My text hugging mate hears first and her instant recommendation is Valium, or vodka if no Valium. This seems sensible, but I need my wits about me for a little longer. The list of people I need to talk to seems huge, so I start at the top: my Mum and Dad.
To put this conversation in context, we have had a number of family friends die of cancer over the years including someone who didn't even reach 30 and one of my father's best friends who died of stomach cancer. Also my Dad is ex-Navy, so all family disaster anecdotes are accompanied by my Dad asking why he doesn't know about this particular happening and getting a chorus of "You were at sea!". On this occasion, Dad is in Pakistan with his post-retirement job. So Mum is at home on her own when her daughter calls to tell her she has cancer. I reckon it took no more than the time it takes to pour a stiff whisky before she got on the phone to her sister, to whom she is very close. (Mum tells me later this is not true!)
My in-laws and sister-in-law are staying, en route to a week's holiday. They cry. Our nanny cries. The elder of my two brothers cries. I'm dry eyed throughout as the task of getting people told gives me something to focus on and repetitive emphasis of the positives - it's very early, consultant thinks op only no chemo - sort of helps. I call my boss, who is on a rare and much needed holiday, and get strangely comforted by having almost a stand up row with her about whether or not I am coming to work on Friday (I win, but it's a close call - she's from New York).
Then, somehow, I eat. I drink - too much. I don't sleep.