Theo is terrified of ‘the man who bangs the table’. When he hears him, he freezes, eyes wide and immediately grabs my hand. When we are out and about, if he hears a banging noise, he immediately reaches for me, and whispers ‘the man, banging the table’. Its his biggest fear. The man who bangs the table is just our neighbour, who doesn’t actually bang the table, just has a chair that squeaks the floor when he moves it. Despite explaining this numerous times to Theo, ‘the man who bangs the table’ is still a terrifying prospect.
I’m not sure if it’s the noise, the fear of what he cannot see or the fear that he might be confronted with it. He can hear the noise, know it’s something, but can’t see it or do anything about it. I’ve been feeling a bit like that.
For me, cancer is ‘the man who bangs the table’. I know it’s there, I can’t see it, I’m petrified that I’ll be confronted with it again. I have no idea if it’s coming closer, where it’s going to appear. I have no idea what it’ll do if it comes back again.. it’s an awful feeling.
This week I had to confront my fear. Anyone who knows my story will know that after what I thought to be a routine ultrasound of a lump in my neck, I discovered that I had thyroid cancer. Yesterday I attended the breast clinic to have a lump in my breast investigated. To say I was terrified was an understatement, I was so terrified that I couldn’t even talk about it, and that’s not like me at all! Less than 5 months after the bombshell of thyroid cancer, I was not ready to face my ‘man who bangs the table’ again. Thankfully it went well, and I have nothing to worry about, for which I am so thankful! The experience and how I dealt with it got me thinking though.
I’m not sure that this worry will ever go away, I don’t know if I’m far enough along in my journey to know. I imagine that the thought of cancer popping up again will always be there, lurking somewhere, and I don’t know if I’ll ever fully get over what’s happened or how much it’s affected me, but I do know that I don’t want to spend my life being afraid. It’s happened once and it’s changed me, but I’m fighting it and winning every single day. When I can push Theo on a swing, make dinner for my family, laugh with a friend or just smile at how beautiful the world really is… then I’m winning.
If you live in fear of the future because of what happened in the past, you loose what you have in the present, and what I have in the present is pretty awesome. So that man can ‘bang the table’ all he wants, because we’ve wasted enough time being afraid of him. Face your fears and wipe your tears…