Fear

I’m afraid. And I don’t like to be afraid, especially when I don’t really feel authentic about it.

I’m not saying the fear isn’t real. It is. It’s really real. It’s that I think the fear is unreasonable. I think that if I’m really thoughtful and prayerful and hopeful, there’s nothing to be afraid of.

But I’m really afraid anyway. Like, bring-tears-to-my-eyes-if-I-let-myself-think-too-much-about-it afraid.

Several months ago, I found this weird skin thing over my eye and mentioned it to my doctor who said it was nothing to worry about. But I worried anyway and finally convinced my doctor to send me to a dermatologist who immediately recognized it as skin cancer.

And it’s not the scary kind of skin cancer. It’s called basal cell carcinoma, and it’s the kind that doesn’t spread and infect your body. It doesn’t require chemicals and therapies that rape your immune system and your humanity, and it’s relatively common (as cancers go) with very high survivability rates.

But here’s the thing. I hate cancer. I’m not a person who hates anything. And I hate cancer. Because cancer has stolen from me. I love the memes I see on social media with the expletive right before the word cancer. I love those. And I hate cancer.

So I have this unreasonable fear, and it’s unreasonable because I read all these statistics and I know everything will be fine. I’ll get it cut out and I’ll get sewn up and I’ll have a little scar to talk about at parties. I have this unreasonable fear because I know what real cancer does to people because I’ve known so many who have fought it and won and so many who have fought it and lost, and I hate cancer. And I’m afraid.

I’m afraid because I have this growth – even though it’s small – and it’s attached to me and it’s invading me and infecting me and it’s not part of me.

But this one I can get cut out. And some people can’t.

And so I wish that I could get over this fear because I don’t really feel like it’s fair to the people who have to fight the real kind of cancer. Because I’ve seen that kind of fear in people I love.

So I’m having surgery tomorrow and I’ll have this cut out. And if you’re a praying kind of person, I’d be grateful for your prayers. And if you’re not that kind of person, I’d be grateful for your positive vibes and thoughts and encouragement. And whatever kind of person, I’d be grateful for your understanding and forgiveness.

Because I’m still afraid. And I hate cancer.

9 thoughts on “Fear

  1. I’ve rewritten and deleted this 6 times now, so I’m going to stop overthinking this and stop trying to say the right thing. You have cancer and no matter how small, no matter the statistics, I feel afraid for you. Your cancer is real. I shed tears thinking about it. Your feelings are your own and valid whatever they are. I suspect people with “real” cancer would hold you and comfort you just the same and tell you it’s ok to be afraid and sad and count you among their tribe. I also know that if this “small” motherf****r decides to come for you, it better watch its back because it has no idea who it’s dealing with and how powerful a team you have who will stand at your side with prayer and good vibes and juju and baseball bats with nails pounded into them and chase this “little” bastard to the ends of the earth until it is no more. You are my family and I love you. You got this and we’ve got you.

  2. The fear is real and it’s okay to be afraid. I had the same feeling of fear when I had a basel cell carcinoma on my face. I had the fear even though I’ve had other surgeries for other stuff that on a scale–if there is such a thing–should have been way more scary. And yet, the fear is real. You have my prayers.

  3. You have every right to your fears and hate. These things are scary, whether it is what you think is just a small thing, anything that concerns us, God doesn’t see as a small thing. He will hold and comfort you and listen to your heart. As a two time cancer survivor, there were times when I was afraid and other times I felt such peace after my friends laid hands on me and anointed me with oil. No matter how it all ended I knew it would be okay because God had me in the palm of his hand and no one could snatch me away.

  4. I will keep you in my prayers Bob. My basal cell carcinoma was on my nose. We probably got a few too many sunburns as kids. I dunno. For me, they scooped it all out in a surgical room, and I’ve been fine since. Well, I no longer have much of a sense of smell. But I think most scents are highly overrated anyway. I pray your experience will be smooth and easy, and you can keep your focus on what you do best — Preaching and teaching.

    Take care, and all the best from me and Lia and Mira. We’re praying for you.

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