Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A small peek into what cancer does to your mind...

As I have mentioned, I am going to a cancer retreat this weekend and am completely looking forward to it. Until a couple days ago when I was in tears at random times. And I finally connected why. One of the activities included in the retreat, in most cancer retreats, is a message. Totally awesome, right? Something most people completely look forward to and pay good money for. Except to me it's an impending panic attack. Because I finally realized that on some deep level I equate getting a massage with getting cancer.

By the time I was diagnosed, the tumors under my arm were pressing on a nerve that ran down my arm and also causing a bad pain in my shoulder. The night before my ultrasound/biopsy, the night before my world started to fling itself off of its axis, the night before I, for all intents and purposes, lost my innocence to be ridiculously yet appropriately cliche about it, I had my husband rub my neck and my shoulders because it hurt so much, still completely and contentedly oblivious as to what lay underneath and ahead. Since then, even if I have had a pain anywhere, whereas most people would say, "Honey, please rub my shoulders" I completely ignore it, because to validate the pain might mean validating that "something" is there again. Because rational or not, somewhere I have always thought Oh my God, what if him rubbing my shoulders that night caused something to break open and spread further? So there you have it....

On top of that, I have a pain in my shoulder. Not a bad pain, not even shooting pain, just sort of a sporadic irritant; something I would never in a million years have gone to the doctor for before. Could it be from repeatedly lifting a 17 lb baby's butt to my face to smell her diaper? Could it be from the bunch of lifting and reaching I did last weekend? Could it be from holding the baby with my non-dominant arm because my left arm is just tired? Not in my world! Because after cancer, every pain, every ache, every upset stomach, every muscle spasm is cause for your mind to start racing at what it could be. So I'm fitting in a quick trip to the doctor tomorrow morning, hopefully for a "you know you have a cancer patient, please set my mind at ease" appointment before our trip. Which I desperately need. I am so exhausted, mentally, emotionally and physically.

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