[cancer] The slow return of the Fear

It’s funny what I’m afraid of and not afraid of. Surgery followed by six months of chemotherapy gave me a lot of negative experiences and emotions, but it didn’t make me very afraid. Don’t get me wrong, I had a lot of fears through that period, including my recurring fear that I’m dying, or that I’d never be myself again after chemo. But not the mind-numbing, nigh hysterical panic that I call “the Fear”.

That one seems to be reserved for times of uncertainty. Like, say, when I have a CT scan imminent (this coming Friday) to see if there are further metastatic tumors that chemo did not put down. Or an oncology consult (next Monday) to discuss said CT scan. And for some reason, I tend to focus on the scans as the frightening part, when in fact all you do is go into a little room and lie still for while as a machine makes funny noises. A CT scan is kind of like bad sex — a brief, boring, pointless time spent horizontal, wondering what the heck you’re doing there.

You’d think the oncology consult would be the panic point, since that’s where the truth is sung. But no, me, I get hung up on the tech. I’m not having the Fear today, or at least right now, but I can hear it sniffing around in the psychic distance.

I want to be clean. If I have to face surgery again, that won’t weird me out too much, because surgery is a one-time event that you then get over. But if I have to face chemo again… ah. You will see some true rage and panic from me.

There’s a lot of emotion driving me into this Friday’s test. And it’s a test, as well as an emotional pinchpoint, that I’ll have to go through every three months, possibly for years.

Sometimes I wish I was stronger.

11 thoughts on “[cancer] The slow return of the Fear

  1. You wish you were stronger? Jay, you’re one of the most amazingly strong people I know. I totally admire you for it. I don’t think I could ever go through what you’ve been going through and handle it as gracefully and with such strength. Hang in there.

  2. Nalo says:

    Always I wish you weren’t having to face this at all.

  3. Leon says:

    Focus on the fight, not the outcome. Keep your chin tucked, shoulders up, and keep on jabbing. Know that you already ARE stronger.

    1. Jay says:

      Now you’re in my comments section. Spam filter thought you were a packaged pork product, for some reason.

      1. Leon says:

        I get that a lot.

  4. Caryn says:

    I understand your wish, but must admit you’ve got more courage and strength than I’d have in your situation. I cope using mere stubbornness, but it’s not the same thing.

    Wishing you a clean scan and gentle tech.

  5. Judy R. Johnson says:

    There might be some less open and honest about it, but nobody stronger.

  6. Yeah, I go with Bryan Smith comments– you are one of the strongest people *I* know.
    Chemo is pretty scary.
    I guess, though, that the CT scan would not be the part I’d fear– I mean, this is really cool *alien technology* that literally *sees right through you.* Wow! You’re living science fiction.

    1. Jay says:

      Oh, I definitely appreciate the cool factor. And a PET scan is *totally* SFnal. But oi, the fear and anxiety.

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