Tues the 19th November 2013
It’s 9 am and we go to the breast surgeon, my preferred Doctors colleague. My first choice for a breast surgeon is on holidays and we can only see his colleague. We arrive eager to get the results only to be told it’s not today its tomorrow! I want to cry. I really don’t know how that happened! I go home and wait. I cannot describe the frustration and helplessness that I feel. The time passes so slowly, its almost like I feel like I need to make every decision but you also can’t make any because I don’t know what the outcome is. Again a very unproductive and emotionally painful day.
The following day Wednesday, we go to our appointment, a young Chinese doctor sees us. The moment i see him i feel like the answer is not going to be good. He looks at me says, “ it’s cancer, it is what it is.”
He then turns from us and with his back to us mumbles, “take a moment if you need too.” I feel like offering him some training in how to deliver life changing news! Honestly! Marc grabs my hand but I am strangely calm.
One some level I am shocked but not hugely because I feel like I have known since the radiologist went quiet on Saturday. He says to Marc and I, “Hey we need to biopsy the other lump Kerry”. (My name is Kylie) and I say “What about the third lump?” – he says “hang on let me read the report, oh yeah lets get both done now.”
Well I’m sure you can imagine what has just happened to my trust level in this young man, zero!!!! First he gets my name wrong, then he hasn’t read the report and could have let a third biopsy be forgotten and he wants to touch my boob! I don’t think so….
He also says, “I will do a lumpectomy next week.” I say “I want a mastectomy” and he says “I don’t think we need to go overboard!” I am spinning thinking I have two time bombs on my chest here, I saw my Mum die over a very long slow and painful process, my sister is going through it and you say don’t over react!!!!
I go back to my friends at radiology, my friend cranky pants the angry receptionist greets me with a hug this time and I get the other biopsies done. Again the staff at radiology are so lovely and gentle, they treat you with such dignity and care it makes a horrible process so much more bearable. I am to see the breast surgeon who doesn’t know me from Adam again on Monday the 25th to get pathology results and confirm the plan.
Marc takes me to out favourite local restaurant at Brighton by the water for some lunch. Ia m not hungry I have such a knot in my stomach. We begin to make those first phone calls to family and close friends, the people we are going to need the most support from. I am becoming quite emotional and am trying to hold it together. The poor waitress is trying to serve us but realised something quite big is going on so she circles too afraid to approach.
What a weird day, I am calling people telling them that I have cancer, it is surreal. They all read differently, some are strong for me, others I need to be strong for them. Some have very strange reactions and in their shock say weird things like ” well at least you’ll lose weight with chemo,” I breathe deeply and just think, “It is their shock speaking, they don’t mean it, who would say that seriously!”
We eat, we talk, both of us are keen to seek a second opinion, but are also keen to get the results back form the other biopsies. The weight on us is tremendous. We are both drowning in the “what ifs.”
So from Wednesday to the following Monday we wait, we know I have cancer but we don’t know anything else. As you can probably imagine this is a weird time, we don’t sleep much, we talk a lot, we contemplate things more, differently, I am trying to wrap my head around what I need to do practically with my work and life.
I feel like my works has been placed on hold but also on fast forward. I start to think about all the things I haven’t done but want to and need to do. I think “oh Geeez, I don’t have a will in place, I have not made it clear about what would happen to Sam in the event of my death.” Big questions to contemplate. Then I also have this beautiful confirmation that I will be ok, I will get through this.
To say I am confused, bewildered and overwhelmed is the understatement of the century.