My own experience closely shadowed the typical 5 stages of grief as described by Elizabeth Kübler-Ross. Initially, I think I was in denial. I understood everything that was happening, but it didn’t seem real. It was almost like I was watching it happen to someone else. I remember when I called my parents to tell them the doctor had confirmed his suspicion with the biopsy results, my mom and dad both started sobbing. I had no idea how to handle that. So I left work to go comfort them. I gratefully accepted gifts and cards and calls and visits throughout it all, but it never felt real until I came home from the hospital after my surgery. That’s when all the other stages of grief -- anger, depression, bargaining, and eventually acceptance – finally let loose and I realized oh my god this is my life now.