By Dani Taylor
A reflection of my fears upon my diagnosis, almost eight years ago. I’m grateful to have confronted many fears since this time.
I am a fearful person. I am someone with anxieties and worries that can sometimes throw me off my course. I have often been avoidant. I think that by postponing my fears, perhaps they will be forgotten, or that they will forget me.
I was so ashamed when the doctor asked me how long I had been bleeding. I had no idea. It felt like it had just started but that also I could hardly remember a time when I wasn’t bleeding and in pain. When did the weight loss begin? How had I not noticed? It felt unbelievable, considering how much of my mind can be consumed with wanting to be smaller, to not take up space, to look as I’m supposed to. How did I not notice I was dying? My mother noticed. The doctor noticed. But am I so removed from myself that I can’t see myself?
There were so many fears when I first met with the stern and abrupt oncologist. Fears that I would be unloveable raged. I would have scars, an ostomy, and an uncertain future. I would be robbed of my fertility, my stability, and my identity. I would be in pain. I would be removed from my life. I may die.
What if I die?
I’m scared of needles, I thought, as I plunged the point into the softness of my belly. The hormones would swell my belly and prepare my ovaries for egg retrieval. Twice a day. I’ll start with this fear.
What has fear looked like for you, and how has it changed?