On Sunday I fell victim to a drive-by attack of the weepies. I had no idea what set me off, but boom! there I was – was just sitting and crying. There was little content to the tears; I just felt sad and desolate. Disconsolate. I wasn’t anxious. I just sat and cried in great unhappiness at living with cancer.
After a time – not sure how long – I decided to start reaching out to people who accept me even when I’m feeling bad. Unfortunately, no one was available by phone. I sent a couple of emails, tweeted a tweet, posted to Facebook. Replies started to come back. Some women I’ve only met on Twitter sent me hugs. Friends got back to me by email or text. People posted encouraging comments on my Facebook page.
I started to feel better and eventually went to sleep. This morning I woke up feeling pretty good. New day, new start.
Looking back at Sunday, I can see that my sadness started earlier in the day when I was doing some reading about Stage IV cancer in general, and about bone mets in particular. I started feeling sad and upset about the disease and then I started thinking that maybe I was making a big deal out of nothing, that maybe bone mets was less serious than I was making it out to be, that maybe I was just a drama queen after all. I began to get down on myself about all that.
A few hours later I started to cry.
Hmm. Turns out it wasn’t a drive-by attack after all. It was more like I went alone and unarmed into a dangerous neighborhood (my head) and ended up getting mugged by a roving gang of the weepies. (Okay, the analogy starts to break down around now, but you get what I mean.) You’d think I’d know better by now.
Hindsight is all very well, but what can I take from this to help me avoid the next attack? I am not prepared to stop reading and learning about my disease. In fact, it may well be that there is nothing wrong with feeling sad that I have a terminal disease. (When I say it like that, it sounds downright normal.) It could be that I have just come to another phase in my coping with cancer and that I need, once again, to find my new normal.
Don’t know yet. Maybe it’s a bit of this and a bit of that. I guess I’ll sit with this for a time and see what else comes up.