Write In Between

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The diagnosis

This post continues my look back on my cancer story that began with this post.

The next day, a Monday morning, I remember getting the call from my surgeon regarding my breast biopsy. Prior to this, my doctor had been very calm, optimistic even. He had actually assured me on the day of the surgery that everything had "looked good." However, his tone on this day was quite different.

The doctor told me that the pathology report "blew his mind" and it would surprise me. Nope. No surprise here--remember, I already "knew" intuitively... this report just confirmed it.

I took his call upstairs in my bedroom where I could speak privately--out of earshot from the kids. I remember sitting down on the chair in my room, reaching for a pen and paper as his said the words intraductal carcinoma. I remember thinking that this guy had been pretty cavalier about my worries--but now...well, what could he say, other than to sheepishly report the news.

The hours that passed after that were a blur. I had to get my daughter onto the kindergarten bus. Somehow I managed it. I remember trying to occupy my three-year-old so I could try to talk on the phone, but honestly, I could not muster the courage to speak to Bob right away--who was at work. He was often unreachable by phone as meetings and conferences took him out of his office--this was before the luxury of cell phones! So I just couldn't leave a message like that. If he didn't pick up the phone directly, I would hang up.

I called my mother and my sisters, and my dear friend A. who, fortunately, was able to come right over and pray with me. The Lord, in his wisdom, also sent J., a mutual friend. I say that J. was "sent" because J. just showed up on my doorstep. Somehow, she was "just in the neighborhood." Her presence was a gift to A., because I'm sure it was not a pleasant moment to be with me in. The Lord gave each of them to each other, and both of them to me.

I remember we prayed, and I was so glad we did. While they were there I found the courage to call Bob. It went better than I thought it would, even though it was on the phone.

Following this news, I was nauseous for two days. I've never had bad news make me physically ill before or since.

Copyright 2006 Patricia W. Gohn

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