It’s the word no one wants to hear let alone say– cancer. I might have breast cancer. It started a couple weeks ago when I was showering. I felt a large lump in my right breast. No, I imagined that. Okay I had Jarl feel it. Of course he didn’t mind coping a feel. He thought it felt the same in both breasts. So I chose to just go on. But God wouldn’t let me. He is persistent. I knew I needed it checked out. On Friday I called for an appointment at the health clinic at work. That is one of the great benefits at working at GMRC. We have a health clinic right on campus. When the reception answered I had to say the words “I found a lump in my breast”. As soon as I got off the phone I lost it. I felt sick. My best friend who just happens to be my sister works at GMRC too. I had to talk to her. Although I had told myself that if it was the big C, I wouldn’t let her know. Hey- I hadn’t figured out how to avoid her while I went through treatment. Mary had gone through cancer with my brother-in law Ron and I didn’t want to do that to her. Hey! Isn’t this supposed to be about me? I was worried about my sister and my son (more on that later). I knew whatever happens God is in control. Whatever happens it’s in His hands.
I sent Mary a message asking her to meet me in the first aid room. (It’s the best place to meet when you need to have a private conversation). There’s a reason Mary is my best friend. She would do anything for me. And I mean anything!! She told me she would go with me to the clinic and she did. Kasey thought it was a cyst but she wanted me to have it checked out. Kasey is the PA at the clinic. She called and set up a mammogram and an ultrasound for Tuesday.
Friday to Tuesday seemed like an eternity. Weekends usually fly but not this one. My appointment was for 1:30 and I checked in at 1:15 at admitting. I know our hospital like the back of my hand so I made it up to radiology by 1:20. The wait in the waiting room wasn’t too long. I found a Good Housekeeping magazine with Robin Roberts on the cover. I read the exert from her book. Why did I read that knowing she had cancer herself? A glutton for punishment I guess. Finally a tech named Gina came and took me back to have the mammogram. It took less than 10 minutes. Have your boobs smashed is awesome. I was hoping that it would smash that lump to smithereens. I then had to wait for the ultrasound room to be free. I was in a 4×4′ room. It might have been 4 1/2 x 4 1/2. It was small. Nothing to read. In my little cape. 10 minutes passed. 20 minutes passed. Finally after 25 minutes the mammogram Gina came in and said she was moving me to another room to wait. Apparently she had another customer. So across the hall I go in my little cape, carrying my bra and sweater. Another 10 minutes passed before the next tech, Bethany came to get me. Now I get to walk down the corridor and around a corner to ANOTHER ultrasound room. She apologized for making me wait and I made a joke something about the longer I would be away from work. I should have known something was up when she didn’t laugh. EVERYONE laughs at my jokes. Hmm. The lights were turned down low and I laid down on the gurney. Bethany did the ultrasound in silence which gave me too much time to think. Once she was done, she went to have the radiologist look at it giving me more time to think. It wasn’t long at all when Bethany returned with Dr. Walker who I assume is the radiologist. Bethany was sweet and introduced me to him. Dr. Walker was all business. He asked when I discovered the lump and I told him and then he said “It doesn’t look good.” Who says that? I don’t remember anything he said after that as all I could think was that I had cancer. Tears were welling up in my eyes and I said I was sorry. Why do I do that? He just told me I might have cancer and I’m telling HIM I’m sorry for crying?? Geesh. I felt like the room was getting smaller and smaller. Mary thinks I might have been faint and she’s probably right. He left and Bethany explained I would need to have a needle biopsy to see what the lump was. She asked if I had any questions and my mind was racing and I just couldn’t think of any right then. She left me to dress. I took my time and used the bathroom. I was numb. I met Bethany in the hall and she took me up front and made the appointment for the biopsy. I walked on autopilot to the elevator and to my car. Jarl asked all sorts of questions that I couldn’t answer. I wish he would have been in the room with me. I called Mary from the car. I should never have done that. She was just as shocked as I was. I told her I had to come back to work because I hadn’t logged out of my computer. She thought I was crazy, but I felt I needed to do it.
I asked my boss Dara if I could talk to her. We went into a private office. She told me to take the rest of the day off. Who was I to argue? I wasn’t going to be any good there. I went to log off of my computer and a very good friend Laurie had messaged me that another friend had seen Mary in the bathroom crying. My heart was breaking but I couldn’t stay.
I called Laurie from the car and told her what I found out. She too was upset. I have the best friends. They are really great. They are all so supportive.
We haven’t told Chris and we won’t unless it’s necessary. I can’t even begin to imagine how he will take it. He is so innocent. That’s one thing I can’t let myself think about.