Finding out you have cancer is never easy.
Neither is finding out someone you love has cancer.
I will never forget sitting in the oncologist’s office in my early 20’s with my Mom and Dad finding out all the details of my Mom’s Ocular Melanoma. I remember asking the Dr. if it was hereditary and if I should be worried about getting it. He said it was not, but that 3 out of 4 people would be diagnosed with some sort of cancer in their lifetime.
I always figured one day I would get the news that I have cancer, I just never thought I would be 41 (41 and 1 day to be exact.)
In 2014, I found a lump in my right breast and had some swollen lymph nodes under my arm. I had a mammogram and ultrasound done and everything was clear. A friend told me she had similar issues but they were related to caffeine and when she cut that out, they went away. So I decided to give that a try and sure enough, they went away. The Dr. said they were nothing to worry about and I could drink caffeine and just know what would happen if I did.
I stayed off of it for a while, but eventually started drinking coffee again, as I missed having it in the morning. So a few months ago, when I noticed a lump in my other breast, I didn’t think much of it. In August I decided to ditch caffeine again so that it would go away and also made an appointment for a physical, since I hadn’t had one in a couple years.
The lump had not changed when I went into the Dr. on Tuesday, the day before my 41st birthday. The Dr. was concerned about the size of the lump (almost 2″ in diameter) and sent me to have a mammogram and ultrasound again.
I was able to get the appointment just a few days later.
I went into the appointment expecting to have to wait for the results and also for the results to be clear, as they were last year. However, when the radiologist came in today, that was not the case.
Her name was Katheryn. She was straight and to the point. She said in her professional opinion, the lump looks malignant. She said she hoped she was wrong, but with all the mammograms and ultrasounds she looks at, she felt pretty strongly that is it cancer. She said I would be scheduling a biopsy and then needed to meet with a breast surgeon to have it removed, even if the biopsy came back as negative.
I was in shock. I teared up a bit. My first thought were how in the world was I going to tell my husband and children about this? How would I tell my Dad, my in-laws?
I sat in the car and made both of those appointments . . . The biopsy for September 14th and the appointment with the surgeon for the 21st (the day before we leave to go to CA for our cruise).
Then I called Tom. After we talked, he asked what I was going to do next and I told him I was headed to the mall still to return something like I had planned. He said he’d get in the car and meet me there.
As I drove out of the parking structure I prayed for God’s will. No matter what the outcome, I thanked Him for being there with me each step of the way and prayed that He would be glorified through whatever comes of this. Then I drove on to the mall.
I walked around the mall kind of in a daze, not really able to process what had just happened. But the second I saw Tom walking toward me, I just started sobbing. He held me tight until I calmed down and then we headed over to Starbucks for coffee, since I obviously don’t need to stay away from caffeine any more. 🙂 (Although I do feel so much better without it . . . I will have to think about that!)
We decided to not tell the girls anything until we know for sure. I called my Dad, Tom called his Mom and then I talked to her as well. I also called a few friends who were praying for me and gave them an update.
Tom and I went on a date that night, out to dinner and a movie. I’m so glad we had that planned already. Life will go on as normal. We talked about how we can’t dwell on it. But as I was driving I said, “But someone told me I have cancer today.” Ugh! What a day.