Your First Diagnosis...

…might not be your last. It may not be clear from the radio piece, but what in part made my experience so emotionally difficult was that my diagnosis got substantially and unexpectedly worse mid-stream.

   
When I was first diagnosed I thought that I had, if you will, the best case scenario within the bad realm of having breast cancer. I was told I had the most common kind of breast cancer (invasive ductal carcinoma) and a smallish tumor at that. During my first surgery, a lumpectomy, my condition was revealed to be a combination of two types of breast cancer, (both ductal and lobular carcinomas), and my tumor was, in fact, quite large. This dramatically changed what I was up against, not only medically but also emotionally.

My understanding now is that this is a not uncommon occurrence. Yet, when you read the books, this scenario is rarely discussed or appropriately stressed, in my opinion. The impression you get from the materials is that you get your cancer along with a neat little note about its grade and stage and everything proceeds tidily according to plan. While this would be nice (especially for a planner like me!) it is, simply, not always the case.

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