I am the type of person that is always thinking about 15 steps ahead of themselves. It’s a gift and a curse. Maybe it’s an effort to be “prepared” but I never actually feel prepared when the time comes. Why do I do this? I never actually realized that I was doing it until I sat down on this particular day in my therapist’s office. The hospital offers free therapy sessions with a social worker, so I figured I would take full advantage of it, but I am also the type of person who loves therapy. It might just be because I love to talk, but talking things out always seems to be the most effective way to process things. So here I am about three weeks into my diagnosis walking into the social worker’s office for some free therapy fully confident that I would find all the answers, today obviously because I also have no patience.
I am hyper critical when it comes to therapists. It’s hard for me to relate to them, especially in this instance. Unless you have or had breast cancer, how could you possibly understand what I am going through? How could you possibly be able to help me make these critical life decisions? I came with an open mind, though, or at least as open as I could possibly let it be. I find myself continually getting distracted by my surroundings and beating myself up in my head. I think back to the past five or so years in my life and I want to go back to those “simple” problems. Looking back at that day now, I had absolutely no clue how things were going to pan out. I feel so sad for that girl that I was sitting there that day completely lost and confused. I felt like I was drowning and couldn’t come up for air, and sadly that feeling still sometimes catches up to me.
We started talking and I felt myself shutting down. He had me writing out worksheets on how to get to my decision. I was mad, frustrated, and even more upset. No one had my answer. Well how could they, it was MY answer, MY decision and I knew that I would have to make it myself but I just didn’t want to. I was tired and confused. I left that day feeling even more confused than when I walked in. I thought a lot about what he said but was struggling to put all the pieces together. I felt like maybe if my next appointment I sat with a woman, she would understand me a little better.
I went home and got back into work. I had a presentation that night on getting merchandisers set up for their new business: “Getting Set Up For Success.” I usually do a quick once over before I go live with the presentation but that night I was distracted. I pulled it together though and went into my happy place – empowering new women to get their businesses on the road to success. These calls always excite me. I remember myself on them when I first started and I look at where I am today on the other side. As I am going through it I realize that what I am giving them is the tools to get set up, to make those first major decisions to have a successful business. It hits me: that is exactly what I am going through with my doctors. They are giving me all of the information to make my decision on what path is going to lead me to the best life. It is just that I have to decide how to get there and what the best life looks like for me.
After the call I am feeling wiped out and even more frustrated. I take a bath and glance down at my breast. It is still completely black and blue. It looks how it feels. Damaged. I try to rest my mind but it is a struggle. I am tired and I just want to go to bed. I lay next to my boyfriend and he pulls me in close. I know he feels my pain but doesn’t know what to say. He doesn’t have to say anything. All I want is to shut my mind off and go back to our mundane life of watching The Office in bed before I doze off but instead I lay there stiff and numb. My mind is going a million miles a minute and then it stops. It ramps up to super speed and then I go numb again. I have knots in my stomach, yet I am losing my ability to feel emotion. I am tormenting myself with every possible scenario and outcome. I think about what it would be like if I died. Am I going to die? I don’t want to die. I am not going to die. How did I get here?