February 12, 2012
Fear has been visiting me this past week, an unwelcome visitor, of course. I am suddenly highly anxious again about the status of my disease. Nothing directly related to my health has prompted this latest round of fear, though I can’t help but relate it to my father’s death, my children’s comings and goings—mostly goings, other life changes. For quite a while now, I’ve managed to exist, no, even prosper, without the flattening influence of fear chasing me around everywhere I go.
It is very hard to distinguish between the object of fear and fear itself. Once I become frightened about what is going on inside my body, I mistake that fear for an authentic intuition that my cancer is on the move. Even as I write this, I worry that I can make bad things happen by fearing them. But if my mind has such power over my body, wouldn’t I be able to will the cancer away?
This fear is a couple notches below the tension that makes your heart race when you think you hear someone enter your house at night. It may subside, but it is always there, like a pesky fly that buzzes around the room until finally the buzzing stops, and you think the fly has headed elsewhere. But then you hear it again and realize it had only landed for a brief moment of rest.