Sunday, March 14, 2010


There is an experience that I had in the hospital that keeps coming up in my mind. I figure it needs some more processing, so I will process.

It was the morning after the mastectomy. The previous evening, I had apparently talked to a friend (I have no recollection of this) and told her that my "armpit was not massacred so I must be OK". That morning, the surgeon came in, reported that my lymph node biopsy was positive and that chemo was in my future. As I recall, I became very aggitated, went to the nurses station and started asking (demanding) that I be discharged. I was due to go home that day, but I wanted out now. I remember saying "I am NOT OK and no one can help me". I just hear myself saying that over and over.

I was so hopeful that the surgery would remove the tumor and it would be a done deal. I realize now how silly that sounds, but that was my plan. Somehow I had convinced myself that the radical surgery was going to fix my problem. They had discussed chemo before surgery to shrink the tumor and have less drastic surgery, but I declined and opted for the mastectomy.

So when I was informed that I still had cancer... I was not OK and no one could help me.

I have had a good dose of chemo and I still have cancer. I don't know if I am OK and I don't know who can help me. After this round of chemo is done, I will get another scan to see if I still have cancer. There is something in my brain that can deal with chemo to prevent stray cancer cells from setting up housekeeping that is different from knowing there is a visible mass still in there that we are measuring and killing, damn squatters.

So anyway, in a PTSD kinda thing, I hear my voice telling those nurses to let me out since I am not OK and no one can help me. I hear it a lot. I don't like it.

Maybe hypnosis can remove that memory. Maybe that voice is serving a purpose. Maybe I need therapy.

1 comment:

  1. What you've describes sounds logical and likely a common response from a woman during a dramatic and traumatic time, never mind the surgery, pain, pain meds and anesthesia. Talk about a lot on your plate!

    I'll just bet the nurses were compassionate and understanding. Please let that have been so!

    I made the mistake of tucking my phone under my pillow "to feel connected" following my BMX. Boy was that a mistake. Lots of conversations may as well have never occurred.