Each night I fall asleep with my head on my husband’s chest listening to the rhythmic sound of his heart beating. The sound soothes me, calms my anxieties and helps lull me to sleep. However, there are nights when the very same sound resonates fear through my body. In my mind’s eye I can see inside his chest and straight to his fragile heart. I can see the arteries, the chambers and it terrifies me. That something so delicate is all that stands between a life with my best friend and a life without. Little did I know that it wasn’t his body that I should have been concerned about, it was my own.
I have an overwhelming fear of death, I always have. I wasn’t raised in a religious household and I’m not quite sure what to believe when it comes to afterlife. My scientific mind can’t quite get behind the idea of heaven, although I envy those that can. My greatest fear is that death is an eternal nothingness, and that somehow I’ll be conscious of that emptiness and without those that I love.
I truly believe that this cancer won’t kill me, I’ve got this one; but what about the next? What if this is my first battle with this enemy and what if I’m not so lucky the next time? It terrifies me that my body was unable to recognize this invader and do it’s job to protect me. I am incredibly healthy. I spent my youth as a serious athlete, I trained six days a week twice a day. I eat healthy, organic foods and I breastfed both my children for years. I should not have cancer. Not only do I have this horrific disease, but I have one of the most aggressive forms there is. Why? Will it happen again? Will it come back in an area where my outcome isn’t so bright?
Now I no longer fear just death, but that my four year old son will grow up not remembering me. Not knowing who I was and what my face looked like. Will he be able to hear the sound of my laughter? Will the photos and stories told be enough? This has now become my greatest fear.