My first book, Getting Past the Fear: A Guide to Help You Mentally Prepare for Chemotherapy is now two years old – the print version that is. The original ebook version has now been around for almost four years. Wow, four years! If I were to write this book today, I’d probably change a few things, but for the most part, I’m still pleased with how it turned out. What I am most proud of is how well it’s been received by those who’ve read it.
As I shared in my memoir, when I was preparing for chemo, dear hubby and I found ourselves meandering down rows and rows of books in our local bookstore searching for books that might help us get ready. I struggled to find what I was looking for. We both did.
I wanted to know how to prepare for the fear part because I was feeling pretty darn terrified. I had recently witnessed my mother go through chemo, so maybe this made me even more afraid. I knew what to expect and yet I didn’t have a clue.
I definitely was not feeling brave, strong or anything remotely close to those things.
I also distinctly remember feeling intimidated and yes, even embarrassed to walk up to the counter to pay for the one book we did find to purchase that day. I have thought about this many times since that warm summer day.
Why did I feel feel embarrassed or even ashamed to be buying a book about chemo?
Was I embarrassed or even ashamed to have cancer too?
I think I was. Maybe I still am sometimes.
I couldn’t bring myself to buy the darn book that day. Rather I “forced” dear hubby to do the purchasing for me.
I hate that there is still a certain amount of stigma around cancer. I hate that there are others feeling so afraid and alone following their cancer diagnosis. I hate that there are so many others continuing to face chemo for the first time. I hate that so many will be doing chemo from here on out.
Mostly, I hate cancer.
This is why every time a copy of my book makes its way into a chemo newbie’s hands, I feel gratified because I am hopeful I am helping someone else facing chemo for the first time feel just a little less afraid and little more prepared.
If applicable, did you have chemo or are you having it now?
What frightened (or frightens) you the most about chemo?
What tip do you have to help a chemo newbie face the fear of chemo?