Part I: Blindsided

Sometimes life just blindsides you. You walk along, minding your own business, and BAM! Everything changes. October 30, 2009, 9:15 am: “You have cancer,” my doctor tells me. I knew it, damn! I’m too young for breast cancer. I start to cry, but just for a moment. Then I stop. I am fine. I’ll be ok.

I leave the doctor’s office and wonder what I will tell my mother. She will get emotional, and I don’t want emotional. So I will tell her the prognosis is very good. It will stay good assuming that they do not find any more tumors or discover the cancer has spread to my lymph nodes. I will tell her that I will wait until after the first of next year to start treatment. This way I can save on paying two deductibles- this year’s and next, which would total to over $5000 combined. I will assure her it will be fine, the tumor won’t grow that much in that amount of time. I will have an MRI  to check for more tumors. If they don’t find any more tumors, I will have a lumpectomy when they will also check the lymph nodes for any sign of cancer. Assuming the cancer has not spread, the surgery will be followed by radiation therapy, and I am not sure what else. I will tell her there are many more tests that they want to run. They want to check my genes to see if I have the mutation that causes breast and ovarian cancer. But I am short on money. It will have to wait until after the first of the year, after my surgery. I will tell her that I should be able to work through most of this. Fortunately, I have a flexible schedule. Maybe that’s the reason I never found a full-time job, so I could deal with this. Something to think about…

I will tell her the basic plan. I won’t tell her that there are many factors that could change that plan so that treatment would be more drastic. Maybe I will need chemotherapy or a mastectomy or a double mastectomy. I have no answers until I have all the tests, after the first of the year, after my surgery. But I am fine. This is no big deal. I will do everything as normal. There is no sense in being depressed or angry since that will not change the situation. I will approach this like any other problem, logically. The next step is the MRI, after the first of the year.

©2010 frayedges and


2 responses to “Part I: Blindsided

  • wordsfromawoman

    I’m glad you discovered my blog so that I could discover yours. Our reactions to the cancer diagnosis are about the same, i.e. feeling devastated. And we probably share similar fears for the future, above all fear for the unknown. But that’s where most comparisons end. One of the things I’ve learned in the 5-6 months since knowing my fate, is that no two cancers are alike. You have Stage I and have already undergone significant treatments. I have Stage IV but so far my treatment has been mild. I’ve wondered whether it would have made a big difference if my cancer had been diagnosed timely. Maybe. Maybe not. There’s little point in second-guessing and you just have to make the best of the situation you’re in. Good luck with you!

  • frayedges

    You’re right about that- every cancer diagnosis is different. I have done a lot of second guessing as well, trying to figure out what caused this, but it’s a fruitless task.

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