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[cancer] Return of the Fear - Lakeshore — LiveJournal
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Jay Lake
Date: 2009-04-03 20:28
Subject: [cancer] Return of the Fear
Security: Public
Tags:calendula, cancer, health, personal
Walking out of the pharmacy today (on a non-cancer-related errand) I was struck by the Fear again. It hit me hard and fast, my breath shuddering in my chest. I managed to walk it off, or so I thought, until I got home. Pulled into the driveway at Nuevo Rancho Lake listening to "The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty", which is a song that can bring tears to my eye on a good day. Carried some boxes of stuff for calendula_witch inside, and just lost it completely.

And once again, calendula_witch talked me off the ledge, all the way from California. Because that's the kind of thing we do for each other.

I know why the Fear is coming back. The year anniversary of the initial hospital admission is almost upon me. The surgery anniversary is in a month. The one-year followup tests just after that. That trainload of stress is gathering speed. Sometimes I'm very, very afraid I'll have to back to cancerland, be slow again, maybe die this time. Most of the time I know better, much better.

But the Fear is tricky.

And I hate being its victim. Even for a moment.

Originally published at jlake.com.

Post A Comment | 24 Comments | | Link

Crystal erm Daisuki-chan
User: love_of_anime
Date: 2009-04-04 04:33 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
*hugs* Again I realize just how amazing you really are! I'll add you to my prayers. :)
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User: quixhobbit
Date: 2009-04-04 05:01 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I know how this feels. The Fear *is* tricky, and follows its own non-linear logic. That being said, the fear can also be its own odd gift, just like the cancer itself was: a reminder. "I am still here to fear and to worry and to angst about my body betraying me." Now all you have to do is keep reminding yourself that you are stronger than the Fear. Thank it nicely for the reminder and then banish that ugly puppy back to the nasty plane of Heck it came from. :)

And it does get better over years--it does. Goes away faster, anyway. Hang tight and keep truckin'. ;)

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Erin Cashier
User: therinth
Date: 2009-04-04 05:50 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
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Clint Harris: Hawk
User: wendigomountain
Date: 2009-04-04 05:53 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Reading your posts on cancer is very helpful. My dad gets to go in for a biopsy next week (nothing diagnosed, but they have some concerns) and it's been a rough time dealing with that, so it's good to hear this kind of thing put into perspective. Thank you.

On kind of a tangent here, which is your favorite version of Poncho and Lefty? Mine is the Townes Van Zandt.

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Book Universe
User: bookuniverse
Date: 2009-04-04 06:27 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Sending you lots of *hug*s and Good Wishes... Hope the tests come out well. Take care...
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User: farmgirl1146
Date: 2009-04-04 06:31 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I sympathize, and wish I could bop you with a magic wand filled with no fear. Hugs.

For a laugh: I was shopping yesterday and saw a hilarious red shirt with Hawaiian-esqu flowers on it. You popped into my mind, and I bought it.

Hugs and more hugs
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User: yourbob
Date: 2009-04-04 07:08 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thank you.
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wyld_dandelyon: guitar gloves
User: wyld_dandelyon
Date: 2009-04-04 07:16 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:guitar gloves
*hugs* if you want them, from someone who isn't close.
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scarlettina: Hug
User: scarlettina
Date: 2009-04-04 07:53 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
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User: fjm
Date: 2009-04-04 08:09 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I so hesitate to make a suggestion, having become very averse to advice lately (see my own lj) but it might be worth finding a mantra. It can be a spiritual one, or it can be a very prosaic statement. In my grey dog days, I recite "this is not real" over and over again. I have no idea if it is the meaning or the recitation that helps me hold on, but it does help me.
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User: martyn44
Date: 2009-04-04 10:15 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
What is there to fear but Fear itself? He's been a friend of mine sometimes, and he seems so reasonable. He's nowhere near your league. Thinking about you all.
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cathschaffstump: jacketcath
User: cathschaffstump
Date: 2009-04-04 10:52 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
My heart felt support.

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User: lauriemann
Date: 2009-04-04 11:02 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
"Fear is the mindkiler"....

Fear is natural after what you've been through. Of course it's going to overwhelm you from time to time. I don't think it'll keep you back for long.

Have a GREAT trip to China!
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User: jess_ka
Date: 2009-04-04 12:18 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Hugs, Jay.
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User: selfavowedgeek
Date: 2009-04-04 12:30 (UTC)
Subject: Tenacity: You have it.
You're an overcomer, Jay. Plain and simple.

RE: "Pulled into the driveway at Nuevo Rancho Lake listening to 'The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty', which is a song that can bring tears to my eye on a good day." Heard it on the way into work yesterday morning. Gets me, too.
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User: melissajm
Date: 2009-04-04 13:39 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Lurking illnesses are cruel. I hope you beat the pants off of The Fear.
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Hutson: Holy Grail
User: hutson
Date: 2009-04-04 14:31 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Holy Grail
It's odd how the body remembers what the mind is trying to avoid. I'm proud to know you. I have no advice and I'm not really a hugger even via the net. But I am thankful that I met you and have and chance to name you as a friend.
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Michael Curry: bruce parrot
User: mcurry
Date: 2009-04-04 14:43 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:bruce parrot

*manly hug*
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User: kara_gnome
Date: 2009-04-04 14:53 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Hopefully you'll do something life-affirming; kick Fear's butt, but, yeah. I wonder if this is how soldiers feel with post-traumatic stress--what they used to call shell shock.

I'm so glad for calendula_witch, and wish she was there, with you.

Congratulations on your year; you write a wonderful blog.
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User: sheelangig
Date: 2009-04-04 15:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)

Jay, I really appreciate your openness about the cancer over the past year. The fact that you can and will talk about your experience is such a remarkable gift for the rest of us.
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Kenneth Mark Hoover
User: kmarkhoover
Date: 2009-04-04 15:39 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Your friends will always be here to support you. Never forget that.
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Karakara: offering
User: beautifulpyre
Date: 2009-04-06 10:30 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I remember when we first found out that my father had cancer. It was a horrible time. I remember my mother crying on the phone telling me about the scared look in my father's eyes. His cancer went into remission, but his heart was damaged by the chemo. I moved back home to Camas, WA in 2007 to spend time with him before he passed. The first anniversary of his death is coming up on the 22nd and I'm having a very hard time with it.

So...crying as I type this, and very sorry that you must also deal with this fear.
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Jay Lake: flowers-lily
User: jaylake
Date: 2009-04-06 11:37 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm very sorry to hear that. I hope your pain eases gracefully.
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