On the Road Again

A large black almond shape spreads across my breast on the ultrasound screen.

The technician leaves the room to consult with someone. “There’s an abnormality in your breast tissue which needs to be studied further. We recommend a biopsy.”

I know what that means.

I sign the papers and a doctor comes in shortly. “We should have the results within three days. Either a nurse will call from Radiology, or we’ll send the results to your primary care physician.” Crap, they don’t even have a plan.

When I get home, I search online for “ultrasound black mass.” It could be cell necrosis or several other things. I want to have hope, but I can’t convince myself.

The biopsy is Thursday. On Monday, my GP examines the mass. Her eyes confirm what I already suspect. “I’ll call you as soon as I know anything.”

Wednesday, March 2 at 5:45 P.M., she calls. “The biopsy results just came in, and it’s cancer.” We talk for ten minutes. She asks several times if she can do anything to help, and repeats, “Call me if you need anything.”

After seventeen-and-a-half years in remission, my cancer has returned. I was hoping that it was over, that I’d never have to go through this again.

My husband puts his arms around me. We sit on the living room couch and I start to cry. He holds me, and rocks me, and cries with me.

Author: MeredithLaskow

Artist, writer, and unrepentant nerd girl.

8 thoughts on “On the Road Again”

  1. Argh, my heart aches with you. Although in the end, my cancer was minimal and easily resolved with surgery, the long process of getting to that stage was excruciating…trying to get the doctor to agree that something was wrong in the first place took MONTHS! Then several months of ultrasounds where they think they see something but they’re not sure, so let’s wait another 2 months or so and do it again. Argh. All this time, I knew something was growing inside of me and was terrified that by the time they found it, it would be too late. Finally, several months later, enough tangible reasons to warrant the biopsy, then waiting for results, then waiting for the appt with the surgeon, then waiting for the surgery, then waiting for those results..it was agonizing, knowing my life was in their hands and yet they didn’t seem to be taking it seriously. In the end it all came out okay, but that will never erase the memory of all those months of agonizing wait. So Meredith, my heart aches with you through all of this. Xoxoxoxo

    1. MONTHS? OMG! Unfortunately, this is one of the worst things I hear about socialized medicine. Even though expenses are all covered, it can take forever just to get approval for tests and treatment. With my fast-growing tumor, months could have been fatal. When we listen to our bodies, instinct always tell us when something is wrong. And interminable waiting adds to our stress which can make the cancer worse.

  2. “My husband puts his arms around me. We sit on the living room couch and I start to cry. He holds me, and rocks me, and cries with me.” Dear God, this made me choke up. Thank God you have a husband who holds you and feels with you. There is a German saying: ‘Sharing pain is half the pain.’ This is so true. Let yourself go and be comforted. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

    1. Thanks again, Angelika! My husband was there for me 100% in 1998, and he’s 100% now, doing everything he can to make this a little easier. I’m grateful that I don’t have to go through this alone.

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