A much needed Tune Up . . .
As I've stated before having cancer not only is hard on you physically, it is just as difficult mentally. There are times when I feel the mental aspect is harder. I have been taking a class every other Wednesday for 10 years plus with the magical Natalie. It's with a group of four other amazing women. We talk, share, meditate and grow together. It's a safe and supportive environment where we can share without judgment. Natalie has led us on this journey of growth and I can't thank her enough.
One of the my first phone calls during my first journey with the Big "C" was to Natalie. Mentally it was challenging. I knew I needed help to navigate my way through. Once again, I leaned on Natalie. This time through with the Big "C" was going to be more intense. I met with her one on one, I've called her many times when things get overwhelming and she's always there. The Saturday after my mastectomy I cried all day. I think it all hit me. I texted Natalie and asked for words of wisdom to help me through. She called immediately and we talked for an hour. She gave me perspective and tools to help me cope.
I purposely set an appointment with her for the day before my first chemo treatment. I was mentally challenged the days before. Bottom line - it was the fear of the unknown that was getting to me. I had no idea how I was going to handle the chemo. Was I going to be deathly ill, throwing up all the time? Was I going to be so exhausted I wasn't going to be able to move? Was I going to sail through? Was getting the actual chemo going to hurt? AHHHH!!! I needed a Natalie session or as I lovingly refer to it - I needed a tune up!
We met and she asked me what I was feeling. Scared, sad, apprehensive, overwhelmed about the next steps of my journey. One thing that comes out in our discussion is my need for control. I want to be in control of something that is uncontrollable. I've done all I can do to prepare for this. As my friend Becky pointed out, I've used my fear to prepare for this. I've got my personal life in order, I've met with several doctors and medical personnel, I've done all the medical procedures required, I've taken time for myself and my husband - I've done all that and still have no control about what's going to happen to me. I want to control this!
I tell Natalie about my discussions with Riley. She's sad she's not here with me. I tell her there will be times when she calls and I'll be tired and not feeling well. That she needs to remember this is just the chemo working and doing its job. That this is temporary. Natalie asks me if I can remember this for myself when I'm going through it. Can I just go with the flow? Embrace the chemo for what it's giving me.
I think about this and respond. Bottom line, I don't want to do this - I really don't want to do this. Yes, I know that's not a possibility but there are times when I feel like I'm in a nightmare and miraculously I'll wake up.
After getting the pity party out of my system, I respond yes, I'll go with the flow. It will be extremely hard for me - I will have to work hard at this. But she's right. Trying to control this is driving me crazy. Trying to anticipate the unknown is driving me crazy. Let it go - Let it flow Carey.
I once again, realize I need to stay present. I'm looking too far ahead. I'm thinking up all kinds of scenarios that don't serve me. And the most important thing I really need to remember, I have no control over this and no matter what my side effects are it is what it is and I will just handle it. It's temporary. It's a means to an end. I will go with the flow.
Life changing, not life taking and doable! Thank you Natalie!