Friday afternoon we got a call from a friend who had just heard some unsettling news from radiology. Her mammogram was suspicious, there was a lump. The only thing they know for sure is that the lump is not a cyst. But this is not the part of the story I want to focus on. The part I want to focus on is Friday afternoon.
Really? What is it with these doctors and labs? Why do they think it’s okay to give a woman news like this, news that a biopsy needs to be scheduled, news that is at best disturbing and at worst simply terrifying on a Friday afternoon? You might remember my Friday afternoon story. It was the post that started this blog, the first one I wrote about my diagnosis. I will never forget the fear or the anger I felt. Certainly, it could have waited until Monday, until I had access to my doctor and more information and the ability to move through a checklist of next steps.
When we are given news like this, we think that time is of the essence. It’s how our brains work. So having an entire weekend stand between us and any kind of medical care or action is unbearable. But cancer isn’t like a heart attack or a stroke. Its timeline operates on a different schedule. I got my diagnosis on Friday, December 5, 2014. My surgery wasn’t until February. My cancer was invasive, but it wasn’t a forest fire.
But that was my story.
I don’t know what our friend’s story will be. It is still unwritten. I’m really not one to pray, so I told our friend this: I feel your pain, your anxiety, your fear. And I will send as much good energy as I possibly can out into the universe and up to the heavens for you this weekend. Because right now, if I could change one thing about the way doctors deliver bad news, I would call for an end to Friday afternoon.
It’s just unnecessarily cruel.