Hubbie collects me from work and we walk up to the clinic.
As we are chatting, Hubbie says that we don’t know whether it is benign or not. ??
“No-one has mentioned this word, so I am guessing it isn’t.” I am a bit puzzled by his comment.
“We don’t know yet.” he says.
We get to the clinic and Dr Johnson grabs us pretty much straight away.
I introduce hubbie to her and we sit down. I am very nervous at this point. Shit scared more like it.
“We have most of the results back and yes you have breast cancer I’m afraid to say.”
Hubbie asks is it benign.
“Oh no. This is malignant, the real thing.”
His face drops and he now looks really worried.
I can’t remember much about this appointment, other than we are given a book and some literature and that I need to see a breast surgeon.
Dr Johnson says that she has spoken with my GP and she has recommended the same surgeon that they have here in the clinic, Dr Rippy.
She goes on to say that she will go and see her receptionist and see if she can make an appointment for me. She comes back.
“5pm next Tuesday. Is that ok?”
She tells me to stay away from Google and to only go to trusted websites if I need to look. I promise.
I don’t tell her that I have already had a peek.
After saying our farewells, we leave.
We are both quiet on the train home. I read the book I was given. 1 in 8 women get breast cancer; over 18,000 Australian women have it.
I have now joined their clan.
Once I get home, I call and let my mother know. Of course she is upset. I will be fine I let her know, it will be ok.
Before I can ring anyone else, my eldest sister calls. My mother has already done the rounds and told everyone. Everyone except my other sister Trish. My mother and her haven’t spoken to each other since my mother didn’t go to Trish’s husbands funeral 5 years ago.
She is the only one I tell; Mum has done the work for me.
My brother in law died of a brain tumour and Trish is visibly upset. She is crying. I am the youngest of the 3 girls and we are close.
“I am going to be fine.” I am lucky to have the “best” cancer to get. It is funded, researched and prognosis’s are good.
This doesn’t matter to her.
My two older brothers call; they are upset as well. I can’t get hold of my youngest one, but he is always hard to get. Of course Mum finally gets to him.
I tick her off.
“This is not your news to tell Mum!”
“But I am worried about you.”
“I know, but still”.
Typical of her.
The next day, I call my colleague and manager into an office. I tell them the news and they are shocked. I go on and tell them that I will find out more when I meet with the surgeon next week.
I have worked with these people for years and we are like a family.
“Whatever you need to do, just do it. You know you have our support.”
“Thank you.” I say with a wavering voice.
My colleague is very upset; we have been together for 10 years, just her and I in our little team.
I tell them that I will probably have surgery first then either radiation and or chemotherapy; I don’t know yet.
I go about my business for the next few days.