Since my diagnosis on New Year's Eve, I have not searched the internet or read much of anything about breast cancer. I gathered most of my information from meeting with the doctors and nurses and from speaking to other people who have had the same diagnosis. I'm certain not everyone would agree that this was the correct approach but, it is what I needed to do for me. Now that I'm almost 3 months into this "temporary job position", I'm slowly feeling my way around and reading things in small chunks to prevent myself from getting too overwhelmed.
Something I read yesterday mentioned how many women who have been diagnosed with cancer find it difficult to feel safe in their own bodies. I think I may have nodded in agreement when I read it. It is so true and sums up how I am feeling these days, although I never thought to verbalize it in that manner. Being diagnosed with cancer leaves you feeling vulnerable and frightened...so much so that every twang of pain becomes a trigger to an emotional response of fear and concern. I was already an anxious person prior to my diagnosis, so each day it is an effort for me to address these responses in a way that does not paralyze me with fear. The Big C has intruded in my body and it has left me scarred both emotionally and physically; I am different and have to learn to be comfortable with the "new" me. I have to choose not to give in to the Big C's unwelcome visit, but rather show it the door on its way out (and bolt it tightly). Let's just say I'm conquering my anxiety issues head on with real life practice. Of course they're still there, but I try not to allow them to overtake my life. Unwelcome visitors do not deserve that much attention.
Otherwise I'd miss out on moments like this...
I'm sure as time goes on, I will learn to "feel safe" in my own body, but for now, I'm a work in progress. It's like the caterpillar learning to become a butterfly and with my cocoon of family and friends, I will get there, but it's an intricate journey that takes some patience.
Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.