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.