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The Call . . .

The Diagnosis

Biopsy complete – now the wait begins. I hate the wait. There is so much waiting on this cancer journey. It’s like adding insult to injury to me. I find that this can be one of the most frustrating parts to having cancer. Waiting for the phone call. One phone call. One phone that could change my life. The statement “life can change on a dime” resonates with me. One phone call has all that power over me. I want it to ring and I don’t want it to ring. If it doesn’t ring I can ignore it for a little bit longer; but at the same time I want to know. This is so difficult.

I was fortunate that I had a doctor who was extremely compassionate and didn’t make me wait long for results. Thank you Dr. Ruark!  I received a phone call from her two days later. I was getting ready to take my daughter to a dance practice (what else would I be doing? All you dance moms will understand).

It seems that I was the 20%. I had breast cancer. I had Ductal Carcinoma in Situ – basically cancer was in my ductal glands. Early stages. I would be seeing the doctor the next day to discuss options. Knowing what I know now – the diagnosis was the best I could have received when having breast cancer. But hearing the words cancer seems to turn my world on its axis. It’s April 28, 2011 and I HAVE CANCER . . . I HAVE BREAST CANCER. My fear has just been realized and I’m numb.

I can actually feel a shadow come over me, my world seemed a little less bright. I feel so alone. Weird right? To feel alone at that time but I did feel utterly alone. Cancer was in me. I had cancer inside my body. No one could do this for me, this was happening to me. I was the one who had to go through treatment and recovery. I was in for a battle. I knew deep in my gut that this was a life changing moment for me. Life from here on out would be different. Where will this journey lead me? What lessons will this teach me? Will I be able to handle this?

I didn’t have time to deal my news, I was a Mom and my kids were home. My husband was out of town and I have to leave within the hour to drive my daughter to dance practice. What to do? As I didn’t want either of my kids to overhear my conversation, I walked outside to call my husband. I was surprised how calm I was when I did this. I didn’t cry but was sad. He listened intently, asking questions I couldn’t answer and then making sure I was alright we got off the phone. In all the years he was traveling for work, it would be the first time he didn’t come home on a Thursday night. He would be home the next day and we would be seeing Dr. Ruark to go over treatment options. (Once again no waiting).

Husband told, I needed to focus on my daughter, Riley. I had to take her to dance. I couldn’t react to my diagnosis. I didn’t want to tell anyone until I got my head around this. I immediately made the decision that my children wouldn’t be told until we knew what this entailed. My daughter had a huge dance competition that weekend and I wanted her to enjoy it. News like this could wait. I needed to understand my diagnosis, my treatment options and prognosis. In retrospect, I’m glad I did this. Being given a cancer diagnosis is life changing. Taking time for me to come to terms with this enabled me to talk to my children, family and friends in a much calmer educated manner.


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