Friday, May 6, 2011

How I got the news . . .

On Friday, May 6, 2011, I received the news that I have breast cancer. I had found a lump about a week earlier and my Dr. thought it was likely a cyst but sent me in for a mammogram and ultra sound just to be sure. After the mammogram, as I sat there waiting for the ultra sound, I noticed the pink ribbons decorating the room. It creeped me out a little - I felt that I didn't belong there, the Dr. said things would be fine, right?

After what seemed like forever waiting there, they finally called me in and introduced me to the "Nurse Navigator". She was very nice but I thought, why do I need a Nurse Navigator for a cyst? The Radiologist then proceeded to tell me they were seeing something suspicious and that they would like to do a biopsy. As I sat waiting for the procedure, I called my boss at work to let her know and the realization that something could be wrong hit me as we spoke. I called my mom and she didn't sound worried - that made me think I shouldn't worry either. As I waited, they also scheduled me for an appointment the next day to go over the results. I was trying very hard to schedule around all the meetings I had that day and decided that 12:30 should work - then I could stop in and get back to my busy life.

So the next day, I finished up a few conference calls at work and ran off to my appointment, planning to be downtown an hour after that for another meeting. The Nurse Navigator greeted me and brought me in to a room where the Radiologist was waiting. He told me they found cancer.

They both waited, expecting some kind of reaction but I didn't have one. I just kept listening, waiting for it to sink in. My aunt had been diagnosed with breast cancer a few months earlier and she was able to have surgery and felt better in about 7 days and didn't have to go through Chemo. I thought, ok - I can do this, let's get the surgery scheduled and I'll be back to work in a week, right? They proceeded to tell me that the tumor was quite aggressive and that hoped I didn't have to do Chemo but that it was likely. They scheduled an appointment for an MRI on Monday as well as a surgeon and gave me a bunch of information to read.

After the appointment I calmly walked to my car and called my boss, and told her I might need to take some time off :). I drove to my parents' house - my dad was gone, so I called him and ended up telling him over the phone. My mom was there and so I sat her down and told her - pretty matter of factly. I called my sisters and told them too. They all kept asking me why I didn't seem upset. I think it was because I already had the reaction the day before that something wasn't right and then when I really got the news, it was all so surreal. I also often have delayed emotional reaction to things . . . stay tuned to find out more on that :).

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