Today is the 1 year anniversary of the day the Fairview Breast Center called to diagnose me with a tiny malevolent boob invader.
Friday I had my first mammogram since surgery, because Oncology scheduled it months ago and WHY NOT make it the same weekend I’ll already have an abundance of feels? I walked into the hospital with my usual (and often commented-upon-with-exasperation) stoicism and joked with the technician about how weird her job is, especially now that Covid makes it so you have to undress and put the completely worthless 1/2 gown (seriously, WHY BOTHER when it’s open in the front anyway??) on while the tech is in the room with you. That was a terrible grammatical sentence and I apologize, but I’m also not fixing it. I held everything under an iron weight inside until I was on the stairs heading toward the door before I started breathing faster and sweating.
I had a panic attack meltdown in the parking lot. I’m probably unreasonably proud of the fact I made it through the test and out of the building…the legacy of being bullied so much in school you learn NEVER to show weakness publicly. I spent at least a half hour sobbing and dry heaving in my car, completely unable to drive and trying to logic my way out of the tsunami of “here we go again, this time you’re going to die you know” feelings. The rest of my day was a complete wash. If you haven’t had some form of PTSD, I hope you never experience anything like it.
Today I got a first message from a dude on the dating site, so I looked at his profile. He wants someone “real” and someone who isn’t a “sad sack or complainer” and my very first thought was “well, that’s a fucked up mixed message if ever I’ve heard one.” So I answered and asked what his definition of “real” is…that should be interesting if he’s not a Zoosk bot (there are some).
And I realized I’m mostly successfully putting a face on for everyone again, which is excellent progress to judge my energy level (it takes effort to put on the “everything’s awesome” face) and probably less than excellent progress for my therapist. I’m sure I’ll hear about it on Tuesday.
My plan for today is to spend some time grounding myself “here” (3 mile Arboretum hike, cleaning up Minerva’s mess downstairs, household chores I didn’t get to yesterday because I got completely sucked into a new Tiffany Reisz novel), and disappearing later with a witch and archaeologist battling a banshee in Duluth. I owe pages to my writing group tonight.
I am tired. I am in Schrodinger’s Cancer Box, the liminal area between test and either the all-clear or the carefully worded “we’d like to get an ultrasound just to be sure”, until results are posted or someone calls.
I am looking forward to defining what “real” is in my universe to the Zoosk dude, if he writes back.
And just because it made me laugh to stomach-hurting-tearful-wheezing, I’m heading to the Arboretum with this thought today, with full gratitude to Sarah for sending it.