My friends are handling this all so well; I really appreciate how kind people are with their offers to help, but also how careful and thoughtful they're being about the conversation, letting me set the pace of when to bring it up, how much to discuss it. They show an interest, but they don't push; it's perfect. There have been times when too much sympathy would have slid me over the edge into tears, and I really don't want to be weeping all the time. People have been so good about reading my cues, pulling back when I pull back, changing the subject to something light. I feel like I need to take notes for the next time I'm doing this for someone else.
Yesterday I had another ultrasound (this one a bit painful, because they had to squish down pretty hard in order to try to find what they were looking for), and next Friday, I have one more procedure -- a follow-up MRI with biopsy, because the last MRI found something suspicious on the other breast. I am not thrilled about this -- the MRI was no fun, the biopsy was no fun, and now I get both of them together, whee. There may be a big ice cream sundae afterwards, even if it's only 9 a.m. Cancer means the rules of civilized dining mean nothing, nothing, I tell you.
Today I meet with the Loyola doctors, my second opinion people. They're not going to say I don't have cancer (hah!), and they probably are going to recommend the same course of treatment, because cancer protocols are done according to a national standard, and the doctors don't seem to have much (if any) room to vary from those. So mostly, I'm going to meet the doctors, especially the oncologist, see how we get along, find out what the spaces are like, see how comfortable I am in them, etc. More soon about the choice between different doctors / hospitals; it's a complex and fraught topic with a lot of class-based complications.
We're almost ready to start chemo, I think -- within a week or two. Part one, diagnosis and waiting, is almost over. Thank all the little gods and fishes.