Wednesday, August 11, 2010

It Will Be a Year This Friday That I Was Diagnosed

So, I'm going to change this blog to be more inclusive of life. Makes sense, since there is more to life than having or living through cancer. (I don't think the word, "survivor" is accurate. At least not until the cancer patient dies of something else.)

Plus, I'm lazy. If I don't start blogging about daily things here, I'll never get round to doing it anywhere else.

As for the anniversary....I still maintain my "You've got Cancer!" (I always think of it in the tones of AOL's famous, "You've Got Mail!" voice) moment will never be a Lifetime movie. I said, "Fuck!" too many times. And while I found my mom's reaction to hearing I had breast cancer almost comical (hey-don't judge me. It was 11:30am and had been a long day already. Crying and hiding in the bathroom so Elizabeth wouldn't be scared, calling CJ at work and Jo at home. Long day.)

Polly: "Mom, my gyno just called back with biopsy results. I've got breast cancer."
Mom: "NO!"
Polly: "Yes; now I've..(interrupted)
Mom: "NO!"
Polly: "Yes. Do you think you could (interrupted again)
Mom: "NO!!!!!!!"
Polly: "Yes."
Mom: "NO!"
Polly: OK, this is getting us no where. I. HAVE. CANCER. Can you hurry up with Denial phase and just move to Anger?"
Mom: "I'm coming right over." (hangs up and is at my house in 20 minutes.)

It had to have been one of the stranger weekends in my life. My parents spent all Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with CJ, Elizabeth, and I. Took us out for dinner, went to our pool, etc. I kept feeling like everyone was watching me, like they were waiting for the Big Emotional Cancer Breakdown or something equally mushy. Drama, I'm good with-mushy, not so much. (At least to anyone over the age of 4!)

My first phone calls to spread the Un-happy news were to CJ, at work, and Jo, at home in Minnesota.
CJ said, "Oh, shit." I quite concur-it really was an OSM. (Oh Shit Moment.) He snapped into asking questions about the biopsy and said he was coming home immediately. I can't remember if I was crying then. I think CJ was trying to do three thing at once:

1. Not freak in his office
2. Comfort his wife, over a phone
3. Try to start getting cancer/medical stuff DONE!

I'm sure he wanted to indulge in a momentary mini-breakdown. I wouldn't have blamed him. But he's CJ. He keeps it together, asks the right questions, and come home immediately and made me fresh, homemade crabcakes.

You never really think you'll be putting those marriage vows of "in sickness and in health" to use so soon. To put it simply; he is the best person I know and the best decision I've ever made.

I called Jo next. I think that's when I started crying. Told my BF and sobbed, "Will you come out if I have to have surgery?" (sob! sniffle!) I felt so much better-there didn't seem to be a moment of hesitation-"Of course, I'll come!!" Thank you again, so much.

The hardest "I've Got Cancer" phone calls were to my mom (see above) because I knew I would have to emotionally take care of her and I was feeling already overextended; and to my friend, Bill. Because his father died from cancer back in 2005. I get the feeling (and I could be wrong-it does happen occasionally!) that people who lose someone they loved to cancer have more of a visceral reaction to your cancer news. It ain't pretty. And they know it-they have a better idea than most people in the world of what you'll be facing. They ask the more pointed and specific questions right off the bat.

I still just feel horrible for calling Bill on his vacation. I remember that when I finally got in touch with him, he was giving his kids a bath. I said, "I was just diagnosed with breast cancer today." And quiet, except the splashing of Lilibet and Charlotte in the water.

Made it through the horrible (because after a while, I was just exhausted from having to repeat/relieve the story of my diagnosis yet AGAIN) phone calls.

Told my in-laws. Knew right away that Betsy would be do everything she could and would take care of Elizabeth for us during surgery. She did more than that-she kept my child HAPPY, in a truly crappy time. I can never thank her enough.

Good. I've now recorded it for Posterity. Now I can move along to this year.

I'm hoping that this year brings:

1. No cancer return trips. Gee, I think that's a given.
2. I'd like to have another baby, when my Herceptin is finished in December. We can start trying in March.
3. My long hair. I want it back.

Peace, prosperity, health. You know the drill.

1 comment:

  1. One of the oddest aspects of having terrible news enter your life like this is that when you tell people about it - you inevitably end up comforting them more than they're comforting you. It's some kind of cosmic karma bait-and-switch that actually ends up helping you deal with it. You don't have time to feel too sorry for yourself because you're too busy trying to get everyone else in your life to man-up and accept it.

    And thank you for the kind words - love you, babe.