contributed by Alice Kondraciuk (Lil' Sis of the Queen)
They say you will never forget the day when you were told. I couldn’t agree more.
I remember rushing out the door as I usually did to get to class. This time was different – I had to stop at the doctor’s office first for the results. I wasn’t too concerned; my mom had the same type of biopsy done six months earlier for the same concern, and all was fine. So off I went to the doctor and work. Driving in Michigan usually means an SUV and at least one highway – my route had to win the all time prize for crappiness, with five highways, 44 miles and an hour drive each way.
As if on autopilot, I completely missed my freeway change leading to the doctor’s office and was headed straight for the school. My interns called with a problem and needed help with the servers and student computers. Damn! I have to turn around, and I cannot get off the freeway for five miles. Great! I just love it when I miss an exit.
As I pulled into the doctor’s office, I noticed my Mom’s car in the lot. My sister Rose and I have the same doctor, and she had an appointment before mine. I was late, so just waved to my Mom and rushed into the door. I was surprised they were still there since I was late, and the staff was very nice about the whole thing. Rose was still there in the waiting room, too. I thought, “Oh good, she hadn’t been seen yet, so I’m safe.”
Actually, she said she just wanted a chance to say hello to me because she hardly gets to see me anymore.
“How nice,” I thought.
I was called in immediately. The doctor checked my stitches and said to get dressed and come to his office. Then he looked at me and said we did not get the results we wanted. We need to talk about what happens next. My whole world started moving in slow motion, and a wave of emotions came over me. Wait! I said my sister was just in the lobby, can I please go get her? Oh my god. I don’t want her to leave.
“She won’t leave,” the doctor said. “We told her to stay. We told her that you would need her.”
Now her being here made more sense. Rose and I sat down in the doctor’s office where he delivered the news. As she held my hand, the words were spoken. It was very surreal.
“You have Cancer. You are young. You are probably curable.”
“You have an extensive amount of DCIS – Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (non-invasive) and some Invasive cancer, as well.”
Apparently, it’s very rare to have both.
I am a Stage IIA Breast Cancer survivor. I am currently under treatment and looking forward to reconstructive surgery in the coming months. My goal is share my story in a series of articles about how this all affected my life. I invite you all to do the same I would really love to hear from you any and all of you especially if you are a survivor, caregiver or have been affected in any way by Cancer. I also plan to share the choices I have made about my treatment and what I am doing to fight back. I look forward to our conversations. Thanks for listening.