My breast cancer navigator tells me I am in crisis. I don’t want to hear this and my chest feels like someone is trying to squeeze lemon juice through it. Instead, I tell myself that I am fine, that I am handling, “living with breast cancer”–okaaaaay, clearly I am in denial.
Denial is a protective mechanism to help me keep going, to get through the day because I don’t want to fall apart. Denial is so powerful that I have heard of women who wait months to go see their doctor after finding their lump(s). I wish it was just a river in Africa! When we can’t be with our negative feelings, denial can kick in.
As an optimist, I am someone who wants to make lemonade out of lemons. Right now though, that is very hard to do. It’s only been a week since I was diagnosed and I am under so much stress. How things have changed so dramatically in my head.
I know that I have had the lump in my left breast for several months, maybe even a year or more. This awareness is in stark contrast to when I didn’t know: ignorance was bliss.
Suddenly my brain is walking on crutches but, I want to make it sprint. It takes a while for me to accept this new reality about my handicapped brain. It shows up in the details of my everyday life: I go grocery shopping with a carefully planned list and when I get home, the wheatgrass is missing which was at the top of my list!
The biggest challenge I realize in all this will be the thoughts coming from my handicapped brain. They are racing like the Indy 500 and all the drivers are on a bad acid trip screaming helter-skelter.
My navigator is a small woman Japanese woman who gets to the point–she has become my Yoda. Being in crisis means letting go of my need for things to be normal. She helps me realize I am doing what I can and that is all I can do. The rest is up to my doctors and the universe.
Eventually, I want to make lemonade out of everything that is happening to me but, that will have to wait. My Yoda is right, “in crisis, I am,” thank goodness I have her to hold up that mirror for me.