I am an anxious kind of person. Over the course of an average day, I worry over hundreds of ultimately meaningless things. Is my shirt on right or is it inside out? Do my shoes match? Did I remember my lunch? What if there's a fire drill and it's raining and I forget my umbrella in my office? Such things run in the background of my head all the time, and I've learned to ignore most of the commentary.
And then I got cancer. It seemed as though the litany of stuff to worry about had had the volume turned up to 11 in my brain. Even after all the radiation and chemotherapy, even after the last PET scan indicated that I was cancer free, it continued, and it's been more difficult to tune out. For example, I am getting rheumatoid arthritis in the fingers of my hand. Typical of people my age, that things like joints start to deteriorate. Not a big deal. Yet when I noticed that the index finger on my left hand was swollen, my instinctive reaction was to think it was cancer. It took me two days to talk myself from the ledge of that particular cognitive process.
I don't say these things out loud, I just turn them over in my head until I can fashion some sense from them. There's just been so much emotional turmoil over the past two years that my anxiety level has just not been prepared for. I hope that everything calms down soon, because I'm starting to get annoyed with myself.
In the meantime, while you read this, I'm going to be in surgery having another mastectomy and breast reconstruction. I am very nervous about what is going to happen and how things are going to be once I wake up. You would think that I would be used to surgeries by now. You would be wrong.
Every time, I am terrified. And yet, that's the path I have chosen. Why? To get healthy. For that little boy that lives with me, who is counting on me to be around for awhile. For my husband, who is my rock. For lots of reasons, even for myself. If I focus on that, maybe I won't be so scared.
Keep sending positive thoughts, and I'll be back when I can.