A phone call Tuesday morning stopped my world, or at least slowed it down a little. You tend to put other things on hold when you hear the doctor say "adenoma carcinoma."
Other things become less important, and it's suddenly easier to determine priorities. Fortunately, my book, What Took You So Long, had already gone to press, except for a few back cover details to settle. Ironically, this book's main female character is a breast cancer survivor. I had to do a lot of research for that; her cancer was also in her left breast. I trust the rest of my story will have as happy an outcome as hers did because like her, I've got stuff to do.
In the meantime, there's the visit to the oncologist (Friday) and decisions to make about what he tells me. It's easy to put some activities on hold or cancel them, but I have reservations at the Phoenix Hilton in two weeks for a writers conference I was looking forward to, at which I'm planning to launch my new book, which will be off the press next week. So I hope I don't have to cancel plane, hotel, and conference, but it all depends on what the oncologist advises.
Worst of all is the anticipation of surgery. I'm experienced at that--this will be the lucky number 13th surgery/procedure I've had. Last time was two years ago when I was in the hospital nine days after losing a lot of bowel to emergency surgery because of an old scar tissue problem. "Anesthesia brain" is bad for a writer. It was six months before I could think well enough to read, write, and make decisions about the manuscript I was submitting. I don't like being in suspended animation like that. But I have to say, the best thing about hospitals is the heated blankets. Closet-sized rooms, food, noise, midnight visits from phlebotomists--not so much.
I haven't told anybody outside my family--you're the first to know--because while I appreciate support, I can't talk yet about the things people will want to know--treatment, prognosis, recovery. Chemotherapy is not a happy prospect, and neither is radiation. But my activity schedule will change and people will wonder why. That's it. Adenoma carcinoma. I'll keep you posted.