• Someone with you when you got your diagnosis?

    Asked by Sunnysideup on Friday, August 15, 2014

    Someone with you when you got your diagnosis?

    Were you by yourself when you first received your diagnosis? I was, at the time I didn't think anything about it. Now, there is someone with me at every visit, procedure or anytime I go for anything. How about you?

    45 Answers from the Community

    45 answers
    • Keith59's Avatar
      Keith59

      My wife...two daughters....son in law...and son in law to be. That was a rough day.

      about 5 years ago
    • Jalemans' Avatar
      Jalemans

      I received my dx in the hospital so I think my husband was there. He also attended my first meeting with the oncologist, but I have been on my own since then as far as appointments go. I will have a biopsy for a new potential problem next week & will be on my own for that also. I expect I will be alone for all future diagnosis, scans, & appointments. It's OK - I'd rather have someone with me, but you don't want to force someone to go with you either. I am pretty tough I think so I can take it & I bring a note pad so I can remember what I am told. I think everyone I know is pretty tired of my illness & pretty much done with it - I wish it was that easy to make it go away for me! Lol!

      about 5 years ago
    • Keith59's Avatar
      Keith59

      Jalemans, I hate to hear you having to go this alone. Maybe it's the way your husband copes with it. I like you wish we could just forget about it and make it go away. Sorry to hear you are loosing your support with friends and family. We here at WhatNext will be there in prayers and encouraging support! If I can help....just ask. Blessings

      about 5 years ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      I was by myself when i had the first CT scans done. I got a phone call telling me I needed a PET scan. My husband accompanied me to that and has come to every treatment since.

      about 5 years ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      Jalemans, I wish you lived near me. I would go with you.

      (I am the type that would not mind going alone sometimes. My husband is afraid I won't tell him everything so he goes to be sure he knows what I know. He doesn't accompany me to scans. He would, but I told him it isn't necessary.)

      about 5 years ago
    • ld_105's Avatar
      ld_105

      Nope, I got a phone call from my PCP. The first hospital, where I had the first biopsy, sent me a letter and advised me to call my PCP for the results. By this time I already suspected it was BC. Later the breast surgeon told me to bring someone with me to my appointments but I didn't. It's distracting when you have a list of questions that you need answers to. I discussed everything with friends later in the day.

      about 5 years ago
    • lilymadeline's Avatar
      lilymadeline

      I had a close friend with me at the mammogram/ultrasound/biopsy and I pretty much knew it was bad because they kept me for hours and hours while they were doing more testing and ordered an MRI as well. And everyone at the breast center was extra super nice, which is always a bad sign in a doctors office. They kept waiting on me and asking what more they could do for me- UGH!
      But I got my first diagnosis alone over the phone by my doctor after all that testing that she had ordered ( but mind you I have gone to her for over 30 years ) and I was also alone when I was told that I was stage IV at my appointment with the breast surgeon. That is when it hit me and I fell apart because until then I was kind of holding it together until then, figuring I was stage 1 or maybe 2 and that I would be alright.
      After that my boyfriend of over 7 years came to all my first appointments and then he kind of shut down and couldn't take any more....and then I couldn't take anymore of him! Good riddance!
      I get it with what Jalemans is going through and it is so sad! I wish that she had a better more caring husband! She certainly deserves it and I'm sure that he would expect her to be there. And yes family and friends definitely have their own cancer fatigue and many of them get to the point where they simply expect you to get well and lose patience with the cancer. But many of us don't get well, and that really should be part of the American Education system somehow....teaching people to care for each other and their families for long term and to hang in there with them! Life is rough sometimes, but cancer has certainly weeded out the good people from the bad people in my life and now I am surrounded with many more supportive people than I was when first diagnosed and treated.

      about 5 years ago
    • SullyJackson's Avatar
      SullyJackson

      I was in the emergency room when I first knew I had lung cancer. I'd gone in because I thought it was my heart. My husband was there with me but we didn't really get any details. Ten days later we saw the oncologist together. Then our longtime friends came with us and pushed my husband around in a wheel chair. He would be there everytime if I would let him. It is very hard on him and it's an hour and a half drive both ways so he doesn't do well. I really don't mind going to my tests and chemo alone but I do have people will and do come. I feel very fortunate. Sometimes it's the people you least expect who are there for you.

