I truly chose a general practitioner with no common sense. It didn’t matter to me that she wasn’t proactive. I mean, what would that matter? She would be there to fill prescriptions, fill out camp forms and take my blood pressure. I never realized that having a GP would be an asset when you want things expedited. Researched. Or you simply want to be referred to a secondary physician who is qualified and one of your choosing.

This all came into play as I tried to run up the steps to some sort of diagnosis. I had to call to get my results. And then they were only half my results. And then came the final call. On a day she would be unavailable to speak further.  How do you drop a bomb like this and then erase your compassion? I don’t know. I couldn’t do it.

It was 6:12 AM on Friday, April, 25th. I thought the alarm went off three minutes early. It actually took my mind a moment for the ring to register. And then I said to Gary, “Answer it. I think it’s the phone.” I had been waiting for the phone to ring. I had called the radiology center every day but Thursday. I had called her office twice a day. I had hoped of all hopes that it was good news simply because the pathology had taken so long.

“It’s cancer.”  That was the first word my mind grasped.  “You can expect a cascade of events.”  I wasn’t sure but I thought I heard the word surgeon.

I just sat in utter shock. It really is shock and then immediate and utter terror.  The processing of such a cataclysmic diagnosis had begun.

It was a workday and I slowly got dressed, decided not to wear any mascara and head into the office.  This felt the like the end of the waiting. So scared was I. Now a new kind of scared came into view. The truth that life isn’t forever. That this might be my first entry, not unlike my father’s, into the horrible world of cancer treatment.

In that moment, my life changed forever.

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