As with any illness, it’s the waiting I think that is the hardest part. Don’t you agree? I recently had my twice yearly oncology check up and I am now waiting for the results of my tests. Honestly, I am a bit ill at ease until I hear the numbers of my tumor markers. I try very hard to keep myself in check as the days go by, but sometimes that anxiety sneaks up on me in the most slippery of ways. Does this happen to you? Been there, gotten a bad diagnosis, so the rest of your life, you’re waiting for the other shoe to drop even though you are well aware that you should not be thinking this way?
The Waiting is the Hardest Part
I think it’s when all the woulda/coulda/shoulda’s come out in the open and rear their ugly heads. At least that’s how it is for me. I get aches and pains and heart palpitations which I know are self-induced by my inner panic which I am trying very hard to avoid. I don’t talk about it much because there’s nothing anyone can do about it except for me. To speak of it, gives others the heavy feeling that they must buoy my spirits by speaking words of encouragement and reiterating that everything is fine when quite frankly, they have no clue and neither do I.
It bugs me. I know it makes them feel like they are helping and I agree that they are trying to help. But honestly, I’ve been down this road so very many times in over 12 years when I was diagnosed with breast cancer that I just keep it to myself now. I hide away for a few days until the results are in and the anxiety blows over. I know the anxiety doesn’t help. I remind myself not to waste good precious hours with being preoccupied with what ifs and trying to plan for them. Because nobody knows ~ that’s the bottom line.
And wasting these precious happy hours worrying about that darn ‘what if’ is unproductive and truly ludicrous because it won’t change the result. It only mars the present. Does that make sense to you? It makes great common sense to me, but that doesn’t mean that there are moments when I don’t topple into the rabbit hole of doubt and despair. Because I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t. But what I do, is I find that repeating the mantra, “there are presents in presence” helps to change the channel in my brain and switch the activity focus on the now instead of the what if’s.
What do you do when you’re waiting for an answer? For a diagnosis? For the results of a test?
Do you succumb to the worry game? Or do you have special way of not wasting precious time and keeping yourself in the moment of bliss? I’d love to hear from you. We can all help and connect by sharing our secrets! We’re in this together. We’ve all had to wait for something. How did you handle it? How do you handle waiting?
Don’t Worry, Be Happy!
P.S. Coincidence? As I was writing this post, I got a phone call from my oncologist notifying me that my tumor marker numbers are high and over normal. They are hoping it is a lab mistake but to be sure, I need to be rested. Now the wait is increased by another week with the anxiety increase that there could be something brewing. I guess I really have to walk my talk now. Please send love and strength.
P.P.S. I found this excerpt when I googled what Tom Petty meant when he wrote “The Waiting” ~ Petty: “That was a song that took a long time to write. Roger McGuinn swears he told me the line – about the waiting being the hardest part – but I think I got the idea from something Janis Joplin said on television. I had the chorus very quickly, but I had a very difficult time piecing together the rest of the song. It’s about waiting for your dreams and not knowing if they will come true. I’ve always felt it was an optimistic song.”*
*Thanks to SongFacts