Today was D-Day—diagnosis day. My kind but matter-of-fact doctor called with the biopsy results I was dreading. I have breast cancer – “invasive ductile carcinoma”, whatever that means. I haven’t had the energy or the inclination to Google it.
He patiently and compassionately explained the next steps. But—my cold fingers clutching the phone and my brain swimming in cortisol—I only heard three words: “CANCER”, “ONCOLOGIST”, “SURGEON”.
So, I wait... for the phone to start ringing; for appointments to be scheduled; for information gaps to be filled; for my loved one’s reactions.
I’ve decided it doesn’t matter how much you try to prep yourself for that news, how desperately you want to trust God or how strong you thought your faith was.
Our human bodies and minds are hard-coded to respond to trauma – real or perceived – in certain predictable ways.
I’m numb. Then the fear, icy and insidious, seeps into my soul. Crying seems out of reach. Guttural screaming seems more appropriate, but that takes too much effort.
So, I hang up the phone and stare searchingly into my husband’s clear blue eyes, those eyes that for 28 years have exuded love and assurance, that gaze that has always made me feel like it’s all going to be ok – no matter what.
But this time is different. His clear blue eyes are clouded with tears, and he grabs me and pulls me so tight against his chest that it scares me and jars me back into reality.
In sickness and in health, indeed. Breast cancer journey: Day 1.