Getting the DiagnosisJul 28, 2022
My Unexpected Chapter
Not long after a routine mammogram in November 2020, I sat down in my living room and answered the call from the breast clinic. What came next, I never expected. There was a 95%+ chance that they found cancer. I would need to come in for a biopsy ASAP. My entire world shrunk and the fearful ‘what ifs’ filled my mind. I couldn’t stop thinking about my daughter, my husband, my family and all the things I still wanted to do in this lifetime. Cancer? … Me?... A relentless fear and sadness settled in. I felt so alone in that moment.
The biopsy showed Triple Positive Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (ER+, PR+, HER2+). What came after my diagnosis was nothing short of OVERWHELMING. Amidst the shock, I was overcome with information, questions from loved ones, treatments, advice, appointments, decisions, medication, chemo, surgery plans, and a rollercoaster of emotions.
And so my Healing Journey began...
Understanding what it all means
Trying to understand the acronyms, numbers, and complex medical terms when you get a breast cancer diagnosis can feel overwhelming. Most of us can now access our medical records online and read the details of our diagnosis (i.e. MyChart). However, understanding it all requires a conversation with your Oncologist where you can prompt for a deeper understanding of the meaning behind the acronyms, numbers, and terms.
Referencing the details later
In talking to other women who have been through breast cancer, and having time and experience in my own breast cancer journey, I have come to realize how much you do go back and reference the specific details of the diagnosis. People will ask. You will talk about it. Some parts will stick and other things are hard to remember later.
Creating and using a diagnosis tool helped me:
- Clarify. I could get my questions asked and answered about what it all meant - the medical jargon, the acronyms, etc.
- Simplify. I now had a record with MY notes and questions asked - in terms I could understand.
- Easily Reference. Beyond even my own experience, I have now connected to so many women who find themselves talking about their diagnosis months or years later. Some have even told me that they wish they had kept better records because it is something they refer to many times over the years (for personal or medical reasons).
Getting a diagnosis of cancer is overwhelming and confusing. Getting the answers you need to begin processing it all and reduce any confusion can be organized in one simple Diagnosis Summary form and you can get my version for FREE here.
OR... learn more about the LoveME Healing Journey here.