You know what cancer creates? Fear. Everyone feels a little afraid. Because sometimes cancer makes you die and that is freaking scary. Fear is a powerful thing. It can be crippling, but I’m not letting that happen to me right now. I’m not going there. I’m just going to stay right over here where my glass is half -full.
Currently, it seems like a huge mind game. Partly because I actually feel totally fine, it’s more of a mental illness than anything else right now. I’m constantly redirecting myself from spiraling down the rabbit hole. My kids don’t really get it either. Tonight at dinner my four year old Emmet said, “You know what’s so silly? My mom has to take medicine that is going to make her sick. Isn’t that crazy?” He’s four and he gets it.
And if this cancer, these “bad cells” as I explained it to my children, are so sneaky and dangerous that in the past two weeks they have launched me into this new world with a new language where I have to pay attention to my hemoglobin and my white blood cell count and my neutrophils and take medicines called doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide well than it must be pretty bad. Something is trying to kill me. But if I allow my self to go there, if I let myself get caught up in that mind chatter, that negative self talk I think it will be really really bad. And I think it could happen in the time it takes for me to say cancer.
Even before I had an actual diagnosis, I knew I couldn’t go to that dark place. I didn’t allow myself to cry before I had a diagnosis. It wasn’t real. Not until I actually had one-not until I talked to Dr. Stanley in the parking lot of my Pure Barre class that Tuesday night, did I allow myself to cry. And trust me, there have been plenty of tears since then. P.L.E.N.T.Y.
I mostly cry when people hug me. Especially, when they hug me for a long time. Historically, I’m not a hugger. Which is confusing to people because they think I look like a hugger. Kind of like people assume I play soccer, because I guess I look like a soccer player. I’m not either. A hugger nor a soccer player. But I do think I might be becoming more of a hugger. And not just a hugger. A hugger who hugs and holds. It’s the holding that really gets me. I like to think that when we are hugging, that our hearts are touching, which generates love and that love is exponential. (I know giant eye roll and gag me with a spoon) Who knew I could be so sentimental? Not me.
But seriously. The hugging helps combat fear. Because Love combats fear. (Oh my gawd, what is happening to me?). The constant hugging is what stops me from losing my shit completely. This is not an open invitation for strangers to hug me. But friends and family, if I look like I need a hug I probably do. I can put up a pretty serious front, but lately I’m moments away from a perfectly justifiable and utterly amazing meltdown. Just don’t hug me in front of my kids.
Anyway, I’m headed out the door in a minute to get my first dose of Chemo-the medicine that is going to make my tumors melt away and I just wanted to say, this is scary, but I’m not going to let myself live in that fear. I’m going to face it head on. I’m ready to move on down this path. I’m a worthy opponent to cancer. I can do this. I’ve got reinforcements. I have everything I need. Fear is not welcome here.