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[Cancer]

[cancer] A brief return of The Fear

Longtime readers will recall my Excellent Cancer Adventures of the past year. Had my quarterly followup with my cancer surgeon today, during which we scheduled the colonoscopy and CT scans for the one-year followup this coming May, just after the one-year anniversary of my surgery.

Afterwards, in the car, I had an outbreak of The Fear. (See also here: [ jlake.com | LiveJournal ].) I’ve recently experienced an odd moment of grief [ jlake.com | LiveJournal ], and since then, some deep melancholy, on the day Escapement Powell’s | Amazon ] was released in mass market paperback. (That was an echo of the fact that I first went into the hospital on the day that Mainspring Powell’s | Amazon thb | Audible ] was released in mass market paperback.)

This was different.

I’d been talking to my doc about what we were looking for in the tests. Specifically, tumor recurrence in the colon, lymph system or liver; as well as any polyps which might have been too small to be detected last year when various medical professionals went spelunking in my fine and private places. This was pretty sobering, although not particularly alarming in medical terms.

After the consult, I felt fussy, angry, stressed out. I sat in my parked car talking to about the tests and what they meant, then suddenly burst into tears. Just overwhelmed.

Because I am afraid of what we might find.

My doctor is as optimistic as he can be, but until we look, we will not know. We must look, we must know, but for a few minutes I was back in the Big Cancer Fear of last April and May. was very sweet and understanding, talking me down in part by telling me I’d gone to a dark and scary place. In the context of colon cancer, this suddenly seemed very funny. It’s hard to laugh and cry at the same time.

The fear is purely emotional. Medically I’m as good as I can be. These tests are purely risk management and good followup. Yes, something might be there, but if it is, I’ll beat that like I beat this last round of cancer. Emotional or not, it’s real.

And today I realize that the Big Cancer Fear will never really die. It doesn’t keep me awake at night or stalk my dreaming mind, but it’s with me. It always will be. With my own strong heart and the love of my friends and family, I will always be better than The Fear.

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