It was Friday, January 20th, just before 2:30 pm. I was at work, had just finished my shift and looked at my phone as I was putting my coat on. Missed call from the doctor's office. Voicemail.
"Hi Vanessa, this is Dr. Clark from the St James Medical Clinic. We have received the results from your biopsy, you need to come and see us as soon as possible. If you would like to talk on the phone, you can call me here. I'll be here until 3:00 today..."
I remember the voice message so clearly, I can hear her voice. The conversation when I called her back, however, is very much a blur. I remember bits and pieces: "I'm really sorry to have to tell you this over the phone, especially because you have never met me before..." "Cancer cells..." "Ductal Carcinoma..." "Breast Cancer Centre of Hope..." "I'm very sorry..." "Come see me if you like..."
"It's ok," I said. "I was expecting it. I already had a feeling that it was."
"Make sure you have someone with you tonight. Take care, Vanessa. Just call if you would like to come and see me."
I left work that day stunned. I said good-bye to everybody like I usually do, wished them all a good weekend. Called my boyfriend before I left the parking lot to tell him about the news. Then I made my way home. My boyfriend was already there, and we talked about what we should bring to his friend's party that night. I think back and I am still unsure of whether or not I was in denial or if I was still in shock, or if I was just that prepared for my diagnosis that it didn't even phase me. But as we sat there silently on the couch, watching TV waiting for time to pass until it was time to get ready for the party, I decided that I no longer wanted to go.
I spent that Friday night feeling more hurt, anger and confusion than I had ever felt in my entire life. I had what would be the first of many of my psychotic episodes to date. It was an evening full of emotions that I would never wish upon anyone, EVER. I never left my bed that night. I had never felt so alone.
As alone as I had felt that night, and as alone as I still sometimes feel, I know that I am not... THANK YOU. THANK YOU to each and every one of you for the well wishes and thoughts. It is amazing how kind words can truly lift one's spirits, and you have all taught me that this should not be underestimated. To say that I am grateful for you, my support system, would be an understatement. Thank you.
With that said, I still feel hesitant to be around people when I'm feeling down. I get frustrated very often for different reasons. I lose control of my emotions and it can really take a toll on the people who love me and only mean well. As strong as everybody keeps saying I am, I feel that I am anything but. I mean, if I were so strong, then why can't I control how I express my frustrations? If I were so strong, then why do I make the people who try to be there for me feel so shitty? If I were so strong, then why do I take everything out on the people I love? I am not strong, not in the way I should be. I am weak. At times, I feel like a selfish bitch who doesn't deserve any support from anyone and I deserve everything that is coming my way. And I hate myself for it. I'm the one who needs the big fucking kick in the ass.