days 2 and 3 – impostor continued

The next day it was bone scan and CT, to look for metastases. Routine stuff, and the dominant impression was the friendliness and professional attitude of the clinical staff that shepherd you through these processes. In between bone scan in the morning and CT in the afternoon I was in a high level meeting with a foreign delegation and our president and colleagues, with my iv and bar code wristband hidden in the sleeve of my dress shirt. Still feeling unreal, but beginning to imagine what it would be like to tell people.

The day after, a Friday, was the day on which MD Anderson announced its new moon shots program ( and a big day for us all. I spoke with my surgeon that morning about the imaging results and the decision to biopsy a (slightly?) suspicious spot on the lung in CT. Bone scan clean. 

During the call I asked her whether any pathology had come in, and it had, which gave me the confidence to speak to my office team later that day. I had planned to tell the people I work most closely with that day, because I was beginning to feel that the unplanned absences and missed meetings were likely raising some concerns. I always think that being open about such things is the right way forward, but until I heard about the pathology I hadn’t been able to shake the feeling that it would all turn out to be a huge mistake. And then I would feel very foolish. Now, I was beginning to believe it. To get it. 

Over the weekend I told a lot more people. I had alerted my family already, of course, but now I was telling friends and colleagues. That made it more real. Worst by far was telling my kids, 8 and 10. Now it’s real. Time to fight.

One thought on “days 2 and 3 – impostor continued

  1. My goodness, you have young kids and this is the second time you and your wife have had to explain cancer to them. That sounds really difficult. I remember telling my then 13 year-old daughter about my breast cancer last spring. Since I am a child/adolescent psychologist, I had some idea of how to handle it and more importantly, I was able to confer with my psychologist friends about it. I remember how big her eyes were and how quiet she was. Her only request was to meet my breast surgeon, which I thought was really sweet.

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