Feeling the fear but I really DON'T want to do it anyway


The cave you fear to enter - Joseph Campbell quote**

Question: If you woke up tomorrow with no fear, what would you do first? 

This was the question posed by Quirky Grandma  on Friday, 24th April, and it really got me thinking.

You see, I am REALLY feeling the fear at the moment.

In fact, I am feeling incredibly vulnerable. Raw. Scared doesn't even cut it.

Quite unlike Susan Jeffers in her timeless book 'Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway', I don't want to do "it" anyway.

My "it" - the thing I need to own up to fearing, what I need to face head on - is Cancer.

Yep. I know how crazy that sounds when you look at what we do here at Cancer Goddess. I mean, I talk about "it" in public, I read about "it", I research "it", I offer my services in many volunteer capacities and try to keep "it" atop of the political agenda. I help people deal with their own fears surrounding Cancer. All of this I do with love; I feel incredibly privileged to be able to reach out to so many people, and do something positive.

My life purpose is to work towards dispelling the fear around the word 'Cancer'. I know that. Softly, quietly, steadily.

So you're probably reading this and thinking "Why the fear, Callie?  What's going on to make you feel this way right now?"

My answer is simples. I am human.

My annual mammogram is due in 2 weeks' time. In common with many Cancer survivors, I can get a bit skittish pre-mammo. It's a familiar scene, I know: nerves are tattered for a few weeks in advance of the scan or procedure, and for a while thereafter as we wait for our test results.

That feeling is known as 'scanxiety'!

BUT although I can usually work through this yearly 'blip' by keeping busy and using ARTsignments, journalling and play to keep the fear under control, this year is wildly different.

You see, that bloody Cancer has reared its ugly head once more. Too close to the heart of my family for comfort, and a totally unexpected diagnosis that has left us reeling.  [Just to allay fears of friends reading this - no, it's not me. I'm actually talking about the fear of being a Supporter, someone who is supporting another person going through cancer treatment and the process beyond]

Our own mortality and to-be-expected fears have been knocked into oblivion by this news, and I am now juggling fears as
  1. an ex-patient-who-had-a-horrific-time-on-chemotherapy, and 
  2. a supporter, on red alert.

You bet I'm feeling the fear. This morning I feel so sick with fear I can barely breathe.

I'm scared of going to see the consultant today, as supporter. (No surprise there, I don't like ANY hospital apart from my beloved St George's, London)

I'm scared I am going to cry in the meeting, which will upset those I am supporting. (No, I have to be strong. I can cry on the bus home, if I really need to release immediately. Preferably I will wait until I get home)

I'm scared of not being a good-enough supporter, of letting them down in some way. (Here we go again, that fear of not-being-good-enough. But it's ok for me to admit that I am scared of failing them in some way. It's natural)

I'm scared of R-CHOP chemotherapy beginning: I'm scared of the physical reaction, of course. But more than that, I'm scared of how my loved ones will deal with the lifestyle changes that chemotherapy throws out as part of it's process. (Let Go, Let God)

I'm scared of not being able to ease the pain of those hurting. (Come on, Callie. As a healer, you know all about the Soul's evolutionary process. Step back. Just be yourself and be present for them)

I'm scared of that little voice that chirps loudly every now and again, "It could come back, you know. YOU might have to go through chemotherapy again *whine* " (And breathe. Feel the air on the inward breathe tickling my nostrils ...)

And it's OK. I know it is OK to feel like this.

As a supporter, of course I feel powerless. But I know that it isn't a feeling that will last forever.

There are so many good things we can do as a supporter, so I choose to focus today on those. The little actions that mean so much: just being there, as physical and emotional support during appointments. Taking them for coffee and cake afterwards. Buying in some gorgeous artisan bread from Gail's Bakery, so they can have yummy sandwiches tomorrow, for the long day they have ahead of them while chemotherapy is administered for the first time. These little things - that take no effort, just a bit of time and maybe a little forward-planning - mean so much. I know, I've been there.

As a Cancer survivor, of course I feel scared. But I know that it isn't a feeling that will last forever.

I choose to Let Go, Let God.

So today, I AM feeling the fear. I really DON'T want to do it anyway.

But I will take Susan Jeffer's third Truth about Fear to heart: "The only way to get rid of fear of doing something is to go out and ... do it!"

That is exactly what I am doing, Quirky Grandma. I am going to breathe, stay in the moment and get on with today just as I do every other day of my life. One foot in front of the other, taking each moment as it comes.

Fear. I see you. I feel you. But I choose to work with you ... let's dance in the shadows, touched by sunlight, grace and love. I choose to be gentle, kind, loving and compassionate to myself today.

I choose to face everything and rise.

If you are dealing with similar issues, you may like to download our free ebook, Elevate Your Heart, which gives you a simple ARTsignment - playfull activity - along with suggestions for helping to find balance with your emotions using essential oils, which will support you at every stage of your journey.

Cancer Goddess
Cancer Goddess writes about whole-self wellness, creativity and beauty for women whose lives have been touched, in some way, by Cancer. You are warmly invited to 
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  1. <3 sending you blessings Callie - thank you for sharing this with us xx

  2. beautifully open and heartfully honest - well-shared, my lovely!

    1. Bless you, dear heart - thank you xx (I'm thinking of sending my spirit off to holiday with you, while my body needs to be here ... she needs some blue skies & sea!)

  3. Astonishing courage. Thanks for sharing such an amazing story. I will be sending positive thoughts for you and your loved one.

  4. Lovely article Callie, well done. Sending you and your family all best wishes. XX

    1. Thanks so much, Liz xx (I'm trying to impart all you shared with me during my treatment!)

  5. I can not even imagine. I had a cancer scare earlier this year and it was the worst thing I had ever gone through. You are a survivor and an inspiration to others. Prayers going your way today as you support your loved one and prayers that God calms your nerves a little...

    1. Bless you, thanks so much Michelle - onwards we march xx

  6. I would love to give you a big hug right now. I am very worried about cancer and breast cancer in particular. I don't know why since I don't have any history especially breast cancer, but I can't imagine being taken away from my family early.

    1. April, honey, you know your body best - it's always GREAT to be vigilant so well done for being body-aware. However, if ever you need to chat to someone, I'm here for you xx

  7. What a courageous lady you are Callie - even if you don't feel that way right now. It takes a whole lot of courage to admit to our fears and to share them openly with others. I'm sure you're the perfect person to support another through a tough experience. I hope you have lots of support yourself too. x

    1. I am very blessed, Susie - it's just one more jigsaw piece of my own healing-journey to deal with ((( hugs ))) and I am incredibly well-supported and loved. Today has been a tough day 'tho xx