Tuesday, December 10, 2013


My friend was right.  It is a shock to hear the word cancer on the phone or in the doctor's office. My supportive neighbor says I'm handling it well.  I don't talk about fear -- but now I'm thinking about it

Learning about the steriotactic biopsy was Fear and resistance - the procedure sounded barbaric to me. And yet it went well and I had a good time at the hospital.

And I was able to compartmentalize about the lumpectomy.  I trusted the surgeon, and after all, I've had plenty of successful experience with surgery.  I didn't even feel fear beforehand.  Maybe the doctor's telling me he had said a prayer was a help.

Then the post-op two-week appointment!.  (The surgeon had told me when we met that he would recommend I see a radiation oncologist and a medical oncologist.)  I read the pathology report again, more thoroughly.  Nothing on the report, as I've mentioned, gave me any hope of avoiding radiation.  So after we talked a little about the incision and the size of the specimen, he gave me the paper with the oncologists' contact information, and his reasons for choosing them.  

 I went home and put the contact information sheet in a red file.  I talked with my neighbor, I blogged about when to call the radiation doctor's number.  I reminded myself that she couldn't make me do anything I don't want to do.

I focused my research, still a lot of it from Mayo Clinic, on radiation.  I read other women's stories, and I felt Fear.  I made a list of my radiation concerns and felt FEAR.  I quoted some things, and felt FEAR.   I included a list of medical conditions I already have, and the one thing I've shared with friends:  how many x-rays I've had.  

I copied statistics from Sloan Kettering on how much longer I would be free of cancer if I had radiation and certain long-term meds.  They were compelling.  But . . .

There is a pattern here:

 In spite of having lost a best friend to cancer, I'm obviously more afraid of the treatment than I am of getting more cancer.  Or is the Fear of cancer buried so deep that I don't feel it, and so huge, that I don't dare feel it?

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