Dearest Lovely People
I feel terrible that I left y’all out there on that proverbial limb. It should have occurred to me that writing a post about the despair I was feeling and then not posting again for a couple days might freak you out a little. Let me just say right off the bat that I am feeling good. Everything is ok and mental crisis is over. Ok, over-ish.
I simply cannot believe all the incredible supportive comments I received from all of you and I thank you mightily for them. I can honestly say they helped me a great deal. I knew that it was ok to feel sad but the hear it all from you made even the tiniest traces of guilt float away.
After my sad day on Monday I had a couple medical type appointments to go to on Tuesday. The first one was to my therapist (Yes, I am a Gen-Xer and go to therapy!) where I bawled my ass off again and was given even more support and validation. This lovely counsellor lady I go see used to be a nurse so she really understands my problems from both angles – mental and physical.
After that I went to my psychiatrist. Yes, I go to a psychiatrist AS WELL!!! Actually he does all the prescribing for those brain pills I have needed on and off for the last 15 years or so. I have mentioned, rather off handedly, in past posts that my panic attacks have come back since the cancer diagnosis. What I have done is kinda gloss over how very incapacitating they are becoming. This weekend I wanted to get myself some take-out dinner and a DVD from up the road and freaked-out so bad I had to come home. I think this event added a great deal of fuel to the Pity Party Fireworks Display. It sucks to have cancer but it sucks even more to have cancer and be housebound and freaking your ass off. I had panic attacks like this about 10 years ago and it took a loooong time to rid myself of them. Actually, they never did stop altogether but I was much better and I know how once they start they are very hard to slow down again. They are extremely tenacious fuckers. Believe me, I know I am describing them like they are separate from me and we all know they are not yet it feels like they are when one minute I feel totally fine and the next second this freaky-ass SOMETHING is assaulting my normally laid back mellow brain and making it (and therefore me) act more scared and weird than ever before.
During the Pity Party I decided it was absolutely IMPERITIVE I get these attacks under control NOW. I know I will have bad days with the chemo so on those good days I get I DO NOT want to be unable to go out and enjoy them because of panic. Let's not forget having to go to the clinic for chemo or other tests and freaking out every time, too. I hate freaking out. It is not fun. So my shrink prescribed mega duty anti-anxiety meds for me. Yay for me! Let’s hope they work.
So after that day of going out and about and having to deal with PEOPLE and PLACES and THINGS that may or may not trigger a panic-freak-out I was quite sick to my stomach and very tired. I just went straight to bed. Without blogging. Without telling you I was ok. Sorry about that.
As for today and my first appointment at the Cancer Clinic... Yes, I had raging panic attacks all day so nothing new there. The appointment was 3 hours long and did not involve any testing. What it did involve was lots of waiting around and MASS QUANITITES of information being inserted into my freaking-out brain.
Due to the sheer volume of info that came my way today I have decided that I am not going to think about it much or talk about it much. In fact due to sensory overload I just woke up from a 2-hour nap and I plan, shortly, to go back to bed for the night. I am ex-haust-ed. What I can say is that my cancer is not aggressive. It has many characteristics that make it respond well to treatment. I start with chemo in 2 weeks. April 21st is Chemofication Day. This means I have one week “off” to get stuff done and then another week where I will undergo medical testing like crazy. Then a 6-month run of chemo. I am not freaking about that as I have accepted its inevitability for a couple weeks now. After chemo will come radiation treatment. I don’t know how long that will be but it typically runs 3-5 weeks. Then after that is probably more surgery. Then after that is hormonal therapy for a few years. This is like a pill to take everyday so the least of my worries right now. My oncologist said for me to be prepared to commit myself to a year of health stuff. Holy McBugger! That is quite the commitment. What can I do but commit fully to this. I feel optimistic and pretty good about it all. In short, I am ok. Pooped but ok.
I will definitely update you as it all happens. During my week off I will be shopping for cool hats for my soon to be bald head. I will be posting lots of pictures of my baldness so watch out!
Thanks for everything you guys!
Love from me!