Monday, May 17, 2010

I Never Did Like the Color Pink

Friday, May 14, 2010

I called Dr. E just before 2:00, even though I promised myself that I would wait until 3 pm. I was told that she was doing a biopsy but that she would call me back. Ah, biopsy. Must have been scheduled for 1:00. Sure enough, shortly after 2 pm, I think, she called me back.

"Well, unfortunately, it came back positive."

"OK. Well, what is it."

"It's about one to one-and-a-half centimeters. Grade two."

"What's that mean?"

"Grade 3 is aggressive. Grade 2 is average, meaning it's not going to sit there and look pretty indefinitely."

"Average. I'll take it."

"You'll have to see a surgeon because this has to be removed. I'll transfer you to Dr. S's office. Do you have any questions? I'll answer all of them"

"No, thank you. I think that's it. I'm glad to hear I'm average."

I made the appointment. Dr. S isn't around this week or something, so I can't see her until next Monday, May 24th. Figures. The scheduler lady, Loretta, estimates that the surgery will be about 4 weeks later. Excuse me? We're now looking at 2 months after NJ radiologist told me I need a biopsy. What's this average thing going to wind up doing during this time?

I felt really positive after the call. Not aggressive. Thank you God. My Mom's was wildly aggressive, and this is not. I told Ellen and Bel. It is what it is. I am in God's hands. Hey, maybe I can even "play" this. Ellen, asked if I wnated to leave early. Hey, great idea. Let's "play" this and get out of here. I cracked jokes the whole way home and declared that I would never care about what I say in the future, that I have power now, that I can say to my family "do this because I have cancer" and "don't do that because I have cancer." Indulge my every whim because I have cancer. Ellen was cracking up, already declaring me to no longer be the Kathryn she knows.

As I left the butcher, FCCC called. Dr. S's nurse practitioner. She wasn't sure if I had received the results, so she wanted to tell me. I told her I knew. I told her I really wasn't that upset. She said people react differently. She had more information for me. She told me that it's invasive ductal carcinoma. Oh dear. Invasive. OK. She then told me that surgery is definitely in order, that she knew I'm educated and liked to be informed, so she told me that the only website I should look at is breastcancer.org. Yes, dear. (She's young.) Immediate apology to her for my patronizing way of addressing her. So much for never worrying about what I say ever again.

Later, the nurse from the prevention program called. Earlier in the day, the genetic testing people called from California and told me that I don't qualify for the free version. If I want them to actually do the testing, it'll be $3340 cash, thank you. OK, so what is this criteria that I don't meet, I asked. Well, she said, someone in your family had to be diagnosed under age 50. My Mom was 53, and Aunt Mary was 64. I am 49. Nice.

Well, according to Sue from the prevention program, I should now be counted as the person diagnosed under age 50. Thanks. I qualify on my own back, or should I say breast.

I am glad that tonight we are having Uncle Georgie's 70th birthday dinner at our house and not a lot of time to get things ready. I'm glad that my sister and my brother and his family will be there. And, of course, I'm glad that Uncle Georgie and Dorothy and Kaleigh will be there. And I'm thrilled that invasive breast cancer will NOT be a topic of conversation because I'm telling Uncle Georgie of my diagnosis until after his birthday on Sunday.

49 years old, and I have breast cancer. What a drag-and-a-half.

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