(or In Session, with Cancer)
The long-awaited text had finally arrived. “Can you do Tues at 1:00?”
The text had been sitting on my phone for more than two hours before I saw it. I stared at it for several minutes, trying to make sense of what I was reading, trying to get my brain to take in what this really meant. I checked my calendar, then responded “Sure.” It was the only answer I could give that captured my mixed-up feelings of anticipation and dread. I wasn’t feeling a “yes” or “absolutely” or “I’ll be there.” I definitely wasn’t feeling anything punctuated with an exclamation point.
I had been waiting for weeks for this moment to occur. Of course I would be happy and relieved to see my therapist, but I was also feeling anxious and sad and scared and overwhelmed. I hate it that our relationship has to be confined to the four walls of her office. And that the only way I get to make physical contact with her is in that space.
About 30 minutes before I needed to leave for my session, a headache emerged. My entire head hurt, as if some invisible and unrelenting force was pushing down squarely on the top of my head, but also down the back near my neck and towards my forehead. I probably should have taken something before I left my office, but I was hoping it would pass. On the subway ride downtown, the pain intensified, my head hurting more with each jerk of the train. By the time I arrived, I was in full-on headache mode. Not the best way to arrive at a long over-due therapy session.