26 June, 2010

These are the details

For quite a while I had had a nasty feeling in my stomach that something was not quite as it should be. I decided to go to the doctor. The small lump inside my breast never went away after breastfeeding, this made me uneasy.
So 26th May I was at the doctor after having waited for a couple of weeks for an appointment. She did not like what she saw, but did not think about cancer since the lump was so huge and since I was under evaluation for neurofibromatosis type 1. But she said she would send the referral. 
After a few days I called Ullevål hospital to check if they had received my doctor's refferal, but they could not find it. So I called for it first once, then a second time and a third time. Then I got angry and asked the secretary to fax it directly to Ullevål. That was Monday and now the days went like this:

Monday 21 June: 
I call Ullevaal hospital to hear if they have got my doctor's referral. The answer was no. After a few phone calls back and forth it is faxed there. I call and they confirm that it has arrived. I also tell a bit about the lump in my boob and say that I have started to get scared because my boobs have started to swell and get tender and warm and I was swollen under my arm. I ask if I can get an appointment before I go on vacation. They say they will evaluate my case. An hour later the phone rings. “Can you come Wednesday?” “Of course”, I answered.

Tuesday 22 June:
The day is spent thinking. What if there is something dangerous? I tell myself that it sure is something completely harmless they probably can remove.

Wednesday 23 June:
The day came. I went to the hospital for mammography screening. I had heard a lot about it being so uncomfortable, but it was not.
After the screening I was told to wait. Then I was told I had to come in for an ultrasound examination of my boob and was told that I had to take some tests. They did not say much really.

There was only one doctor there and after all the tests were done, there were five people. I asked when I would get to know the results. They said about 2-3 days, and the nurse said she would go and find me an appointment. Then all of them was gone.

I had to wait a little while till she came back. She told me: “You have to come back tomorrow. Do you have someone to accompany you? It is good to bring someone to make sure you get all the information provided.”
“And that means?”, I tried to ask. “Am I sick? Do I have cancer?” She only said “we'll see you tomorrow - meet at the cancer center - do you know where it is?” 
Then I left. I was going to work.

At the kindergarten I went straight to my “boss”.
“I can not stand being here today, can I go home?” I asked. We kept sitting and talking and agreed to tell my colleagues that I were going to get a “bad” message tomorrow, and then she drove me home. I got lots of good hugs and comforting words of my colleagues before I left for home. I tried to relax as good as possible the rest of the day, in fact I slept well that night.

Thursday 24 June:
Then the day arrived. I was sitting in the waiting room and thought I would be crazy.The minutes went so slowly and it was not better when someone came in and said that there were some delays and probably a while to wait.

Finally I was called. I knew what was coming, but I had a little hope that they would say that this was nothing dangerous and that I could completely relax and go home. Then she said: “Unfortunately we have found a malignant tumor in your breast with spread to a few lymph nodes under the arm.”
Then came all the tears.

I got a lot of information about what's going to happen in the future; chemotherapy, removal of the breast, more chemotherapy and radiation. “You're going to lose your hair and be prepared that this takes time and that there will be many rough strains.”
“What about my job?” I asked. “You just have to prepare your boss that you will be away for at least half a year.”

Then it was time to go home and tell family and friends and colleagues about my condition. What I dreaded the most was to tell my children, but they took it just fine. I wanted to tell about it myself, and there were some tough phones and some text messages that went out that day.

I went to work aswell, I wanted to tell them too - it was so good to get it out, and it was so good to see all the care and all the good hugs they meet me with. We cried and wiped tears together.
Thanks everyone for all your support so far.

To know how it goes forward with me, follow this blog.

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