The in-between space
I’m living in the in-between space and it causes me to get anxiety that I sometimes cannot control. It is the waiting time, not knowing what will happen in my short term future. Part of the challenge with that is, when you are diagnosed with cancer, your future becomes your short term future. It becomes impossible to see beyond a three month timeframe – and yet, – don’t know what that three month time frame looks like, so I can do is look from one day to the next. I cannot plan anything.
The say the waiting is the worst – and from a mental health perspective, it is definitely one of the worst. For me the year after treatment was pretty bad from a mental health perspective, so I’m not sure if this is worst than that or not.
I remind myself, now that I’ve had my surgery, in theory, I no longer have cancer. I’m in a state called “no evidence of disease”. Reminding myself of this does lesson some of the stress of not knowing the next steps in my treatment. I’m not eager to start treatment, and I hope to make a plan with my oncologist that lets me taper onto different things so I know which things my body is reacting negative to.
One of my mantra’s from my first diagnosis is “I am the expert in my body”. My healthcare providers are experts in various aspects of disease and human wellbeing, but the human body is complex. I’m the one who has to live in it. I’m the one who knows how I’m reacting to different medications.
My arm is healing pretty well. My mobility is good. I see a physical therapist tomorrow who hopefully will help me figure out what muscles need stretching and which need strengthening. I notice that some muscles are just getting extra tight from working harder than normal. A warm compress makes a big difference in calming that down. Last I checked, no significant swelling.
While I’m in this space between, I’m hypersensitive to other people’s stress. This of course, is not great, since there are a lot of stressful things happening at Treehouse right now, with many people working to get the project finished. I am needing to be more mindful of when people are projected that on me, and asking them to step back from me. Otherwise I’m apt to break down in tears and spiral into an anxiety cycle.
Today, if the weather holds, I’m doing to go to check out Risser’s beach with a friend. There was a lot of damage at the beach because the hurricane hit at high tide. Cali will be at daycare, so it will be just the two of us, which is good. I wouldn’t want Cali running around in unsafe places, where we know enough to stay away from them. We got really lucky during Hurricane Lee. Many of the areas around us were out of power for days (some are still out). We only had a few flickers. The Town of Bridgewater for the most part faired well. The rural areas around us not so much. But what is more devastating is the damage to all the beaches. We can hope that the beaches have mostly just moved to “winter” mode, where the sand moves into the bay and exposes the rocks that protect the dunes (that is an interesting natural phenomenon). We won’t know for sure until the sand comes back – or summer comes.
Today’s goals are a walk on the beach and then some painting in the afternoon. Crossing fingers that sometime in that window my phone rings and I get an appointment.
Feature image: Risser’s Beach with the sun low on the horizon – picture taken by me in April 2021.