After Shannon's discovery of the lump in her breast, appointments were made and the quest was on to find out what she had going on in her body.
On 4/2/2009, Shannon had an appointment with her OB/GYN, for a physical exam with Dr. P. Dr. P. told Shannon that he also felt that the lump was most likely a cyst. He gave her a referral to a Radiology Center for an ultrasound followed by a mammogram if the lump was found to be solid.
Shannon went to the Radiology Center on 4/6/2009. The technician performed a sonogram on Shannon and after that she met with the radiologist. The radiologist began his talk with Shannon by showing her the cyst on the screen and reassuring her that she would be fine. He talked to her for a while and then he stopped talking. He paused, looking at her record jacket and her name, comparing it to the name on the film. At this point the Radiologist realized that he was looking at another patients results. My poor daughter was experiencing incompetence once again. The radiologist apologized, looked at her sonogram and then ordered a mammogram. Shannon knew at this point that the lump was solid.
On 4/7/2009, Shannon got a call from Dr. P. asking her to pick up her films from the Radiology Center and take them to Anne Arundel Breast Center. Shannon was then scheduled for an ultrasound core biopsy on 4/20/2009.
On 4/22/2009, Shannon took a call that rocked her world. She was told by Dr. P. that the lump in her breast was the cancer-- Melanoma. Dr. P. referred Shannon for an appointment with an Oncology surgeon, Dr. G on 4/23/2009. I was to go with her for this appointment.
Let me stop here for a moment to tell you how we felt. I cannot speak for Shannon but I can tell you this-- when she called to tell me that she had melanoma, I immediately knew how grave this situation was. Shannon and I both wept a little on the phone and I asked her if Ben was with her. She said no-- she didn't really want anyone with her because all anyone could do is stare at her and feel sorry for her. I said OK and that I loved her and hung up.
I left my work day early and came home, calling Sean along the way and breaking the sad news to him. Once he got home we both had long, heartbroken cries. I cried for a good long while and then I sat up in the bed and thought- what am I doing? I went to get Sean and said- let's go to her, she needs us. Let's stop on the way and buy her flowers, pajamas, stuffed animals, her favorite candy and anything else we can find to cheer her. And so that is what we did. We entered a sad, quiet house and brought along the biggest ray of hope and sunshine that we could muster at this point.
We ordered pizza as a family and ate together. We prayed together as a family. Beginning the long journey of faith we would all follow. We loved on Shannon and Ben and let them know they had our support and our continued prayers. Thinking back, I remember a smile that crossed my baby girls face that night. A smile that said, "I love you mom, dad and Christopher, I love you Ben." She could feel our prayers already.
Next post- meeting Dr. G. and surgeries and referrals to a medical oncologist.