I sit on the loveseat in the waiting room watching people walk through the door and sign in. I look at my husband who is telling me about his day. The television is on tuned in to the daily news. My husband looks towards me and I remember saying something in response to him, but I’m not sure what he’s talking about.
My stomach gets more nervous. I look down at my hands and notice that they tremble as they hold onto one another. I can’t explain this feeling.
I watch as people who came in after me are called in before me. The knot in my stomach grows.
A nurse comes out to tell me that she is sorry for the wait. There was a procedure that they need to clean up after and then will come and get me. Why is she telling me that?
I look to my husband and ask him that very question. I’ve had doctors run late before, but they’ve never made it a point to come and explain. I cover my face with my hands and feel them trembling harder.
I cannot focus on anything. I look around for something to grasp hold of with my mind, to start a conversation, to help me focus on the conversation my husband is trying to have with me.
Time goes by and finally...”Angela”
My husband stands up and takes my hand seeming to know that I need that support, that lifeline.
We walk down a maze of hallways until we are led into a seating room with 2 chairs facing a couch. Why aren’t we in an office or exam room to hear the results?
My husband and I sit on the couch and the pathologist and nurse sit across from us. The doctor who is there is not the same pathologist who did my biopsy. Who is he?. He looks over at the nurse and then at me. I’ve never seen him before. I don’t know who he is, but he gives me my results...
“Your results came back positive.”
I’m not sure what I expected to hear. Positive was a good thing. Right?
The doctor continued talking, well stammering about what would happen now and that a patient advocate was here to answer any questions.
What questions? Why do I need an advocate? What the hell is going on?
I look at my husband who looks in disbelief and then look back at the doctor.
“Wait, positive? Are you telling me I have cancer?” He never said that. He didn’t even say the word cancer. Who is this man and what is he talking about?
The young, inexperienced doctor opens his eyes a little wider and looks towards the older nurse that is with him. She leans forward and begins to talk to me about breast cancer.
We leave to go pick up our children from my parents. I walk in and sit on the steps of the den, take a deep breath and share the news. My parents, ever faithful, have the reaction I expected.
My father, “Okay, where do WE go from here? What’s OUR next step?” My father is a man of few words, but when he speaks, he speaks volumes and I grab hold of words just like that.
My mother, she holds me and rocks me silently crying, but giving me every ounce of love, strength and courage she can. Praying for her baby and silently wishing it was her and not me.
We leave there and try to make the evening a typical evening for our children. We succeed with all but one, our oldest daughter. She was at an age where she understands and we knew she needed to know. After telling her, we sit on the couch, holding her, wiping her tears and letting her know that I am going to be just fine.
That was enough telling for today. My support circle is being formed, I’m preparing for the fight of my life.
6 years ago today, my journey with triple negative breast cancer began. 6 years ago today I cried and thought why me. 6 years ago today, I learned what it means for me to be truly strong. 6 years ago today, I became a survivor...again!