Until The Fear Falls Away

She’s driving home from the airport.  The break from school and work has been perfect.  She’s checking her voice messages on the road. There’s one from the doctor.

“Could you please make an appointment to come in and discuss your test results? Thank you.”

She phones the office back and makes an appointment for the next day.

She thinks nothing of it, save the uncomfortable squeezing in her gut.

The next day she sits quietly as the doctor enters the room and sits down in front of her.

Opening the a manila file, and without looking up, the doctor says, “Well, it looks like you have cancer.”

A drum thuds in her chest.  Her ears ring.  She’s twenty five.

The words cave into her thoughts.  Her eyes go dark.  The furniture rearranges around her head.  My body’s doing what to me?! It can’t. This is bad, wrong.  She’s disappearing.

She’s on the inside of the diagnosis—not outside, as a safe, distant spectator, the way it always is.  She’s the recipient.

There’s no solace.  Only shock. No one else knows at school the next day.  She doesn’t know how to say it to anyone.  While doing an examination on her patient at the school clinic, she has to run out of the room.  She’s not sick, just unable to stabilize the what the words are doing to her: Cancer.  She runs down the hall to her over-seeing clinician’s office and tells him.

A big man, he sits back in his chair, and takes off his glasses. Looking at her softly, he reaches across the desk towards her.  “Here”, he says, taking her files from her and gathers them back towards his body.  “I’ll take care of the rest of your patients today.”  He’s older, wiser.  She trusts him.  She tells him she doesn’t know what to do.  He sits and listens, then slowly says, “Go and walk.  Walk until all the fear falls away.  Then you’ll know what to do.”

She understands, somehow. Walking straight out of the school, with her examination jacket still on, she gets in her car and drives. Her memory of the roads drives her while she thinks.  Unplanned, she arrives at the park across town, gets out and starts walking.

Ribbons of sunlight, like the kind that make it through the trees on a winter day, lay patterns on the thin snow and mud.  She follows them.  Walking the sun-cast lines, both blinded and led, she remembers his words: Walk until the fear falls away, walk until the fear falls away until they do.

She’s under a large maple tree, looking down on a frozen pond in a meadow.  The sun’s shining warmly in her face.  She rests here.  Everything is quiet.  It’s then, in the reflective light and silence that the words start coming:

This is your beginning. You’re in the light here.  Nothing’s wrong, you’re entering into yourself.  You’ll have a message to share about this.  It’s what you’re built for.  The way you speak, the way you look- it’s so the difficult messages you have will be easier for others to hear. Cancer is opening you, growing inwards, towards yourself.

She’s alive, calm, contented, exalted.  She leaves the park and let’s her life start changing.

*After several years of healing the cancer naturally, this woman discovers that her body is hurting itself from the inside due to shame she has after being severely sexually abused.  When she finally feels the deepest of the taboos that sexual abuse brings, the cancerous cells clear and never return.*