Monday, October 23, 2006

Birad 3 

Okay, let's start this out by going right to the bottom line - I'm probably fine. What's that you say? That's not much of an assurance? Yeah, that's how I feel.

I had a routine screening mammogram earlier this month. They said if there were any questions or issues, they'd call me by the end of that week. Otherwise I'd get a letter in the mail. The end of that week and the next week went by, so I thought, "Great - see you next year."

Last Tuesday morning, however, I got a call from a cheery appointment scheduler who informed me that they need me to come back in "for a few more views," and who then asked if I could come in that afternoon. I looked at my schedule and saw that we had a company-wide monthly meeting scheduled at that time, so I asked when else I could come in. The following Tuesday afternoon. Immediately after hanging up, I realized that there was no way in hell that I wanted to wait a week before going back, so I told my boss the situation and that I'd rather get it done that day. His response: "You think?" He then told me not to even think about the corporate meeting and to call and get that day's appointment.

So off I go that afternoon. They redo the basic poses and contortions of the screening session, but just on the left side. Wait in the waiting room, still adorned in my lovely hospital gown over jeans, while the radiologist looks at the new films (these are all digital, so the radiologist can view them right away). Back in - they need some more views, smaller paddles, more contorted positions, more discomfort. Wait in the waiting room, still adorned in my lovely hospital gown over jeans. Now my mind is starting to wander, making what if plans.

Whoops - here comes someone else. She explains that there was a small something one view from my screening mammo, but that it didn't show on the first repeat set. However, a different small something showed on one of the first views of that day, which is why the additional contortions on the second set that day. The second something didn't show up on the second set that day, so now I had to follow her over to the Ultrasound waiting room, adorned in my lovely hospital gown over jeans.

Sitting in the Ultrasound waiting room, I'm making more detailed what if plans in my head. Each time during my visit that someone came over to me and didn't tell me everything was fine I was moving closer to freaking out.

Finally the ultrasonographer escorts me into the room and onto the table. I got placed on my back but with a cushion propping up my left side so that I was leaning towards the equipment, with my left arm behind my head the whole time. And it was quite a while. She moved that wand all over the place, at different angles, with different pressures - you get the picture. She finally explained that I have lots of densities going on, which is why they needed to get the ultrasound view. After a while she finally stopped and said she would go chat with the radiologist and see if he needed to come take a look himself.

I'm still on the exam table, with a towel draped over my chest, and with my mind now going into overdrive on such topics as who will help us move, when are exams over, can this (whatever it is) wait until the semester's done, what about next semester- will that be impacted, what's the short term disability at my office, it's fine, it's fine...

In comes the radiologist, who repeats the whole ultrasound exam himself. Finally he tells me that I have "busy breasts," - yes, that's the exact phrase he used - which makes it hard to get a clear picture on the mammogram sometimes. He then explained about the original 4mm vague opacity on the screening mammo, and the subsequent 3mm vague opacity on the first set of follow ups, and the lack of either on the second set. He's categorizing me as a birad 3, which means it's probably benign but I should come back in 6 months for another mammo on the left side only.

So, I'm probably fine. But I made my 6 month appointment (to the day) before I left the building.

Posted by Beth Henderson at 11:20 PM
Friday, October 13, 2006

Great email! Oh, wait... 

At the end of my last class last night, around 9:00 pm, I checked my email with my Palm.  The Palm will download part of the email and then ask if you want to get the rest, but usually what has been downloaded is enough for me to get the idea.  One of the emails had a wonderful message.  "Here is your mortgage commitment letter."  Yahoo!  We've got final approval!  We had been "preapproved," but that is an initial statement that the mortgage company feels they will in all likelihood approve you, but they then have to extract every last bit of proof of your existence and financial history from your current and previous 10 lives. 

This morning I logged onto Comcast and opened the attachment so I could look over the entire letter.  Blah, blah, blah, standard, standard, standard… Wait – what?  For this commitment letter to be valid, it must be signed by the borrowers and returned to the mortgage company by October 12, 2006.  That was yesterday.  I received the freaking email on the run at 9:00 pm on the night they expected it signed and faxed back? 

