I had my third meeting with my “life coach”. I’m not sure what to term him, but it’s been great to discuss grief with him, to review what I’m working from, what I am working towards, and the blocks along the way. One thing that was very intriguing in our discussion yesterday was personal definitions. We discussed how we had both battled through nasty colds in the past month, and how our version of “feeling like crap” was much different than someone who lives with chronic pain. Our version of feeling like crap could be their good day.
When you are someone working through grief, your version of a “good day” or “doing great” could be someone’s most awful day. Yesterday I would say I was having a good day. I started the day with great discussion, got to interview a local business for an upcoming article, and enjoyed both roles at each of my employers. It was all in all a great day-I even finished my homework AND got to watch a movie. Accomplishment! But still, the day started with me reflecting upon life with Kevin, and now without Kevin, the hard steps that I have to take, the trip to Winnipeg in the next year which will surely stir up emotions. I teared up a little. And it was a great day.
Today I woke up from the most horrific dream. A dream so intense and so real that I looked up the disease just to see if it actually existed (it doesn’t!) and still I broke down while sitting on the toilet (graphic much?) bawling hysterically trying to catch my breath from the thoughts behind this dream. In fact, right now, as I type this, my eyes are burning with what could be a flood of tears and emotions behind then. I had to take 1/2 an anxiety pill this morning just to try and counter the emotions I know I will deal with all day long because of this dream. Yet work so far is going great, it’s a short day, and a Friday, tonight I’m going to a Hershey Bears game with one of my best friends. So all in all, it will still be probably a pretty good day. Is my good day much different than yours? Probably.
Now I know I’ve got you thinking about this dream. Me and my sister are touring the Smoky Mountain National Park-a trip I actually have planned to do over my birthday weekend with a friend I have known since kindergarten. We’re sleeping on the floor in rustic cabins, hiking all over the park, enjoying the sites and sounds. On my right arm behind a mole that I need to get checked out (I can hear my former roommate yelling at me right now for not yet seeing a derm about it!) there is an extreme mass growing just beneath it. A mass that looks unmistakenly like Angiosarcoma that grows on the skin (not the same type that Kevin had, but some that I had read about). I didn’t end up saying the word Angiosarcoma until long after my other diagnosis suddenly appeared in the dream: Saline cancer. The disease that thankfully does not exist. But the disease, that in the dream, has no cure, and I am so far into this disease that treatment is not an option. I have 12-13 days to live. I find out the prognosis on a park-based hospital that looks unsuprisingly like Hopkins. My only reaction to the news is how my family is going to react-my heart is breaking for the fact that they’ve not only now lost a son-in-law, but they’re going to lose their daughter. I continue on with my daily life-returning with my sister to Lancaster after our trip and go on as if nothing has happening. And then I wake. Horrified. Wanting to bawl. This then leads to my morning breakdown and my in bed googling of “saline cancer” just to see…and it doesn’t exist. But my mole still does. Guess I’m definitely scheduling that derm appt now.
I have no clue what led to this-maybe eating brownies before bed? Healthy brownies I might add! For me, eating before bed ALWAYS leads to weird dreams, but never this intense, and never this depressing. Would I really just go on with life as if I never heard the news of my impending death? I would think I’d be travelling all over, or spending every waking minute with my friends and family. Not going to work and just hanging out. I’m still reeling from this intense dream.
So today is a good day, but definitely not your version of good. Perspective is what it’s all about.