Thursday afternoon on the 20th March is when I went for the Ultra sound. It all got real about 5 minutes in. As the Sonographer was performing the ultra sound, I noticed him spending a lot of time hovering over my armpit, which is where your lymph nodes are located. I asked him why he was doing that and he said to me ‘I’m going to be honest with you, it does not look good’.
He said to me he was going to get the Radiographer to write the report immediately and that I needed to contact my GP straight away and explain that I needed to see her with the report. I went outside and called Heathers’ practice and luckily a dear, long time family friend answered the phone on reception. I told her I was freaking out slightly and that I needed to come up to the practice straight away. She managed to fit me in to see Heather that same afternoon, about an hour later. I waited for the report to be written, collected it and as soon as I got into my car I opened it to see what was written. From a first glance, the report was long, detailed and said a whole lot of words I did not understand. But I knew what it was. That was the moment I knew that filthy C word was in my body.
When I went in to see Heather, I walked into the room with my big bag of ultrasounds and the report, dropped them on the ground and said ‘Heather, WHAT THE F!’. Poor Heather is so polite, she said ‘I know Ali, I am saying expletives myself’. She explained to me that she had just got off the phone with the Radiographer; he had called her directly to discuss my results. She discussed that even though there were no concrete results and no biopsy had been done, this man had been doing his job for a long time and this is what we were dealing with.
We called my parents up to the practice and discussed it with them, everyone in disbelief! I was actually quite hysterical; all I could do was laugh. Heather, the amazing human she is, organised for me to go back down at 9am in the morning and they fitted me in for a mammogram (wildly unpleasant I later learned) and the biopsy. The next day (Friday morning) during the biopsy, I asked the Sonographer how long it would take for results. They said they would push it through with the utmost urgency and the quickest it would be returned would be 3 business days. Heather personally pushed everything through herself and called me at 5pm that same day with the confirming results that I had been diagnosed with Ductal Carcinoma and that it had spread to my lymph nodes. Amazingly, she also managed to book me into the Breast Cancer Institute for an appointment at 8.45 on Monday morning.
That Friday night, after the confirmation, I spent with my bestest of friends and my family. We laughed, we drank some wine and we danced in the kitchen until 3am.