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Whack-A-Mole of the heart

In November 2021, I received the news that I had multiple suspicious masses on my mammogram. I remember sitting in my car feeling like somebody was playing Whack-A-Mole with my heart.

I quickly became filled with dread. Which led me down the way of what if worries.

As I was sitting outside of my house I sighed and thought, "I have to go inside, be a mom, and act like everything's fine!"

I went into my house, and took care of my daughter. We did bedtime. She fell asleep. I laid in bed, my eyes wide open. My mind continuing to go down the way of what if worries.

So I did what I thought was my superpower. Worst case scenario planning. The more I thought about all that could go wrong, the harder it was for me to break the cycle.

All the while I kept thinking, "I can't handle this. I can't deal with this. I can't do cancer. I just can't handle any of this."

I woke up the next morning. During my meditation and journaling practice I had this feeling of deja vu. You see, this wasn't my first cancer scare. This was my third cancer scare. And if there's any benefit to having more than one cancer scare, it's that you start to see patterns.

It's like I was standing outside of my body witnessing a pattern I had endured time and time again. It started with news that felt like Whack-A-Mole to my heart, which led to feelings of dread, which led to thoughts of "I can't do this, I can't handle this," which led led to what if worries, which led to worst case scenario planning playing in a loop over and again in my mind.

What's more, I was going have to wait at least weeks to get answers.

I couldn't live with myself like this - being stuck in a loop of worry, dread and worse case scenario planning for weeks was unfathomable. What's more, I realized all of this was what Brené Brown calls Dress Rehearsing Tragedy. I had to break the cycle but I didn't know how.

So I reached out to my friend and coach, Monique Rhodes. What she shared gave me the perspective I needed to endure not only months of uncertainty, but my journey with cancer....

May is mental health awareness month, and this is my story. This excerpt is from my talk at the Brain Change last November. To learn the tip Monique shared with me and hear the rest of my story checkout the video of my whole talk.

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