Part 2

And then it was me.

There was a lump.  A lump I ignored.  I had one before and it was nothing.  So at my Friday morning checkup, that turned into an all-day test extravaganza, I thought was nothing.  Once I fully understood that there might be an issue, everyone kept assuring me “This is routine, this is normal, these spots show up, we’re just going to watch it, blah blah blah blah blah”.  I went home, I went about my life and I waited for those “nothing” results to come in.  I got on an airplane on Monday morning and flew to Las Vegas for the annual promotional products trade show. When our flight landed, there was a missed call and a voicemail from my actual doctor saying, “Please call me immediately”. As I sat in a hotel room in Las Vegas with my doctor on the other end of the line saying, “I need you to get on the next flight home”, my response was “No, I don’t”.  I know that sounds really crazy, but at that moment my answer was no.  I needed to process, I needed to get my head on straight, and at that point, I knew I needed to keep my job to keep my insurance to pay for what was ahead.  So no, I don’t.  I decided in that instant that I wasn’t leaving that hotel room, and I didn’t. I think it was a solid twenty-four to thirty-six hours before I even got out of bed because I didn’t know what to do.  I finally got up for a cheeseburger…and a beer.  It wasn’t supposed to be me. Everyone said that it was fine. This is fine. This is normal. These scans happen and it’s your age and it’s your heredity. I just kept thinking, “it can’t be me”. And when they said, “You have cancer”, I just kind of shut down. No thank you.

Everything from that trip to Vegas is largely a blur, but I had an amazing support system and I had someone there with me who picked me up and said, “When you’re ready, let’s do this”. I don’t know what clicked, but it was after about a day and a half there that I got up and said, I’m here to work. We’re going to do this. So, I put my big girl pants on and out we walked, straight to the trade show floor. I told no one.  I wasn’t in that place yet.  In addition to my cheeseburger, I picked up a lovely tattoo to commemorate the experience. When in Vegas, right? I spent WAY too much money in the Mandalay Bay casino that night, but it made me feel better. Then, I got on the airplane and I went home early, just like the doctor asked. That was Wednesday, and on Thursday I officially had my appointment with the doctor and we had a plan of attack. I started that plan the following Tuesday. To donate, please click here.

Kara Keister Breast Cancer survivor