Updated: Jun 21
It’s Valentine’s Day and Sam’s birthday so I’m headed from Vermont to Connecticut to celebrate with my love. I’m also waiting for the results from my biopsy. Seems like a perfect day for good news. I’m an hour into my drive when my cell service comes back and the call comes in. It’s my PCP (Primary Care Physician for my Canadian friends 😁)
“Lyane, how are you? Has anyone contacted you about your results yet? Where are you? Can you sit down?”
Wait, what? This is not the way I’d hoped this conversation would start. Sit down why?
“Yes, Dr V, I’m actually driving and I’m pulling over for better service.”
“Good, I’m sorry to tell you but the biopsy was positive for invasive ductal carcinoma,” pause… “You have cancer.”
“Shit! Cancer... what do we do now?”
“I’m going to forward your info to the oncology department. Are you ok? I’m so sorry”.
Those words sting and they don’t seem real.
It’s Valentine’s Day and Sam’s birthday and THESE RESULTS DON’T FIT MY PLAN! This can’t be happening.
I take a moment, gather myself, fold this unpleasant news into a small neat package, shove it far into the back of my mind, and lock it up. My approach is solid and it’s what I’ve always done: I’m going to forget this conversation ever happened until I can process it later. As I’ve mentioned, I already have a plan and it involves getting to CT, some stuff I’m not going to tell you about, and having a good time. I have no time to deal with this right now.
Plus (my rationalization game is strong), this is no big deal. I have cancer, I can handle that, I tell myself. I’ve been through some pretty heavy shit so far in this life, what’s a little tumor? Breast cancer is cured all the time! I’ve got this! New plan, I’m gonna wait to tell Sam because I’m not going to ruin the day with this. I can face this tomorrow. WE can deal with this tomorrow.
That evening, we are sitting and just enjoying each other’s company after not having seen each other in a couple of weeks. Turns out, I can’t wait. I have an overwhelming urge to share, “Sam, the results came in and I have cancer.” I can barely get the words out. And damn, saying this out loud makes it sink in, makes it real, and the tears start. And in that moment, I’m thinking poor Sam, his ex-wife went through this 4 years ago and now his girlfriend. What are the odds? Will he want to do this again?
“Ok,” he says, “thank you for telling me.” And as he looks right into my eyes, he says, “We’ve got this. I’m not even worried. This isn’t our future. I know it. I can feel it”.
And at that moment my evolution began.