I knew in my gut it was breast cancer, so when the radiologist called it wasn't a surprise. He called me when I was getting my hair cut...I didn't tell the stylist...just continued to look in the mirror to capture what my life was before the call. I finished my cut, and took a taxi to the hotel I was staying at...I was alone. I called my husband and broke the news, then called the radiologist back with my husband on the line, so we could fully understand the diagnosis.
I had just given birth a few months before my first breast cancer diagnosis. All I wanted was to nurse my sweet baby boy. That was 29 years ago. I’ve had it two more times since then.
I had a biopsy and was supposed to go for a follow up to get the results. I had no family history of ANY cancer & had convinced myself it was a false alarm but that morning I started to feel really scared.I actually changed into a pair of leggings I didn’t like because I didn’t want them to be forever associated with cancer. They called and said I needed to come later because my results weren’t uploaded yet. I pretty much knew then.Then they called an hour later to ask me to come in & asked if I could bring someone with me. They don’t ask you that if they’re going to tell you you’re fine. My spouse was out of town so I drove to the doctor screaming No no no no at the top of my lungs & crying hysterically.
My radiologist promised he would call me on a Thursday, I was on a business trip in Boston and had a hair appointment that night. I decided the best way to wait out the call was to keep my appointment and hopefully he would call when I was finished. During my cut, he texted me that he had my results and to call him. I politely excused myself and went into the hallway and dialed his number on Skype (I didn't have a USA # because I live in Senegal). The reception was really bad, but he told me I had breast cancer and that all three biopsies were positive. Including one from my lymph node. Skype was breaking in and out so I asked if I could call him back from my hotel in one hour and conference in my husband who was in Senegal. He agreed and I went back to my haircut.
Surprisingly, I was calm...this news was what my body had already told me a month ago ,when I found the lump, and everyone told me not to worry. My original radiologist didn't see the cancer and told me to wait six months and see if the lump changed...but I listened to my gut and had a second opinion.
During my haircut, I just kept staring into the mirror, wondering if I would ever feel normal again. If I went back to my hairdresser today after chemo, surgery and proton beam, and sat in that same chair, I think I would still ask the exact same question, "when will I feel normal again?"