After all of the craziness of the fall and Ryan's illness and the move and the miscarriage it seemed like our lives were finally settling into a reassuring rhythm. But I was wrong. On Tuesday I went for a walk with friends to a deli for lunch. I was distracted as we walked because Tuesday was the day my mom was to get the results of the biopsy of the lump in her breast.
I had to drop off her cell phone at her school so my three friends and I stopped at her elementary school, which was on the way to the restaraunt. I called the number for her classroom and an unfamiliar voice answered. I asked if she could give me the correct number for my mom's classroom and explained who I was and the voice told me I should go to the main office right away. She said "She needs you honey."
I felt panicky as I sent my friends on their way and walked into the school. I pushed Charlie's stroller into the office and was greeted by a secretary who said "Oh Charlie, you're just in time!" She opened the door to the principal's office and led us in. My mom was crying. I didn't know what to do, what to think, what to say. Bad things rarely happen in my family. We've been so lucky. I was sure that this would just be a blip, a scary couple of days followed by a huge sigh of relief. I wasn't prepared for actual bad news. I hugged my mom tightly and said "I'm so sorry, Mom."
The doctors move quickly after a diagnosis and by Thursday she was in surgery for a lumpectomy. Friday we went to see the radiation oncologist together. She will have a new procedure in which the radioactive source is placed in the cavity left by the tumor. She has to go twice a day Monday through Friday next week instead of going regularly over a six week period. We are still a very lucky family as this will likely be over after her last radiation treatment on Friday (except for lots of checkups over the next few years).
Today (Saturday) you would almost never know anything had happened at all. My mom helped unpack boxes in our new kitchen and played with Charlie and actually insisted that I rest and stop apologizing (the stress of this week and all the physical exertion of moving have resulted in some kind of super morning sickness/intestinal bug combo which rendered me almost completely useless at the worst possible moment... and yes, I did protest and insist that the kitchen was FINE please just come sit down I'll do that when I feel better, but she said she was having fun).
But that was scary. Most of this week I was full of that kind of irrational anger that you get when you bang your head unexpectedly. It wasn't directed at anyone or anything, it was just there and it was powerful. Maybe it was a mask for fear? Because I certainly wasn't allowing myself to consider the really scary possibilities. My dad won't even say the words "cancer" or "tumor". But I'm confident once again that everything is going to be ok. We are so lucky that that is the case.
Get your routine mammograms.