At first it didn’t really sink in. He began telling me he wanted to refer me to a surgeon as soon as possible. He felt confident we had caught it early and it was confined to a milk duct, but I would soon learn more about my diagnosis when I met with the surgeon. He told me there were a couple he’d recommend, but there was one surgeon he highly recommended. I told him whoever I could see the soonest was the one I wanted to see as I began pleading with him since I was about to get married. By this time, it was after 5 p.m. and his office was closed. But he assured me he would have his staff get on this first thing in the morning.
All of a sudden everything he had said didn’t seem to make sense to me nor could I remember it all. So I asked him if my fiancé could call him should he have any questions I could not answer. He was very gracious and gave me his cell phone number.
After we hung up, I sat on the side of the bed trying to process it all. Do I call Scott? I thought. Surely he’d be getting off work soon. And about that time my cell phone rang. It was Scott. I was trying very hard not to break nor give off a signal of fear, and I apparently did ok. He wanted to know what he could pick up for dinner. I encouraged him to come by the house first then we’d decide.
Since I had had the stereotactic biopsy the day before, I had spent most of the day in bed as directed. Apparently there is a risk of bleeding within the first 24 hours so the less you do the better. So I slid back in bed, except this time I was sitting up, anxiously awaiting Scott’s arrival. Trying to decide how to tell him I have cancer. Cancer. The “C” word. Could I actually say it? I don’t know . . . my head was spinning! I quickly felt very nauseated. We should probably hold off on the wedding, I thought. But Scott has worked so hard to make all the arrangements . . . ugh . . . what to do? What not to do?
And Austin . . . Oh my God . . . what will Austin do if something happens to me? Scott could manage fine without me but not Austin . . . he needs his mother, plus, he’s been through enough. Maybe the surgeon will tell us it’s a mistake. Oh, how I pray we can the surgeon tomorrow!
By the time, I had this mental battle well underway in my head, I hear “Hey darlin’.” There is Scott. God he looked handsome . . . . He came over and kissed me. There was immediately a lump in my throat the size of Texas . . . I calmly told him we needed to talk and asked him to close the door. He did then knelt down by the bed and held my hand with that beautiful smile on his face. I looked him straight in his gorgeous blue eyes and said, “My doctor called . . . I have cancer.” The look on his face . . . he broke . . . bellowing, “Nooooo! Nooooo!” I held his head in my lap consoling him, trying to assure him it would all be ok. I immediately began trying to explain everything my doctor had told me, which I could not remember most of it. But the two things I could remember were, it was found in a milk duct so it was confined and apparently caught early.
I told Scott I had his cell phone number so he could call him later, and he did. After a few hours in and out and behind closed doors, I told Scott I wanted to tell Austin. For 10 years, it had just been the two of us, and I was always open and honest with Austin. Although we hadn’t told anyone else yet, I wanted him to hear it from me. So with the three of us piled up in my bed, we broke the news. A lot of it he could not comprehend, but the one thing I assured him was I would be ok. When I had my stroke, I told him I’d be ok, and I was. This upcoming battle would be no exception. I would and could beat it! Plus, this time we had one more on our team – Scott . . .
And a year later, WE have beat it!
Today, Wednesday, July 30, 2014, I celebrate my one year anniversary of being a breast cancer SURVIVOR!
For several months, I had imagined what this day would hold, this momentous occasion in my life . . . we’d have a big pink party to celebrate this milestone. But instead, Scott and I are headed to Nashville. Crum-Teague Healthier Solutions is a vendor at the Plum Expo, the National Women’s Survivor Convention at the Opryland Hotel. I mean . . . who would have thought? One year ago today I’m trying to simply accept my diagnosis. Now, 20+ trips later to the Cancer Treatment Center of Chicago, having found cancer in my right breast initially then a more evasive tumor in my left breast, who knows the number of tears, scans, tests and vials of blood, five surgeries, four chemo treatments and the loss of hair, one year later I’m headed to celebrate with approximately 1,000 other ladies from across the country who too have conquered their battles with cancer. And yes, I have my “sparkle” on!
But no worries, I feel a “pink” party coming on soon!
In closing, Jesus honored God by fulfilling His purpose on earth. Remember, as believers, we should honor God the same way. When anything in creation fulfills its purpose, it brings glory to our Creator. “So God may you continue to use me to bring glory to you . . . God work through me,” Susan.