Bell Lap Blog

Cancer's Bell Lap Blogs are secular and practical guidance. For opportunities of a spiritual journey in a life with cancer, see the Cancers' Windrunners Blog.

30 - Rachel's Discovery

Rachel told me how pondering the unfairness of it all and all the dreams she had to abandon made her furious and that her anger got her nowhere. Expressing her feelings helped, but the more she did that the more exhausted and defeated she became. It was only when she let it all go that she could get the dragon off her back. Not until she accepted that fact that she would never know why could she move on with life,: make new dreams and regain the energy and composure she needed to take full treatment.

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 That serpent is both clever and sinister. Its first tactic is to get you to believe there is nothing to be afraid of (denial). Then it adds false bravado. "I'm smart and the doctors are smart. I'm strong and determined and courageous: with sheer willpower I'm going to beat this thing." Denial and bravado are just cover-ups for panic and retreat, glaring signs that the big fear has already got you.

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Pretending the wolf isn't stalking you does not mean it won't eat you. It only justifies not looking over your shoulder or carrying a gun. How smart is that? But that is exactly what some people do when they deny their prognosis or pretend it applies to someone else – not them. You have got to face the wolf, not run away from it. Predators love to chase prey that runs away.

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It is normal to feel depressed some of the time when dealing with cancer. It is bad stuff. Only someone in total denial or a crazy person who is out of touch with reality doesn’t have some depressed feelings. Normal people occasionally feel like they are losing heart, getting burned out, just too tired to even think, too exhausted to even try, and too discouraged to even consider the possibilities of what I am saying. That is the time to tell your doctor.

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