The following is my account of the past few weeks in which we’ve learned that Alice has breast cancer and the process we’ve gone through towards her surgery this coming Friday, October 5, 2012.
We had spent the weekend dealing with the stress of having a water main problem. Our concerns were financial in nature – how were we going to come up with the money to pay the plumbers to dig a trench in our front yard to replace a leaking pipe that had turned our front yard into the Atchafalaya basin. Our concerns were cosmetic. What are the neighbors thinking? What is our yard going to look like?
While I waited at home for the plumbers to arrive, Alice went to go see her OB/GYN to have some tests done concerning frequent periods. Alice went to the appointment and during a routine breast exam, the Dr. felt a lump in her left breast.
That afternoon Alice and I seemed most concerned with what had become of our front yard. It looked like Mogadishu – deep ruts from the back-hoe crisscrossed, there was a six foot high pile of dislodged shrubbery, and there was a blanket of mud across much of the yard.
We spoke about the various procedures the Dr. had recommended one of which would most likely mean that she wouldn’t be able to conceive any more children. I know Alice mentioned the lump, but it seemed secondary to me – something that needed to be checked on but nothing too serious. After all, she’s only 37, I’ve never heard of her mention any cancer in her family and I really just thought that this was going to be some sort of cyst or growth or something.
Alice was beginning to experience some anxiety and grief that next Wednesday. She couldn’t immediately go in for the mammography, so she planned to have it done first thing Thursday morning. The night before the mammography I know she was a little spooked and emotional. We spoke about the possibility of her loosing her ability to have children. Even though we weren’t planning to have children, I know this was sad for her. Alice intimated that she was worried about the breast exam / mammography as well but still from my perspective, her vagina was the main issue, not her boobs.