Welcome everyone. Thanks for stopping by. Please leave your name, any of your story that has been touched by cancer, or just leave a note of encouragement.Susan
I am a typical 50 year old woman who decided to conduct her yearly exam in her usual delinquent fashion. 3.5 years delinquent to be specific. Through the encouragement of the PA - she recommended the mammogram - convinced me it was gentler than the old days and that "yes" they take Saturday appointments. I put up every blocker to the PA that day and she saw right through me. On December 1st I began that routine mammogram process and as of December 21st I received a MY Chart notification with results. As I logged in and began to review the biopsy/pathology results I see the word Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. Unlike other astute patients I had no idea what this meant but it didn't sound good so I did what anyone would do - googled those 3 words. Fortunately or unfortunately - I had not received the news yet from the Dr. because of a gliche in communication which "yes" I know seems unheard of - but the system is not perfect - people are flawed and it gave me time to research and obsess over something I knew nothing about. A very dangerous place for me to be. Nonetheless the words that kept popping up on Google about my diagnosis did not look good. What happens next is denial, coping and self preservation kicks in....because if in fact what I am reading is true then it means I have Cancer and that just cannot be right. As the health system caught up with the technology side of the notification - the phone rang. Hello - Susan this is Dr. Li, the biopsy results came back and you have cancer. We will need to take it out and you will have many options and we are referring you to a general surgeon for a consultation. Stop - back up Dr. - (as I am diligently taking notes on yellow sticky's to make sure that I am not hallucinating or hearing something that isn't being said...) - Are you saying I have Cancer - as in Breast Cancer????? Yes. Boom - what just happened. Review sticky notes, google some more, review the medical chart, pace the house and the date is December 21st of 2012....and I need to get on the road to celebrate X-mas with family. Or - do I stay home? I immediately feel like isolating, retreating yet it was not to be. The Gods had other plans and the date could not be more significant as it was a time to spend with family, to begin the support gathering process, to not silence the reality of what was happening and to begin the prayer and rally cap process that all of us need even though we may not know how to accept it.2) December 21st forward. I began the drive north for X-mas which was a 3 hour drive. At this point I am still in disbelief and quite consumed with the thought of having cancer. It is surreal. I am detached from my body really. I feel nothing. This has changed nothing - yet changed everything. How is this X-mas going to go with 17 people (family) in one room - cancer - silence - the elephant in the room. Such a joyful time yet I am borderline depressed. Not stay in bed depressed, but just numb listless depressed. Just can't wait for the holidays to be over yet recognize the real importance of Christ's birth and the rebirth of starting over I will be experiencing as well. It was no coincidence that I ended up exactly in this place at this time of year with this newest challenge to face and I knew deep down that cancer - this cancer - was not going to kill me. Now it is a waiting game. Can't see surgeon until the 31st of December. Can't see oncologist until January....can't see plastic surgeon until mid January....wait wait! The waiting became a blessing. I was not ready. I needed to do my research. I needed to talk to my entire care team. I needed to just sit on the news and not react. I wanted a plan. All the while not realizing that the plan I was devising would take a detour. See I am not in charge of this cancer thing. I am powerless. What I am is the survivor, the fighter, the faith follower. Story continued in Journal section. Please join me there.