Friday, August 22, 2008

CT Scan and the reality of cancer

I had my first post chemo CT scan today. The reality of this hit me: I will be doing this 14 more times over the next five years--if I am lucky. The fear and anxiety struck anew. How long do I have? How long do any of us have?

I began (again--the beginning part, not the reading part) Becker's Denial of Death. What immediately stuck me was how geared it appeared to be to men. Not just the ubiquitous use of male language, but the assumptions that the male experience is the experience. He begins by talking about how the quest to be a hero is driven by fear of death. Are most women driven to be heroes? Does the fact that our bodies bear life, continuing life, change the dynamic? Not that women don't fear death, but is our experience the same as men? Are our means of coping the same as men's? Do childless women experience the fear of death in the same way that women who have borne children experience it?

Anatole Broyard: It's not that I'm courageous, it's that my attitude is what I would call irresponsible.

That's me: irresponsible, not courageous.