Wednesday, March 01, 2006

I feel sick, I feel sick, I feel sick: not anymore, I don't

I began this morning with an 'I feel sick' mantra because it was checkup-day with the surgical team and they always seem to manage to make me feel a) stupid and b) scared-out-of-my-wits.

Then Keith made me feel a bit better with my massage: my shoulder is still crummy. I'm off-balance now that I'm one breast lighter on my right side.....and this apparently means my shoulder is rising on that side and, I don't know.....I'm just wonky - alright? I am being fitted for a new prosthesis on Friday though - maybe that will help and I may have to call Karen-the-physio (please don't hurt me, Karen!) if it doesn't get any better.

ANYWAY, after show-and-tell of my scar by the surgeon to the SHO and poking around the remaining breast and the portocath the decree was that all was FINE. Apparently my scar is at the 'lumpy stage' - delightful! [It is *not* lumpy - it's just red and obviously scar tissue. Don't insult my scar, mate!] He was not at all interested in my shoulder or in any of the phantom pains across my chest. No lumps=fine. OK. I guess you're just not supposed to winge to surgeons about pain: you should be far too busy being grateful for being alive.


Bravo, you, for removing my breast; excuse me if I'm not more delighted at my wonkiness. It's very wearing to be constantly grateful and I can't help feeling a little bit like, if I'm not grateful enough then the cancer will come back to punish me. Now, I KNOW it doesn't work like that (I hope) but try telling that to the emotional bit of oneself. It doesn't get it.

I keep trying to remind myself to come up with something each day to 'celebrate' being here but it's really hard not to get sunk in the morass of 'crap, it's all crap, I'm crap, crap: it truely is everywhere' and sometimes I sit there and have to think: 'what good thing am I going to do today, what positive thought am I going to have to mark being here?' and I can't come up with an effing thing....
And that's why I can't get to work on time - because I'm too busy trying to think of a 'good thing'.

So then my dad (who went with me) dumped me it by saying not very sotto-voce 'are you going to tell them about being sad?'.

'Thank you, dad'

I know, that's what parents are for. But I didn't see the point because the response was exactly what I expected it would be: 'It's normal to feel like this after everything you've been through, the endocrine medications won't be helping, it will improve in time, we can refer you to some psych person if necessary'. I know all that and it doesn't make me feel better. All the knowledge in the world can't change the way you feel because feelings are not intellectual - they're primitive survival reactions. My philosophy is that all the things I have been through are real and true and so are the feelings they've engengered - so, it seems to me, you can't just try and brush them away, magic them away, medicate them away. They are real and true and need to be respected and given space and time at least equal to the physical reality that bore them.

So I will continue to be sad and/or miserable and weep and wail and cry when appropriate (or not appropriate) and one day, I'll be done. And til then, Elaine, you'll have to put up with me!

[I still don't have cancer: this is good - I feel like I'm waiting for it. And every time I go to one of these checkups, I'm convinced that it's come back and am actually surprised when I'm told that I'm fine. 'Are you sure? How sure are you? How do you know?']

No comments: