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Patients Against Lymphoma


Support > Patient-to-Patient > Patient Experiences & Guidance

Tarzan:  my fear is "NOTHING"


My fear is nothing. NOTHING is my fear. The day I was diagnosed with cancer I stepped off of a platform into nothing……..a dark, empty, swirling void of nothingness that allowed me to remove myself from the situation, but it lasted only a short time. I was then lifted up and out of that void as others pulled me back. That “nothing” was a wonderful place.

A few days later I found myself sitting in the doctor’s office, I had just been told I have cancer. I was sick, nothing was right within my body. My doctor had to be the one to give the bad news and it did not come easily even for him. Though his eyes are blue, they seemed to show nothing as he was forced into being nothingness while speaking as a professional. I have cancer and there is no pretending, or escape from it. More tests were ordered and the next visit was to educate me on the doctor’s plan of action.

In my conscious thoughts I try to prepare myself for radiation or chemotherapy treatments. Will I lose my hair? How sick will I be, will I be able to function at all? What will my friends think? How will my family react? How much time will I have left? Will my insurance be able to cover the extreme costs? What will it do to my personal finances? Will there be other surgeries? Will I be hospitalized very many times? So many questions, but no answers for now. I choose to step into my nothingness again. As I wait for more information I have nothing but an unseen faith, I know nothing, I feel nothing.

The doctor begins to speak, and I was forced back again. Through my fear I hear him say; “we are not going to do anything”. What? What are you saying? I have cancer and you’re not going to do anything? No treatments of any kind? What are you saying to me? Watch and wait?.....what does that mean? I have cancer and you’re not going to treat me for it? Would you explain that again? I have cancer and no one is going to do anything? Nothing? How can I live with nothing. I came in here from nothing, stepped out of that nothing to hear nothing, and was told to do nothing.

The doctor tells me that I must learn to live with my cancer until it it is no longer nothing. Not IF, but when. Will my nothing last a month, a year? Will I have nothing for 5 years?

My fear IS nothing……. I look fine, my sickness has no outward appearance, only I know the nothing is there. My fear is that a new symptom is nothing and I will miss it’s warning. My fear is that loved ones will forget I need them for nothing. My fear is of the frequent testing which may show nothing but could be something that is hiding. My fear is IF I will recognize something when the nothing goes away……..Watch and wait with nothing, for nothing, in nothing, towards something?

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