My Little Bs Have the Big C

A Breast Cancer Blog For Young Women

Suspension of Disbelief and Tick Tock



walking away

In theatre, art, literature, there is something called the “suspension of disbelief.”  It’s when an action occurs in the plot that is fantastical, non-realistic, or unbelievably extraordinary and yet, we as an audience or reader believe it anyway or accept it to be true.  We do it all the time when reading science fiction.  Have you ever gone to a magic show and seen a woman being cut in half?  Was she really cut in half?  Of course not but we squirm anyway and squeal in fear.  We see the saw and we believe it is happening.  What about the movie Speed?  Never in a million years would a bus be able to maintain a perfect 60 miles an hour in an urban setting.  For real.  Try it in NY sometime.  Yet, we watch it and we believe it.

For the last month, my life has seemed like a work of fiction.  It seems fantastical, non-realistic, unbelievably extraordinary that I could have breast cancer at age 37, when I have taken care of my body, while I am taking care of a young child.  My life does not seem real.  Sometimes I get that feeling like I am in a bubble, my head spins and I can’t quite decipher what is real and what is imagination.  Like I am watching someone else’s life from the outside.  I have had to suspend my disbelief to process what is not a great work of fiction but what is my real life.

tick tock

Tomorrow is the day I have to stop pretending that this is not really happening.  I have to get up at 5:00am, brush my teeth, wash my face, get dressed, gently (oh so gently) touch my baby’s back while he sleeps and feel his body rise and fall with every inhale and exhale as my temporary goodbye, walk out the door, get in the car, drive to the hospital, check in, get undressed, get into a hospital gown, get rolled into an OR, beg the doctor to make sure she gets everything, go to sleep, and wake up mutilated.  Tomorrow, the body that has betrayed me will be foreign to me.  Unrecognizable.  Scarred.  Bloody.  Maimed. 

The clock is ticking down.  The time to face reality and believe that this is my life, is here.  I’m not ready.


8 thoughts on “Suspension of Disbelief and Tick Tock

  1. It won’t look as bad as you expect because of the expanders. It will hurt, so take the pain medication even if you think you don’t want to. Be a big baby – fuck that “fight like a girl” thing for now. Lots of button-up shirts. The drains are annoying but they don’t hurt. Courage from me to you xoxo

    • oh, no. I’m all about the pain killers right now. No “hero” shit for me. I need to rest and heal so I can be there for my son and pain killers for the first few days will get me there. I’ve been taking them on schedule and staying ahead of the pain. It’s helping me to eat, drink and take short walks which I also think will help me to heal faster.

  2. Best good healing wishes from here. And I echo Jane; take the good drugs frequently, they really do help the healing (abdominal surgery two years ago, and pain relief drugs were On The Money.)

    • I have been taking the pain meds on a steady schedule. In a day or two I’ll see if I can begin to wean of the percocet (I know I’m not spelling that right) but stay on the valium for a bit. It’s been a big help to stay ahead of the pain.

  3. I’m sending you good vibes!

  4. Thank you for your courageousness in sharing your experience with your community. It is powerful to read. Know that you are held in thought, mind, and heart by many, including me. Sending light and love to you tonight, tomorrow, and in the days ahead. Gabrielle

  5. Pingback: One Year Mastectaversary | My Little Bs Have the Big C

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