Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Fear of being consumed.

When I was in the third grade we moved to a house with a swimming pool. I was always afraid of going into the deep end. I thought pools were connected to the ocean and that sharks could come out of there and eat me up.

The conception of reality we create in our minds can direct us in many ways. My conception of the pool being connected to the ocean led me to believe sharks were under my pool, thus I avoided that area.

The reality many of us have created in our minds of cancer patients is that they are weak, bald and dying. As I walked into the hospital yesterday (Huntsman Cancer Hospital), I saw cancer patients in wheelchairs, bald, people feeding them. It scared the hell out of me. What I saw seemed to be matching the reality of cancer patients I had created in my mind after years of being infiltrated with visuals and stories about cancer. Even the word 'cancer' is one of the most feared in the English language.

The unfortunate comparison to my story of the shark in my pool is that you can't truly avoid going into the deep end when it comes to cancer.

Just as much as I was afraid of being consumed by the shark in my pool, I am afraid of being consumed by cancer. Not the cancerous cells that may be floating around in my body. I trust the medicine and treatments will take care of that part. I'm afraid of my life being consumed by cancer - that horrible reality I have created in my mind.

The greatest lesson I have learned in college has nothing to do with theory or statistics, but rather to do with choices. Going to college has bent my mind in a way that allows for the possibility of anything, but especially through logic and reasoning. Thus, I have decided that I will change the reality in my mind about a lot of things.

First, I believe it is possible to accomplish more not because I'm super woman, but because I know I am capable. I believe in myself.

Second, I know what to expect from my cancer and therapies. With this knowledge, I will be better prepared to conquer the side effects and go through the processes with understanding how to deal with it.

Third, I see a life ahead of me that does not involve Cushing's or Cancer, but one with health and happiness.

I refuse to be consumed by cancer or Cushing's. My life is more than those things. I am more than a patient. I will always remember who I am beyond patient and human, vulnerable.


My fear of being consumed is no longer there. I refuse to be consumed by anything. Especially some temporary medical condition that snuck up on me. No way. Not me. I have no fear. Period.

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