Once I knew someone who was big, and strong, a blustery charactor who challenged and fought everything in life. Then he got cancer. He said, "I believe that this cancer is going to kill me," and in just a few months, he was gone.
I heard about a young woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer at a very young age, years ago, when treatment for cancer was always radical and awful. She had every reason to be afraid. Her sister had already died from breast cancer. But this teeny tiny woman fought, and she won, and many years later when she had become an old woman, she was asked, "Weren't you afraid that you would die, knowing that your sister had?" And the teeny tiny old woman snapped, "I couldn't die! I had young children to take care of." In her mind, that was that, then.
Cancer is not only a physical battle, but a mental one as well. I have always considered myself a strong person, and that was validated when my body really held up well to the rigors of chemo. I'm red and hurting, but radiation is nearly done. (NEXT Friday, people!) Now that the physical challenges are nearly behind me, I'm overwhelmed by the mental challenges of it all. Reading about metastic breast cancer scared me. Mary's second diagnosis of cancer three months after finishing radiation rattled me big time. By the time I discovered words I hadn't noticed before in my own onc report, I was completely unhinged. A fearful heart is not going to win this battle. I need to buck up.
On that bright note, I am going to bed early. I will listen to a CD of thunderstorms, and I will visualize myself, tanned, cancer free, sitting on my back deck watching a storm roll in after a hot summer day. The lightning does not scare me, and the thunder is just a noise. The air crackles with electricity, with life. When the rain comes, it comes in torrents, and when I finally make my way inside, I am soaked to the skin. Water drips from my new grown hair, and I reach back to brush it out of my eyes...