse put me in a room, she gave me a dressing gown, told me to only take off my shirt and bra, and said that Dr. Wickerham would be in the room momentarily.
Finally, the moment was about to arrive and I was going to meet my new doctor. In about 10 to 15 minutes, my parents and I heard a light taping on room door. We all said come in and in walked this white/gray haired older man, with a huge welcoming smile on his face. He introduced himself to us and then started asking me a bunch of questions such as where I went to school and what I majored in?
I was starting to become more relaxed and was warming up to Dr. Wickerham right then and there. He was an extremely personable doctor, which is something I love because I want to be able to connect with my doctors and have sort of a friendly relationship with them (nobody wants an asshole for a doctor). But what I especially admired about Dr. Wickerham was that he was (and still is) extremely concerned with trying to make me feel at ease about the mutation and any concerns I have about it.
When he was about to do a breast exam, even though he could draw a curtain, Dr. Wickerham had my parents step out of the room. At first, I thought it was because he was going to do an exam on my boobs, but that wasn’t just the case. The biggest reason he let my parents out of the room was because he wanted to see if I had any questions that I was afraid to ask in front of them. That right there was one of the best things a doctor had ever done for me. It really showed that he cared, not only for my physical health concerning the BRCA 2 mutation, but for my mental health concerning it as well.
Since this visit, I have seen Dr. Wickerham once in December to talk about my first MRI and its results (which I will talk about in another post). Then, I’m going to see him in June after my next MRI.
Even though I was skeptical about Dr. Wickerham in the beginning, I can now say that he is one of my favorite doctors on my list. Yes, I still think it’s a little weird to have a guy as my boob doctor but hey, he’s definitely the best in the business and he’s really nice. What more could I ask for?