Monday, November 1, 2010

The shock of it all

The day I was diagnosed, my OB/GYN's nurse called me back and told me I have an appointment the very next day with the surgeon.  The one I requested!  Thank you, God for her having an opening to see me.  I was told to get my mammograms, ultrasounds and reports of copied so I could pick them up for the surgeon's visit tomorrow.  I needed tasks to do to keep my mind busy and not worry about the future more than the next thing to do.

I left that Tuesday afternoon, reminding myself to "go get your films", "go get your films".  I got home, I forgot to "go get my films" which is soooo typical of me.  So, I went the next morning on the way to work and "got my films".  All I could do was laugh at myself for forgetting to do something else.

My best friend, Pam had been sick with some kind of upper respiratory bug all weekend and worked, but she did stay home Tuesday night and rested.  She called me Wednesday morning and said she was still going with me to see the surgeon, she had promised to take me and she wasn't going back on a promise.  I told her to stay home, but she's as stubborn as I am.  Thanks Pam.

As my appointment time got closer and closer, the more nervous I got.  I was trying to keep busy to keep my mind occupied and it was helping a lot!  Pam got me at 11:30 and off we went the one block north of where I work to the doctor's office.  Her staff was nothing but understanding and wonderful.  I met the surgeon and she is a wonder!  She talked to me face to face, eye to eye before she even examined me.  Showed me my films and explained everything she was seeing and was worried about.  After examining me, she let me dress and I got to go to "Breast Class".  Everything never wanted to know or were afraid to ask. Nothing was off limits with her.  Even Pam went to class with me to help me remember what was said and done. 

I found out that I have Stage 1 or Stage IIa breast cancer, due to it's size of about 5 centimeters.  It is invasive because it infiltrated outside the lobular tissue into the surrounding tissue.  Can't grade it yet because we don't have final pathology (that's after surgery).  All in all, for breast cancer, this is the one to have!

After we spent about 20 minutes in "class", the doctor's "nurse navigator" came in to help guide me through this long journey.  As it turned out, she has known my family since before I was born. Her in-laws lived across the street from me as I was growing up.  I truly had a village looking after me as a small child.  I considered her and her husband as a third set of grandparents! 

When she came in, both of us started to cry a bit and I wrapped her in a big hug, grateful for having someone I've known my whole life helping me through this.

She got me set up for my MRI of both breasts, and ultrasound of my right axilla (the armpit), an appointment with the radiation oncologist, and a date for surgery.  She did this feat all in ONE DAY!  She is amazing!

So here I am at day 6 of living with cancer.  I am still overwhelmed by information, nerves, questions, and the endless paperwork I need to get filled out and sent in for insurance.  How am I gonna get it all done?

I have found my faith again.  I pray everyday, several times a day.  I thank God for the life he has given me.  I ask for his guidance for the doctors, staff and me to do what is right and ask for His calming spirit to watch over me.  I ask for His strength to get through this journey, one baby step at a time.  I thank Him for putting my only sister back into my life after more than a year.  I know He has a plan for me, I just wish He's let me in on it sometimes!

Well, on Day 8, I have my MRI.  God's gonna have to help keep me calm through that! 

Keep praying.  That's all I can do about now.

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