I left voicemail and email for the broker, who specifically wrote, "Call me if you have any questions," but have not yet heard back.  We're doing the whole process where I print it, sign it, fax it to The Girl, who prints it, signs it and faxes it to them.  I'd just like some confirmation that it's still valid.

In other news, we got our first quote from movers.  This one's from the company we used in our last move – they had the best price and were very friendly and efficient.  The Girl walked the guy through the apartment, while he commented on the fact that we indeed have "a lot" of stuff.  He also started preparing her for the fact that this would be a very long moving day, and that we need to accelerate our packing if we're going to be ready.  He said because we have a lot of antiques, we'd be best with two trucks so they wouldn't have to jam pack one truck. 

Estimated moving costs: Two trucks, four guys, 12-14 hours, 2600 bucks.

Getting away from adolescent thugs and trashy neighbors: Priceless.

Posted by Beth Henderson at 11:26 AM
Monday, October 09, 2006

Fall Foliage Tour 2006 

18 Road from Inn 10_7_06
Originally uploaded by RSLS.
We hopped in the car Friday night and headed to Harrison, Maine and an inn where we had made reservations a couple of months ago, prior to the whole house-buying adventure. We had gorgeous weather, in the mid-60s, and peak foliage. Click the picture of the inn road to go to the photoset. View each photo individually to get the commentary.

Posted by Beth Henderson at 5:26 PM
Friday, October 06, 2006

Locked In 

We've signed the P&S papers – four identical packs of about a dozen pages each.  Sign here, initial here, sign and date here, sign here, initial here.  Initial up here where your address listed is the one you moved out of over three years ago so we'll just cross it out and write in your current address it's okay don't worry about it just initial the change…

The good news is that this weekend we're getting away for a fall foliage weekend in southern Maine.  The bad news is that since we're buying a house, this will be our last getaway forever.  Okay, for a while anyway.

Posted by Beth Henderson at 3:46 PM
Thursday, October 05, 2006

Write It Up, Mildred! 

We've ironed out all the needed repairs with the seller.  They've already fixed the master bathroom vent so it's venting through the roof (rather than having the duct simply lie on the insulation in the attic…), replaced the rotted woodwork at a corner of the kitchen slider, had the furnace serviced, fixed the nonworking burner on the stove and have had new electrical outlets installed for the garage door openers (no more extension cords across the ceiling).  They are also doing the chimney and damper repairs (we're adding the weather cap and down the road will have a new liner put in – cha-ching).  The chimney work will need to be put into the P&S as a condition.  AND they're crediting us $750 towards fixing the windows and siding – also need to adjust the P&S for this.

We're booking the contractor for the windows and a couple of little things we're taking care of, so the work can be done between closing and move-in, and we're getting the details to our attorney (Mildred) for the P&S changes. 

Signing the P&S tomorrow!

Posted by Beth Henderson at 10:03 AM
Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Even Better 

I've been worried about the house purchase hitting the skids in relation to getting some of the repairs done, or at least that we'd be entering another round of negotiations, for which I just don't have the energy.  It's okay, and now I'm actually letting myself get a little excited about the whole idea – the sellers are "taking care" of some of our specified repair items themselves.  We'll be getting a clause in the P&S about these repairs, so we don't end up with something like the windows they replaced…

Posted by Beth Henderson at 3:59 PM

Good News on the Home Repair Front 

We got our quotes for the big "need to fix" items for the house, and the total is a lot less than we feared, especially given the issue with the sills on nine windows.  The total is just under $2500.  We still have to get a quote from the chimney sweep, but the contractor did give us his estimate for the chimney work.  Once the sweep comes out tomorrow, we'll be checking with the sellers to see if they're willing to pay for at least some of the repairs (especially the windows, since they hyped the "new windows" aspect but it's going to cost us $1350 to fix their new windows).  Between you and me, this is such a low number that if it comes down to it we can just eat it as a cost of home ownership, but we thought it was worth throwing out to see if they nibble a bit. 

I'll feel much better once it's settled and we've all signed the P&S, which is due by Friday.

Posted by Beth Henderson at 10:24 AM