The day I was diagnosed with cancer came as a complete surprise. I mean, after all, the chance of getting breast cancer in your 20's is pretty low.
I received “the call” from my radiologist at about 3:30 PM in the afternoon. It was actually perfect timing because I had just finished having a coffee meeting at the shop next store to my office, and was walking back to work when I received the phone call. I was outside and, though there were a bunch of people around, it was much better than receiving it while at work.
I actually think that I took the news pretty well. I didn’t start crying uncontrollably, I didn’t completely lose my mind. The radiologist tried to tell me that the good thing about my cancer was that it was “well-differentiated” which meant absolutely nothing to me at the time. We ended the phone call with her telling me my next steps: Schedule a meeting with a surgeon and schedule a time to get a breast MRI.
Of course at this point I felt completely overwhelmed. 30 minutes ago I had happily been chatting with some works contacts and now suddenly I’ve got to make an appointment with a breast surgeon and get an MRI. Terrible.
I was also getting ready to head for Rio in Brazil for a week long vacation. I thought about cancelling it (which i really didn’t want to do), but my doctors encouraged me to still go.
I then made my a few more phone calls—one to my primary care doctor. She was super helpful and took on scheduling a meeting with a surgeon. That helped and took one thing off my plate.
I then texted my best friend—“I have cancer too.”
The reason for that is because, interestingly enough, earlier that day, she had received the same call, that she had breast cancer. We were both diagnosed on the same day, about an hour apart from each other. More on that later.
I then, at that point, didn’t even go back into my office and just got in my car to go home. It was about 4:30 PM by this point. I then spent the rest of the evening on the phone with my family and close friends.