      I have to agree that some people just can't deal with it. Others just don't care enough. I hope your husband is the former. You are in my thoughts and prayer. Hang in there.

      about 5 years ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar
      BoiseB

      I went alone to the first diagnosis because I really wasn't expecting a cancer diagnosis. By the time I got to the treatment stage I was too weak to go alone I had to be wheeled in in a wheel chair. My daughter took me to most of the appointments however my brother and my niece filled in sometimes. The second time around my son took me to appointments and to CT scans but he drops me off and does errands while I am in appointments.

      about 5 years ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      Jalemans, I would go with you, too! I have a feeling ALL of us would go with you (and with each other). Standing room only in the waiting room.

      I was at work when I got that never-to-be-forgotten call from the doctor's office. Some coworkers tried to calm me. I went home and hugged my boyfriend. Friends accompanied me to my chemo sessions (I didn't want my boyfriend to do that).

      about 5 years ago
    • melanomamama's Avatar
      melanomamama

      Although I am single, some of the answers remind me of the words in the wedding vow, "for richer or poorer, IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH...", not to mention "til death do us part." So I'd be all up in my spouse's face saying, "Don't you remember when you promised to have and to hold me until....?" Or maybe, "You can't handle my cancer? You think it's a picnic for me?" I guess these ruminations give a clue to my unmarried state!

      I was with my mother and stepfather when told it was cancer (they didn't know yet what kind or stage.) My mother, who was then 89 years old, burst out crying, and I was so busy comforting her that I didn't fully realize I had cancer until I was alone in bed that night. Then I fell apart myself.

      about 5 years ago
    • Lois26's Avatar
      Lois26

      I was alone for diagnosis and for most doc visits, it is not easy. In the beginning I was ignorant about cancer, the stages etc. Was finally filled in after the second surgery when the doc said I was stage 3c. "What? How did that happen? What does that mean?" Felt like I was being handed a death sentence. I am feeling good now, but it's always there.....way in the back...nagging.

      about 5 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      For me, I was first diagnosed 27 years ago, I had my wife with me, but back then we just didn't think anything of this whole "cancer thing", I went in the exam room by myself, then after I got that news from then on my wife went with me. Definitely better to have someone with you for support.

      about 5 years ago
    • Asanayogini's Avatar
      Asanayogini

      I was in the hospital getting a transfusion, I was told early in the morning , no one around I sent my husband home the nite before so he could get some sleep. I suspected so it was already in my head. I usually go it alone so not to cause to much upset in our routine. My husband sometimes went with me to appointments and procedures and scans. I just really like it when my family is there to pick me up and accompany me home , that's where I need it the most.

      about 5 years ago
    • Jalemans' Avatar
      Jalemans

      You guys are so nice! I think my husband just can't deal with it & is in complete denial. He was really supportive at first. I think that the possibility that i could die if it comes back & there isn't anything anyone can do is the deal that threw him over the edge. He is now about as far from supportive as he can get - i think he is angry with me for getting this disease as irrational as that sounds. I don't want him with me if he doesn't want to be there as it would just be more stressful. I really feel i am OK on my own at least for what is going on right now. Friends get on with their respective lives also. Lots of people declared their support in the beginning, but life does march on. I have one sis who still calls me after every chemo to see how I am, so I do have her!

      Lots of people have a worse time than me. I generally feel pretty good. I can walk & talk. I can take care of my little Munchkin, get him to & from his therapies, & will be able to get him to & from school. I am trying to work a little & see how that goes. What more can I wish for?

