The Waiting Game

I saw my fantastically beautiful surgeon last Friday for my annual check-up: three years to the day after I had breast surgery. He found a lump in my right breast this time (so far my right breast has been living the dream). I couldn’t feel it, haven’t experienced sudden weight loss, don’t feel ill… I wasn’t worried. I just waited for the letter with the scan appointment to arrive.

Then last night the hospital rang me and asked me to come in today for an urgent scan and mammogram and I crapped my pants. Why do they want me tomorrow? Why did she say urgent? Why is the surgeon so worried? Why can’t I feel it myself? What if they do a biopsy? Why have they brought my mammogram forward? HOW WORRIED MUST THEY BE?

On the flip side of that my rational voice was saying it’s better to be seen quickly. Better to be safe than sorry. Better to get the mammogram over and done with.

Better not to have to wait. Because waiting for test results when you could be told you have cancer is pure evil. I find it hard to describe how it feels waiting for that news, but if you imagine a physical feeling in your stomach that’s like you just ingested a tennis ball, and the tennis ball is sitting in your stomach and causing you to feel a bit sick. But it’s a fleeting feeling and then it passes. It’s the feeling you get when you think, just for a split second, I might not be here for my kids… It goes as quickly as it comes. Just brief moments of panic, spread throughout your day, while you’re trying to get on with your normal life as if you definitely don’t have cancer.

So I went in today, had the mammogram and scan, and they were inconclusive so I have to get another appointment to see the surgeon again when they’ll also do another scan, and possibly to a biopsy. This could be any time in the next two weeks. Or they could call me again and ask me to come in urgently. They don’t know. It depends what the surgeon wants.

And so I wait…