Friday, September 14, 2012

It can be hard to get out of your own head

Melissa was an hour and a half late in seeing me for my Dana-Farber appointment yesterday.

So? They're always late.

But I had gotten it into my head that there was something wrong with me, which is why I had moved up my appointment despite evidence that my fatigue and occasional lightheadedness resulted from two falls and the energy my body had devoted to healing from the falls and from the Mohs surgery which was a real pain in the neck.

I fell asleep sitting in the waiting room. I read my book. I congratulated the 90-year-old patient who was wearing a button with blinking lights and the words "It's My Birthday" on it.

And then I catastrophized in a way I hadn't done in ages, like so: My counts are bad, and Melissa has gone to talk to Dr. Alyea about what to do with me. I am no longer a candidate for a bone marrow transplant. They put me on an experimental drug. I shrivel up and prepare to die. Whoa!

Diane calls to ask about my results, and I tell her that I haven't been seen and that I am getting nervous.

"Why?" she asks.

I tell her about my crazy mind.

"They are not sitting back there plotting your demise," she reminds me.

Finally I am called. Melissa, who is wearing a mask over her nose and mouth, tells me she has a cold.

"You, on the other hand, are fine," she says, printing out my counts.

Sigh of relief.

And I gained a couple of pounds. Woo hoo!
I guess I went into that tailspin because I was feeling vulnerable, my mental defenses were down, and none of the techniques that I practice had worked.

Probably other cancer survivors go through the same thing. So you call your doctor or nurse, and if they say there is nothing to worry about, you try to let it go. If that doesn't work, you make an appointment, and hopefully you are fine. Then you get a new lease on life.

I celebrated with a Tootsie Roll and three miniature Krakel bars.

Today I played doubles and moved around the court a little better.

When I got home, I leaned back into the couch and fell asleep, the dog's head on my lap. And when I woke up, I didn't worry about why I had been tired.

1 comment:

PJ said...

I seem to drift in and out of a funk on a daily basis. I just had a square of dark chocolate with hazelnuts. Our conditions crave candy and we should always eat some when we need to.