So as I walked into the counseling office I sat down on the couch. We said our pleasantries as we always do. I thought I was OK. I didn’t think anything was really going to happen. I had my water, some almonds, and I thought I was good to go. I knew I was struggling with some anxiety about my head/brain…but I was really trying to work some of the tools I’ve learned since coming to therapy.
When I start a session I usually tell her a bunch of things going on…and then whatever “sticks” is what we talk about. So last week I had:
1). Prophylactic bilateral mastectomy. When I left the oncologist’s office a few weeks ago I wasn’t feeling too hot. I go back and forth with things. Some days I think I’m going to play the odds…and just “wait and see”. IF…and only IF something happens. Then I’ll deal with it then. But when I left Dr. L’s office last week I was pretty sad. When I reach 50-55 years of age the breast MRI screenings will stop. I’ll just be screened like a normal woman with yearly mammograms. How does that work since I’m high-risk for breast cancer? Does that mean I SHOULD have the PBM? But I have NO FREAKING FAMILY HISTORY OF BREAST CANCER! I swear to you. This decision would be “easier” – if that makes any sense at all…if I had family history. But as my wonderful dermatologist put it…“Yes but Heather. Your genes are different.”
BIG FREAKING YAY for different genes. GAG.
2). I have no money. I have no job. I am getting nervous. I start to feel like a burden to my mother. I can’t enjoy life as I did because I’m restricted. I’m trying to make the best of a bad situation and hoping “this too shall pass”…
3). My head. My brain. Feeling off last week. (And I’m feeling better today.) Struggling with going to “Z” with the tumors. The fear. The unknown. The anxiety of it all. There are tumors growing in my head and there’s not a damn thing I can do to stop it. No matter how much weight I lose, how much water I drink, how many prayers I say, how many times I do the rain dance out in my lawn. NOTHING.
So I put all this out on the table…and then our conversation went to my head and my brain. And then I say something about the “S” word.
And here we go Ladies and Gentlemen….
So much emotion. So much fear. So much bottled up inside that I could not keep it in any longer. This was one of the worst panic attacks I’ve had since December of last year. I thought the bottom of the couch was going to open up swallow me whole.