The beginning of the journey is chaotic and you are really not sure where to begin. Telling your family and friends is probably the first step in the process. The look on peoples faces when you say “I have cancer” is haunting. I was told by my doctor to pull my car over while she told me I had breast cancer. Luckily I was in the parking lot of my office building. Not the way to tell someone they have cancer over the phone! As I sat there and heard the words, I felt a chill unlike any other possess me (funny as I type this, I am shaking). I guess this is my end, how does anyone survive cancer? My husband at the time called immediately and I just uttered the words as tears streamed down my face. I had to now go into my office and face my family. I work for my family business so I had to tell my parents and brother immediately as they were waiting anxiously for my results. As I stood in the hallway, my world just crumbled around me but the loving embrace of my family was what comforted me in that moment. All our employees shared in the experience, it was a terrible day but one that began my journey.
Once you know you have cancer, the craziness of the medical journey also begins. Always have someone with you at appointments to document what the doctor says, because you are in a daze and one thing goes in one ear and out the other. Picking your medical team is your first priority and this takes a bit of time since you want to make sure you have the best team behind you. When your team is in place, then they order a battery of tests to see if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. This part is terrifying and the wait to get the results consumes your mind. Praying is a good tool during this time, this helped me immensely to stay positive. Once the testing is complete, the medical team will have their battle plan mapped out. I was lucky that my tests results were negative and the cancer was only isolated to the breast. So now I had to wait a month to start treatment which was hard to comprehend because I just wanted to attack the problem immediately before it got out of control.
The worst was yet to come when I got the results from the breast biopsy, which is something I had no clue about at the time. Once I understood my results and the harsh reality of my diagnosis – how could I ever survive this?