Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Crazy-Good Coincidences

After confirming that my surgery was on for Friday, March 16, I took a deep breath and made a few phone calls to tell a few friends and family. One of these calls was to Devorah, my "boss" at Sunday School, who will have to find a substitute for me whenever I'll miss over these next few months.She was sympathetic, offered to take the kids whenever, and added me to the temple's prayer list (yes, she knows about my atheism).

Then she called back a few hours later and said, "Leo's mom (a boy in my class) is a physician at Upstate. I know she does some work with breast cancer. You should call her." So on a Thursday night at 9pm, I did. Turns out she is the head-honcho-bigwig-in-charge-of-everything-breast-related at Upstate (the place were it's hard to get in). She started the conversation by emphasizing that this is not as big a hurry as my body/mind are thinking it is. It's okay to take a month or so to figure things out. The she asked about what's going on and asked doctors' names. She said she'd never seen anyone who'd gone to Dr. Cooper (breasts aren't his main thing, and she deals only with breasts), and although she didn't want to say anything bad, she wanted me to make sure I had someone who was best for me.

So at 9:30pm, she called Dr. Kort, THE breast surgeon in the area at home and got me an appointment in the morning. Though I didn't go into the phone call to her looking for extra help, just advice about how to handle my situation, there I was with another option. I was emotionally torn: I knew it was the right decision to see the best of the best, but even she said that it's not "brain surgery" and I liked having this all lined up for next Friday with childcare and everything. I decided to be honest with this breast guru and ask her advice about why I'd be better off with her than Dr. Cooper.

In the morning,  I met with Dr. Kort, who was wonderful and loving and knowledgable, who spent almost an hour answering my questions and then gave me a hug and sent me off to Dr. Cooper whom she trained. Seriously, she gave the exact same answers he had and she admitted that I'm better off keeping my appointment and knowing that my second opinion doctor agrees on all points. She assured me that I'm in good hands and she's going reassure Leo's mom, too. So Friday it is, but now I know that I didn't just pick a surgeon out of fear and time constraints. I'm making a good decision.

When I got home from the whole ordeal, there was an info packet in the mail from the oncologist's office. They'd assigned me a doctor and set up an appointment for after surgery with Dr. Kirshner. I was flipping through their practice's brochure and one of the oncologists there is ANOTHER mom from Sunday School (Danielle's mom). SERIOUSLY?!? There are 11 kids in the class and two of them have moms who deal with breast cancer? What a world!

I called her immediately just to touch base and let her know that I'd be a patient there. She called back a few hours later and said that she'd accessed my file from her home office (all digital now) and she went over my biopsy's pathology report with me line-by-line. She does radiation, and everything indicates that I'll be having chemo, but she's going to mention me to Dr. Kirshner so that he knows to expect me. And she says that I got lucky with my randomly assigned doctor.

I went from random breast cancer patient to a known person, just by telling people. I guess you never know who knows whom, so I should learn to just suck it up and tell people.

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