During my personal time of panic, right after being diagnosed, I had this conversation with the Nurse Navigator at the medical center. I was sitting in her office and asking her questions. Soon, I started to cry (this is how most conversations were going at the time). In those first few days, I wanted reassurance, I wanted someone to tell me that I was going to be okay. I wanted someone to tell me that I could still live my life – the one I was currently living. I wanted someone to tell me that I could still have kids and be happy with my husband. I think what I really wanted in those first few weeks, was for someone to just take it back. It didn’t need to be some dramatic production, but I needed someone to just sort of roll things back. I was willing to pretend like nothing happened, if they were willing to tell me they made a mistake.
FYI, Nurse Navigator was not having any of it. She was not about to let me get all entrenched in denial. That afternoon, I told her I felt sad because I just really wanted to have babies…like, now. I also felt bad because (at the time) we were planning on a double mastectomy, which meant I wouldn’t be able to breastfeed even if I would be able to have children. This is what she said to me, “I know, it’s hard, this is just something you will have to grieve.”
At the time, it felt like a slap in the face. Mostly because I couldn’t conceptualize grieving the thought of something. I couldn’t conceptualize grieving an idea, or my future, or a desire. It didn’t make sense. But it does now. I’m going to be honest though, I can’t do it. I am explicitly unable to put some of these things to rest.
I don’t know if I’m being unrealistic, sometimes I feel like I just don’t know any better, but this is how it is right now.