Fear is a part of life. We have minor petty fears that are in our minds to keep us from trying things that are dangerous, things like "be wary of some animals, they can kill you". This is normal, we need fear to strengthen us at times, we need it to drive us, and to help keep us aware of our surroundings. But some fears can be paralyzing. They can be something that grips at your heart and freezes you in terror. This can be a phobia at times, an accentuated fear that we have of something reasonable but that personally you find to be more severe than the average person, like arachnophobia. My moment of terror, aside from those creepy spiders that are larger than a twoonie (Canadian lingo for a two dollar coin), came creeping on a three word sentence, "It is cancer."
The fear was not that the large tumour in my breast was actually ductal carcinoma, it was something else. I did not want to die. And in my life, cancer had become pretty synonymous with death. Not an immediate death, but a timeline much sooner than I would ever want. The worst fear that came with my cancer verdict? The fear of not seeing my son grow up. The very, very close second: not spending decades more with my husband. That fear filled me. The terror that something in my body could possibly keep me from my future was paralyzing. It was also motivating. I had to make it through if there was a way. As long as there was a chance, I would take it. I would undergo any treatment to be rid of the cancerous cells and bring my risk of death at 29 years old down to the normal statistics. To quote Geoff Eaton, "1% is not 0%", if there was a possibility, I would not give up.
I would like to take a second and ask everyone to think and pray for those that fought the statistics and could not turn them in their favour. Those that had to leave their loved ones behind. Their fears were not stronger than those of us still here, and I know they were not weaker people. They simply could not fight the odds and as far as I have met, they were some of the strongest people you could ever meet. Many of them left legacies and memories of how powerful they were despite having something plaguing their bodies and emotions. I commend them and their loved ones. They are the best examples of courage.
Our fears may not be something that can truly be conquered, they may be something that can cause weaker souls to crumble, but fears will always bring out the true self. They will show the strong, they will show the heart, they will show the compassion that humans can possess. They will show the cowardice, they will show the heartlessness, and they will show the ruthlessness of others. My hope is that when we come to face our fears that we cling to our hearts and stand boldly as we decide to be a person of value or give in to the trepidation that plagues us.