Better to understand a little than misunderstand a lot…..Lord Chesterfield
The other night I had my first little meltdown since diagnosis of the bleep. Thankfully it didn’t last long as I closed the computer and went to bed. When I woke up in the morning I was feeling a lot better again. What caused the meltdown you ask? READING!
When I was diagnosed 5 days ago, I got handed copious amounts of reading material. The nurse told me, “only read what you need to. It’s too overwhelming to read it all now.” I agreed with her and hadn’t looked at any of it to be honest. I decided I would see the surgeon first, then just read what I needed to face the next step along the way. One small step for man and all that.
The other night though, the paperwork was all sitting next to me and I picked up the results of the biopsy I had and read it. That was my first mistake. Let’s be honest here, it said nothing more than I already knew but it was the language that encouraged me to lose the plot. I know there is cancer in my breast. I know cancer is dangerous therefore it needs to be removed. Right now, that’s all I need to know.
But when I pick up a letter and the words floating before my eyes are: malignancy, invasive etc, it somehow makes it feel so much worse. These are just words. Medical phrases. Yet they can strike dread into the calmest of hearts. Then there were lots of tests that I didn’t understand, so I Googled them. That was my second mistake. A little knowledge is important and I get that, so it was definitely okay that I wanted to know what the results meant. What I read told me that I have hormones and stuff present in the tests which point to a more positive outcome. So that should be good shouldn’t it?
But it suddenly felt real. It suddenly felt really serious and I didn’t like it. Maybe I do have a bit of Pollyanna syndrome, but I figure I can’t change this by stressing or worrying, so I’ll simply face it one appointment at a time. That’s the way I try to live my life and it’s worked for me so far. I’m sure people think I don’t understand the seriousness of it all but I do. I just choose to not give it too much power over my life. I have a ridiculously overactive imagination so if I allow myself to think too far in the future it will be really detrimental to my peace of mind. I can’t believe everything I think as a lot of it is conjecture and speculation.
You know that old saying “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time” Not that I have any intention of eating an elephant mind, but you can do anything as long as you break it down into do-able pieces. And this is how I’m going to face the bleep that life’s thrown my way. I have to remember that words are only as powerful as I allow them to be. They are simply a group of letters put together and bestowed a meaning by the medical profession. They are not the cause of this… The bleep is. And I will not allow it to define me.
Instead of diluting my much needed energy around panicking over those words or railing at the universe or reading copious amounts of information then stressing about what is to come, I’m going to conserve it all to fight the real enemy. That’s where my strength is needed. My reading material today will be a good book. So much more beneficial to my health.
Happy reading (the good stuff)