My husband, the breast cancer nerd

In case any of you thought my husband was just a loving dad, a funny guy, a regular old sports affectionado - nope! Lately my overwhelming thought about Bill is that he has become a cancer nerd. (I hate the term "nerd" or "geek", having prided myself on high academic performance in the past...but what other term could I use here? I don't want to say "intellectual", though he is a smart guy, I don't think he would call himself that yet. If after reading this post, you have a good term for me, send it my way!)

Here are some things which have alerted me to this new status:
  1. I once called him (at work?) and he was listening in on a conference call about the latest in triple-negative breast cancer research.
  2. He is calling and emailing top researchers and using their first names when discussing them - "Constantine said this," etc.
  3. He made me pick up extra copies of all of my pathology reports, purely out of academic interest (so my oncologist said...). I thought it was facinating to know the size of my ovaries, the length of my tubes, etc. (and to note that they were totally cancer-free!). He is practically combing the report for interesting facts, though.
  4. He is making spreadsheets about the optimal vitamin/supplement regime I should be following...not calling them vitamins or supplements, though, calling them CAMs (Complementary Alternative Medicines).
  5. He likes to be at every oncologist appointment - mine or his mother's. He emails me a lengthy list of questions if he can't be there. Today he wanted to know about Lympocytic Infiltrate in my breast tumor and Central Fibrosis in the tumor. Dr. Margolis again feels that these are purely academic questions, (driven from hours of research) as I am "cured" and shouldn't need to know this. Already all of our MDs have asked us what our professions are because we tend to use medical terminology for everything. No, it is not professional. We are purely amateur cancer geeks (and mostly he is, I just do what he tells me to do, and if I want to learn more, I ask him).
SO, should you ever find yourself with the BRCA-1 genetic defect (you probably won't, I've seen numbers as low as 3.3% of people diagnosed with breast cancer have the BRCA-1 or BRCA-2 genetic defect), or should you find yourself with triple negative (ER-, PR-, HER2-) breast cancer, (also less likely, only 15% of breast cancers), and you want to become drunk with information, call my husband.

Breast cancer research is his favorite hobby!


Anonymous said...

Bill, you are AWESOME!!!! Also, the Johnson Nature Center is RIGHT BY MY HOUSE, so let me know the next time you guys head out there. Patrick and Erin love it there too!!!


Tara said...

Small world, Pam. Dr. Margolis is one of my mom's main doctors and her favorite!

Anonymous said...

I love ur husband. mine is also a cancer geek I guess....cuz he does the same thing. he made me a binder of all my medical crap, with color coded tabs and everything. our drs. are always really impressed with it
lori b