This entry was written by one of our volunteers:
Fear is an emotion I was always able to conquer throughout my life. I never let fear take over, not until I had to take my adoptive mother to her oncologist for cancer treatments. I used to sit in the waiting room, looking around. I used to think to myself, “How do these people keep it together? How can they do this?” It (cancer) was my ultimate fear. I am adopted and never knew my medical history. However, when my adoptive parents, grandparents, father-in-law and sister-in-law fall were affected by cancer, I started to panic inside. I wondered if I’d be next and since I didn’t know my history, I started thinking the worst was yet to come for me too. After all, these people that I loved were good and wonderful people who didn’t deserve to get cancer. (Who deserves getting cancer? That’s a stupid thing to think, isn’t it?)
Well, the day finally came when I had to face my worst fear: I was told I had breast cancer. As anyone who has been diagnosed with that awful “C-word” knows, time stops and you’re frozen in fear. But here I was, walking through those oncology office doors, sitting with the other cancer patients, passing by the chemo suite seeing women without their hair, women getting their chemo while talking to a friend or casually reading a book. I couldn’t believe what was happening to me. I knew that I had two choices: I could sit and be afraid or do something about the fear. Honestly, it was the moments between the fear that I was able to face breast cancer head-on. During my treatment, my friends and family were so loving and supportive. One dear friend sent me a card with a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt. I keep this card on my refrigerator and read it daily, sometimes several times a day. “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face…DO THE THING YOU THINK YOU CANNOT DO.“
We don’t know how strong we are until we’re faced with the challenge. Take it one step at a time, one obstacle at a time. That’s how I’m able to do the things I once thought I couldn’t.
How have you faced your fears, either as a caregiver or someone diagnosed with breast cancer?