Facing The Long Wait For Breast Biopsy Results: Cancer Or No Cancer?

phone in doctors office

It’s time. Facing the long wait for breast biopsy results was over. The waiting is done and in a few minutes I will find out which way the cards will fall. Cancer or no cancer? I wonder, will I breathe a sigh of relief one way or the other? The waiting is doing my head in, the fear of what could be.

If they don’t find cancer, then what will my life be like? Can I just go back to the way things were before? Can I just ignore what I have felt over the past couple of days since the tests were done? What will I need to change, I wonder? Will I get the chance to find out? So many questions while I was facing the wait.

Find a place inside where there is light and the light will burn out the pain.”

Joseph Campbell

If they find cancer, then at least I’ll know and I can start the fight. But while I sit here in the waiting room, I really can’t do anything but worry about what might or might not be. It’s time now; the moment of truth. My name has been called.

I walk in slow motion and sit down, not really aware of my surroundings, but trying to stay focused. There’s no delay, no time to run out the door as he opens his folder, the folder which will deal my fate. He speaks and I fall silent, “We have found evidence of cancer”. Then he just keeps going, “We need to have you on the table in 36 hours. I need you to go straight to the hospital and check in, so that I know you’re coming on Thursday”. He went on with a list of things he needed me to do.

Your fear is 100% dependent on you for its survival.”
Steve Maraboli

He hands me a piece of paper to take to the hospital. I looked at it and the only words I see are my name and the words “partial mastectomy”. In which reality did I expect to experience this? And I thought facing the wait for the news was bad.

He finished his list of protocols. I stood up, dazed by the news. It wasn’t unexpected, as it confirmed what I had already felt, but I was still dazed by the reality of it. As I drove home, although I don’t remember the drive, the questioning went on. What did “evidence of cancer” actually mean? Maybe it’s not as bad as it sounds. They gave me the bill as I left the doctors; surely, I couldn’t be that bad.

Partial mastectomy – was this really happening? I was 38 years old, fit, healthy, married, looking forward to having my own family and no history of breast cancer in my family. What was happening? This wasn’t in my plan. Is this a dream or maybe I’m caught in a nightmare? I looked for evidence that everything was still okay, which of course it wasn’t.

My husband’s first question was, “How bad is it?”. The only answer I could give was, “Really bad”. The reality had started to hit home. We talked about what I knew, which was that I had 24 hours to prepare before it really started. 24 hours to decide how to deal with it. 24 hours to tell my family. 24 hours to contemplate what life was going to be like with the “cancer” tag now stamped on me.

If you are going through hell, keep going.”
Winston Churchill

In that moment, there were no thoughts of all of the things that had been so important at the beginning of that day. All of the things that seemed so important now seemed so trivial and just faded into the background. Facing the long wait for breast biopsy results was over, it’s time to start fighting this now. That was the only thought to be entertained.

Please leave a comment, as that is how we can support each other.  How did you face the wait for the results?  Tomorrow’s another day!


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