Fear of Happiness and the Nuclear Bomb

Happiness. It’s not found in nature – do bees, birds and skunks seem happy or just carefree? Perhaps there’s a powerful connection between freedom and joy. When we find ourselves free from major responsibilities we find peace easier to come by. After the following came back from my CT scan report I found my mood became less jovial and more edgy. I’m afraid of the protocol for hopefully solving this latest tumble down the rabbit hole of metastatic breast cancer:

“New moderate focal uptake within the L4 vertebral body concerning for progression of osseous involvement from PET/CT 4/12/2019. Diffuse sclerotic osseous lesions are otherwise not hypermetabolic.”

My CT Scan Report

I begin radiation treatments Tuesday for the tumor on my L4 vertebrae and in all the treatments over near 6 years since diagnosis, I’m afraid. But so many people have had radiation and come through just fine. Why such a fear of a very common treatment?

My fear of radiation began long ago in my childhood. After much soul searching into why the looming treatments scare the crap out of me I arrived at several interesting conclusions about the connection of fear and happiness.

We age and as we doubt our own hopes making the world a better place- it becomes simple. It’s a risk to take redemption to begin to see the hope where we can see darkness in the forest instead the earth calls us to see its light.

I think back to picketing against McDonell Douglas‘ huge multi billion dollar contract with NASA for what would become part of the Star Wars program begun by President Reagan’s administration. We held up our signs against nukes, U2 blaring in the car on the three hour drive home from NASA In Satellite Beach to Miami Beach – “Bullet the Blue Sky” was the song coming from the speakers in my dad’s old Celica. That song and it’s ominous countdown are etched into my memory, as are the chants of “We Shall Overcome at the end of the protest.”

I remember seeing pictures and documentaries on nuclear weapons and I think my ingrained fears about radiation causing cancer has kept me from utilizing this protocol until now.

In my dreams

I see my father in my dreamscape standing in a cool forest as I run to him not as an adult but a child. I’m afraid and I’m screaming, “no daddy! no not the bombs not the burning bombs!” Just in time I reach him before the blowback reaches me like you might have seen in film of the Bikini Atoll atom bomb tests. Then he gathered me up in his arms like a baby and we fly up without any propellant. He whispers something I cannot recall before he deposits me in a nest and disappeared leaving me safe but helplessly alone.

Is there ever going to be a time when my cancer doesn’t leave me alone? Alone in both senses of its meaning: isolated and diseased. This last week my friend told me that a relationship I’d hoped to develop wouldn’t happen. The friendship will end before it begins. She’s lost too many people to cancer in the last several years abs she cannot deal with more pain.

Where’s my happy place?

I feel okay. I have no idea when I will die. But I do know this – I also have enough on my plate but not enough human interaction- have we all gotten so used to isolation because of the never ending Covid lockdown that we will become used to doing things anonymously and alone?

I hope not, I have some frightening days ahead of me. It’s too bad I scare people away from my life just because of metastatic cancer. But her honesty is appreciated. At least I know why I haven’t seen her in six months. What’s everyone else’s excuse I’ll probably never know. Not my current friends, few though they may be, but all the ones who disappeared and left me on my own. I know they read this blog. I hope they know how afraid I am now after nearly six years of treatments.

Will I find myself in a happy place again? Or will happiness become like my mother coming into my room at night seeing my light inside. “Put the boom down and go to sleep!” Connecting fear to fun our parents do their best for us but etch away at our carefree souls for our own safety at a young age.

We thus begin to avoid risks and take fewer chances. As we get older and our responsibilities and the depth of our love becomes more important we take less risk, more work and find less fun offerings in our day for fear we cannot meet our obligations.

Do you see where I’m going? Certainly you can relate to what I’m experiencing now and what I experienced as a child leading to fears I couldn’t relate to pinpointed events until my dreams ripped a hole in my own time space continuum.

Meanwhile wish me luck.

Let’s Stop Calling Metastatic Breast Cancer “Chronic”! | Nancy’s Point

Let’s Stop Calling Metastatic Breast Cancer “Chronic”! | Nancy’s Point
— Read on nancyspoint.com/lets-stop-calling-metastatic-breast-cancer-chronic/

This is an important and well written post by my good friend and part of my virtual support network Nancy whose books are outstanding if you’re just diagnosed, if you’re deciding on reconstructive surgery, if you’re a carer (better word for care giver), or have any kind of cancer.

This post, although I’m quoted in it, has quotes from around the blogosphere by some of the most well respected writers you will find – not everyone but many. I consider these people my friends and like Nancy, an integral part of my support group. It’s hard enough being so isolated by those who you thought would always be here for you and disappear as though cancer were contagious. Afraid of mortality and of not knowing what to say to us, we forgive these who don’t understand the huge delta between chronic and terminal. Metastatic cancer is terminal. We will die. Inevitably. Read on and follow Nancy’spoint.com you’ll be happy you did.

Losses

https://fivedotoh.files.wordpress.com/2020/08/95c54222-adf8-4ace-9cee-ba8dad473d07.jpeg?w=636&h=795

I’m not afraid of my city, the way people once behaved as one might catch cancer if they came close to me.

Stranger hours bring strangers in the darkness and the night closes down the city.

In the darkness there’s a hiding place for everyone.

In everyone there’s a place where darkness resides.

We reside where the damp air creates webs around street lights

Where the lights cast only enough to break into the air thick as Texas toast.

I’ll meet you for breakfast at 3 a.m. for toast and coffee.

We’ll watch the steam rise up from our cups of coffee like dew around streetlights.

And you shake the dew from your mackintosh, remove your toque and hang them like a perspective on the coat rack.

Missing you reminds me of the perspective that life and loss walk the same road though we feel so alone.

And you say I’m alone now. You ask me to come back and love you again.

Again I rise to leave a man who is the loss of who walks along the empty street next to me.

I’m lost I tell you, and love left with you so long ago.

So long I say as I pick up my own coat from my seat in the booth.

And leave you there to feel the loneliness and look at the empty seat as I did before you arrived.

#keepitalive

#fffc

Dedicated to you – and you know this is for you.