1) My first blog post was about the mammogram that would change everything. Next, I wrote about hearing the words You Have Cancer (that's here), how I broke the news to my husband here, why we chose to keep it a secret here (and the lesson I learned from that here), and how I kept myself from going completely off-the-wall ballistic here and here.
2) And all that happened before a scalpel ever touched my skin. If you've ever had cancer (or been through it with someone close), you know exactly what I'm talking about. (I can hear your shaking head from here!) If you've recently been diagnosed, the above links will help you. A lot...
4) This takes patience (lots), research (here is how I did it), reading (books I found helpful are here and here) and talking to people who have already been through it (I did that here). None of it is easy. You must weigh the options and opinions while also listening to your gut and making decisions which will forever alter the course of your life. It's some heavy s***. But you can do it. You have no other choice.
5) Know this too: You will feel that you have to make these major life decisions in a very short amount of time. (I know women who learned they had cancer one week and were in surgery the next.) It doesn't have to happen that fast. When I was feeling pressured to make my surgical decisions, my new doctor gave me some very sage advice: "Your cancer has been growing for years. Waiting another month will not make any difference in your treatment plan."
He was right. Knowing I had time to make the right choice for me was what I needed. I encourage you to take the time you need to make a fully informed decision. Once you have the pathology report from your biopsy, you and your doctor will know exactly what type of cancer you are dealing with and can make an informed decision about how quickly you must decide about your steps going forward. Ask from the onset how much time you safely have to decide. That extra week or two (or three) can make all the difference in the world.
Tomorrow, something a little more fun! Stay tuned.