Biopsy results are in!


(Credit: Cartoonstock)

We had barely sat down when the oncologist told me, “you have a small cancer.”

I didn’t cry, I didn’t weep or break down. Instead, I listened to him talk but felt removed. I remember glancing at William and squeezing his hand. He didn’t squeeze back, so I let go and folded my hands into my lap.

The next thing I remember is staring at a booklet titled, ‘Understanding Breast Cancer in Women’ by Macmillan Cancer Support. It had been handed to me by a sombre looking nurse who explained, it should provide answers to questions I might have.

(Copyright 2021 Macmillan Cancer Support)

Gazing at the cover, my eye was caught by the image of a smiling woman with hardly any hair. Closer inspection revealed, of course, she was a breast cancer patient who had undergone chemotherapy and this was going to happen to me.

The aftermath

Finally back in the car, life stood still yet all around us people kept coming and going. The reality of my diagnosis was difficult to comprehend and I literally had to pinch myself to check this wasn’t a nightmare.

William held onto the fact that it was a small cancer (2cm to be exact) with a pretty good prognosis. Talking helped put things back into perspective and slowly, I pulled myself together.

Shortly after we arrived home, my manager called to congratulate me on a recent promotion. I was due to start my new role as library supervisor the following Monday, but now had to tell her I was unfit for work.

Initially, she sounded annoyed until I uttered the word ‘cancer’. Then there was silence…

”Try to keep positive” is what she eventually said.

At the time positivity was hard to exercise, yet my manager’s words paved the way to a new resolve. It was time to face up to what was ahead. It was time to tell my family.

If you would like to know more about ‘Understanding Breast Cancer in Women’, you can listen to the Macmillan Cancer Support podcast listed below:

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