It was Thursday, July 26, 2007!
It was a day like any other day. I had worked that day and came home in the evening and hurried to take a quick shower before settling down for the evening. As I was washing, I felt something that was different and strange in an area of the outer portion of my right breast. It didn’t feel like a solid mass but it was rather uneven on the edges. Somewhere in the back of my mind I seemed to remember that this was not the first time that I felt this but never had taken particular notice to it before. But now I suddenly had a sinking feeling and felt that it might be something to which I needed to pay attention. So, I decided at that moment that I would need to call my doctor the next day and make an appointment to see her as soon as possible.
I believe that everything happens for a reason and that one day I would understand why I needed to go through dealing with cancer, not just once but twice.Barbara Jacoby
I didn’t say anything to anyone at that time because I didn’t want to put out an alarm about what might be nothing. But, I must say, I worried about it all night long and as soon as I got to my office the next day, which was a Friday, I called the doctor’s office and made an appointment for the following Monday knowing full well that I would be stressing about it all weekend.
When I got home from work that evening, my husband was already there and I hardly got inside the door before I blurted out to him about what was going on. I don’t know if we were in shock more than anything else, but we didn’t seem to be able to talk about anything at that time. I gave him as much information as I could at that moment and told him that I had an appointment scheduled with the doctor. But, knowing me, he knew that this must be something serious.
It seemed like my appointment time would never come on that Monday afternoon. I told the doctor what I had discovered and she did her exam very quickly. Based upon the conversation that we had and the series of test that she immediately started setting up for me, I got a sudden feeling that this was going to be something that I hoped that I would never have to face.
After the doctor’s appointment, I went home and as my husband was working that evening, I was left alone with all of my thoughts. What if this was cancer? The last thing I wanted to do was to burden anyone else with my problems. I cried! And after I gathered my thoughts again, I stopped but only to soon start all over again.
In retrospect, I find the most interesting thing that I remember is that I never thought about that cancer being life-threatening. It was more a matter of not bothering other people with my situation. Then I realized that in those immediate hours following my doctor’s visit, I knew that nothing would ever be the same again. I began thinking how fortunate I was that I had previously not had any sort of any medical conditions and I felt very grateful for that but then I also immediately thought that if something was going to happen, why did it have to be cancer?
And then in that moment, I decided that regardless of what the situation may be, I was not going to allow it to overtake my life. If this was cancer, I would deal with the issues one step at a time. I would do exactly as directed by my doctors and then be done with it. No matter what was coming down the road ahead of me, I would not allow it to be bigger than me and I would live and enjoy every single moment of every single day for the rest of my life.
And in that moment, I also remembered that I believe that everything happens for a reason and that one day I would understand why I needed to go through dealing with cancer, not just once but twice. That day is as clear in my mind today as if it had only happened yesterday. I know that I will never forget it. But, I also know that it was the beginning of a whole new life for me – one that I am most grateful to be living as I would never have been able to appreciate it in the same way as my life before the cancer.