Fourth clinical psychologist appointment is due today. I am dreading it. They get harder and I really can’t keep up with the self care and I know that is shocking. I know I need to have some self care at this worst time, but it is so alien to me and I feel like I am playing a game and trying to work out if he is clever enough to work out that I am trying to play him. However I have done my homework this time and spent some time working out (from a list of 40) what my values are. It did take three goes to whittle it down to the three core ones (as recommended). I also felt like a callous bitch at some points.
So into the appointment (my daddy waits in the car again!) and we picked up on the values. However CP wanted me to add back in self-care (breaking his own rules here! What’s that about?!). He talked about the fact that I was even sat there meant I had some level of self care to acknowledge I needed this help and direction. But then he casually strolled right in to talking about ‘avoidance’ tactics. Bollacks – he is clever enough to work me out! We talk about ‘avoidance’ versus ‘approach’. That I avoid the headline topic and don’t approach it (remember the business planning cancer dream – yes I do avoidance better than approaching it head on). I do live in ‘avoidance’ and I realise very clearly today that I spend a lot of time being very clinical about how I talk about cancer. My cancer. Dropping the c bomb to family, friends and colleagues I spoke clinically about what was going on, what I needed to do next. The Plan. I don’t usually tie any emotion into how I am doing – ‘fine’ is my outward stance. I do outwardly strong as I can’t deal with showing my emotions. It is not me, I do not like people seeing my weaknesses. I appreciate that they aren’t weaknesses per se, but I don’t want to show the chinks in the armour. I project a strong persona, am a fierce bitch (mother of a dragon – I love Game of Thrones!!), and only my closest family (read that as the man cub and my wee cub) know that I am the biggest softy in the world.
God, even my parentals don’t even know I’m writing this. I don’t put them through this darkness as I don’t need them to see the pain their cub is going through (I also don’t want them to know my sadness as they can’t fix it and if it were me with my cub I’d want to fix it – and they can’t). With friends and colleagues, when they check in after an update on here I do my very best to blasé it, ‘oh, that was months ago, I’m still here, I’m fine’. I’ll do everything in my power to divert the conversation, distract from the obvious. Because face to face I am useless with emotion. When I have tried to even talk about the cancer and the journey I can feel tears in my eyes (oh, and that pisses me right off). So yep CP, I do a lot of ‘avoidance’ and don’t often deal with the ‘approach’. I also realised that last weeks lump threw me more than I care to admit. Pre C, I was pragmatic AF. I dealt in facts, dealt with the scenario as it arose rather than second guessing a result. But this time I was in a different headspace; I went quite quickly to worse case scenario and dwelled in that space for longer than I wanted too.
But talking it through I am reminded that avoidance is only short term gain and means that I have to constantly revisit the topic, whether that be in my own mind or to others. By taking the direct approach I am laying it out there and allowing the long term goals a chance to ferment themselves, make themselves known to me and have a clear direction. By constantly sitting in an area of avoidance, I am never going to be able to move forward. Why does he make so much damn sense! While I understand all of this I need to practice it. That’ll be when I find it the hardest.
Then CP told me that we were ready to move into ‘Heart of Darkness’ next session. Woah. ‘Heart of Darkness’? Yep, I teared up right there and then. I’m convinced he just wants me to cry! But he wants me to open up about what is really making my soul sad. Deep down why I am so thrown by this journey. Why my usual pragmatic approach has up and left me with a cancer diagnosis. I mean, I’m not daft and cancer is certainly a doozy of a diagnosis to calculate for anyone – but I honestly thought that I would never feel this bad. But you honestly can’t ever predict hearing those three words – ‘you have cancer’. I have watched a lot of videos, either through Stand Up to Cancer, Children in Need, Comic Relief etc etc (don’t make me tell the story of when I managed to give Children in Need all of our wages and we had to pay the bus journeys to work for the rest of the month from the penny jar!); where I have cried, empathised, felt heartbroken for families. And now this is my reality. Yeah – Heart of Darkness is going to break me good and proper. I am already working out how to get out of my daddy driving me as I really don’t think I will deal with it well and then have to get in the car with the daddit (cubs name for him). That isn’t going to be a thing at all. I have two weeks to think this through!!
Last chemo eve!!!!!!! Yay! But….. Also have the chemo dread. Third time of the dreaded T bit of the FEC-T and I am already anticipating the hallucinations, loss of taste, general shite feeling, bone tiredness. God, yesterdays session with CP has thrown me more than I thought, my pragmatism has truly up and left the building. I have done every chemo without negativity (just dreading the actual drug intake) and now I am spending a night dwelling on what ‘might’ come. Oh – I don’t even know myself right now.
But I have this – sixth and final chemo, I am COMING FOR YOU!! I have this.