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Waiting for test results is killing me.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

I'm a 15-year breast cancer survivor. Last week, I had my annual mammogram. As usual, I get very stressed when it's time for this test; it's kind of like waiting for the other shoe to drop. This time, a suspicious area showed up on the mammogram, and I had an ultrasound as well. The radiologist couldn't determine what the spot was, so she recommended a needle biopsy. I had that done on Thursday, and I'm waiting for the results. I have my regularly scheduled appointment with the oncologist this week.

15 years ago when I was diagnosed, I was still working, and work kept my mind off the possibilities. I worked all through my cancer treatments, including radiation and chemo. I only took off a week for the lumpectomy surgery. Work kept me sane that year.

Now, I'm retired, and have too much free time on my hands. My mind is working overtime, thinking about the possibilities, and playing the "what if" game. I'm stuck at home waiting for the phone to ring, yet dreading the news. I can't concentrate on a book, tv, or any of my knitting projects. I don't want to call anyone because I don't want to miss the call from the doctor, and besides, I don't really feel like talking to anybody. So, far, I've done all the laundry, dusted and vacuumed and it's only noontime.

I'm one of those people who expect the worst while hoping for the best. I know that if the cancer has returned, I'll have to have a mastectomy because they can't repeat radiation in the same place. When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, it had already spread to the lymph nodes, so I know what chemo is like. I survived it but it wasn't pleasant. I've already researched the surgery, looked at the hospital's staff listing for oncological surgeons who specialize in breast cancer, and have a list of questions prepared for my doctor appointment. I need to feel in control of this.

Hoping and praying I get good news - and SOON!
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