Sunday, October 7, 2012


   If you are just stopping in, this is the seventh post in my 31 Day Series:  I Wear Pink.  Join me as I share my breast cancer journey.  You can find the previous posts here

Day 7:  Diagnosis

     I called the doctor Monday morning for the biopsy results.
     I called the doctor Tuesday morning for the biopsy results.
     I called the doctor Wednesday morning for the biopsy results.  I was told that the results were in and the doctor would call me.
     So it happened that on Wednesday afternoon I was in my classroom giving three busy second grade boys an adaptive math test when I got the call on my cell phone.  
  “Mrs. McMorrow, this is Dr. R.  I am calling with your test results.”  I could hear him shuffling papers.  Didn’t he look at them before calling me?  “Let’s see...Oh...mmmm.....Are you sure that you want to hear this over the phone?”  Why, yes.  Yes, I did.  “Okay.  The results show an invasive ductile carcinoma.   The tumor appears to be about a centimeter in size.  You should make an appointment with a surgeon as soon as possible.   The treatment is surgery, chemo, and radiation.  Please let the office know where to send the results.  If you have any questions, give us a call.”
     I numbly thanked the doctor and covered my welling eyes.  What do I do now, I wondered wildly.  Dimly I recalled my grandmother telling me that when you don’t know what to do, do whatever is in front of you.  That seemed like good advice.  I looked up.
     My students were crawling under the table, playing hide and seek, and giggling wildly.  I got them back in order and finished giving them their math test.  Then I took them back to their classroom.  The boys had been taken care of.  
     My friend, Laura is the school psychologist.  That seemed like the best place for me.  When she looked at me, she knew that the biopsy results showed cancer.  Her response was perfect.  She folded me into her arms and let me cry.  “I don’t want to lose my hair,” I wailed as if that was the big issue.
     Laura told me,  “You will get through this.  You are not alone.  We will help you.”  We sat and Laura started making phone calls.  She called another colleague who had had breast cancer.  She got me phone numbers for local breast surgeons and for Sloan Kettering.  
     I haven’t mentioned my principal before, but let me say that he was a great principal.  He has since retired.  I chair Response to Intervention meetings on Friday mornings.  These meetings are a pretty big deal.  Invitations are sent out, parents are invited, discussion is held on how to best support the child in the area of concern,  meeting minutes are recorded, and then mailed out.  Most of this is my responsibility.   When I had the biopsy, my Principal had taken over these tasks.   He ordered me to think of my health and my family.  He would take my place at the meetings this Friday.  I was to let him know what I needed.
     I pulled myself together, went to my classroom and put together sub plans for the rest of the week.   That was the easy part.
     I had to go home and tell my husband.
Hear my cry, O God;
    listen to my prayer.
From the ends of the earth I call to you,
    I call as my heart grows faint;
    lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For you have been my refuge,
    a strong tower against the foe.
I long to dwell in your tent forever
    and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.[b]
For you, God, have heard my vows;
    you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.  ~Psalm 61:1-5

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