February 15, 2013

A Rose By Any Other Name…

Yesterday was CBT. Only 10 people were there this time. Last time there were 12.

I really hate taking the cab. Like REALLY hate it and I think I’m going to stop taking it. Every time I’m in it I just want to cry and there’s no way I’m going to be doing this by myself. It’s just simply not going to happen so I think this whole cab thing is pointless and we should just stop. I see Rick next week before CBT and that’s what I’m going to tell him.

This week we learned about cognitive distortions. Here are the ones applicable to me:

1. All or nothing thinking: You see things in black and white categories. If your performance falls short of being perfect, you see yourself as a total failure.

2. Overgeneralization: You see a single negative event as a never ending pattern of defeat.

3. Mental filter: You pick out a single negative detail and dwell on it exclusively so that your vision of all reality becomes darkened, like the drop of ink the colours the jar of water.

4. Disqualifying the positive: You reject positive experiences by insisting they “don’t count” for some reason or other. In this way, you can maintain a negative belief that is contradicted by your every day experiences.

5. Jumping to conclusions: You make a negative interpretation even though t here are no definite facts that support that conclusion.

a. Mind reading: You arbitrarily conclude that someone is reacting negatively to you and you don’t bother to check this out.
b. The fortune teller error: You anticipate that things will turn out badly and you feel convinced that your prediction is an established fact.

6. Magnification (catastrophizing) or minimizing: You exaggerate the importance of things (such as your mistake or someone else’s achievement) or you inappropriately shrink thinks until they appear tiny (your own desirable qualities or the other person’s imperfections). This is called the “binocular trick”.

7. Emotional reasoning: You assume that your negative emotions necessarily reflect the way things really are. “I feel it, therefore it must be true.”

8. Personalization: You see yourself as the cause of some negative external event which in fact you were not primarily responsible for. (Child brings home a bad report card and you assume you are a bad parent.)

So yeah that’s great & all but they haven’t told us what to DO about any of this stuff.

And anyway I can’t concentrate on any of it because I am an absolute wreck due to the situation with my grama. My cousin Haylie told me that she has 3 tumours in her brain and my mom says those are actually the secondary cancer, primary cancer is lung. This doesn’t make much sense to me because my grama was never really a smoker that I remember. When I was really little, she used to smoke cigarettes in green boxes that I think were called Export A but she quit smoking also when I was little. My grampa was a chainsmoker who smoked Camels but they split up when I was in maybe grade 3 or 4 so I would have been like, 8 maybe. She had definitely quit smoking herself by then, but if someone else was smoking, she would always either ask them for a drag or ask them for one. But only one. Is that all it takes to get lung cancer?

My mom says that there is no cure. There are treatments that will affect her quality of life, but she is going to die. The oncologist taking care of her says – at this stage of the game, with what they know – she’ll live 3 months-2 years with treatments but they’ll know more once they run more tests. Radiation on her brain could start as early as next week. They don’t really know what’s happening. As it is, my grama doesn’t even have a room at the hospital yet, she’s in a corner of emerg, and they’re not sure where she’s going to go from there. The radiation on her brain would happen at another hospital so she’d stay there while that was happening but my mom says they’re not sure about after that because my grama’s house doesn’t have a ground floor bathroom. I’m not sure what the alternative is.

I am SO scared for her. She’s a tough lady but she has to be out of her mind terrified right now. My mom says she’s “teary” and that bothers me immensely. I am going to visit, I think (it’s up to her), it’s just a matter of when and I’m not sure if I’ll bring the kids.  She’d probably like to see them but I’m not sure I want the kids there complicating things and honestly, they wouldn’t understand the gravity of the situation and would probably be bored. I can bring that whole stack of 5×7 pictures I had printed at Xmas to show/give her. I dunno. I just dunno. I’m angry and confused and sad and I just want to make everything better. And I’m really scared of making things worse. Like maybe she doesn’t want to see me. Or maybe seeing me will upset her. My mom said she’d ask my grama today if she wanted me to come. With my schedule, I can come pretty much any time and Blake’s work knows what’s going on so vacation days can be used.

All I know is that when Blake gets home, I’m having a fucking margarita and Caesar salad at Boston Pizza. Not my favourite place to have either one, but it’s close enough.

Here are some pics of my Valentine’s roses that I made Blake buy me from the grocery store for $12.99. They came from Kenya and I used my macro lens.

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