      You guys are great!

      about 5 years ago
    • daca1964's Avatar
      daca1964

      I was at work when they called to tell me. I just broke down and cried. One of my co-workers came to console me. That was a terrible day, but now 5 yaars later I'm still here. AMEN.

      about 5 years ago
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar
      BuckeyeShelby

      I was in the recovery room, following a hernia repair when my surgeon came around the corner. Wasn't expecting to see the surgeon -- what the heck! He had found more that the hernia. He said "adenocarcinoma", and I don't remember much after that. As I live alone, I was alone through all my treatment and appointments, as my Mom lived over an hour away and my friends all have jobs.

      about 5 years ago
    • AmyJo's Avatar
      AmyJo

      Jalemans, we are all there with you now, and anyone else who has to go along. Just think of us when you are there and feel our presence! Our spirits will wrap around you like a warm sweater. :)

      When I found out my husband was with me and has gone to every dr visit, scan, chemo, ect ever since. There is a big park across the street where I have my chemo, so once I get all set up my husband will go over there and fish. I had to force him to start doing that because he would sit there with me for hours and hours while I slept. I thought that was sort of silly.... go, go fishing and relax.

      about 5 years ago
    • MMarie's Avatar
      MMarie

      I was sitting alone in the office when I talked with my PCP. It was 12:07 p.m. (a time seared in my brain). The police chief walked in while I was still on the phone (I work for our city judge). I got off the phone and said, "It's Cancer". Chief gave me a hug and held me. Said he would be there for me AND he has been. I park in the police station parking lot and in the bad weather (I live in WI) I would just call the chief on his cell and he would remove snow from my car, scrape the windows etc. If he wasn't available he'd send over the great guys from ordinance patrol. Ah.....some of the benefits of living in a small city.

      Went to ALL my appointments alone. I don't have a husband, children, grandchildren or parents. :-(

      about 5 years ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar
      BoiseB

      My second diagnosis my brother and niece were with me "sort of" I actually had been admitted to the hospital because I was having trouble breathing due to the fact that I had breathed a lot of plaster dust and had a blood clot in my lung. I had actually thought that the bleeding was part of the accident but my PCP had ordered tests for cancer so the tests were done when I was in the hospital my niece had taken me to the Dr then over to the hospital while she was with me. She got a call that she needed to take my sister-in-law to the emergency room. My nephew had been in the CCU for a week so my brother had been staying with him. My niece sort of coordinated all the information and my brother posited it on Facebook so the rest of the family knew what was happening
      My favorite person to take to my appoints is my brother, who is a well known attorney who is an advocate for the handicapped. He really freaks the Dr.s out.

      about 5 years ago
    • cam32505's Avatar
      cam32505

      My doctor called me at work and asked how soon I could come into his office. Well, it was raining and would have taken an hour on a good day. So, he just blurted it out on the phone because he didn't want to delay my treatment. So, I would say there were probably thousands of people around when I got the news. I was just so frozen with fear. I'm thankful I didn't just scream when he called. I guess I was kind of expecting the news.

      about 5 years ago
    • gonewest's Avatar
      gonewest

      My closest friend was with me when the doctor told me about the cancer. At that moment my friend said I would always have a ride to all appointments and surgeries. He fills my prescriptions for me, brings me food, walks my dogs, and makes sure I have fresh flowers in my house each and every week. He also pays my copays so I have never seen a bill. This is still going on a year later. I never hear a complaint.

      about 5 years ago
    • melanomamama's Avatar
      melanomamama

      Boise B's comment about her lawyer brother reminded me of a lawyer friend of mine who went in for knee surgery, so he wrote with magic marker on the other knee, "Wrong knee. I'm a lawyer."

      about 5 years ago
    • AmyJo's Avatar
      AmyJo

      @melanomamama that's awesome!!!! h ah aha ha ha ha ha

      about 5 years ago
    • MMarie's Avatar
      MMarie

      .....speaking of lawyers, the one I work for is also a cancer patient. We have the same oncologist and chat about the folks in the chemo clinic. All of his appointments have to go through me since I manage his court calendar. He makes it clear to all of them that he's a JUDGE, not just an attorney. I just shake my head.

      about 5 years ago
    • 3tykes' Avatar
      3tykes

      I was at work when i got the phone call telling me that I had breast cancer. It was quite difficult to hear those words over the phone and i remember being in a state of shock. I called my husband and he came over as soon as he could, and went to all my appointments with me. It was a tough time, but having him stand next to me and being my strength made all the difference in the world for me. I got my news on Aug 19th of last year....it sure has been quite a ride, but it has made me be thankful for what i have and live in the moment and be happier because i know that i got a second chance....

