Have you ever seen the show “Snapped”? It’s a true crime show that examines a case where a woman snaps and loses it. Usually the victim of the show is the woman’s partner. Now, I’m not going to commit a crime, but I do feel like I might snap.
Monday I went to see my surgeon to set my breast cancer surgery date. It didn’t go well. I had a bit of a panic attack and had to miss work. I knew an episode was coming. I felt “off” all weekend. Having dealt with anxiety for years, I knew I was running on fumes. I think setting the surgery date made the cancer diagnosis real.
I am one of those people that has to compartmentalize things. It’s the only way I can make it through the day. Since the breast cancer diagnosis, I’ve tried not to think about it lots. It’s been on the back burner as I try to work and be funny. Compounding my stress was the cervical biopsy results I was waiting on. I was supposed to get the results last Friday and when I didn’t get them, I stressed. All weekend I wondered about the results. My brain wouldn’t shut off. I wondered if I had two separate types of cancer and that thought made me beyond anxious.
Before seeing the breast cancer surgeon Monday morning, I got the results. Two tumors but luckily, both are benign. WHEW! The doc is going to keep a watch on them and I’ll have to have another pap smear in 6 months. The results should have eased my anxiety, but that wasn’t the case.
After setting my breast cancer surgery date, which is July 9, I broke down. Panic and stress took over and I lost it a bit. There was no screaming or excessive crying but I felt like I couldn’t breathe. In all honesty, it’s not the cancer that is freaking me out, it’s having surgery.
I’ve had numerous surgeries in my life: three knee surgeries, shoulder surgery, sinus surgery, gallbladder surgery, and spinal fusion surgery. The staph infection after the first spinal fusion surgery almost killed me. It wasn’t anyone’s fault. Things happen. But recovery was rough. I missed three months of work and my poor mom had to stay with me. Hell, I’m still recovering. I’m on antibiotics until February of 2022!
I went public with the breast cancer diagnosis hoping I could encourage other women to get their yearly mammogram. So many people are in my corner, cheering for me. People I don’t know are praying for me and checking on me. All of it is amazing! But it’s also overwhelming. When you’re seen as a strong person, people expect you to be strong all the time. Being a stubborn person, when people ask if I’m ok, I say yes. But I’m not always ok.
My family and friends check on me lots, but I don’t want to bother them. Lord knows they’ve dealt with me and my medical issues enough. I don’t want to say that I’m stressed and scared because I don’t want to burden them. They have their own stuff to deal with in their lives. In years past, when I would get stressed out, I’d box. Hitting a heavy bag releases so much anxiety and stress for me. Unfortunately, due to my neck surgery, I can’t hit things right now.
Trying to be ok is making me not ok! LOL! Does that make sense? My body is tired. I know I’m so very lucky that the cancer was found early. As of right now, I’ll only have to go through radiation and not chemo. There’s no doubt in my mind that I’ll fully recover. But trying not to break down is wearing me out. I’m on anti-depressants but I think my dose needs to be bumped up! Gonna see what I can do about that.
Yesterday I made an appointment to see a therapist. Luckily I know when I’m a bit on the edge and reaching out for help is the smart thing to do. I know many people are hesitant to see a therapist, but it can help in times of extreme stress. You gotta do what you can to make sure you don’t end up on “Snapped”. I mean, I’d love my own TV show, but I ain’t trying to be on that one!