Fear and Denial

Steve H | Administrator |

Boy, what a loaded word: fear. When my partner and I sat in the clinic room, waiting on the doctor for the final diagnosis, there was fear. Heart beating, mind…

racing. Fear when the stage IV lung cancer diagnosis was delivered. Disbelieving what you knew to be true. Fear, periodically, when something changes — a new side effect, a new pain, a new test ordered. Wondering, “what next?” and feeling like you are in constant game of Whack-a-Mole, where the effects of cancer sticks it’s head out and we are always trying to smack it down before it pops up somewhere else (but, where and when?). But, it is beyond fear, really. After our first team meeting, and after the news was delivered and the prognosis understood, my partner and I were taking the elevator down to the lobby and she said something like, “Well, we all know we are going to die. I just know it’s going to be sooner.” True. All of us human beings are walking around with a fundamental understanding that we are all mortal. Not a one of us is going to live forever. But, we don’t walk around in fear (usually), even though we know this. But, when you are TOLD that you have an expiration date (even though we all have one) … maybe it is that reminder, that tapping on our shoulder, that causes the fear. Is it really fear, though, or is it having to confront a truth that most of us blithely ignore for 70 or 80 or 90 years. Not fear as much as a realization that our time here is short and so much is unknown. And what are we going to do with that newsflash?

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