For me, writing never comes easy. I have to really sit myself down, sometimes with a bottle of wine, and let myself feel. I always talk about how feeling emotions is the best way to heal but we all know we don’t always practice what we preach. I sit here today, two years after the trip to Sicily in the middle of everything. I think back to that pain I felt while being in the most beautiful place I have ever seen in person, with everyone I would want to be with, with the best food you could imagine, but I was miserable. I knew there was beauty, but I couldn’t see it. I was with my loved ones, but someone was missing. I smelled the food, but I couldn’t eat it. I felt sick and all I really wanted to do was go home and sleep.
My mind starts to wander, and it takes me back to the beginning. Sitting in my third and final Surgical Oncologists office and I thought this would be the one. I couldn’t see one more, I was exhausted. After my exam, she sat my parents, boyfriend, and I down in her office. She gave us her opinion on a treatment plan. I still had so many questions, but she was so short with me. It aggravated me. My family was asking questions and the walls felt like they were caving in. I couldn’t breathe and I wanted to scream. I needed this nightmare to be over. It was all white noise in the background and then I finally snapped. “EVERYONE GET OUT!” I needed to be alone with this doctor. I needed to hear it straight from her with no interruptions or added opinions. I looked at her and I started to cry. I explained how frustrated I was, and she gave me little to no compassion. It didn’t make sense. I didn’t need her to baby me, but she was so to the point. Looking back, it makes sense. She knew what I needed to do and being stern about it was probably the only way I would eventually realize that I had no real choice to have the life that I deserved to have; a long one with the least amount of risk for a recurrence. I didn’t feel that way in her office that day though. Maybe I just wanted to hear that it was all wrong, that they made a mistake and I didn’t need to do anything. I could resume my life and forget this ever happened but that was obviously not the case. I felt anger and frustration and I left upset and unsettled. Mastectomy? How could I get a mastectomy? All I wanted was my life back and normalcy never felt so far away. I told my family that I absolutely did not want to work with her. I felt like I was back at square one. What the fuck am I going to do?
I went home and back to the drawing board. I researched other hospitals and other doctors. Since the day I found out I was sick, the number of doctors I saw made my head spin so why did I want to see more than I needed to? I didn’t but I still didn’t hear what I wanted to hear, which was unrealistic but I longed for it. I know in my head that the more options I had, the more confused I would be but the thing is, I love options. I love to weigh everything out and think of every potential outcome. We are talking about my life here in my own damn hands, sheesh. The troubling thing is, I can not control this outcome, and time is not on my side. Every day that I don’t make a plan, I am only getting more sick. That pressure sends chills down my spine and is enough to send me spiraling. It’s like being on a ride and you feel like you are going to throw up and you need to make it stop, you need to get off. You are screaming but no one can hear or understand you. Getting off isn’t an option. Cancer is a fucking bitch. I know what I need to do in my heart but I ignore it. I have a weird delusional hope that I was going to get off this ride and wake up from this nightmare. There is a point where you come to reality and have to trust your gut and follow it but I most definitely was not at that point yet. I wanted more doctors, I needed more options.