Keeping on Top of Fear – aka The Emotional Rollercoaster
There are lots of books written on fear– overcoming it or not letting it control you — and to tell you the truth I have read none of them. I am not saying that I haven’t been afraid in my life, but to be honest, I’ve had it pretty good. I haven’t had any traumatic events, no serious emergency room visits, no life threatening situations. Until now.
This one is big. But even with this one people were saying, “this isn’t doom and gloom” “this is highly treatable” “the best kind of cancer you can get”. Well today I got news it might be something else.
Today I got the first inkling from any medical professional that I may not survive this cancer. The biopsy results indicated “a consistency” with a rare type of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma called Mantle Cell. Only 5% of people with Non-Hodgkins have Mantle Cell. And unfortunately it’s harder to treat. Today I heard words like “survival rate” and “aggressive treatment”.
The concept that I may not survive this I cannot be with. It terrifies me. I stuffed that fear way down for the whole day, basically in denial that the results indicated anything of the sort. It’s still inconclusive. They don’t know yet. They’re running more tests. And all of that is true and I’m hopeful that they find out something different in the next week.
I was doing pretty well handling it all but then I got a little over hungry before dinner and didn’t feel taken care of, and I lost the cap I had on the emotions. They all came tumbling out. The fear, the anger, the tears. Lots and lots of tears (and I thought I was past tears — ha!).
Fear is an emotion that will not be suppressed for long. It demands to be felt. When you feel it, experience it, it subsides. Bravery can step in. People say to feel the fear and do it anyway, and that is what I’ll do when I have the bone marrow extracted from my hip tomorrow morning.