There’s an interesting thing that’s happening to me right now. Logically I know this thing will be beaten — despite the surprise of the two secondary cancers, everything is considered eminently treatable. But I’m still afraid, after all. This is cancer. The c-word. The silent killer of our times.
So I have fear. That’s fear along the lines of worrying about the anaesthesia during my surgery (I have idiosyncratic responses to sedation). Fear about recovery times. Fear about issues at work. These are sane, rational fears, not phobias, not panics.
Then I have The Fear. That’s the one that gets me sobbing in the shower, or just stopped cold with a hard, heavy heart. The irrational terrors about CANCER!!!, about dying, about losing too much of my life, about damaging the souls of those who love me. This is Fear like a drunk convinced he’s covered with spiders.
Ordinary fear is my friend. It motivates me, helps me focus and plan, reminds me of the stakes I have in maintaining control of my own health and treatment. It is my servant.
The Fear is my enemy. It is the tumor’s parting gift to me, the not-so-secret ally of the two other cancers still lurking in my gut. The Fear strives to be my master.
I will be afraid, but I will not be Afraid.