Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What do you do when a nightmare comes true?

I wrote the following on August 15, and forgot about it until now:

"...I started worrying about cancer lurking in me in places no one would think to look. And last night when I went to sleep, I had a horrible nightmare about being diagnosed with cancer again, going through treatment all over again, and then cutting off 'cancer-prone' bits of flesh all over my body because I had read on the Internet that's what you had to do to prevent a recurrence. It was such a yucky dream."

I can't believe my nightmare actually came true. I mean, it's common for cancer survivors to occasionally have nightmares about being diagnosed with cancer again... that's part of being a cancer survivor. Typically, this kind of anxiety is best dealt with through something like meditation and chocolate, you know? But WTF, my nightmare came TRUE less than two months later! So was it really my intuition, telling me to get that mole check? It led to a melanoma diagnosis, and now every 3 months or 6 months (jury's still out) for at least a couple of years, I have to have skin checks...which will most likely lead to, just like in my nightmare, the dermatologist "cutting off cancer-prone bits of flesh," i.e. moles.

I don't know what to do about this. In general, I'm not anxiety-prone. I've always had a pretty good head on my shoulders, and weigh risks appropriately. I take rational precautions, as opposed to being too fearful or too cavalier. But now... it's going to take a lot of mental strength to not turn into a worrywart hypochondriac. How do I come to terms with the fact that despite being young, healthy, physically fit, etc., I've been diagnosed with two different cancers? I've always been a happy, optimistic person, in general. But right now I'm having a hard time trusting my body or trusting the universe, and I have this crazy urge to have every possible body part and internal organ biopsied or scanned. When I start worrying about some aspect of my health, I don't know how to calm myself down, because I really can't believe, "Oh, it's nothing!" I've never had a benign biopsy.

I'm behind with work and sleep and doing a poor job keeping in touch with friends. There's so much to do, and yet, I feel like spending all day reading the Tao te Ching, which is all about how to be more at peace with the uncertainties of life and life however it is.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, Britta.... :( I just caught up on all this. This is just so shocking, so terrible. I *am* anxiety prone in general, and I'm perpetually convinced that I'm secretly dying of something, even though my yearly checkups come back fine. I cannot even begin to imagine what you're feeling. I have absolutely no idea what to say to you, and nothing I say could be remotely helpful to your situation, so I'm just going to stick with what I know: I love you. I've always loved you. You have always held an incredibly special place in my heart, and I think about you often. I have always, ALWAYS felt fortunate to know you. Your presence, and existence in this world has always been very important to me, and to many. Love. If I can help in no other way, I want to at least send light and love to you from wherever we are in different parts of the world. ::hugs you::