I have lost my words.
I am not writing. I carry my journal around and it seems to mock me. I’m not blogging. The words have just stopped coming out.
I don’t want to talk much unless it’s work-related. Work talk is hard-wired. With my friends, family, and those who know me and my circumstance, I have very little to say. Or maybe I have a lot to say and I just can’t find the words to say it all. Truthfully the story is jumbled in my head. Articulating it all feels impossible.
Here’s the deal: I have breast cancer.
I can type the words. Today it has become real and hit me hard. I found out just over a month ago, saw a surgeon and have been waiting. I had a trip planned and they told me at the clinic that surgery would be mid- to late-August. The trip was a barrier and now it’s done. At 12:30 yesterday, the phone rang; I am having surgery on August 31.
This shit just got real.
Today, when I woke up, there it was. In my face. I have breast cancer. Yes I know it’s early and that is excellent. I also know that in the end, it will be okay. Yet between here and there is a hell of a lot of shit. Shit I don’t want to do. Shit I don’t want to face. My world is full of amazing people and everyone is so positive and I am thankful for that, but hard truth is that the journey between here and there sucks. And I am allowing myself to not be okay with it. Today I am allowing myself to be sad, scared, heart broken, and grief stricken. It sucks.
I’m the kind of person who deals with things head on. This is no different. I will deal. Grief is my biggest wound; when it hits me, I go quiet. Inward. I hide. This is my coping mechanism and I know it. In the past, I have stopped talking altogether. I am not doing that this time. I am still talking, I just don’t have much to say. Because there really isn’t much to say other than these four words: I have breast cancer. The rest of the story is kind of simple: I will have surgery and then a doctor will tell me what to do next—jump for joy or prepare for more treatment.
The last month has been spent processing those four words. There is so much attached to this and I do not have the words yet to communicate how I feel. Probably because I am not sure how I feel; I am just trying to be with it and allow myself to be ok with where I am. Honestly, this is a hard one.
Today I discovered yet another layer of grief. It hit me hard. The realization that I am an expert when it comes to grief is something I have a hard time accepting yet it is the truth. I walk with grief. Loss is a huge part of life—of my life— and everyone experiences it. We grieve all sorts of losses, not just death. We grieve failures and missed opportunities too. We grieve what could have been. How you handle grief shapes you. Today, after the phone rang, with my emotions on high, I realized that I needed to step up and into my grief. I am sad. I am grieving. Grief is a part of me and I can use my experience with it and getting to the other side of it time and time again to serve others.
For now, I will continue to process and give myself the space to be. I will work on my words. And I will write when I’m ready. To everyone who has sent me messages, Thank You. I feel the love.