By Shormistha Mukherjee
This piece is the first in our new series, The Chemo Diaries of Agent Greenglass. Here, we follow the wicked observations of Shormishta Mukherjee, as she narrates her ongoing battle with breast cancer, from diagnosis to chemo to post-surgery recovery.
Now that you know the news, here is what’s been happening in the last one week.
Two Saturdays back, I got off my ass and called the gynaecologist. It was a lazy day, and the lump in my breast was beginning to bother me. I keep getting these lumps, and they are always benign. So I sort ignored this one, till that Saturday.
I got an appointment for Tuesday. And I show up for it, all cool and grinning. Because I’m so convinced this is benign, and it’ll all be done in seconds.
The gyne ushers me into her room, which by the way is filled with at least 50 gods, all neatly stacked up on the table behind her.
She asks me the usual questions. Any history of breast cancer in the family etc etc. And I smugly say no to everything.
Then she examines me. And orders me to wear my clothes and come back to her room.
Now I’m about 1% worried, 99% cool, because at this point she should be grinning and waving me off.
She draws my boobs on a piece of paper. Marks out the lump on my left breast, and says she’s not completely sure about it. So I should get a mammography and a sonography.
I roll my eyes, look at the 50 gods and think no way is anything going to happen to me. This is just a pain. And I’m getting late for work.
The receptionist at the gyne fixes an appointment for me with a lady who specialises in breast cancer detection. The appointment is on a Thursday.
On Thursday, I dutifully show up. Still thinking it’ll be done, the lady will declare everything okay, and I’ll be at work in the next two hours.
After waiting for an hour, they do the mammography. An extremely painful procedure where they squish and compress your boobs so they hurt for the next ten days!
Anyway, next comes the sonography. The lady applies the gel and starts staring at the screen. She’s talking all the while to her assistant, who is recording whatever she’s finding.
The conversation goes like this… lump 1 at 11 o’clock, so much diameter etc etc.
Obviously my lady lumps are full of lumps. Which I know, so I’m all cool and chill.
Then I hear her exclaim, “That’s peculiar.”
And in an instant I know. I know that this is it. This is cancer.
I get off the table. She looks serious. I call A in, and she tells us that there are things that look worrying, and I need to have a biopsy. But the gyne wants to see me first.
That’s when it hits me. I walk out of the room and start to cry.
It’s just the shock. I don’t think anyone ever thinks they’ll get cancer. Just out the blue. With no family history. No reason, no nothing.
But you know what? After a wonderful two minute cry, it hits me. There’s a giant lottery in the sky, and my number just got drawn. And that’s it. No reason, no nothing.
It’s as simple as that. There’s no big plot here.
Originally published on Agent Greenglass’ blog. Look out for part two tomorrow!