“You have a mass in this breast. A large one.” 4.5 centimeters. It felt hard, like a rock. I drew in a breath as my heart sank. Oh, God.
“Yeaaahhh… About that, Doc…”
“How long has it been there?” I asked sharply.
“Oh, I don’t know. A year maybe?”
“You have been in here three times over the past year, twice for head colds and once for a bladder infection. Why didn’t you tell me? Why did you wait until your physical for me to discover it?” She had wanted to skip the breast exam but I had pushed a bit and she relented.
On some level I felt hurt. Had she not felt comfortable enough with me to bring it up? What did I do wrong?
Snap out of it! This isn’t about you.
“Because I know it’s cancer.”
“You are thirty-six. You have three kids. You are a single mom. Why would you wait if you thought it was cancer?”
“Because I am going to die anyway.”
“You don’t know that.”
“Yes I do.” She gave a lopsided smile. More like a grimace.
She is still alive. It has been two years. Her hair isn’t really growing back well so she still wears wigs. Her fingers are numb. Every day she worries if it will come back.
And sometimes she wishes it had just killed her outright….