The Fear Cage Has More Than One Entrance

I’m way behind in updating my blog, but I promised to talk about this so I’ll post it first.

Just after the scope showed no signs of cancer inside my mouth or throat, I started to get a little more sick. It took a form that made it hard to get enough to eat or enough hydration, and I was still struggling with the end of the insomnia.

I also didn’t realize at the time how much pain I was in. I know that sounds funny: how can you be in a lot of pain and not know it? When the pain grows gradually, you get used to it. It’s like the slew of experiments: drop a frog directly into hot water and it leaps out, but drop the frog in water while it’s cool and warm it very gradually and the frog will stay in the water until it dies from the heat.


Lack of food, water and sleep and the presence of pain changes you. I was too close to realize that, and I let it reopen the fear cage. I started reading blogs again about how sick the treatments can make you, and how long it takes some people to recover. I got pretty depressed, which didn’t help.

This time it was Charlie who pulled me out of the fear cage. He reminded me to stop reading the blogs. I wouldn’t know what was going to happen to me until it happened. And even if I did get a lot sicker, worrying about it wouldn’t change anything. All I had to do was finish the treatments, weather out whatever comes, and then it would all be done.

He was right, and I diligently resumed taking my anti-anxiety medicine as an additional help through those weeks. Now that I’m on the other side, I am, in fact, much sicker, and I still think the days I spent afraid of this were wasted days. Life is too short to worry about what may–or even what’s definitely going to–happen tomorrow. However long you live, you have far too few todays.

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