Monday, February 16, 2015

Fear Less

So, my youngest daughter gave me this "fearless" bracelet with a very nice note about how well I was doing at being fearless, and how my attitude and demeanor in dealing with my struggles has also helped her with her own anxieties.

I love the bracelet and have worn it constantly since she gave it to me (even though, on first sight, I thought to myself "This child likes the bling bling way more than I do!"). Fearless. It is a very nice affirmation.

But lately, I've moved from the affirmation to the admonishment: Fear less.

Last weekend, they couldn't do chemo because my platelets were too low. We made the best of it and left Houston to head to our quiet place in the country.

This weekend, I returned and they were able to do the chemo, with a couple of adjustments in the regime. But I am low on iron and need to take iron tablets (or eat spinach, or do both). I found this out when I went for a checkup with my primary care doc, so I was not surprised at this news. But when they started the chemo, the nurse said I was low on magnesium and he had a call in to my oncologist to see if he wanted me to have some added to my chemo treatment. The oncologist said he'd call a prescription in for me.

And then, most troubling of all, I had to see the liver specialist about the possibility of fatty liver disease. He says my liver function is fine, and my enzymes are fine, but there is this one little test they do that measures the amount of scar tissue and that stupid little test says my liver is scarred, which could mean I have cirrhosis of the liver. So he recommended an MRI. An MRI is one of the few things I really hoped I would not have to endure on this journey. So I whined about it to him and he said we could do an ultrasound that would give some indication of how "stiff" the liver might be. If it isn't stiff, I assume I wouldn't need to do the MRI. But if I need to do it, I have two options (options always make me feel better)--I can go somewhere else and have an open air MRI or I can have it done there in the traditional machine and be sedated. Neither option really appeals to me. So I'd appreciate all the prayers and kind thoughts I can get for my liver not to be stiff, for that stupid little test to be WRONG.

They did genetic testing because they thought I might have genes that just made me make tumors. I did not have those genes. They thought I had hepatitis C and now they say it was a "false positive." I guess they have to check everything out, and I guess I appreciate that, but at this point, it feels like a mixed blessing! I think he will have the ultrasound scheduled for the next time I go in for chemo, which will be weekend after next.

At one point, he asked if I was stressed because I was talking faster and faster, and he sometimes did that when he was stressed and I said "Yes, I'm stressed!" He then told me he was not thinking I had cirrhosis or liver cancer and keeping it to himself to come in and bombard me with the news at a later date. I told him I was not worried about that, I was worried about the machines! All he could tell me was don't worry about the machines. But I've got news for him. We fear what we fear, and our fear is not always logical!

In the end, I will do what I need to do, one way or the other. But in the meantime, I am just trying not to fret too much over the possibilities.

So yeah, right now, I can't quite manage the fearless part, the best I can manage is to fear less.


  1. Was just talking about fearlessness today. There is so much fear all around us. I really do like your fear-less approach. Very authentic.

  2. I've been noticing that myself, how much fear is around us. I think maybe to fear less is about the best any of us can do...

  3. What a sweet thing your daughter did. RIght on!

    I surprised myself by having the same MRI fear. Usually things like that don't bother me but, a few years ago, I completely freaked and nearly bolted at the point of lying down to enter the machine. It caught me so off guard that I was shocked.

    Later I realized that it seemed to be connected to a brush with death I'd had earlier when a tree nearly took me out and made me spend the better part of a summer with one arm in a sling. I noticed one day that I'd become extremely fearful and nervous when riding my bike which I took to go to work almost every day, as long as there was no snow on the ground anyway. It came to me that all this was linked to the trauma of that tree incident. After I realized it and continued to ride my bike, the fear went away. However don't know if I've gotten over the MRI thing. That particular fear must be fairly common because they seem to ask as a rule if we need anything to calm down before getting in.

    Your fear is completely understandable to me, ann. I will for sure send up some prayers for all this stuff going on with you. Have you ever had your B12 checked? Apparently, low B12 can cause a plethora of crap to us.

    1. Thank you, Daisy. My mother is claustrophobic and has had to have a couple of MRIs. I've taken her to a couple of them and I am sure that hasn't helped my situation!

      I've been meaning to get some B vitamins to take, which would have the B12, but I also have trouble swallowing pills, which is made worse for about 5-6 days after chemo, so I'm not taking much extra in the way of medicine. But I have found a "melt under your tongue" B vitamin that I am going to try.

  4. Wanted to add that the technician had to talk me into going into that MRI machine. I was actually crying! So not like me at all. That's how strong that fear was.

    1. I can believe that! I was almost crying in the doctor's office when I was talking to him about it.

  5. My recent flight to Dania, Florida reminded me a bit of my three different excursions aboard three different submarines. People stuffed into each their own tiny amount of space while being transported thousands of feet in the air at a rather significant speed is not that much unlike the one I knew at various depths underneath the ocean. The MRI experience, as you might expect, was no big deal for me. Each of us face our own fears, our own addictions, our own journey down this path. Anyone who confesses having no fear is being less than truthful. I am praying for the reality of He who is within you, Annie, His presence, His hand with you in a "fear less" yea-though-I'm-placed-in-a-valley-of-whatever" position, indeed within you in an assurance thereof. Hebrews 10:19-22 of it in terms of a "new and living way" which takes us "through the veil". Peace, my friend, in Him....

    1. Jim, thank you for your prayers.

      I can't imagine getting into a submarine and going into various depths underneath the ocean!


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