Realised I probably need to cut the long story short and focus on the lowlights and highlights!
Having gone through the X-ray, ultrasound and CT scan, and having the doctor ri going me urgently (always a worrying sign) it was fairly clear that it was suspected I had lung cancer. Time to start talki g to partner about it, having kept quiet for the precious 2 weeks. So during dinner on the Friday night I turned off the tv and uttered those scary words 'we need to talk'. A few tears were shed, the only ones ever shed in fact.
Standard round of appointments the following Wednesday, where I had tests I didn't even know existed. Partner was with me, and after the completion of tests we went to my very new workplace to break the news that I wasn't a good long term employee. When all was said and done my career with the new organization lasted 6 days! But, that being said, they remained supportive (my bosses had sought me out after working with me elsewhere), and my sick leave gave me a good safety net. Not having taken more that 2 days sick certificated sick leave I. 28 years was now proving to be a lifeline.
Still had the biopsy to go. And this was o e of my first annoyances. Having gone through the biopsy and all the anxiety of waiting for the results we attended the appointment (we live 2 hours out of Melbourne so a far bit of driving is always involved) to be told by doctor (who clearly hadn't read the reports earlier) that the biopsy did not get sufficient samples and a new, different, biopsy was required. Damn and drat.
New biopsy schedules, this time successful, with results being non small cell lung cancer, stage 2 most likely. Excellent candidate for surgery, with chemo and radiation probably unnecessary. Whilst obviously delighted I was also feeling like a bit of a fraud. All the drama of telling people I had cancer, and I was going to be cured!
In terms of telling people we worked on a graduated scale. We first said I had a something in my lung, then a lump in my lung, then a tumour. People slowly made the connection to cancer.
And so surgery was scheduled, for mid March 2009. I had never had any surgery previously but was thinking, bring it on! As I have learnt, most of us feel better if we are doing something/anything.
And emotionally I reckon I was coping really well. We don't do tears, are fairly pragmatic, and have a good dose of black humor, which is not always appreciated by others!
Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.