Thursday, March 3, 2016

Finding Out

My phone rang around 11am on Thursday, March 3. I was in Charlotte for my grandmother’s funeral, which was to be held the following morning. I was expecting the call, but I wasn’t expecting it so soon. I was excited—a sooner call back should mean good news.

The radiologist introduced herself and said she had the biopsy results for me. I was kind of excited—they were about to tell me that the lump was benign, and it was nothing to worry about! When there were problems, that’s when it took longer, since they’d have to do additional testing.
I jumped up and raced into the next room where Kevin and my parents were chatting. I gestured to them and to the phone, which I then put on speaker phone.

“It’s breast cancer. It’s called an invasive ductal carcinoma, which means that the tumor has left the milk duct where it originated.”


So what does this mean? What will I have to do now?”

My OB has the report; I can go ahead and call him for more information. They’ll set me up with a breast surgeon; he can make a recommendation, but the radiology department isn’t allowed to do it. The thing to remember is that it’s okay if I don’t see the doctor by tomorrow, since these tumors don’t grow that rapidly. They’ll get me scheduled within about a week.

"I’m sorry, good luck."

My obstetrician said that he was just about to call me when I called.

“Janet. We’ll take good care of you and the baby, and you’ll both be just fine. We’ve been treating women with cancer during pregnancy for over 30 years, and almost all of the treatment options are available to you even though you’re pregnant. The only thing we can’t do is radiation. Chemotherapy and surgery are fine. Can you come in today to talk more?

Oh, I’m so sorry.

Will you be back on Monday? We’ll schedule you to see me and to see the breast surgeon. She is wonderful."

I called my primary care and my asthma doctors later in the day and left messages to let them know. Both called me back within 24 hours. My doctors are fantastic. 

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