One week ago today I got the news. Breast cancer. Josh and my folks and I meet with the oncologist today (after I get an MRI), and I wonder whether the information we gather will impact my mood. I keep saying (and feeling) that I feel strangely okay—and have since Saturday. Like I’ve settled into this new reality with a Zen-like acceptance that, I admit, leaves me feeling impressed with my “spiritual evolution.” Though I do also feel myself lingering in the sidelines, watching, waiting for some other emotional state to hit—wondering whether this is all some state of shock that will lift and leave me fetal. But I don’t feel in shock. I feel like I am putting one foot in front of the next, receiving what comes. Marsha, the closest thing I have to a therapist, often tells me that there can be sorrow without suffering—that suffering comes from resisting what is. Somehow I am not resisting and not suffering.
The other day a friend said what my mother has often said: that we only get what we can handle. (And that what we get makes us stronger.) I find more fear than comfort in that statement because more and more, I feel like I can handle…. Well, more and more. (Not physical torture. Please not the loss of my children nor Josh.) I feel like I can handle much more than I want to handle. I almost feel like I could handle the worst in this situation, but fuck fuck fuck I don’t want to leave my children without a mother, I don’t want to miss their growing up, I don’t want to leave Josh to do this life and this parenting without me, I don’t want to rip apart this incredible, happy life we all enjoy together.
But could I handle it? The way I feel these last several days, I think so. And that both gives me great strength and tremendous fear. I don’t want to get what I can handle.