July 17, 2013 … the beginning.
As I’m getting ready for work, I step into the shower. I feel a slight twinge – a little pinch. What’s that, I think … and with soapy hands, I check my left breast. The world slows and my heart pounds. How could I have missed THAT before?
At work I make a few calls, trying to get in to see a doctor. First I try a breast specialist but discover I need a referral. After a second call, with endless musak, I go online and enter information for a call back & appointment. I should hear back within 48 hours. I focus on work and the coming weekend. I continue to wait.
On Monday I still haven’t heard anything, so I try to call the doctor’s office again. This time I get through and explain what I need. All the doctors are booked but the voice on the other end of the phone says she will see what she can do & will get back to me. Within an hour I have an appointment with a nurse practitioner for late Thursday afternoon – waiting again.
Thursday finally comes. The nurse checks me, says she’s glad I came in, even though it’s probably nothing. But she wants further tests. Too late for today, the appointment for diagnostic mammogram is made for Friday morning. Another wait.
The next morning I have extensive mammogram pictures and, after a review of those pictures, an immediate ultrasound is performed. The radiologist recommends that a biopsy be performed on the lump and on one lymph node that seems enlarged. Unfortunately, because it’s Friday and there are tests where the results would need to be reviewed @ the 24 hour mark, the biopsy will have to wait until next week. I schedule for Tuesday morning.
On Tuesday, the biopsy goes quickly and results should be back by … MONDAY? And so I wait again.
Thursday morning I get the call – results are in and the appointment is set for 1pm. The hours crawl by. Finally I’m in the waiting room. Dr. Robinson comes to the door to get me (that’s not a good sign, right? when does the doctor come to get you?) and I follow her to her office. The radiologist technician sees me and asks how I’m doing as she rubs my arm — uh, oh. I sit facing Dr. Robinson and she tells me I have cancer. I go numb.
Dr. Robinson explains the pathology report – early stages, lymph nodes clean, not hormonal, HER2 positive. Asks if I have questions. My world is spinning, my head is empty. She tells me I have an appointment with the surgeon on Tuesday who will talk about treatment options. She says that I’m lucky – I’ve got the best surgeon, Dr. Silva. She tells me everything is going to be alright.
Will anything ever be alright again?