Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering – Yoda
People say recovering from cancer is about being in a state of constant fear – the fear of it coming back. When I was a kid, I was your regular scaredy cat. I reckon it’s par for course of being the first kid and your parents are extra cautious about keeping you alive. It took having a brave little sister to teach me to stare fear in the face and tell it to f%*k off!
As much as I didn’t want to do chemo, I didn’t want to be scared of it. Easy to say, the practice of which is a tad more challenging. The Catholic in me doesn’t fear death, it fears suffering which triggers the Jedi wannabe in me to lean into Master Yoda’s sayings. It’s a vicious cycle I told myself, embrace chemo, not fear it and there will be no suffering. With what I know today, it’s easier to be fearless. Yet as I look ahead, I realise the future is unknown today as it was a year ago before I started treatment. Hindsight is 20/20 and it’s easy not to fear the past but the future can be scary, simply because you don’t know.
This week I’m reminded how cancer taught me to take it one day at a time … sometimes just one moment at a time. I’m typically the always on the go type person. With three or four things happening around me. Constantly on the move and in my mind I’m reflecting on mistakes, executing on the present and planning for the next step. It took chemo to kick me off my hamster wheel and there were days when I couldn’t do anything but just be horizontal, so many days. I simply couldn’t reflect or plan … I merely had to just do and doing while on chemo was more often than not, just lying down. I’d like to say I took swimmingly to “One day at a time” but I didn’t. I distinctly remember when I had an iota of energy, I’d feel irritated that I couldn’t do more. And as soon as the energy left me I had no choice but to just be. That said, it wasn’t until after the worst of the treatment that I started savouring the moment. When I could do, I was so grateful it was easy to be in the moment.
So yes, cancer could possibly come back, a piano could also drop on me. In the meantime, I’ll be channelling my inner Yoda and my little sister as I practise savouring each moment and telling fear to f%*k off!