|Mike & I - Summer 2006|
I hung up the phone after getting the news that I had to go in for a biopsy. At that point I think, deep down, I knew. I got outside as quickly as I could. I didn’t care that I was at a work event and that I had a ton of things to do urgently. I just had to get away and when I got outside I just started to cry. I was shaking. I was trying not to break down because I was at work and I didn’t want anyone to see me like that but I couldn’t help it. Meltdown. I kept hearing my doctor’s voice, “They don’t like the looks of it”. WTF did that mean?!? It kept repeating over and over in my head as I tried to wrap my brain around what was happening. I called Mike right away. I had a hard time speaking due to the huge lump in my throat but I managed to relay the conversation that I’d just had with my doctor. Mike, as always, was very reassuring and vowed to be with me every step of the way no matter what direction we ended up going. I felt better after we spoke and promised to call him later that night. As always, we ended our conversation with the words “I love you” and “I love you too”.
So, I wiped my eyes, took a deep breath and went back into the convention centre. It was all very surreal and I don’t know how I got through the rest of the day but I did. I suppose it was a good thing that I was so busy because it kept my mind focussed on other things. A bit later on in the afternoon I got another call from my doctor. This time it was one of the administrative staff calling to give me my appointment times for the biopsy and an appointment with a surgeon “should that be necessary”.
This phone call disturbed me further. I actually had no idea what a biopsy was. I had heard this word of course and knew of other people that had gone for a biopsy but I really didn’t know what it was all about. It also bothered me that I was given a time to see a surgeon “should that be necessary”. What did that mean? I had a million questions running through my head. Why would I maybe need to see a surgeon? I was reeling from all the unknowns and what-ifs so I just had to stop that. I looked up “breast biopsy” on the internet and found out what it was all about. That was a start. I learned that the mammogram and ultrasound were not enough to establish a diagnosis of anything conclusive. There would need to be an extraction of tissue from the lump in my breast so that the cells from this area could be analyzed under a microscope. They would be looking for cancer cells. Cancer cells? How did I get to this point? Could I really be on a website reading about this stuff? Why did I need to know about this? This can’t be happening can it? Of course I kept reading and googling.
|Kagawong - Summer 2006|
The biopsy itself is a very small operation that can be done in a few different ways including an extraction of tissue with needles or with an incision. They might even decide to remove the entire lump in some cases. For me, I was going to be having a stereotactic core biopsy. That means that they would take out several pieces of the lump with a needle and then examine the tissue for cancer. I was encouraged to read that the statistics for biopsies show that in 80% of the cases there turns out to be no cancer found. That sounded like pretty good odds. I still didn’t feel all that convinced about it though.
I was busy for the rest of my stay in Vancouver and spent lots of time hanging out with Vicky. It was great that I was with such a close friend like her so that I had someone to talk to about how I was feeling. It helped to make the time go faster until I could get home and talk to Mike about it some more. I finally went home at the end of the week. It seemed like I’d been gone forever.
Keep Holding On - Avril Lavigne
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