The MRI results come in and I'm alerted on my EPIC App. An app access medical info that I'd never considered downloading, until now. I open up the results, and this will be the first lesson in navigating the early days of diagnosis. Do NOT open a test result unless you know how to read it. I see words like high velocity, Lymph 1cm+, multiple masses, etc. I read it right before I head into a meeting, and I... Should. Not. Have.
I read it as... "Cancer. Cancer, everywhere."
I get a call from my primary, while I'm in my meeting, and call her back afterwards. She is calling to go through the MRI results and she is pleased. What!? She says it confirms one cancerous mass (the others were actually cysts, but the terms were so technical, I didn't read it like that) and that the lymph nodes basically look good, one is questionable, but MRI's, it turns out, do miscalculate when it gets into sizing. It can see a lot, but depending on the angles, it may get the size wrong (as I will find out after surgery!).
Relieved, I vow to never open another result unless I know what I'm looking at!
After the meeting at work, I have set-up time to meet with the team I work with. I have decided to tell them so there are no surprises. I am met with the most amazing support! They immediately spring into action. Over the next week we all work on a plan so that I can work while I go through this, but also have the flexibility I need. What an amazing gift.
The second week is easier than the first, but I still know almost nothing. I do A LOT of hiking and knitting. I also ask a friend, whose sister just went through this and works in oncology, if he can ask her if it is okay to drink alcohol. I didn't know if I should limit it and what the protocol was in this situation.
He texts back, "She says, 'I drank a fuck ton of booze after I was diagnosed.'"
I immediately open a bottle of wine and enjoy a nice glass (or 2, or 3) that night. I am just days away from meeting my team at UCLA, and then, we will have a plan, and things will move fast. So, I drink my wine, and actually enjoy the remaining days of 'calm' and no appointments.
I know everything is about to change.