Feb 27,2005 will forever be the day that my life changed.
You see a few days earlier in Feb 2015 I went to see the doctor. Not my doctor because she was already gone. But I went to see her associate. At the beginning of January I had discovered a lump on the top of my left breast. It was huge and not going anywhere. So I wanted it checked out by a doctor. The doctor was rude and made a snarky comment to me that I should have missed work to see my doctor if this was so urgent. When I barked back that I didn’t need to see my doctor to send me for an ultrasound. That any doctor could do that. I said “Do you think it’s cancer?” He said he highly doubted it because of my age, said something about a 5% chance of my lump being cancer and sent me off with a script for a left breast ultrasound.
So I made the appointment for Feb 27, 2015 after work. I had casually mentioned it to my mom who wanted to come with me. I told her not to worry about coming because it would be a short appointment and then I’d be on my way quickly anyways. My husband wanted to come and I told him the same thing as my mom.
To be honest, I wasn’t worried. I just assumed that they would tell me that the large lump in my breast was a cyst and that maybe I would need it drained and worse case I would need the lump removed.
What happened next was unexpected.
I went into the ultrasound room. It was dark and warm. The tech opened my gown, put the gel on and started moving around. I tried to cock my head towards the screen to see what was going on and what this mysterious lump looked like, but the screen was turned the other way.
Then the tech spoke “Would you like me to do your right breast?”
At that moment I knew something wasn’t right.
“Are you asking me if I want to do the right side for fun or are you telling me I need to do the right side?” I said to her
She said “I’ll be right back” and she got up and ran out of the room
Tears filled my eyes. I’ve had enough ultrasounds in my life that I know the techs don’t ask the patient if they want something looked at unless they are concerned.
A few minutes later she came back into the room and said “The radiologist wants you to have a right breast ultrasound and a mammogram immediately.
So the tech finished up the other side quickly and ushered me down the hall to a big, freezing cold room where the mammogram machine was. I was numb. Everything happened so quickly. Right after my mammogram, the image of my breast with a massive solid circular tumor was displayed on a screen, looking me right in the face.
After the mammogram was done, I asked that tech if I could get dressed. She told me I couldn’t and had to wait in the seats while she talked on the phone to the radiologist who was remote. She picked up the phone, said some words and then handed me the phone. The radiologist wanted to talk to me. It was 4:30 PM on a Friday.
The tech passed me the phone, pointed me back into the room where I just had my mammogram with the image of my breast and my tumor displayed. I remember the women’s name. I remember her tell me it was bad. Very bad, she said. That I had to get the images I just had taken and they had to be delivered to Princess Margaret Hospital first thing Monday morning.
All I could say to her was “I have two young kids” and I could no longer talk because I was crying hysterically.
I then hung up. Numb. Got dressed. Numb. Waited for my images. Numb.
Called my husband. Crying hysterically. Waited for him to come. Crying Hysterically.
Why did the radiologist feel the need to talk to me? Why did the radiologist feel that talking to me at 4:30 PM on a Friday when I couldn’t do anything else about it was a good idea? Didn’t the radiologist have bedside manner training? Was I going to die? What the hell was going on with me? These questions and more flooded my brain.
I remember going to my parents house for dinner. And that weekend was a blur. I have no memories from that weekend. I’m not sure I even left the house.
Feb 27 will forever be the day that my life got flipped upside down.
Before I innocently walked into the lab to get my ultrasound, my life was great. I was happy, we were healthy and I was living the dream with my husband and kids. And when I left my life would never, ever, ever be the same.