Photo: WH Kubik
I was busy packing food and other items for a family camping trip on a hot summer day when my phone rang. Figuring the call was about my biopsy results, I took it in my home office to keep my kids from overhearing.
The doctor’s office manager — who had never called before — said the results of my recent breast biopsy were “consistent with cancer.” I took a deep breath and looked out the sunny window into my grassy backyard. She went on to say something about invasive ductal carcinoma, that it was high grade and very aggressive, and I should meet with a surgeon as soon as possible.
I calmly said, “Okay,” scribbled the name and number of a surgeon she recommended, thanked her, and hung up. My thoughts swam. Does “consistent with cancer” mean I do, indeed, have cancer? How much time do I have left? What about my family? Should we still go camping?
Not letting the reality of my diagnosis sink in, I called my husband at work and coolly told him about the phone call. Bob had myriad questions, which I couldn’t answer in my dazed state. He said he would come home. I collected my nerves and placed a call to my mom to inform her of this latest development.
“Oh, this is horrible,” she said.
My voice cracked, and tears spilled. I apologized.
“You’re sorry? I’m sorry for you.”
“I’m sorry for telling you at work.” But there’s no good time to share that kind of news.
Excerpt from my book about my breast cancer journey, Help! I’m a Science Project, available on Amazon, Kindle and CreateSpace.
Christian, wife, mother of 5, breast cancer survivor, marathon finisher, writer and editor, author of "Help! I'm a Science Project"