I’m getting used to the idea of the big C, and having the operation. I’ve been back to the hospital now three times, including getting a CT scan today. Lots and lots of waiting.

The surgeon is a very young Indian man, very handsome and kind of bollywood actually. He doesn’t think this is a big tumour or that it’s spread, and he says it might even have all been cut out at the colonoscopy, but they can’t be sure. He’s very reassuring.

I of course am petrified. I’m having various aches and pains in the digestive area, and of course I attribute everything to cancer. But the doctor says I don’t have any symptoms of cancer in fact. The only one was the bleeding that happened months ago.

Who knows. I find it difficult to deal with the fear. It attacks in waves – I don’t have it all the time, but when I do, it’s fierce.

I went to my group the day I found out that I have this. I don’t think I’ll ever forget how kind Ron’s face was looking at me. I just wanted to look at him forever.

I told the group, and they were supportive.

Ron’s idea is that I should feel everything. He never reassures, so in therapy, I get into the fear and basically stay in it. He thinks if I don’t feel it, it’ll be dissociated and some other part of me will feel it. I agree with this, and I don’t. In a way, I like being reassured. It’s good to feel, and it’s also good to try and relax and focus on the hopeful aspects – that it’s likely small, that it likely will be cured, that once I get through January I’ll be well again.

Tonight I was again very scared. I phoned up my ex, J. He is being very decent. We have known each other so long, and I know I can count on him to come when I call. And he has a car and a job, and he is sensible about things not pertaining to himself. And I am not afraid of him.

I spend time telling him the details of going for the CT scan, and what I’m afraid of, and what the doctor thinks. It helps to just describe things. And to talk and say how I feel. He also puts things in a good light in a way that makes sense. But the main thing is the chance to talk and have someone hear me. So I hang up and feel a lot better.

It’s as if if I can only describe what is happening, and someone can listen, I can bear it all.

  1. Hi Ellen, Listening here and now. Have thought quite a lot about you recently and hoping that you are not too afraid–even though I know you probably must be. But, then again, the tone of this latest post is more upbeat then some of your other recent “non-cancer” posts 🙂

    So maybe it really is okay, in a way. Maybe just wishful thinking on my part?

    All I know is that I want to be a good blog friend to you, and for you to know that there are REAL people sitting at their computers, in their homes, and thinking of you–people who care and wonder how you’re doing from time to time, who feel that they do know you…even if the knowing does have a certain limited perspective at times.

    My long-winded point is that I care very much how you’re doing and want you to know that–and I also know I’m not the only one by a long shot.

    Keep letting us know when you feel like it.

    And take care.


    • Ellen said:

      Thanks for your kindness Aaron. I am afraid in waves, then it passes. Sometimes I write Ron an email about it, and that helps. I appreciate your caring very much. Hope you are well.

  2. Ruth said:

    That is cool that group and Ron are supportive. I know that kind of support makes a big difference. I am glad that J was there for you and you were able to talk to him and feel heard. Hugs to you and know that you are heard even if you can’t see us. Kind of like Horton Here’s a Who…We’re Here, We’re here. Hoping that it is small and they got it out clean at the colonoscopy. I just got my letter that says it is time for me to go in again. Not on my list of favorite things to do.

    • Ellen said:

      Ron is very supportive and it makes a huge difference. He even offered to come visit me in the hospital. I like Horton Hears a Who! (the kid). I will hopefully be doing a follow-up like you, next year, when all is OK again. Hope yours goes smoothly. It’s not fun, but the best alternative. Thank you Ruth.

  3. Harriet said:

    Hugs Ellen, so glad the group and your ex have been supportive. And I know that look of kindness that you saw on Ron’s face when you told him, I saw that on my t’s face as well. It is a scary time, even if you are not scared of the cancer because they got it all, you still have surgery, and that is scary. I hope you will have someone to take of you after your surgery. I wonder what your family is thinking of all of this – or if you have even told them?

    • Ellen said:

      Yes, they’ve been really really great. I’m worried I have more cancer than they say, because I am having various symptoms. Something is wrong, but it’s hopefully not the cancer.

      I told my mother. She offered to have me live with them while I recover. I may go there for the first few days at least. It scares me a bit to be totally alone and really sick. They have a big house and are good at practical things. No one in my family has phoned me though – I know my sister knows, and she hasn’t called. Nor has my dad, though I wouldn’t expect him to.

      Read your posts about your surgery and recovery – hope mine goes that well also. Take care

      • Harriet said:

        Yes, hopefully it is not the cancer. I’m glad you told your mother and that she made that offer. I think it is a good idea for you not to be alone after your surgery, even if it is just for rides to the pharmacy or to the doctor for follow up. Practical things are what you will need, that plus lots of sleep. As you know, my mom was here, and she was good for some practical things. I am sure your surgery will go well, the pre-anxiety is the worst part.

        • Ellen said:

          Yes, I think I’ll take her up on it. Pre-anxiety is harsh – every ache and pain is cancer in my anxious brain. Really good to hear about your experience, thank you Harriet.

  4. Juliet said:

    I’m glad you have the support from Ron, the group and your ex. Hugs to you. Happy to hear from you.
    Also here listening. You are heard. xx

    • Ellen said:

      Thanks for listening Juliet. xox

  5. laura said:

    I think that Ron is reassuring you that you can handle this, and that he’s right beside you. I hope you can hold on to that, too.

    • Ellen said:

      Yes, he is. When I first emailed him about this, he was the second person I told, and he immediately offered himself – did I want to call him, need an extra session…..It was nice. I fear being abandoned, and he made it so clear he would not do that. I feel really great about Ron’s support.

      Thanks, take care.

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