At Full Frazzle

So, they’re going to stick a guide wire in my breast first. And then I’ll go to surgery.

I am low about it. I’m not sure why, but I both can’t talk about anything else and am so tired of talking about it. Everyone has the same questions and I only have the same answers, which means that I feel like my day is just me repeating things that I know are going to alarm people who care about me. And then I feel like I have to manage their alarm. But I also am alarmed.

And I feel kind of guilty because it’s not the worst news, right? It’s just a fast-growing, relentless tumor that’s going to require them to take a big halo of perfectly good tissue with it so that it doesn’t come back. But it could be worse. So, who am I to feel scared and uncertain?

I get so angry when people say they’re going to pray for me. I have to extricate myself from the conversation as quickly as I can, because I just want to yell “Fuck you, for knowing the right thing to do and say.” And then I feel like an asshole for even thinking it. But I’m jealous of and offended by the certainty.

When I texted my uncle to tell him that the biopsy was that it wasn’t cancer, he texted me back, “God is good.” And so I feel a little like I’m inconveniencing people by not being fine since I had good news.

And I feel like there’s something wrong with me because I can recognize a whole mountain of support from good people who love me and who I love, but today I experience it as overwhelming and it’s making me more scared. I want to turn off my phone and hide from everyone.

Though admitting it makes me feel better.

5 thoughts on “At Full Frazzle

  1. You are perfectly normal. Your feelings are perfectly normal. Once you get past the “telling people” stage, it will calm down a bit on the outside. Knowing that there’s something inside you that isn’t supposed to be there is scary. Surgery is scary, even when you have no choice and are sure that all will be well on the other side. It’s good that it isn’t cancer, but it still has to be dealt with. Sometimes dealing with the expectations of other people is more difficult than dealing with your own fear and confusion. You do what you have to do and to hell with everyone else.

  2. I did not know this until a few years ago, but it is not unusual for even successful surgery to cause depression. Even though you survive, and things are better, etc. It is an invasion of your body, you are losing something (even if it’s very small, and not something you need) and it can make you feel small and weepy and wounded. Because it is a wounding process. We are not wired to be happy about being hurt, even when we know logically it’s for our good. In my case, I hated people who didn’t have to have the surgery I had, for a while; they would try to cheer me up and I’d get angry because what did *they* know, no one had ever carved *them* up that way, they wouldn’t have a scar. It wasn’t logical. I had to let myself mourn, even though it seemed silly to be so hurt by something that was healed physically.

  3. emjb, I am really grateful that you posted this comment. I can’t tell you how helpful it’s been to just have it click into place–oh, right, I might be a little depressed about this whole thing, not just afraid.

  4. At the risk of pissing you off, I may or may not have said a prayer or three for you. I also may or may not have banged two chicken bones together. Anyway, I send you lots of good vibes in various different manners.

    And emjb is right – depression is a thing that isn’t abnormal in these situations. Don’t be so hard on yourself. This too shall pass.

  5. It ain’t easy. Please talk to the doctor and find out what the post-surgery routine is so you know. If you have drains, you need to know how to deal with them. Don’t be afraid to ask for pain medications. Take a good friend with you to all appointments. That’s about all I can offer from my own breast cancer days. You will heal and it will be ok. But it’s also ok not to like it!

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