As a society we are conditioned to believe that the best companion when dealing with trauma is alcohol.
When I was going through the whole cancer thing, I was constantly told, by doctors and nurses, to 'go and have a stiff drink.'
If only they knew.
In fact, I learned that dealing with trauma is actually much, much easier without booze. Especially if you are responsible for children, and protecting them from the impact of whatever you're going through.
Alcohol makes coping with fear and grief a very selfish process.
I wrote a post about this when I was right in the middle of it, called When Life Throws You Lemons (click here).
I do, honestly, believe that doing the whole thing sober was what kept the wheels from falling off, kept me sane, and my family secure.
But, here's the thing, I don't think I could do it again.
And tomorrow I have a (routine) ultrasound exam.
I know, logically, that it's highly unlikely to show anything nasty. The chances of anything surviving the onslaught of surgery and radiation just a few months ago are extremely slim, and there's not really been enough time for anything new to crop up (I hope).
But I'm still feeling sick.
You spend months trying to forget the whole thing, then - just as life's returning to normal - you have to go back to the scene of the crime.
And my record is not good. I've only had one breast ultrasound and it was terrible.
There's that awful moment when you catch sight of a black mass on the screen, and the friendly, chatty sonographer goes quiet.
Then they start measuring it, just like they measured your foetus's head and spine when you were pregnant, but less jolly. Because it's not going to grow into a gorgeous, squirming baby - it's going to kill you.
I don't even want to remember it, let alone go back there. And I certainly don't want to have to redo the whole cancer thing.
I couldn't do it again. And I definitely couldn't do it sober.
Everyone has their limits, and I think that's mine.
Fingers crossed, hey?
Love SM x
P.S. On a much cheerier note, HUGE CONGRATS to my lovely e-mail friend, P, who is celebrating her first SOVERVERSARY today. Well done P - you rock!