Suzelle Fiedler


“THERE ARE MANY WAYS TO GET INTO THE FIRE…” Thus sang the voice on the dance mix that I had just put on to do my home workout when my cell phone rang. My heart sank when I peered at the screen and saw the name of my GYN’s practice. I had just had my annual screening mammogram the week before–could it be that something had showed up? The lady at the doctor’s office told me that something had indeed shown up, and that I was to have a diagnostic mammogram the following week. I didn’t finish my workout. One week passed, and the time came for the diagnostic mammogram. It was done without a cushion for my breast, which I thought was adding insult to injury. The technologist informed me at the end that I needed a biopsy. I remember my exact words: “That’s swell.” As I left the medical building, Don Henley’s voice taunted me through the PA system, singing that everything can change in a New York minute. I almost kicked one of the empty chairs in the waiting room. One of my best friends drove me to the biopsy, which was all the way across town, a week later. It was very comforting to have her with me, as I hate to be alone during scary times. I remember lying face down on the procedure table with my right breast sticking through a hole. I remember my breast being numbed and the nurse saying, “Okay…just a little pin prick,” and my immediately soothing myself by thinking of Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb.” On the way home, my friend and I stopped at Starbucks and I treated her to coffee and myself to a Frappuccino, which ruined my diet for the day, but I really didn’t care. Three days later, my husband I left for our beach vacation. I knew well that the doctor might call with the biopsy results while I was on vacation and that the results may or may not be good news. While at the beach, I buried the whole situation in a back corner of my mind. I uncovered it only once we got home four days later. Ten whole days after the biopsy, I had still heard nothing, which infuriated me. I finally called my doctor’s office and asked for them, being put on hold for what seemed like an eternity. Finally, I got to speak to my doctor, who told me that they had found NO cancer in my samples, but that she was sending me to a breast surgeon because I had some kind of growth in my breast which she described as “precancerous.” As of now, the appointment with the surgeon is in two days. I am very grateful that I am one of the lucky ones. I know so many of you aren’t as lucky, and my heart goes out to you. God bless you all.