Friday, April 24, 2015

Combatting Fear

  I try to write in regards to what I know. That is why there is nothing about surgery or radiation on my blog.  Having said that it occurs to me there are many things I have never written about of which I have plenty of experience. Combating fear is one of those topics.
    I find it odd that in many ways my cancer diagnosis for the most part, set me free of fear and its grip on my life. I don't believe I have ever been a coward but I probably fit the definition of a chronic worrier. There was however a time during diagnosis and several weeks after that I was afraid. 
If you ask me today, "Are you afraid"?, I wouldn't have an answer. I don't know. Maybe. 
   I spent many hours in therapy after I was divorced in 96. My therapist made me peel the onion more times than I care to recall. Back then the issues were hurt and anger. Fear is a little harder but I will try.
   On the surface, I am afraid of pain. Burning I think would be the worst. So in regards to cancer, I know that men suffer terrible pain from metastasis to the bone. I am afraid of the cancer spreading and causing me to be in pain. I am not a fan of pain. i am not a fan of pain medication. Except for maybe morphine. When I die it will be in a morphine induced coma. I am afraid of chemotherapy. I really don't know why but it terrifies me. I don't care if my hair falls out. I like the shape of my melon. I am not afraid to die. I am afraid of the day that I am alive but no longer enjoy it. I am afraid of the day when I will no longer be able to do all of the things I enjoy. I am afraid of being a burden to my wife and kids. I am afraid of what it will do to them to watch me die. I am afraid there is no God. I am afraid there is a God and I won't make the grade. I'm afraid of darkness.
   So....... How do I combat my fears? The short answer is simple. I combat my fears by shining a light. The whole dying thing was simple. It took a while to figure it out but it is pretty much like this. I am terminal but so is everyone and everything on planet earth. We will die. Most people live with with a false sense of immortality. Sure..... They know they will die someday but it will not happen for a long long long time. Knowing I will die is  something I cannot avoid. Making certain I have no regrets when that day comes is all that is within my power. I don't think about the end, I focus on the journey and being the best Person I can be along the way. Everyone dies but not everyone truly lives!
  Pain. I can't get around that one. I can only trust that my doctor will do all that he can to keep me comfortable when that day comes.
   All the aforementioned are certain to happen. I can do nothing to stop them. One day this disease will make life seem not worth living.  One day the ones who love me will watch me take my last breath. One day I will meet God and I hope he smiles. That day could be tomorrow. It could be tonight. It could be a long long time from now. That makes my life no different than anyone else. You see, the light That shines upon my fear is truth and truth is this. All we have is the here and now! There is no tomorrow. Tomorrow is a myth. We live for today. We love for today. We laugh for today. Above all, we use this moment that we have been given to ensure we do not leave this world with regrets.
   I am afraid of darkness. In my fear I reach for the light. Todd