      about 5 years ago
    • Bug's Avatar
      Bug

      I was alone at home when the radiologist called. My husband was on an airplane headed out of town. I called a sister who lives about three hours away. She happened to be about an hour and a half away on business. She asked if I wanted her to come over. At first I told her no then I called her back and said yes. She didn't have a toothbrush or anything but she stayed the night. A girlfriend came the second night. Husband came home the next day. He went to every doctor's appointment and still goes with me for mammograms and MRIs. He would go for check-ups if I asked but I do those on my own now. He is a scientist and though this is not his specialty he does know a little about it and is excellent at tracking down info and researching things. My guy - huge help.

      Jalemans, I, too, would go with you to every appointment if I could. Please know that I am - I believe all of us are - there in spirit.

      about 5 years ago
    • Lirasgirl33's Avatar
      Lirasgirl33

      My sister was with me when my gynecologist gave me the news. I remember he told me I was going to need chemo and radiation. He then told me "I'm not going to sugar coat anything for you. You are going to feel XXX, but you will get through this."

      Since then I've been able to have someone with me for certain procedures. The chemo I do alone, there really is no need for me to have someone sit with me the whole time. I usually end up falling asleep anyways. Not only that but since I sit in a room with other patients who are getting chemo, we keep each other company. I've met some very wonderful people while sitting in the infusion chair.

      I haven't really had anyone go with me for scan results, not because there isn't anyone that can go with me, I just haven't asked anyone to go with me. The scans have usually been the week before my next chemo for the most part, so the doc and I usually review the results when I go in for my next dose of chemo. I always take a notepad with me. I write down questions I have, so I can remember to ask the doctor. It is also handy to have so I can write down what the doctor says.

      I really wish everyone had the option to have company. I know that isn't always an option for many going through this. Hugs to my Whatnext family.

      about 5 years ago
    • Phoenix76's Avatar
      Phoenix76

      I got the call at work; I took the call out in my car in the parking lot. I was all alone, and I burst into tears. It took me awhile to calm down enough to go back to work. There's no way to prepare for the diagnosis, even if you suspect that you have cancer. The worst feeling in the world that I've had so far.

      about 5 years ago
    • Judt1940's Avatar
      Judt1940

      I had an earlier cancer where I was totally alone. The diagnosis, chemo , and radiation. I was fortunate it was a fairly easy by most standards to cure and I was younger. My daughter has been with me all the way. There was never doubt with my PCP I had uterine cancer, sent me to GYN for further tests, then to my oncologist / surgeon that staged and graded. I try to be as independent as possible.

      about 5 years ago
    • atlixco's Avatar
      atlixco

      I was in the hospital and my son was with me when the oncologist came in, he had treated me previously for a blood clot, so I thought that I had another blood clot. Well to my surprise he held my hand and told me I had NHL. I was in such shock that I almost fainted right there in the hospital bed. Thank God my son was with me, no one should be alone.I too wish you lived near me so we could go together for our chemos. I have one on Monday.

      about 5 years ago
    • MiMiranda's Avatar
      MiMiranda

      I was y myself when I received my diagnosis. Like you now I cannot go anywhere without family or a friends. This was something I thought I would get tired of quickly being that I love my alone time. Yesterday I realized what a blessing they truly are. I decided to take a chance and attend a concert with my daughter and friend and it was not one of my best choices. I ended up almost fainting while we waited in line. When I realized there was a medic by me.

      about 5 years ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar
      BoiseB

      Right after my first diagnosis, I went to see my pastor. I have never been alone since.

