Cancer patient: A day in the life

My mother, also a former cancer patient, sent me a stuffed bunny after my lumpectomy. I named it “Kansor”. It’s fun to say. Try it.

“Stop hitting me with Kansor!”

“Where did I put Kansor?”

“Has anyone seen Kansor lately?”

“Rowan calls dibs on sleeping with Kansor!”

Cancer patient? not a cancer patient?

The Mammography Office that performed my initial mammogram a few weeks ago mailed the results. As you may recall, the mammogram did not detect anything unusual or identify any lumps or masses on my breasts. In fact, the Mammography Office was pleased to inform me my breast imaging exam was normal/benign. Unfortunately, the ultrasound took issue with the mammogram’s findings. The ultrasound did visualize a mass that looked suspiciously cancery. That’s when I became an official cancer patient.  


cancer patient gets gift
Daughter Blair wishing me well with Kansor

Siteman Cancer Center also sent a letter that ended up in my mailbox the same day. The breast surgeon’s letter was less enthusiastic. It began, “To Whom It May Concern.” Then the letter quite rudely advised, “Ms. McCoy is currently a patient of ours being treated for breast cancer.” Make up your minds, people! You have cancer. You don’t have cancer. If I get to choose, I choose no cancer.

Embracing the Newly-Diagnosed Cancer patient

Avidity: the combined strength of multiple bond interactions.

It’s been two and a half week months since my breast cancer diagnosis.  One unforeseen upside is reconnecting with over a dozen amazing women either currently undergoing cancer treatments or in remission. Most graduated The Third Waiting Room. The one outside the hospital. The one where you live the rest of your life. A Biochemist cancer patient friend from 7th grade, introduced me to the concept of “avidity”. Avidity is the combined strength of multiple bond interactions. She likened this biochemistry concept as it applies to women who’ve lived with cancer. We embrace each other to make us all stronger. Members of the Cancer club flock to the sides of the newly-diagnosed. They prop them up in a beautiful, caring way. I don’t think this phenomenon happens with herpes.

get it out already!

One woman told me they diagnosed her one day and removed the tumor two days later. By the time I have a lumpectomy my tumor will have lived in my boob for a month. That seems like an eternity. I thought I’d demand the surgeon remove anything in my body that wasn’t supposed to be there, regardless of whether it was a tumor or a nerf toy. Zen is how I’d describe my attitude. That seems like the opposite of how I should feel. I’m going to take it at face value and be okay about it.

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One Comment

  1. Silver James

    I’m figuring out that grace doesn’t come from a single epiphany. It will intercede gradually. Previous experiences in my life have already taught me to appreciate the small moments. The lingering kiss. The Halloween parade at my children’s school. Friends taking me out for drinks and arranging for a sitter so I didn’t have to. Some lessons are worthy of renewal.

    Yes. This. Exactly.

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