Even if my cancer does return and even if it does eventually kill me, I won't spend the rest of my life in fear. And maybe someday I'll actually believe what I've just written. I'm not there yet, but I'm working on it.
I wish that during those dark days, I had access to a book that so well articulated not only how I felt, but also how I could actually come to change my viewpoint. It took me years to begin a proactive path of psychological and spiritual healing.
Yes, surviving cancer takes the sting out of bad hair days and flat tires, but it also creates a sort of hyper-vigilance with regard to potential suffering -- whether on dates, at work, or even at a family meal.
My focus went completely to doing what needed to be done to make sure the situation did not spiral out of control. I was scared. I was furious. Looking back, the cold-bloodedness was far less about being self-protective than it was about staying focused on the mission and keeping the fear at bay.