      about 5 years ago
    • barryboomer's Avatar
      barryboomer

      I was alone the first time and I go alone now. I wouldn't want my poor wife to have to do this. SHE'S traumatized enough.......Nothing SHE can do and I encourage here to keep doing HER LIFE as normal as possible. I'll take care of ME and when I need some more help with pain I'll call Hospice. NOW....at the end SHE will be stuck here with ME as I go through it and that will be Bad Enough.....I actually admire Robing Williams for having the guts to do what he did. BUT I just heard on the TV that he was in Financial Trouble and had Parkinson's. SO NOW his wife may be stuck with his bills and have NO LIFE Insurance because he killed himself....ugh!

      about 5 years ago
    • melanomamama's Avatar
      melanomamama

      Barryboomer makes a good point about Robin Williams. It's too bad California does not have the "Death With Dignity" act that we have in Oregon, although that might not have been available to Williams since he probably would not have been pronounced by a doctor to be within six months of death. One can live many years with Parkinson's. He also might not have been psychologically fit enough for the lethal prescription. The Oregon doctor must certify that the patient is not clinically depressed. That said, under Oregon's Death With Dignity law, the law states that it is not a death by suicide, and the death certificate must list the underlying disease as the cause of death, so life insurance is not supposed to be denied when a person dies by taking the prescribed lethal dose of barbiturates.
      Many people in Oregon who are prescribed the lethal dose under the Death With Dignity act keep it on hand, but never use it. A friend of mine was helped psychologically by having it on hand, but she never used it. One must be able to drink the potion oneself - others cannot feed it to the patient. It is almost impossible to put poison to one's own lips, no matter how sick one feels. Then, when the patient slips from consciousness, the option has passed. But people who do end up using the lethal dose prescribed under Death with Dignity tend to have the same concern Barryboomer has - to spare the caregiver the burden of tending to the hospice patient. Hospice pays for visiting nurses who come and go, but unless a person has long term care insurance or is wealthy enough, it falls on the nearest of kin to do the 24 hour care needed when we reach the end of life. It can be an act of selfless sacrifice to end life early to spare a beloved caregiver. But not all caregivers would agree. It can also be a profoundly fulfilling experience as caregiver to know you have helped usher your loved one through the final stage of life. Thus, use of the Death With Dignity option is deeply personal and impacts the entire family.
      Another comment on Williams' situation came from a dear friend of mine who has been living with Parkinson's for many years. He had four words to sum up Robin Williams' suicide: "He went too soon." I agreed, and I said that I wished Williams could have talked to my friend first. I will say that my friend has better quality of life than many Parkinson's patients because he received successful deep brain stimulation that relieves the tremors which used to keep him exhausted. There's a battery pack in his chest with a line into his brain that sends electrical impulses constantly to a certain spot. The other day, he went in for a procedure where they had to turn off the battery for five minutes, and the tremors instantly started, then stopped again when they restarted the electrical stimulation. Deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's is quite miraculous when it works.
      Constance Emerson Crooker

      about 5 years ago
    • barryboomer's Avatar
      barryboomer

      I think having Parkinson Disease was the straw that broke the camel's Back.
      He wouldn't have been able to be a comedian or an actor like he was.
      SO.....years of depression, money problems, Parkinson's and who knows what else......?
      I think I'd do the same thing.
      I don't believe God Holds this against you as some Religious Nuts do. We die however we die and than we move on to what's NEXT....lol

      about 5 years ago
    • kalindria's Avatar
      kalindria

      I was alone when I got my diagnosis because there wasn't even an inkling in anyone's mind that this might be cancer. My wonderful but a younger OB/GYN had never delivered a cancer diagnosis before and she was clearly shaken. I surprised her with my response - all I said was "OK, what do we do next?" I saw her again six months later and thanked her for the way she'd delivered the news: clear, concise, honest, no sugar-coating or jargon. We hugged and cried.

      I think I was in shock. I cried when I got into my car in the parking lot and then realized I had to drive home (only 5 miles) in rush hour traffic so I pulled it together and went home. My lovely boyfriend came in a few minutes later and was complaining about his horrible day at work and it really was a pretty bad for him. I just said, "I can top that - they think I have ovarian cancer."

