The Fear

Lots of people who have had cancer talk about the fear that haunts them – the fear that it will come back. Books have been written on how to cope with this fear and there appears to be a whole sub-segment of the counselling profession giving support and strategies for how to put The Fear to the back of your mind.

No one told me that a The Fear would visit me this soon.

6 days ago I found a new lump.

It is right by the scar from my lumpectomy. It is hard and immobile. Good old Google suggests that this is more likely than not to be a fat necrosis – a lump of fatty scar tissue deprived of blood by the severing of blood vessels during the operation, that has hardened into a ball. I went to see the doc on Thursday. He felt it and said it was probably from the op but referred me for an ultrasound. The radiologist scanned it and said he thought it was a fat necrosis but he couldn’t be sure, so performed a core biopsy on the spot. He told me the tissues was “gloopy” and floated, but wouldn’t be drawn on a conclusion.

So here I am, waiting for the results. I have to wait a total of 4 days, because of the weekend. I have to go in person (and hence miss my team’s Christmas dinner) tomorrow night for the results. And The Fear waits with me.

My online community has assured me it’s probably scarring of some kind. Many of them have had similar and most often it is not sinister.

But of course that doesn’t help all that much. My mental strength is being put under a huge strain, trying to put The Fear into a bubble and banish it to a far corner of my consciousness. I am invoking all sorts of strategies to try to stop the bubble from bursting and The Fear to come flooding back in and occupying front and centre in my mind. It’s tough. It’s rubbish and it feels hugely unfair.

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