Sigh and some tears of relief
So over the last couple of weeks I’ve managed to get myself all worked up (and overly worried). I didn’t think much of it at first, maybe just a muscle strain under my left collar bone. No big deal. Then I noticed at the gym that I was a little weaker on the left side, and the tenderness in the area didn’t go away. As the days passed, things became quickly reminiscent of my initial lump, which I had initially dismissed as a muscle strain (close to the same location, same hardness). My logical brain was telling me I was overreacting, but my lizard brain was dealing with fear. I was catatrophizing. Not good. It stressed me out to the point that I emailed my oncologist early this afternoon asking about moving my appointment up from Thursday to Monday. Since I was seeing my plastic surgeon today anyways, I figured I might as well ask her.
So, first she (my plastic surgeon) dealt with my ugly belly wound (http://dttocs.smugmug.com/photos/i-fQL9VTF/0/M/i-fQL9VTF-M.jpg). I have some infection on my skin. Nothing too serious, but it needs a dose of oral antibiotics (ugh). We are going back to wet-to-dry dressing changes, which the nurse did a good job demonstrating. Once the infection clears, we’ll try the SnAP again, but until it clears the wound needs to stay open so the infection can clear out. I see the surgeon again next week for a wound check but also for the pre-op appointment. Even if the wound doesn’t heal, it won’t affect the next surgery. So either way, all is well on that front.
After that, it was time to look at the breast wound. Before she looked at it, I asked her about the hard area under my collar bone (above my breast). She felt it and said immediately “oh, that’s just a stitch, nothing to worry about”. As she was explaining how some of the stitches dissolve at different times, I burst into tears – tears of relief! I had gotten myself so worked up about it. I was so afraid that the cancer was back, that even as I write this I cry. I feel completely drained, but I also feel like a huge weight has been lifted. Now, hopefully, tomorrow I shall wake up feeling refreshed and without this darn head cold!
What a relief!
There has to be an evolutionary advantage to reliving bad incidents and having them run wild. My melt-down over side effects from the first few infusions was fired by having been given no instructions on what would happen or what to do about it. But it sure felt like the last days of a dying heart.
What I find strange is all those things I learned that should have created a reasoned and informed response went to hell leaving only panic. Have to remember this when dealing with others in “that place” of fear. The Patient Concerns (of all people, the first one you talk to in a crisis at the Cross Clinic) has zero sympathy for people in distress and her relentless scoldings caused me to stop seeking any help for over 6 months.
That one bad person in the system can make your own worries so much worse. Writing about it helps.
my heart was in my mouth as i read this, even having read the “tears of relief” lede on Facebook. so glad. so sorry you’re still dealing with so much, but…blinking back my own smiling tears of relief here, you.
Thank goodness. Sorry so stressful.