Fear of Cancer

A friend died today. She had been fighting ovarian cancer for about 5 years, I think. She had been through every kind of treatment you can imagine, from chemo to surgery and radiation. Last week I sent her email, apologizing for my not having called her. I told her I was afraid to call, because I was terrified someone would answer the phone and tell me she wasn’t there anymore, that she had died. Now I feel terrible that I didn’t call more often.

I understand something I didn’t quite get before. The same kind of fear that prevented me from calling my friend, Zoe, is what made some of my other friends not want to call me anymore when they found out I had cancer. I didn’t see myself as being the same as they were, but I now know that I was behaving just as they were. We’re all afraid of being hurt by the news that someone has died, I think. I know I am. That stopped me from being a good friend when she really needed a good friend. I have made a promise to myself that I will do better from now on. Life’s too short.

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