On Wednesday, April 10th at 9:30 AM, I got a phone call that most people believe changed my life forever. I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Invasive (or infiltrating) ductal carcinoma. By 3 PM that afternoon, I was in the office of my oncological surgeon, and I had 7 additional appointments already set up for the next week.
But to me, I’m still me. Nothing in my life has changed so far. And based on all of the information we know right now, as one doctor said on Friday, “this could just be a blip in your life”.
When I tell people, their reactions are shock, fear, sadness, concern. And I’m starting to feel strange when they stare at me and I’m smiling. I know I’ll feel those emotions, but not right now. Right now I’m concentrating on learning this disease, establishing a good rapport with my medical team, and storing up as much laughter and happiness as possible.
For the rest of my life, I’ll have the word Cancer appended to my name. But for right now, I want my life to be as normal as possible. And since there is no surgery right now, no treatments right now, and no new knowledge right now, I think normalacy is an achievable goal.
Shortly I’ll have an MRI. That will help my medical team learn more, and as a result I’ll most likely have a new set of emotions to deal with. But until that time, I’m still Tree, Trish, Tricia, Patricia. I’m still me. And even after that time, I’m still me.
I love to laugh, and I’m going to search for laughter everywhere.
So please, when you see me, you don’t need to stare at me as if my Cancer is tatooed on my forehead. It’s not, trust me. Just laugh with me. Please.
ps: For those of you who are friends with me on Facebook, please do not mention this on Facebook! That is my normal hidey-hole for the time being, where I can just be me. Thanks!