I had to take Freckle Face to the doctor yesterday. Oh, it was nothing major, and I actually like his pediatrician. She is a down-to-earth, no-nonsense doctor. She doesn’t know us very well because we don’t go often.
Anyway, for whatever reason, she couldn’t access his health history, so we had to go over the whole thing again. She wanted to know his grandparent’s health. So, we went down the line, and when I got to my parents I said, “My dad has RA, and my mom died of gallbladder cancer last year.”
It caught her off guard. I could see it. She sucked in her breath. She didn’t look over at me, but she said, “That’s unusual.”
She is not the first doctor that has said this to me. I can think of three others off the top of my head. It always catches them off guard.
I have a friend who is a doctor. We were talking about it one time, and he told me that doctors are trained to look for the usual. He said they are told that when they are looking at horses, they should not try to find the zebra.
My mom was the zebra.
I think when I tell doctors about my mom, they are always surprised to hear about a zebra.
This is why gallbladder cancer is always caught late. Why it is always fatal. Gallbladder cancer manifests itself as so many other things, so by the time they look for it, it is too late. I suppose it makes sense. Only about 7,000 people in the US are diagnosed with gallbladder cancer every year making it a rare cancer. Compare that with 220,000 women who are diagnosed with breast cancer. You can see why no one looks for it.
Anyway, it just struck a nerve with me. Rare things are only rare if you don’t get them.
It is too bad that mom doesn’t get some kind of award for being the zebra. That would have been nice. She did always like to be unique. Nice job, Mom.