Waiting, waiting, waiting

I am not known for my patience, this is a virtue I do not possess. I have been known to hit send on an important email and call the recipient in that moment to see if they got it and what they thought about it. I have been known to send a package to someone and track it, let’s be honest, stalk it, until it is delivered. Amazon Prime will always have a place in my heart for enabling my inner stalker.

First, there is waiting for the initial mammogram results. That was about three weeks for me. Odds are on your side that everything will be fine. 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. I read that as 7 don’t, woohoo!

No waiting on the diagnostic mammogram, they told me right away that I would need a biopsy and made it happen.

Biopsy results take one week. Waiting a full seven days. Or 168 hours. In theory, 56 of those hours are spent sleeping, I assure you, they were not. It is a long time to wait in any unit of measure. Biopsy results equal one unbelievably long week.

Surgery was scheduled two weeks from biopsy results. These two weeks went in the blink of an eye. There is so much to prepare for and nowhere near enough time, energy, organization or patience to get it all done. The big things are helping kids through this, dealing with the leave team at work and making sure all insurance items are up to date and good to go. There are so many other things, looking back it is funny how some things became a priority while others weren’t on my radar. I am thinking it is all just a coping mechanism, there is a lot to process and even more to do.

Pathology results from surgery take a week. This determines the next steps, nothing, chemo, radiation, or both. Healing from surgery and processing that you didn’t get enough done in the previous two weeks take up a lot of bandwidth during this time. Buttoning shirts covers a lot of the time, too. This time sleep happens, healing has a way of demanding it. It still takes a week to find out if there are next steps or not, but it isn’t at the same level as biopsy results, maybe it’s the post surgery meds.

Surgery to get a port put in place was scheduled for two weeks from pathology results. Healing and still adjusting to the new normal fill the time.

The first chemo infusion was one week after port surgery. Each subsequent infusion was 19 days later.

Surgery was scheduled 55 days after the last infusion. Scheduled is not quite right, I had to heal enough from chemo, there was a lot of what was an indeterminate period of time devoted to that healing. Plus, there was unexpected time devoted to strep and flu, yay. Life had a way of keeping us busy, too busy, to fuss and fret over waiting this time.

Thirty four days after surgery was scheduled to be my first day back. There was so much to do and so little time to do it all. Buying new clothes was not a fun experience for me, I hadn’t adjusted to my new body, still haven’t, honestly. Looking in the mirror was extremely difficult, it’s not as difficult now. There are days I expect to see the face and body I did before this all began. It doesn’t exist anymore, for good reason, it seems like a mourning period.

I keep thinking that the return to work somehow marked the end to all of it and everything would feel normal again. It was the end of a chapter to this journey, but it isn’t over yet, I accept that.

There was a lot of waiting, still is a lot of waiting, it’s not so bad these days. I would still dearly love a solution for dread build up to seeing doctors. On the other hand, though, I don’t stalk packages as much anymore and I count to ten most times before calling about an email I just sent, I am sure that Jabber doesn’t count against me…


Published by survivorsherpa

I am a wife and mother to three daughters, a chemist and a breast cancer survivor. I would very much like to help others by caring and advocating for them while sharing my experiences and tips that may help to thrive during and after treatment.

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