For those of you who watched West Wing, you might remember that whenever they had to deliver bad news to the nation (or things that they didn't want lots of media attention about), the White House staffers would make the announcement during that kind of dead air zone on Friday afternoons. They called it taking out the trash. Well, I have some trash to take out this afternoon.
Looks like I'm going to have surgery. And, the news just keeps getting better...I'll probably have to miss the first few days of school.
My attitude right now kind of sucks, so I'll apologize in advance. I feel guilty even complaining because at this point they don't really think it's cancer but just suspicious cells that may or may not be precancerous. Some of my friends are breast cancer survivors who have been through much worse than my wimpy little procedures. First of all I'm very glad that I have insurance. I'm also grateful for early detection and all that, but right now I'm just pissed off that this is going to mess up the beginning of my school year. I don't have tenure, so I really don't want to have to ask my principal for time off during the first week of school. I'm sure she'll be okay with it, but I hate having to ask. After all the chaos of the last year, I want a smooth start with my new class. I want to be able to experience the first days of middle school with my sixth grader. I want to take my third grader to school with me on the first week. Instead, I have to be cut on and stressed out and I'm bitter about it. I'll get over it later, but right now I'm going through an angry phase.
Here are the details: the surgeon said that there are atypical cells present and they're in an atypical pattern. If it were just one or the other, they'd probably take a "wait and see" approach, but that's a whole lot of suspicious-looking stuff going on at once for them to feel comfortable waiting. The radiologist said that even though he got a lot of tissue, he's concerned that he didn't get enough for a representative sample of what's going on in there. The mammographer thinks that they're not seeing everything on the pictures.
The surgeon is going to perform a lumpectomy, even though it's really not a lump, but an area of microcalcifications. Then they'll send it off to pathology and see what we're looking at. Best case scenario, it's nothing and we continue to watch it closely. Worst case scenario: it still looks like suspicious pre-cancerous cells, but they've removed the lesions in question. Then they'll probably want to check the lymph nodes, maybe cut a little more, and watch me closely.
The really ironic part is that I just donated my hair to Locks of Love on May 4th, and now I'm facing my own breast cancer scare. I click the Breast Cancer site to donate mammograms to underprivileged women every day, and here I am. My sorority's national philanthropy when I was in college was the Susan G. Komen Foundation. I'm used to being on the giving end of the "find a cure" team; not the receiving end. Now I just found out today that my brother might be sick too. Ugh. This sucks.
Okay, I'll get over my little private pity party tomorrow. Today I just needed to roll around in my angry little bitter mood just a bit more.