Bottom Line/HEALTH:Now, you’ve gotten diagnosed, and that’s emotionally devastating, frightening, overwhelming. I can’t even imagine all that you were going through in the span of weeks of time. So let’s talk about talking to your husband, the family, your friends, just communicating all of that, because that’s such a big deal, and such a gift of your skills. How did you deal with your husband, who was actually away when you first got diagnosed?
Hollye Jacobs, R.N.:Ironically, he was halfway across the world, and he was going to be away for five days. My very first call was to that girlfriend I was telling you about. When she was diagnosed, her husband was out of town for the weekend. She was diagnosed on a Friday. I happened to be with her at her diagnosis. She decided that she would wait until her husband got back, because she thought that was really his last weekend of peace and without worry. She told him on Monday, and she said, “Hollye, that was the only mistake that I feel that I made through the entire course of treatment—not telling him right away.”
Bottom Line Why was that? Was he hurt by that?
Jacobs:He was hurt by that, and I think it goes to the point that cancer didn’t just happen to me. It happened to my family, my friends and my community. In my girlfriend’s attempt to protect her husband, it was actually perceived by him as being hurtful, so she said to me, “You need to call him, and he needs to come home.” I made the big mistake of calling him as I was driving on the freeway—which happened to be under construction, by the way—to tell him. And this was part of not being able to see the forest for the trees, and being wrought with emotion. I called him and I said I just left the radiology appointment, and I’m on my way to a biopsy for what everyone highly suspects to be breast cancer. Then I burst into tears, and I’m driving—I can’t even imagine how poorly I was driving at the time—my one glimmer of hope was that I didn’t crash, I didn’t crash into anyone.
Bottom Line Construction kept the traffic slow.
Jacobs:Exactly, well you know what? I’m actually a much more patient driver now, because if somebody is driving in a funny way, I think maybe they just got a diagnosis…maybe they’re having a really bad day. So I tend to be a much more patient driver. Anyway, my husband got on the next plane and flew home. It took him about 18 hours to get home. When he came through the door, I remember feeling so incredibly relieved, as though I was now able to face what I was going to have to deal with.