Sunday, November 21, 2010

Our Friend Fear

I heard from a reader today (Thank you V.) who wrote about the fear. Yes, we can call it “the” fear. Fear for caregivers is so fluid and shape-shifting and paralyzing. Hardly anyone in Cancer Land talks about this. Of course we read and hear about the fears of the patient—fear of diagnosis, surgery, the fear before tests and maybe after. Awful yes –but nurses and case managers and doctors forget that other person often sitting in the room.

The fear that we caregivers live with is also disabling. What makes it even harder is the constant feeling that we can’t complain about it or express our suffering. In most cases we are not the one with cancer and that presumes that we are the one that can still go to work (not really) and still sleep (not really) and are not in physical pain (not really).

If only it was a fear that stays still like a fear of flying or a fear of snakes. But caregiver fear is a hydra with many heads and a demon that shifts its shape. It takes bad news ten different ways and then takes good news—“He’ll live” (but how?) or “They said yes to more chemo” (to what end result?) and that becomes six new ways to be scared.

Fear is our friend with a major personality disorder. Our dear Sybil—with us all the time and ever so vigilant as our constant companion.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

so this is about YOU.