      We both hugged and cried. (I'm sensing a theme here...)

      about 5 years ago
    • mbeshey's Avatar
      mbeshey

      I was by myself in my doctor's office after teaching a full day with small people, I just cried so hard the nurse a longtime friend came in to comfort me, I just walked out of there after calming down to the parking lot, cried some more and drove home in a stunned manner. As I did, I saw a large fireball meteor go across the sky as if God wanted me to focus on bigger things..it took my mind off the news in awe of it and I was able to go home and love my daughter, and then call my other daughter at college. My doctor who had told me was defined, straightforward and had already set the path for me to get my melanoma dealt with...I'm thankful for that!

      about 5 years ago
    • melanomamama's Avatar
      melanomamama

      Thanks, mbeshey. May we all see many meteors to strike awe in us when we are down!

      about 5 years ago
    • Cher9556's Avatar
      Cher9556

      I was told to bring someone with me when I received my biopsy results. They said that then I wouldn't be alone if it was bad news and could go out to celebrate if it was good news. I was glad to have my daughters with me when I found out I had breast cancer. After my lumpectomy I went for my follow up appt alone. I had no idea that my pathology report would not be good...they found more cancer and it was very aggressive. Then I knew why you shouldn't go it alone. When I left his office, I was driving on "auto pilot" and drove to the wrong place when I went to tell my mom the news face to face. I must have been in shock! Take a friend or co-worker with you if you don't have a family member who can go, or is willing to go. You really DO need another person with you.

      about 5 years ago
    • msesq's Avatar
      msesq

      I got my biopsy results over the phone minutes before I had to go before an audience of 50 people and perform at work. I have no clue how I managed to get through the day without bursting into tears. It really sucked big time. Now I have someone with me at all times.

      about 5 years ago
    • Lina35's Avatar
      Lina35

      I was alone for painful biopsy and told then it was probably cancer, which is what I suspected in my gut. My husband is a driver and couldn't go with me.My mother would have gone too, but I handled it. My parents are older and this illness is killing them. My husband has been with me for everything since and learned things I never thought he would be able to handle. He was a great man before, and now everyone knows that. I am very fortunate to have such a wonderful husband, family and friends to help and support us.

      about 5 years ago
    • Lina35's Avatar
      Lina35

      I actually think it was best I was alone when I was told. I also appreciate that the doctor doing the biopsy was honest about his suspicions. It helped me to mentally focus and prepare for the next steps. When it was confirmed by phone, I was also alone and I don't think my reaction would have been different. Suspected, still shocking having no risk factors, worried about children and family. The only thing that bothers me about the whole thing is how the local doctors referred me to a local surgeon for a rarer type of cancer, tongue, when I specifically asked where they themselves would go. I knew this was not true and a mutual friend of mine and one of these doctors confirmed my thoughts after telling me he inquired about my outcome and was so relieved I went to a well known city hospital instead. I don't harbor any ill feelings about this, I just want patients to get the best care they can as soon as possible, for the best outcome possible. And my dentist was excellent and glad that I spoke with him about these concerns. He agreed to discuss with some colleagues, and to his staff about the delay in my initial appointment of 2 weeks, which he was not aware of. We're usually seen within 2 days of calling for an appt. If I had been seen and, therefore, diagnosed sooner, my surgeries would not have been as invasive as they were. Cutting recovery time, distress to my family (especially children and parents), and return to work (because everyone here knows the financial drain of any illness and complications stemming from). Off topic again, sorry!

      about 5 years ago
    • anw0307's Avatar
      anw0307

      I was alone in my office at work when I got the voicemail from my dermatologist telling me that if I couldn't reach her during the day that I could call her on her personal cell that evening to discuss my results...I just knew then that it was going to be bad news. I called her at her office and received the news and just burst into tears. I think that I scared some of my co-workers b/c they didn't know what was going on. I then had to call my husband and tell him while he was at work and that was probably the hardest phone call that I have ever made. My supervisor and one of my co-workers then came in to my office and I talked to them about my news. My supervisor told me that I should go home and I couldn't have agreed with her more. I think for the rest of the day I was just in a state of complete and total shock.

      about 5 years ago
    • kage's Avatar
      kage

      I got mine on the phone at work in a corner by myself. Talk about a blur of a day after that!

      over 1 year ago

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