It’s the answer that no one wants.
I’m in trouble. It’s all I could say. I didn’t know how much trouble, but I knew by the way they were acting that this was not good. He was working and couldn’t leave. I really couldn’t have a conversation, so now he was just as anxious as I was. Texting my mother was out of the question because this would level her. I needed to just pull myself together and walk through this. So, into the ultrasound room I went.
The radiologist, a woman, was so kind. She explained what she saw and shared that the mammograms were going to be read by a second radiologist. The next step was for biopsies to begin and how many would be determined by the final mammography and ultrasound reading. They would be in touch soon to schedule the next appointments.
Assessment: 4 Suspicious Abnormality.
Down the rabbit hole I fell.
I don’t think I am going to shock you by letting you know now that I have cancer. I am definitely going to go into gory detail, but I decided to share this now because the next part of my story is definitely the most agonizing for all people who are awaiting results. Do they have cancer or not? This does not apply only for breast cancer. To those who have not fallen down the rabbit hole, it would appear that this is an emergent time and that things should happen quickly. Note these two things:
- Time cannot move fast enough for the patient or the family.
- It is not an emergency to the doctors and staff who see these things everyday. They do care, they just need to manage their processes and appointments and you need to fit into those. This means that it is unlikely that you will be seen tomorrow. And you will be mad and offended that your fear is not their emergency. It is something that one must unfortunately come to terms with.
So before BRACA testing and oncotypeDX scores, I started with a stereotactic biopsy. My Radiologist, Dr. Khouri, was incredibly kind. This is a very strange procedure and one of many I would become accustomed to. Lying on my belly, I had to stick my breast through a hole in the table. In this case, they raise me into the air and Dr. Khouri is under me. He made the incision, did what he needed to do, and all the while spoke so gently to me, like a friend or father.
His kindness put me at ease. He put me back together with steri strips and gave me an ice pack. He gave me a pamphlet explaining that the tissue was going to be analyzed by three pathologists in a blind review. It would take time to get the results, but he would be the one to give me a call as soon as he knew. With a smile and pat on the shoulder, he sent me on my way. Little did I know our next conversation would be life changing.