I’ll tell you mine…what’s yours?

My biggest fear is that I will get cancer. Specifically breast cancer. I’m pretty confident that I will get some form of cancer given family history on both sides, my personal habits and my skin tone.

What scares my about breast cancer is, obviously loosing one or both breasts. Having a part of me gone like that, an obvious part of me, is scary enough but I’m more afraid of the pain and recovery from surgery. ‘m fairly certain that were I to have a mastectomy  I would not opt for reconstructive surgery. Why put your body through even more trauma? I think I would be equally as ‘devastated’ having no breasts as I would be having fake breasts.

I’m not afraid of the possibility of dying. I’m afraid of the pain of living. I’m afraid of the torture of radiation and chemotherapy. I’m afraid of the pain of those around me. I’m afraid of the aching. I’m afraid of the loss of concentration. I’m afraid of the dependency on pain killers. I’m afraid that my will to live will hurt me more than just letting go.

But even though I’m not afraid of death, and that choosing to live will be the most difficult thing I will likely endure, I know I will go through it. I know I won’t just quit. But it still fucking scares me.


13 Comments on “I’ll tell you mine…what’s yours?”

  1. superfrayed says:

    I spent the summer, when I was 16 babysitting for this woman who had 2 children while she went through chemo for breast cancer. It was a very difficult summer. Her children were young, 3 & 7 and it must have been so hard for them seeing her every day so week and frail. I found in incredibly trying. That summer I basically watched this woman die. The chemo did nothing but beat her down and leave her terribly weak. I went back to school in Sept & by Nov she was gone. By the time they had discovered her cancer, it had spread and her chances of survival were very low. Cancer, of any kind is not something I would wish in my worst enemy. Given to the history in my family as well, I’ve had a feeling that that is what will afflict me and it terrifies me.

  2. lumpy_lia says:

    this may seem like a really weird response – but i find the best way to cope with those fears is to figure out a worst case scenario.
    like, if anything ever happened re: breast cancer my advice would be to check out the UBC breast reconstruction program (I work at vancouver coastal health – the health authority for all the hospitals in the greater van area). they have an amazing program that IF you had to have a double mastectomy, they do ofer immediate breast reconstruction via a tramflap procedure. a tram flap is where they use the tissue/fat from your abdom to reconstruct your breasts. So quite literally you go to sleep with your own breasts and wake up with your own breasts.
    it is seriously amazing.
    like i said, kinda a weird response and most likely way more informaton than you were looking for – but that’s how I tend to deal with those kind of fears.

  3. pumpkin_face says:

    I didn’t read any of these comments, and I think I only read 3/4 of this entry b/c I’m in a rush – so I’ll read this fully later on since it’s so important, and because I totally relate. But I am going to mail you a book called The Cancer Answer.
    More details to follow.

    • gringogidget says:

      The cancer answer, I’m interested in that too..
      My biggest fear since I was a kid has been to loose my teeth.
      I think it’s the most mortifying and horrible thing ever.
      For some reason that’s incredibly superficial, but people without teeth make me cry.

      • tianadargent says:

        My mom has no teth. She has fakes and when I was a kid I would steal them from the sink when she was brushing her gums and I would run down the street hoping she would follow me but she never did and eventually I went back home.

        • gringogidget says:

          WHy would you have to brush your gums when you have no teeth!
          It doesn’t make any sense!
          I mean how would you even get gingivitis when you have no holes between your non-teeth.
          I’m going to cry now.

  4. My mom got cancer when she was in her early 30s. I was 9 and I remember it vividly. She had a stage 5 malignancy (read:Bad) tumor, the size of a grapefruit on her adrenal gland. They had to cut her from her belly button to the middle of her back to remove it. The Doctor referred to it as the ‘can opener surgery.’ At nine years old, I was not amused by his comment. Long story short, the tumor was removed… and she recovered from her surgery. They told her she needed massive doses of chemo and radiation to prevent the cancer from spreading. She had seen what chemo had done to other people and opted to go to a clinic in Mexico she had read about. The gave her a special diet of organic foods and a tonic to take 3 times a day. The tonic came from the bark of some tree. The diet they put her was all natural and they said its only purpose was to boost her immune system. She did this for 7 years and the cancer never returned. She has been off the diet & tonic for 8 years now and has a clean bill of health.
    So, based on that… I think chemo and radiation do more harm than good. They kill just as many healthy cells as they do sick ones… I don’t understand modern medicine…but I do understand your Fears. My biggest fear (other than losing a loved one) is being raped. I worry about that alot. I just don’t think I have the mental capacity to get over something like that. I know it happens to 1 in 3 women and they move on… but I think it would screw me up for life.

    • tianadargent says:

      Yeah, chemo is a hard thing to watch. If I ever do get cancer, I’d let them cut off as much of me as they need to to try and avoid chemo.
      I’m afraid of being able to handle rape, but I’m not afraid that it would ever happen to me. I never go out anyway so unless someone breaks in here, I figure I’m pretty safe.

  5. pumpkin_face says:

    If I ever get cancer, I won’t opt for chemo. I’d rather starve ALL my cells (including the cancerous ones) and live off herbal teas (basically the Mexico clinics approach) and hope for the best. I have faith in naturopathic medecine, but NO faith in the north american medical industry. I believe that doctors are motivated by greed, and after years and years of cutting up bodies and watching people die become -through no fault of their own – desensitized to humanity.
    SO GREAT to hear about your mom, Lauran! I hope she tells and re-tells her story whenever she can, to spread the word that there is HOPE for cancer recovery by way of natural, earth-bred cures.

    • lumpy_lia says:

      totally support natural medicine
      but it’s too bad you feel that way about doctors. I agree that NA medicine isn’t always the right way to go – but i could introduce you to some pretty outstanding docs/humans.

  6. berverse says:

    for some reason mine is losing my mother and trying to deal with the business and the family and her kids all on my own. that scares me.

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