It has been pretty easy the last week to pretend that this is not happening. But now standing on the precipice of getting my port put in tomorrow I am finding myself filled with a fair amount of anxiety and a lot of questions.

The difficulty regarding anxiety lies mostly in knowledge. The knowing of what is to come. The first time around it was sort of like a scary adventure. I am reminded of a spring day somewhere around the end of April beginning of May early 1980’s. I was a sassy 8th grader, hanging out with sompompy like bridgee high schoolers… yes, boys. It was a wickedly hot day and the Ompompanoosuc River was looking very inviting. So we all went down to jump off the bridge. I wanted to show that I was a tough girl so I jumped before anyone else could get ready. This was the first time in my life I thought I was going to die. Seriously. The water was so cold that my limbs could hardly move, so cold that my chest and larynx tighten up so that when one of my friends called down to ask how it was I could barely utter a grunt (which he took as “great” and jumped in). In desperation I struggled over to the shore (too prideful to let anyone know I was in agony and scared) and eventually got out. The thing is, to this day I am seriously scared of jumping into water that may be chilly; and actually, I have a strong physical and emotional aversion to cold water at all. Ask my family; I spend more time on the beach or at the edge of the lake, river, pool, psyching myself up or waiting for the elements to be in my favor.

Getting a port put back in, starting chemo feels a lot jumping into the river again, and I HAVE to do it.

And the anxiety starts feeding that sense of failure… a cruel dance that I am working on getting rid of, changing… looking and listening for different music, making different choices, different steps.

So the question is, how do I make it more tolerable?

Clearly I need a wet suit. A wet suit made of alternatives… acupuncture, tumor inhibiting diet, visualizations, etcetera; a wet suit stitched together with the helping hands, loving hearts and words of strength form all of you.

And perhaps, just perhaps once that port is put in and the chemo started, once I have jumped back into the freezing cold river my resolve to be strong and proud and capable of getting myself to the bank will kick back in.

Maybe it is time for the leap instead of this limbo.

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes.” (Charles Swindoll)

3 Responses to “Precipice”

  1. Marsha Plat Says:

    Here’s a TED talk diversion for you that also explores attitude, attitude towards stress.

  2. Pam Says:

    Lina…there really are no words….people can say they are sorry or what can they do for you….but you are the one going thru this and there are truly no right or wrongs….you can jump …or not jump. There is a certain amount of freedom in having that choice.
    As always, my thoughts are with you and if you’re in the area give us a call…would love to see you and A.
    Good luck tomorrow….L, Pam

  3. Erica Leigh Says:

    Lina, As a labor Nurse I relate much of my personal experience at this point to labor. Last night I had a patient who started to cry and get very scared and truly she believed she would not be able to do it. I got in her face and I said… All you have to do is get through right now. This very minute. I find it is by far the anticipation of the pain and the struggle and need for strength that gives a woman in labor such fear. You my friend are such a rock star there is no doubt in my mind that you will succeed. Use your powers of meditation to slow down your mind and your fears maybe even slide on in instead of jumping but either way get through right now. It is just torture to anticipate the future pain and hardship. I know you can do this. You will do this . You will overcome and come out of this even more beautiful( hard to believe that is possible), I hold you up in my heart every moment. xoxo

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