Diagnosis · Distractions

Do I Have to Grow Up?

The Weekend of April 30 to May 1

I was told it would take three to five days to get the biopsy results.  If I didn’t hear from my primary care doctor, Dr. Hugs*, within five days, I should call her.  I spent the next five days online, reading up on cancer.  I knew to avoid Google Images, and I also knew that my scientific mind did not need support groups, online forums, or memoir blogs (like this one!) — it needed cold, hard, western-medicine-style facts.  I found myself spending most of my time at the Young Survival Coalition.  I was not sure if I qualified as “young,” but it seemed like the Breast Cancer 101 information applied to me anyway; and I really liked the way their website was organized.

I focused my initial research on what information I would get from the biopsy.  It turns out that biopsy results are reported in the “Pathology Report” and it was important that I learn how to read this.  I could expect the Pathology Report to tell me what grade (stage) cancer I have, its size, and what its protein and hormone receptor statuses are.  This last info would indicate whether the cancer was aggressive, and what kinds of treatment could be used.  I learned to read between the gently-worded lines to figure out what would be good news vs. bad news.

My biopsy had been on a Thursday.  I gave it until the following Wednesday, and I called Dr. Hugs’ office and left her a message.  Then I waited.  Friday rolled around and I called again.  The nurse looked up my information, and then went quiet for a bit.  She said that Dr. Hugs had the message to call me and would call as soon as she could.  Before the weekend? She didn’t know.

On Friday afternoon, April 29, Mom arrived in San Diego.  My kids were in the school play, and it was play weekend — Mom had come to see it.  It was hectic, but a lot of fun.  The play was Peter Pan.  Lane was one of the Lost Children, and Paige was Tic Toc Croc — she got to roll across the stage on a skateboard!  It was good to have the mental distraction.

Photo courtesy of Maria O.


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