On the morning of 10.11.12 (a day I assumed would be auspicious — stupid girl!) I was told I have cancer. Christine Huo, my PCP, delivered the news over the phone. I could tell she was nervous; a bit rusty delivering news as big as this. She’s a family practice doctor — she deals in kids’ colds and allergy shots — not stuff like this. Let me back up. I found a lump in my breast a few weeks ago, so I made an appointment to get it checked out. I’m lazy and didn’t want to drive all the way to Palo Alto for my appointment. Since PAMF and Sutter Health merged recently, there are PAMF’s scattered throughout the Peninsula. So I opted to see some random doc at the Redwood Shores outpost because it’s closer to my work. That doctor also felt the lump and called in an ultrasound for two days later. Christine’s name was attached to the ultrasound request because she’s my PCP on file. So there she was, my poor, clueless, referring doctor, delivering the news. What a bum deal she got. Probably sipping her morning coffee, going through her emails and patient test results: strep throat positive for Sally, mono test negative for Billy, allergy RX refill for Amanda, cancer diagnosis for Andrea. WTF? Who is Andrea? Why do I have to make this call? Shit. She cut to the chase quickly and told me the diagnosis swiftly and factually — yet with compassion. I was proud of her. (Can you believe I even gave a crap about how she was feeling delivering the news? This is how my mind works though. At my job, I am always having difficult conversations over the phone. I never know if I sound compassionate or if I bumble through the conversations, nervous and awkwardly.) She said, “I see that you had a mammogram, ultrasound and biopsy performed yesterday. The results of your biopsy are in. It’s not good. You have breast cancer.” (Here’s where I tune out and my body gets sweaty and tingly, but I’m still standing — just looking out at the parking lot through the window of Charmed Life (we have cute names for our conference rooms at Stella & Dot!)) “The pathology indicates that you have a poorly differentiated infiltrating ductal carcinoma. I’m sorry to have to deliver this news to you. I didn’t want to wait however, because I want you to come in right away. I have an opening today at 1pm with Jennifer Glover (I wonder if she’s related to Danny — what is worng with me? Why am I wondering this?) the nurse coordinator, can you come in?” That’s how it went down. In a conference room at work. lol. seriously?