I've been to the cancer centre enough times now that I should be used to it. I know to park in the new hospital tower parkade instead of the ancient (rage inducing) cancer centre parking lot. I know to arrive at the hospital at least twenty minutes before my appointment time because something always goes wrong (this time it was driving around the new hospital tower parkade to try to find a parking spot and then trying to wedge the truck into a small car space.) I know to check the board at the front to find out which clinic my oncologist is working from that day. I know to drop my cancer ID card in the box at the desk rather than try to hand it to the harried nurse.
I know these things. My head has got cancer centre day down. But I am still a shaky, emotional mess every time.
Last week was my January checkup. I literally bought a box of (feelings) doughnuts on the way to the hospital and ate nothing but sugar and carbs all day. There was a man standing outside the hospital with a sign that said "REPENT JESUS COMES SOON" in neon bubble letters. Not exactly the "relax, everything will be fine, Hillary" message from the universe I was hoping for. By the time I made it to my appointment, I was high on sugar and indignant rage.
I don't have to go back to the cancer centre for six months. Six months between appointments is best case scenario for me right now. This is good news. It's excellent news. And I'm a mess.
My therapist says that chaotic living (like the uncertainty and stress and waiting and tests of cancer treatment) can create this sort of anxiety that takes a while to leave your system. That one day I won't have a panic attack and stop sleeping before every appointment I have for test results. I am looking forward to that day. In the meantime, you can find me eating my (feelings) doughnuts and crying in the parking lot.