My husband and I were sitting in The Little Donkey sipping on margaritas and chomping on salty chips. We were in a booth towards the back of the restaurant when the call came in. " Mrs. Womble, can you hold for the surgeon?". I went out side on the patio where I heard the surgeon tell me; "Mrs. Womble, the biopsy came back positive for a small malignant spiculated lession 1.3 centimeters, behind the right nipple....a carcinoma. " Deja Vu. I have played this case as a standardized patient. Life swirls, and tumbles. Words get jumbled and molecules inside me spin very fast.
"I've got breast cancer," I told Greg when I went back into the restaurant. "WHAT?" he replied. As I sat down and we discussed the surgeon's findings, I held it together. After several minutes of nervous cancer talk, we jumped subjects discussing our previous topic. Greg took my hand and said, "I love you." I burst into tears and no waiter or waitress would come near our table. Emotionally, a cancer diagnosis is a devastating blow, even though I knew it was a small tumor, found early.
My pathology was estrogen positive, progesterone negative and HER-2 positive. That meant agressive but not the most agressive. Besides the emotionally exhausting task of telling my famliy I had breast cancer, I had to convince them I wasn't lying, talking about my next fake patient case. I dove into researching the disease and treatment. I watched the Lifetime movie "Living Proof" about the discovery of Herceptin, a relatively new drug I am now taking to deal with the HER-2 diagnosis.
To help me cope, I made silly movies with my sister Sue.