I returned to my ENT’s office on 3/12/00. I was supposed to go to have my stitches removed. I went by myself. I did have my son who was now 4 ½ mos old. I was placed in the examination room. The doctor entered and removed the stitches while asking how I was doing. I said I was doing OK all things considering. He said I had healed really well and he was pleased with my progress. After removal he stated that he was going to quick go and grab the pathology report.
This was the point that would forever change my life. I remember him returning to the room, closing the door and standing by the door just to the right of it. As he began to read he fell back against the wall and said “I am so sorry I thought it was nothing.” I sat there not quite realizing what was happening. He looked at me and said “I did not even look at the pathology report before today because I was so sure it was nothing. The report shows that the nodule was malignant and that it has spread to your lymph node.” He went on to explain that he never takes out lymph nodes and that this one must have accidentally been removed. I was stunned. I had heard the “C” word. I looked to my left and saw my sweet baby boy sleeping in his infant carrier. I said nothing. I did nothing. My doctor said I am surprised you are acting this way. I looked at him and quietly said “I don’t know what to say”. Before I left he said to me “I do not know how to treat this but will contact my oncologist friend to find out.” He told me that he would be in touch to let me know the next step but discussed chemotherapy and radiation. It is all a blur to me. I don’t think I really wanted to know. I wanted to leave, run anywhere but there. I wanted my husband and he was not there. I wanted someone who could tell me that it would be OK and that this was not really happening. How was I going to tell my husband that his wife was diagnosed with cancer when we had a new baby?
I walked out to my car, placed my son in the infant carrier base in the back seat, slid into the drivers seat and burst into tears. I cried and screamed and asked God why? Why was this happening to me? I grabbed my cell phone and paged my husband. I waited and no response so I called my friend. She sensed that I was upset and through my tears I told her what had just transpired. She told me her mom and sister were at her house and that they would all be there to support me and to come over. I drove to her house and broke down. Thank God for good friends who are there for you when you need them. My husband called me while I was at her house. I feel bad as I look back. This poor guy was working out in his territory and found out that his wife was diagnosed with cancer. I can only imagine the thoughts that went through his head. I do remember him telling me that we would talk that night and that we would get through this.
That night after dinner while still sitting at the table I called my mom to tell her that I had been diagnosed with cancer. I remember avoiding it all day not wanting to call. I am an only child. I remember telling her that I got my results of the pathology report and that it was malignant and had spread to my lymph node. She was quiet on the other end and did not say much and then hung up. Later she told me that she had cried and gotten angry at God. I wonder why it is God that we curse so quickly when bad things occur. It is to God that I owe my life and strength through this time.