Six Months and Six Months and Six Months . . . (Spoiler alert — there is a happy ending)

My leash to Sloan Kettering is still pretty short. I have follow up mammograms, sonograms and appointments with my chemo oncologist and surgeons office every six months. I’m 2 years and 8 months out from my surgery. Six months ago my mammography result was “Probably benign. You should have another mammogram in six months to see if there are any changes”. As I got closer to this six month follow up that report came closer and closer to the forefront. And the worst case scenario happened. “Suspicious. There may be a tumor in your right breast. We recommend that you have a biopsy”.

So – can I have a biopsy today? No.

And here’s what I have a hard time wrapping my head around. My options were a one week wait for an appointment in NYC. A two week wait for an appointment at MSK Monmouth and a one month wait for an appointment at MSK Basking Ridge! Not just about the wait but the fact that there are that many people needing biopsies. What the f*ck is going on???

The next hit on this parade … a stereotactic core biopsy. Look it up. All I’m going to say is, not fun.

Fast forward. The week’s wait passes. I alternate between being positive because the size hasn’t changed in six months (my cancer was grade 3 / fast growing) to fatalistic. Recently I’ve had a good acquaintance die, another enter hospice care and heard about far too many new cancer diagnosis among people who have led healthy and active lives.

Fortunately the predicted 3 to 5 business days for results ended up only taking two days. Late Friday afternoon my phone rang. Answering was difficult since I was holding my breath. Results … benign! “We found calcifications and changes due to treatment and surgery. We are satisfied the results are correct”.

I hate that cancer has such a place in my life. I love that I have such wonderful friends and family who are there for me. Retail therapy and sushi are wonderful distractions

Here’s to the next six months.