What pushed me over the top? I don't completely know...and yet, it was everything. I think I was a victim of the famous "If You're Standing, Then You're OK" syndrome. You know what I mean...where you are going through all the motions of your usual day-to-day, (when all the while in your mind you are crawling into a hole) and all that people around you see is just what you are fooling the world into thinking...that you are OK...but you are definitely NOT OK.
Today, I felt like I wasn't being heard. I felt like I was letting people know..."Hey, cut me a little slack here." But I mustn't have been using strong enough words. I felt like others were trying to push me into making decisions or plans for things that were coming up in the near future...and no one was hearing that I just wanted them to go away because I didn't know what my near future was going to look like and what kind of plans I could make. I am one of those "Superwomen" who love to run around in a cape rescuing the world. But right now, I am the one who needs rescuing and no one is asking to put on the cape.
My initial chemo party is starting next Tuesday. The same day as my port is put in....in fact, I go from the port surgery right over to the cancer center to be plugged into the cocktail they will have ready for me. So, a reality check really began in earnest when I heard this yesterday. Yes, I have cancer...it is mine...and it is not going to be easy getting free of it.
My oncologist gave me a hug at the end of the appointment. She's a cutie (remember my husband thinks she is 17...but she actually did go to medical school and has practiced for a while) and she said all the right things for someone who must have to give this news and information many times in a day. But, as I was waiting in the room for her, women were passing in the hallway with heads that were in various degrees of baldness and I was only too aware of what lies ahead. Women love their hair. In fact, we are often defined by it. To not have hair to hide behind or to help "blend in" to the non-cancer crowd really defines what is in charge of our body. And it is hard to give that power over to something else.
So, I began melting down at the end of the day and still have a meeting to go to tonight. But again, thankfully, God sends us the strength...and the "cape" to wear in the form of others. My hairdresser is giving me a wig and is going to help me through shaving my head when it is time. I have known her since she was a child, and now she is helping me like I am the child. A friend of ours whom we have known for more than 20 years called to say he is available to take me or pick me up from chemo whenever I want...just call him and he is there. A good friend called just when I needed someone to talk to and the words we shared were words I needed to hear. Two cards came in the mail from people I know who want me to call so they can share their experiences and help me feel less anxious about the chemo.
This is how the meltdown can become something whole again...by seeing God extending His comfort to me through others that love me and care for me. So, I take a breath, take a reality check, and give myself time to become OK again. Today not OK....but I know OK is there somewhere and I will climb over the meltdown to find it.