Is this a good time to chat?

Around the beginning of the year I was like, “Hey Sandra, time for you to do your routine check ups”. I scheduled my gyno appointment, my general physician and the whole thing. Of course, the gyno was available 3 months away. So when I went to my regular doctor I said, “hey, I’m over 40 and should probably get a mammogram, what do you think?”. My doctor said sure, so I asked if he could give me the prescription for it since I didn’t want to wait the 3 months for my gyno appointment.

I made the appointment and was not happy to get my boobs squeeeeeezed but felt good I was being proactive. Some people at work said that was silly, this woman said “I’m over 50 and I’ve never gotten it done, it’s not really necessary”… but because I am kind of paranoid about my health and want to always cover my basis, I decided to just do it anyway.

I went in, standard procedure, squeeze here, squeeze there, ready to go and “hey, don’t worry if you get called into the screening center at Northwestern because it’s your first time, they usually like to do a more in-depth screening so they can start comparing your mammograms.”

Sure enough, I got the call, I went in, squeeze, squeeze, and they took me to a room. I waited, and waited and then a nurse came in saying they would like to do a biopsy. The sheet of paper said “possible cancer….blah blah..” and she said again, not to worry. It’s just the code they use for this type of biopsy. They said again, “we usually do these biopsies to make sure there’s nothing there and we can compare, etc..”. Great. I freaked out with the thought of having to have a small procedure done. Arghhh. As I leave the room I see the biopsy procedure room. Eeeek. Freak out. Oh boy, this is not going to be fun.

I went in, and, I’ll spare you the details of the actual procedure, but it’s NOT FUN! blah blah blah… somebody comes in and tells you the results should be ready within 1-3 days.

I went home and was fine. A bit achy, but ok. This is standard procedure, right? Finally the call came in and my heart skipped a beat. I was nervous but still, there’s nothing to be worried about, right?

The person on the phone said, “Is this a good time to chat?”, I said “Sure, of course”… and then everything went blank. The words “the biopsy came back positive for cancer”, my legs gave up. My head was spinning. My heart was pounding. I was alone at home. I collapsed on the floor. Ears ringing. The guy on the phone kept saying “the tumor x is blah blah… and the y is blah blah… and more blah…” my ears kept ringing. I felt like puking. Nothing ever prepares you for this. With the smallest strength I had left, I said, I’ll call back, I can’t talk right now. And after I hung up, I collapsed to cry.

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