Loss of optimism
At one support group meeting, someone mentioned that one thing they mourned was the ‘loss of innocence’ – more, it is the loss of the expectation that you will be healthy.
You see, before cancer, when I went to the doctor for a check-up, I expected that she would tell me that everything was OK. At worse, the doc might say that I could stand to lose a few pound (oh how I hate the BMI as measure of health – especially when physical fitness level not taken into consideration). In general though, I did not go into the appointment with any expectation that something would be wrong.
Now, when I go to see the doctor – even for routine checkups – I’m always afraid there will be something wrong. I am terrified (sometimes for days) that the doctor will find something. That the something will be yet another side effect of cancer, or worse yet, cancer again. I’ve totally lost that sense of things are going to be fine – that the outcome of the appointment wont be something serious.
So, I mourn the loss of the expectation that things will be fine. Instead, I go into the appointment all stressed out, waiting for the next shoe to drop. When the appointment is over, and I’m declared healthy, I take a deep breath and sigh in relief. I so want that sense of innocence back – the sense of optimism rather than the sense of brokenness.