Pardon my French but I had a major shitty night last night. I couldn’t fall asleep till after midnight and woke up at the lovely hour of 3am. Guess what, I forgot everything. I forgot every anxiety self help tip I ever learned, and just tossed and turned and felt agitated like I was coming out of my own skin. Today I am exhausted.
I have to drive my parents into Manhattan on Tuesday morning for my Dad’s yearly cystoscopy (it’s a camera the doctor puts in his bladder to see if any cancer has grown back).
We make the treck in yearly and it’s always stressful. To be fair, we have been nothing but completely blessed. It’s like we won the lottery because after having his very large tumor removed 5 years ago, my father hasn’t had one recurrence. And bladder cancer is one that grows back easily.
But my parents worry a lot. They both lost their mothers to cancer at not old ages- My mom was only 25 and I was just a baby when her mother passed away from ovarian cancer. And I was 12 when my other Grandma (my Dad’s mom) died looking like a holocaust survivor from stomach cancer. I watched her as she took her last breath in the hospital room and saw my Grandfather hugging her and crying so heartbroken. You don’t easily forget things like that.
So to tell you they (and me) are scared of cancer is putting it lightly.
I know intellectually we will be fine. No matter what, even if he has a recurrence, it will be manageable. A life ending bladder tumor takes longer to grow than a year. Also, his surgeon is excellent (his name is Dr. Guido Dalbagni) and we have utmost faith and trust in him.
It’s funny how I (the worst driver in the family, and one who has suffered from severe highway anxiety in the past) ended up being the driver. My brother and sister don’t live anywhere near NYC so of course it is up to me. My Dad, who is normally calm and an excellent driver is too freaked and is just in the zone for a few weeks around his appointment. He I’m sure has some post traumatic stress from his surgeries and bcg treatments and whatnot.
My mom is anxious herself and could never do the drive. She is elderly too.
Because of the heaviness and history that surrounds this annual doctor appointment, it always messes with my sleep a few days ahead of time.
One thing for sure, I am taking a my Valerian Root supplement tonight and tomorrow night too. There is no way in hell I will let myself be sleep deprived for this appointment.
My mood was weird this morning when I was at the gym, I still felt unsettled and a bit anxious from not sleeping well or enough.
I was going on the elliptical machine very gently. Just enough to move my joints and get my endorphins going. The tvs were all blaring infomercials and political crap. Nothing good there.
Of course I was listening to something to help me. I listened to a Joel Osteen podcast. God how I love that man and his uplifting messages.
And I looked out into the gym and saw all the people doing their thing. I saw one really cute 20 something boy. He was lifting weights and he just looked so adorable and handsome. He looked so innocent and full of life. I just wished so much that he had a good and happy life. I said a little metta prayer for him:
“May you be happy…
May you be free from suffering…
May you have ease of well being.. .
May you be at peace.”
Next thing I knew, I was looking about and blessing all the other people with this prayer: the young, the old, men, women. I just saw us all as innocent people all just trying to do something nice for ourselves. Exercising to feel good. Trying to take care of our health.
My heart was so filled with love I could feel myself welling up with tears.
I got home and balled my eyes out.
It was weird but beautiful. Somehow my anxiety melted and turned to compassion and love.
I’ll take it.
I wish you peace,