I was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer and recently completed treatment. I have an excellent prognosis and feel good about the care I have received. I’ve been feeling empowered and ready to move on.
On the very day I finished treatment, however, two weeks ago today, I noticed a little back pain on one side. It became intermittent until the last couple days when it’s become pretty annoying. My brain is offering that it could be metastatic cancer in my ribs. The feelings, actions, and results of that thought, as you can imagine, feel terrible.
I’ve done some models on the C: Back Pain, and have come up with a handful of thoughts that I like better than “metastatic cancer in my bones.” It feels good to think those other thoughts, ie. It’s very likely I’ve just tweaked something and I can slow down and take care of myself until the muscle heals.” That’s believable (probably even more likely) and when I feel into that thought it’s comforting. I also have the thought that “I’m in good hands” with the related feeling of relief and the action being notifying my care team and following advice.
Where this all becomes a problem is when I get on with my day and start to feel the worst case scenario thoughts creep back in. My feeling becomes needy (as in groping for an authority to give me certainty) and the action becomes being compelled to Google. Mostly I Google worst case scenarios, of course. I know certainty and peace of mind doesn’t come from Google. It comes from my thoughts.
I’d like coaching on what to do from here. This all feels very heavy and scary.
And to compound matters, when I find myself Googling again, I start new thoughts that just exacerbate the anxiety, like….”I shouldn’t be Googling,” “I’m making it worse for myself,” “Considering worst case scenarios is manifesting those scary things to happen,” “I need to think positively.”
I’ve pretty much been in bed all day and shut down the calendar to be in this space. And that’s a model unto itself. Ugh.
I’m the same person I was when I felt empowered, I’ve just let myself get totally turned inside out over a Circumstance: back pain. I’d love some clarity on where / how to focus. Thank you so much.