Biopsy results

Published by pam on Wed, 02/29/2012 - 3:53pm

 

The radiologist reads out the details as if it's a grocery list.  8 of 9 on the Nottingham scale.  Infiltrating ductal carcinoma.  One positive node.  It's aggressive just like she thought.  She talks in a language I struggle to understand.  I ask her for the details so my father the pathologist can decipher them for me.  

 

My father.  

 

I'm going to have to tell my father.  He's going to have to go through all of this again.  The chemo, the fear, the chill of death watching nearby.  My somach sinks for him.  Almost more then it does for me.  

 

She reads of the details and asks if I have any questions.  

 

Is this survivable?  

 

I haven't asked before.  It's the obvious question, but I didn't think to ask.   Really, how could she know from an ultrasound.   Once the question is out there, I'm not sure I want to hear the answer.  

 

Should be.  But you'll know more after the surgeon runs her tests.  The best thing you can do is act fast.  Some people mull things over.  With a tumor l Ike this, you don't have time to mull things over.

 

So, it's not as bad as it could be?

 

It's not as bad as it could be.

 

Wonder why they don't tell you that part first?

 

Comments

Hi, Pam, So sorry to hear that you have cancer, very glad that its survivable. We'll be thinking about you as you travel through the medical maze toward health. I'll be reading your posts here - I like how you write. Love to you and your family from Vancouver, Carrie 

Pam, the hardest part of my journey was having to tell my father.  My mother was 42 when she lost her battle with cancer, and here I was, age 43.  I remembered that my mom didn't tell her parents until after her surgery but I didn't want my father to have that kind of surprise (even tho we didn't get the 'cancer' diagnosis until surgery.  That phone call was really tough, but he was stronger than I was, and it gave him time to make a surprise trip from FL to visit me in the hospital post-surgery.  Given your Dad's career as a pathologist, he probably had some specific questions, my dad relied on my brother the doctor, who was involved in finding my surgeon, reviewing results, etc.  You know we're all rooting for you!
 
you know we're all rooting for you!

I have thought of you often as I have absorbed all of this.  I remember the chill I felt as you sent out mail about facing ovarian cancer.  That is a frightening disease with more dangerous odds and your children were much younger than mine.  Seeing how you fought back and have gone on to live a strong and productive life is an inspiration.  
As you suggested, my dad was stronger than I had imaginied.  Six months after my mom died, he moved away.  Too many ghosts, I think. It it was hard to lose him.  I used to tell people that the one silver lining in my mom's death was that I came to know and appreciate my fathe in a way I never had before.  Losing him - even though onl distance separates us - was kind of like losing my mom twice.  The phone call was hard.  Images of my mom, sick, dying came flooding back.  I know they did for him as well. But he was great.   I did not really understand the details of my diagnosis at the time and he helped me through it.  Immediately, he rented an apartment, hoping help as much as he can.  I could not be more grateful for the support he has given me so far.  When new tests come in, he is quick to decipher them for me.  He doesn't sugar coat things, but as I'm sure you know, some of the words used around cancer are big and scary and when you hear them spoken on television, they are always followed by horrific images of suffering.  He has helped me sort truth from fiction.  
I am reminded over and over again that people should not be measured by how they behave in good times, but how they act when life gets hard. It sounds like your dad, like mine, quickly became the lifeline you needed him to be. 
Hope all is well in sunny Arizona.  And thank you for taking the time to write.
 
Pam

Pam, the hardest part of my journey was having to tell my father.  My mother was 42 when she lost her battle with cancer, and here I was, age 43.  I remembered that my mom didn't tell her parents until after her surgery but I didn't want my father to have that kind of surprise (even tho we didn't get the 'cancer' diagnosis until surgery.  That phone call was really tough, but he was stronger than I was, and it gave him time to make a surprise trip from FL to visit me in the hospital post-surgery.  Given your Dad's career as a pathologist, he probably had some specific questions, my dad relied on my brother the doctor, who was involved in finding my surgeon, reviewing results, etc.  You know we're all rooting for you!
 
you know we're all rooting for you!