Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Monday's trip, depression, and a pinktober article

I was just too tired to post the results of my day at UAB yesterday. That trip wears me out - not just the 8 hours in the car, but the tests and, frankly, just walking into the clinic. We hit the breezeway that leads from the parking garage to the clinic and I felt the anxiety start creeping in. I felt the shakes, the tears, the "nonononoIwanttogohomepleasedon'tmakemegointhere" voice start. It's an act of sheer stubborn will (and clinging to Andy's hand) that allows me to keep putting one foot in front of the other in that place.

I had my MRI, and let me tell you, IT HURT. Remember my recent trip to the ER and diagnosis of costochondritis? Apparently even though my sternum doesn't hurt constantly and it doesn't seem to be taking the predicted 6 weeks to resolve, lying on a bed that has holes to drop the boobs into, meaning a hard thing between them is where your weight goes, isn't as fun as one might imagine. When it was time to get up, my sternum, chest and back hurt so badly that Andy had to come in and help me get dressed. I was in tears not only from the pain, but also because I'm sick of this. I'm sick of being screened for cancer (apparently having the most aggressive surgery for cancer that was caught as early as mine exempts you from nothing when it comes to screenings), sick of it hurting, sick of it causing such horrible anxiety.

The good news is that the MRI ruled out any recurrence. I really do "just" have costochondritis, and I'm good for another 6 months. I have two small cysts, one in each breast, that haven't changed (I didn't even know they were there), and are of no concern.

Yesterday I had the MRI on my shoulder; I'll get those results Monday when I see my orthopedist. There is a chance it's related to my mastectomy, as my other shoulder was when it was impinged.

So, if I have no recurrence and my shoulder problem is not cancer, riddle me this: why am I depressed? Why am I still close to tears (though at least the anxiety has dissipated), having weird dreams, and feeling so down I can't be bothered to accomplish much?

I'll tell you why: because as I said above, I'm sick of it all. I'm sick of finding more long-term issues that nobody told me could happen (hello, shoulder, I'm talking to you), I'm sick of the anxiety, I'm sick of the drive to UAB, I'm sick of pinktober, I'm sick of knowing that there are those who really wish I'd just move on and not mention having had cancer. I had it, I live with its aftermath, and while at some point it may move to a different part of my brain, right now it's really close to my mouth and out it comes. It's not my job to keep others comfortable about my cancer.

So, that's where we are right now. Today I'm going to have a treat day: I'm going to Sephora (oh, someone protect my wallet), then to get a manicure, then to Wednesday knit night, which I've missed since August.

I leave you with this article: Why #Pinktober consumerism makes this breast cancer survivor uneasy - I didn't write it, but I could have, right down to the disbelief and, yes, guilt, that comes with not needing radiation or chemo.


Rachel Russ said...

My dear pink sister--the healing will come. The dreams, they don't happen as often. It takes time. Your soul needs healing. Your heart is forever effected by this crisis that has happened to you. Start small. What makes you NOT think about cancer? Focus on that for an hour or so with the goal of not letting the fear creep into your thoughts. If it does, replace it with that which strengthens you. If it is faith, put in a verse or prayer in place of that scary thought. If it is a word, that word. Write it out if needed. There is power in words. You are a fighter and you will conquer this feeling.

Someone once told me that breast cancer is not a sprint. It is a marathon. There are rest stops along the way.

Search for yours my blogging friend.

You are due for a rest stop.

caroline aka fibrrtribe said...

What Rachel said. And it is beautifully said. I'm cheering for you and for ease and lightening of your spirit. And you should talk about what you damn well please. Sending BIG gentle hugs.