As instructed, I made an appointment with Dr. Burney. I saw him a few days later. After feeling the lump in my breast, he suggested that I go to the hospital to have a biopsy. As a way of trying to assure me, he said it could be any number of things; the biopsy would tell the tale, as to what was going on. He then would decide on the next course of treatment, depending on what the biopsy results showed.
He knew I was terrified. Again, I told him the sad tale of losing my very own mother to breast cancer when I was a teenager. He clucked sympathetically as he patted my arm and said he understood: he'd lost his own mother to breast cancer only a few short years ago; he knew the fear that was currently knifing through me.
When I got home, I threw myself onto my bed and sobbed. This was the worst possible thing that could have ever happened to me. After I had my cry, I felt a little better (though not much). I then got a little braver and made the appointment for my biopsy, which would be schedulred for just before the first of the year. Until then, all I could do was hope for the best and try to get through the Christmas holiday somehow.
Seeing the images of my poor, sick, weak, bald mother flash through my mind threatened to derail everything I had planned for a happy Christmas celebration; but I was determined to get through the holiday in one piece. Thank God my husband and children were supportive; I don't know how I could have ever made it through without them!
I ended up having a good Christmas, even with the prospect of surgery looming over me. I got my favorite perfume, and I also got a new nightgown, a new robe, several new sweaters and slacks, and even some gift certificates to some of my favorite restaurants. We went to our youngest child's Christmas play at his school; he did a wonderful job; seeing him performing on stage made me forget of my own worries, and it felt good to laugh, to smile for once.
On December 31, New Years Eve, I checked in to the admissions desk of the surgery suite at the hospital. I checked in at five; my surgery was scheduled at seven. I tried to focus on the good things in my life and the fact that Dr. Burney had seemed so reassuring, so calm, in dealing with my fears. He was a great doctor, with a wonderful bedside manner; that, alone, was very important to me.
The nurses were very kind and loving as I was prepped for surgery, and the last thing I remember before being put to sleep was the thought of how blessed I truly was, even in the face of uncertainty. All I could do was pray that it wasn't cancer, and if it was, I hoped that it could be taken out and be treatable. All I had to do was trust God and pray for His mercy as He got me through this new, scary chapter in my life.
~To be continued.