I am afraid.
The fear is linked to the CT scan I took on Thursday–in turn linked to my three experiences with cancer. In August 2013, Dr. Paul Russo (at Memorial Sloan Kettering Medical Center in New York City) removed a 7 centimeter tumor surrounding my right kidney. Pathology confirmed kidney cancer.
While discussing the forthcoming surgery, Dr. Russo said his plan to save the right kidney (which he did expertly) would remove the risk that I might be without any kidneys at all. He explained that two small tumors on my left side could develop and conceivably destroy my left kidney.
Last year, the left kidney tumors were 2 centimeters. Between then and now, have they increased in size? Last year, my doctors suggested after right kidney surgery, perhaps surgery and even chemotherapy might be indicated for my left side.
The CAT scan on Thursday will help determine what to do next.
This reality above is not the reason I am writing. Fear is the reason I am writing. Fear.
- It is reasonable to worry; do not worry about worrying
- Do not worry about what might happen; focus on the here and now
Advice be damned: The dominant reality of my daily life is fear.
I was married once to a woman who poured salt over everything she ate. Everything she ate tasted like salt.
For the past few months I have been pouring fear over everything I eat; everything I eat tastes like fear. This imagery extends to everything I do. The fear creates a paralysis—work incomplete, dishes unwashed, the bathroom sink unscrubbed.
The two rules of my treatment plan (whether or not there is a treatment plan) must be:
- Learn to live with fear
- Figure out how to eliminate fear
According to Eastern thought, in the battle with Evil one must not confront Evil directly. I am certain Confucius is correct, but it sounds strange. Given my personality doing something strange with a good objective in mind is appropriate.
I wonder how I will proceed.
This posting is the beginning of a battle plan.
Note 1: Fear and Evil are one and the same.
Note. 2: Despite my “advice be damned” remark I really do appreciate advice.
–Joel Solkoff, State College, PA, USA
Copyright 2014 by Joel Solkoff. All rights reserved.