My last post was before Christmas, and I said my next post was going to be about the mountain of well wishes that I’d received. And then, I disappeared until now. Can you guess the correct reason?
a. I kept forgetting to take pictures of the gifts that I’d received.
b. I got really busy.
c. I got sick.
d. I’m my own worst enemy.
e. All of the above.
The answer? “e” truthfully, but it was mostly “d”. Let me explain.
Just before Christmas I ended up with a bout of bronchitis and a very sore throat that, despite antibiotics, weren’t going away. In fact I missed our annual family Christmas party because of it. My sore throat persisted and I lost my voice completely again.
Let me just be clear that I am my own worst enemy.
Persistent sore throat and changes in your voice are symptoms of some throat cancers. Naturally that caused me to panic and I began to worry that I had cancer again. I’ve never experienced those symptoms when I really did have cancer, so what me think that I had cancer again?
Four different doctors looked at my throat; if cancer had been present, surely one of them would have spotted it, wouldn’t they? But in the far reaches of my brain, that notion was rejected and the suspicion of cancer held on tight.
To top it off, an acquaintance who had survived liver cancer 15 years ago was off again with a long term illness that was being kept under wraps. Everyone suspects a reoccurrence, and so my thoughts turned to the fact that cancer can come back in some cases.
With the newfound symptoms and the realization that yes, it can come back, I sank into a deep fear and couldn’t bring myself to face it. That’s why I stopped writing. It was too much for me and so I pushed everything about it away from me.
I was so afraid that I didn’t talk about it with anyone, not even my husband. I knew I was being silly about it but irrational fear has a way of controlling you, much like a phobia.
And I get it now. I finally understand why some people have told me outright that they can’t read my blog. I really get it.
The fact that I’m writing now means that I did push through that fear. I got more antibiotics (three rounds of antibiotics to be exact) to clear up the infection, my throat healed and my voice is more or less back to normal, and so I came to the realization that I was fine.
A follow up with my Oncologist recently confirmed this, and so I was able to put my mind relatively at ease again.
I knew fear would always be present, but I didn’t realize just how profoundly it can affect you. I’d like to think that in future I’ll be able to deal with it more effectively but now I’m not sure. Allowing a routine throat infection to take such a huge hold over my mental state shouldn’t have happened.
But it did, I’m over it, and I promise that I will be back on track with more posts. I still have a purpose after all — to inform and educate and hopefully help someone else going through this.
Next post: well wishers.