Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Big "C"

So much can change in a second, even if the days leading up to that second seem to take forever.
A few months ago I felt a lump in my breast. It didn’t change, so I went in to have my doctor check it. Within the week, I was having the diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound she had ordered. Within moments of that, they told me I needed to return for an ultrasound guided needle biopsy (yes, it is as bad as it sounds).
Now, here is the part that I don’t understand. They scheduled my biopsy 12 days away. 12 days! Plenty of time to worry and wonder and imagine what kind of things are growing out of control in my body. They said there was not an opening any sooner.
My brother-in-law is a brilliant radiologist in Salt Lake City. I talked to him about this and he was apalled the biopsy was scheduled that far out. His team has worked hard to make sure they can schedule the biopsy within a day of the diagnostic, and they are very busy as well. It takes effort, but it can be done.
This is one thing I am willing to make a fuss about. So far it has resulted in an inquiry about changing things.
But my biopsy was still 12 days out. A very long, stressful 12 days.
That part came to an end yesterday. The biopsy was in the morning. They told me I would get the results today at three. Those 30 hours dragged like the previous 12 days.
When my doctor called, even as she was saying it, I wondered if there was a class in medical school about leading a conversation to the point where you say, “Your biopsy is positive for breast cancer.”
So time has shifted again.
I give myself my moments of falling apart. But there is so much love and support. Within moments of setting up an appointment with a surgeon, and holding onto Mike for a while, and sending an email to friends and family, one of those friends was at the door with homemade frozen strawberry jam, telling me she would go through it in my place if she could. And I believe her.
There were immediate expressions of love, support and prayers through email.
This is what we do, as family, friends, Mormons, women.
It will be hard, but it will be okay. As my brilliant brother-in-law said, “Years from now, you will be in the survivor’s group at a Race For The Cure event, and this will just be something in your past.”
Surrounded by love, I can handle anything. I am so blessed.
And “C” is just a letter in the alphabet.