fears · Health · Personal Success

The 101 South

breast cancer.jpeg
photo by Taste for Life

My daughters are participating in a summer violin camp for 9 days. It’s a 30 minute drive on the 202 West to the 101 South. I’m always on the 202, but haven’t had to drive the 101 South much. I don’t like it. Drivers speed and change lanes quickly. They all know where they’re going and they’ll ride up on you if you hesitate for even a second.

I woke up in the middle of the night last night and couldn’t sleep for over an hour. I was thinking of the 101. But this time, I remembered something.

Seven years ago, I had to take the 101 South to a high school twice a week, after work. I was completing my M.A, in Educational Leadership and I was in a night class. I had just been diagnosed with early stage I breast cancer and had a radical mastectomy. I was determined to finish the degree. So I drove to my class with tubes coming out of my chest. The tubes drained excess fluids where the tumors used to be. My chest was tightly bandaged and no one in my class knew what was underneath my shirt.

So my fear of this route was not so much the traffic, but old memories. The fear of infection, disfigurement, recurrent cancer… I had those thoughts during my drive. I mourned my life pre-cancer. Here is a post from that time.

My insomnia occurred on the seventh anniversary of my radical mastectomy.

Driving today, I felt much better. The apprehension was gone. Sometimes, just identifying the cause of one’s jitters and meeting it with compassion (not over-analysis or sentiment) can be enough to overcome it.

 

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “The 101 South

  1. Coming face to face with your own mortality leads to many sleepless nights. That erodes over time, but as you discovered, all it takes is a flash to send you there, wondering if you cheated your sell-by date or how long your extension is. Eight years ago my cardiologist caught me in the anxiety zone and said “Take your meds, live your life.” Okay. But every now and then we all hit the 101 South and realize that fear is merely contained, and life, wherever it takes us, is a gift.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading and taking the time to write such a thoughtful response! Yes, mortality…I was much more in fear 7 years ago. I’m not afraid to die, per se. I just want to live really well. Congratulations on your own recovery and good living!

      Like

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