In retrospect, the decisions I made in my youth should have killed me. I chose to be with the “in” crowd and did my fair share of illegal drugs and I was even frequently known to drive home intoxicated. Stupid! Just plain stupid! Luckily, I survived those crazy years and all I have left of those days is just a distant memory. With that being said, if the late 80’s didn’t kill me, I was pretty sure I was going to live a long and healthy life.
In early August 2014, I went in for my yearly physical which of course included a mammogram. I walked out of the imaging facility thinking I could now check mammogram off my “to do” list. The very next day while flipping burgers at our company picnic I received a call from the hospital. The nurse was very pleasant and asked if I wouldn’t mind coming in for another mammogram and possible ultra sound. Nothing could have prepared me for the instant panic of getting that phone call. Nothing could have prepared me for the next 6 months.
I’ve always believed that laughter is the best medicine. So it was no surprise to my family and friends that prior to reimaging of my left breast I was making inappropriate cancer jokes. Nothing is more sobering than seeing an image of your breast, and seeing that yes, there is something there. To make things even worse, the Radiologist is recommending a biopsy. Go figure….I wasn’t laughing any more.
The biopsy itself was a piece of cake. You lay there real still and they take the tissue sample. Even when the radiologist called me the next day to tell me that initial tests show cancer I was still relatively calm or maybe in denial because I felt fine. What weighed heavy on my mind was having to tell my family and friends that I have breast cancer. To this day, I get the occasional mental “snapshot” of how my love ones reacted. I’m the funny one. I wasn’t supposed to be making them cry.