My Personal Cancer Journey — Entering a New Arena

Yesterday I went to see a psychiatrist (well, actually a psychiatric nurse practitioner). I have been thinking about therapy for a while. Lee actually went to see this lady first, because she wants to be sure that she is being the best care-giver that she can be. Lee liked her, so I made an appointment as well.

Our first session was yesterday. Of course, much of the time was spent with background information, since she doesn’t know me from Adam, but I think it will be beneficial in the long run. No, I am not depressed (and she feels comfortable about that, too), but I simply feel that talking to a professional (she has over 20 years experience counseling cancer patients) will help me to crystallize some of my thoughts and feelings and also to help me be more confident that I am dealing with my cancer appropriately.

I was very concerned about my crying which was the proximate cause for making this appointment. Regarding this, she explained that humans tend to compartmentalize things, so that we have a box or room for feelings, one for ideas, one for facts, etc. She feels that the boundaries between these compartments blur during a life-changing event like I am experiencing, so things like feelings can get mixed up with other aspects of life. Thus, I cried at the theater.

I have had a previous experience with therapy (during my separation and divorce from Noreen) and I felt that it was extremely beneficial, so I am looking forward to my next appointment where we can move beyond the preliminaries.

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