The Fear Factor

About three weeks ago, the hubby found out that his cancer is most likely not gone. He first found out that he had cancer at age 30, about 4 years ago. Not easy for a thirty year old, in the prime of his life. Let alone anyone hearing they have cancer. He had a surgery, and radiation. Then, last year 2010, we found out it was not gone completely. We also found out Sunshine was on her way. He finally had a surgery again January 2011 to remove more tissue and lymph nodes. They chose not to do any further radiation as the doctors felt they had it all. Yeah, well. That didn’t happen. His latest scan, that he has done yearly, shows that he again has some “possibly” infected lymph nodes. Sigh. Three and a half years of living with this cloud over his head. Almost 4 years. He now has a daughter that is so much a part of him, and my greatest fear is that he won’t be here to see her grow up.


Now, not to be surprising, with the dark cloud looming over him the hubby has a lot of anxiety and some depression setting in. Of course, he is choosing to ignore it, but has admitted to me that he has some anxiety and depression. This leads to his quality of life not being as good as it could be. Without the strength and ability to emotionally and mentally fight the cancer, he may also not have the physical ability to fight it off as well.


We both revel in the joy that is Sunshine. We try to ignore what may happen, while we are unable to do anything about it. All we have are “what-if’s” and no answers, no ability to make plans and alter the outcome differently. We are stuck with waiting until tests come back, and the options presented for the next course of action. We live for the happy moments, and the joyful moments that Sunshine gives to us. Where it is just her that we can focus on, and the fear factor does not take hold.


So with Turkey day, I was hoping the hubby wouldn’t tell his mother about the upcoming biopsy. Selfish of me, really, but what happens is that his mom won’t call him over and over asking why we haven’t done this, why it’s taking so long, why aren’t they doing more? No. I will be the one she calls because she believes that I need to mother her son as well. The thing is that she would do all this for him, plan his appointments, push the doctor to make faster decisions and so on. I however, believe her son capable of making these choices on his own. He is a grown man, this is his health. I will support him, and will help him when he needs me to do so. Otherwise, it is his health. His mother doesn’t see it that way, so I get the phone calls asking why we haven’t pursued such and such. I didn’t want him to tell his mom yet because we know nothing. We don’t know if it is the same cancer, or if it has morphed into something else as it has moved to his lymph nodes. We don’t know anything. So why worry, why let fear take hold until we can do something about it?


My idea of coping with this is to just let it go, forget about it until we have more information and can make a decision about what to do next. I want to enjoy life, not focus on the cloud overhead. We know its there. We know it will have to be dealt with, but why sweat the rain and clouds when they are not here yet? Why not still go an enjoy the fine overcast day ahead? We will appreciate it for its dryness, and deal with the rain later.


It sucks living in fear. It sucks being reminded that we should be worried, but I just can’t bring myself to acknowledge out loud that the storm is still here. We are just sitting in the eye of the hurricane it seems. The calm before the storm. Just wish he didn’t have to tell her because now I won’t be allowed to forget. Her way of coping is talking about it, calling me over and over, trying to control and manage it in her own way. I will be reminded again of what is out of my control, and what we are facing again. I will be forced to acknowledge my worst fears, when I’d rather live happily in ignorant bliss, or perhaps blissfully resolute in cherishing what we have right now.


Is this naive of me? Perhaps, but I believe it’s a better way to live.

2 thoughts on “The Fear Factor

  1. Heather, you know I keep your family in my thoughts and prayers. What you have written is beautifully said and deeply moving. There are times to push the river and times to get in the flow. I know you trust your own knowing to do what is right for you and with your husband. Sue

Talk to me, People. (Comment)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.