“…mastectomy…” What did she say? How is this happening? I could feel the heat crawling up my chest, on my neck and burning my cheeks. The doctor continues, “... large tumour… margins...”. I can’t focus. I’m not ready for this; it’s not supposed to happen this way! " Cancer…… blood tests…”, she drones on. Deep breath, keep it together, don’t lose it… on and on she goes, until finally, “I’ll see you before surgery.” With that my friend and I are dismissed from the surgeon’s office. We make our way in a daze to the main lobby clinic for blood work and then out to the car. She gives me a hug and says some comforting words which are a blur. I am glad that she’s been with me every step of the way, but I can’t wait to get to my car so I can fall apart. As I sit behind the steering wheel, I glance in my review mirror as Bonnie pulls out of the parking lot. The full power of the nightmare in which I find myself washes over me and the tears begin to flow. It takes a full hour before I can even consider going home to my kids. I sit in the parking lot sobbing as I watch people leave the medical building … smiling and laughing … Just when I think I have it together, another wave hits me. As the clock nears 6 pm, I realize I have to go home to my kids; they’re waiting. I turn the key in the ignition and take a peek in the mirror at the crazed, red eyed woman staring back at me. “Get your shit together, they can’t see you like this”.