I went home from the biopsy knowing I had Breast Cancer (I’m just going to say BC from now on) and was told I needed to see a Breast Surgeon asap. Who? There are many of them at Maggie, how does one choose. Before I left the Imaging Center they asked if I would like a Patient Navigator to help me get through all of this. I am usually not one to ask for help, but immediately said yes. Bless her heart she called me the very afternoon I came home. I asked many questions which she answered as best she could but when it came to which surgeon, she could not say which one to chose. I understand they cannot be preferential heaven forbid they suggest one I dislike and decide to sue them…but for heavens sake throw me a bone here, I am drowning. That’s how I felt, all alone, drowning far away from the shore, nothing to grab on to and no one around to help me. She finally just gave me some information about each of them, how long they’d been with the institution and not much more.
Then I remembered my PCP said she would help me, be my advocate…so I emailed her. She immediately got back to me with two names. I know you are all sitting there saying…wait Tom is there, he must know someone or have contacts. Right, but believe it or not, all his contacts gave us less information as far as choices. No one wants to be held accountable for suggestions…it was very disheartening. Then Tom suggested a colleague who’d gone through this and I was golden.
I called her and she spent over an hour on the phone with me giving me names, suggestions, what to do right now, what I would need later. I was able to tell her some of my fears and she was able to tell me either not to worry, or buck up honey you will just need to get through it. The journey had just begun.