CM: I remember she called me I was in the parking lot on the way out of work. She asked me to come back in, I said "No, just tell me". She told me. I said "ok". I got in my car and went to visit my husband's grandfather. He had raised my husband and when I went to see him, he let me know that he had just found out he had lung cancer with mets to the brain and his time was limited. I sat and talked with him, never telling him the news of my day. I met my sister and her family for dinner. I hadn't told my family yet, so I couldn't tell her. I finally drove home and found my husband sitting on the porch. I looked at him and said "Do you want Papa's news or my news first? Because we both have news". He asked for mine and then Papa's. He to this day says it was the worst day of his life. It then took a couple of days to gather my boys together because one worked the day shift and the other the night shift. Finally two days later at 10:30 pm I got them both together. Because they were boys they didn't know anything about mamograms and I had to answer a lot of questions. Particularly from my younger son. Throughout the next week I told my sisters and then it was time to tell my mother. I visited her at my sisters home and told her. She asked me if that is why I lost so much weight. I was mad. I had worked my butt off for my 50th birthday to lose 25 pounds. I assured her that it was from Weight Watchers. And you?
I told CM my story. I told her how I was at my mother's and had waited until my father came home and was done telling us a story before I told him. My heart has never beat so hard. I felt like I was disappointing my parents because I had cancer. I told her how I sent my father out to go get chocolate and the owner of the market told him he was a cancer survivor from Lahey Hospital (my hospital) too. I told her about calling my brother and he still being at work (damn time difference) and not wanting to tell him, but doing so upon his insistence.
It is funny that CM and I discussed this. 2+ years since the "phone call" from the NP. This year around my diagnosis day anniversary people started telling me about how they received the news. Barely anyone told me about how they reacted a year ago. I found out that I ruined the remainder of a friends trip. I found out how many of my colleagues cried when my boss called them. My friend who I called while she was driving and asked her to pull over recently told me how she sat in the parked car for nearly 20 minutes trying to process the news. When you are in the fight you have to focus on you, but years later it is amazing to see the ripple effect my diagnosis of breast cancer had and the same way it rippled for CM. We both live different lives but have such as strong bond over shared experience of breast cancer. Having breast cancer friends splattered through out where you work does wonderful things for piece of mind.