January 9th, One of the worst days of my life.
The next day everything was back to normal. Me and the boys were running out of the house at 7:20am to get to school and work on time. A normal drop off and great commute to work. I work with great people. Usually in the morning we have what I would like to call a morning brief but was more like meeting for coffee and catching up on gossip and news, as well as what was going on for the day (work related of course). After our cups of coffee we all headed to our desks. I had a conference call with a select few people in the State of SD to discuss the use and education of traditional tobacco (something I am passionate about). My phone kept ringing, it was the doctor’s office. I hit ignore because I was on the phone. I was thinking, oh good they are calling me to tell me my results were back and everything was fine and that they would give me some antibiotics for this armpit thing I had going on. I was going to call after my conference call was finished. By the 3rd missed call I decided to answer, I put my call on mute and answered my cell phone. It was the front desk from the doctor’s office and she asked if I could come in to talk to the midwife. My heart sank, and I felt panic. I said yes I can. She said she had an opening at 10:45am and 2:00pm. It was 10:20 am, and I was still on a call that I was actively participating in. I said I would be there at two. I should have hung up my conference call and just headed to the doctor’s office, I did not hear much of the rest of the call anyway. Then I told my coworkers that the doctor called and wanted me to come in to talk to me. They told me to just go in and talk to her now, I said I would wait but it couldn’t be good news. All the panic came back. A few coworkers offered to go with me in case it was bad news, they could drive me back. I told them I would rather break down by myself than with someone.
I did my best for the next few hours to keep busy and not go into panic mode. Two o’clock came and I headed to the doctor’s office. I was so nervous, I felt like all the staff was staring at me. They of course were not paying any attention to me or what I was doing. I waited in the exam room for a few minutes waiting for the midwife. She came in and asked how I was feeling and then gave me the news. Even before she said it, I knew. I knew what she was going to tell me. I just closed my eyes and the water works started. I do not remember everything she told me. I just heard that the biopsy came back as cancerous and because I was pregnant, they were working on figuring out how to do more testing. I could not do a CT/PET scan to pinpoint the cancer but the pathologist said it was definitely Metastatic Breast Cancer. I could not even process all of the information she gave me. It was all a blur. All I could think about was my baby girl, my boys and my family. She was so amazing she wrapped her arms around me and just held me. Then she told me she was working on getting me scheduled for more tests, to find me an oncologist, radiologist and surgeon. She had me fill out an application for the All Women Count program (who btw never even got back to me). She had everything organized for me and gave me the information to a Cancer Patient Navigator. Honestly she did more for me in one day than I could have ever asked from someone. And she did it without asking. She told me my next steps and guided me through everything. I am so thankful for my midwife Shayla.
While sitting in the exam room just crying, I was trying to figure out how to tell my family. Do I call them now? Do I shoot them a group text? What do I do? I did not know what to do. I just stared at my phone. I managed to text my sister “I have cancer.” She called about 2 seconds later and I had to hit ignore. I text her and said I would call when I left the doctor. The midwife let me cry it out and asked if I needed more time. I asked if I could go, I didn’t want to stay there and let it sink in more. She said she would call me when she heard back about the appointments she scheduled. I called my sister crying and told her what I knew. We cried on the phone together. And I told her I would be over after picking the boys up from school. I went back to work, I was not quite ready to see my boys yet. I walked in with my sunglasses on and went into my coworkers office and just bawled. My coworkers hugged me and cried with me. We talked, we cried, we asked questions, we googled things, they shared stories of people they knew had breast cancer. They were like “why are you here? You need time.” I responded “where do I go? What am I supposed to do or where should I go? I don’t know what to do. I am not ready to tell my boys.” I needed it to sink in. Thankfully my sister called my mom and some family. It saved me from having to say the same thing over and over. My coworkers are seriously amazing and supportive. I was glad they were there with me during it.
I left work and went to my sisters house. She said she would cook for me. We just hung out and I told her and my cousin what the doctors had told me. I think we were all in shock. None of us knew what to do or say. It wasn’t just me who was having a difficult time, it was them as well.