Learning to live with the diagnosis

 

When I was unexpectedly diagnosed with breast cancer I was devastated.

Of course, at every annual check-up appointment you have to expect that the doctor will find something. But I was firmly convinced that I would walk out of the doctor’s office after the annoying X-ray and not have to worry about coming back until my next check-up appointment. Then I received a letter: Please come by again – a life-changing letter. It is hard to describe in which disbelief, fear and despair the message of my radiologist that I have cancer put me.

The first few weeks were one of the worst periods of my life. Disoriented, helpless and full of fears I could only see the worst-case future scenario. I found no rest, no confidence, had no plan and quarrelled with my fate against which I rebelled. I was, however, already tied up in it.

It was not until I had found the right doctor, further examinations and a treatment plan, that the darkness slowly began to thin out. Nevertheless, I was going to my first chemotherapy with the feeling: the other women have cancer – I’m only sitting here for further tests. As I watched a bald woman with a cap being pushed to the operating theatre in her hospital bed, one thought went through my mind: Thank God that this will not happen to me.