notself wrote:Fear is just something else to analyze. I was afraid when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I analyzed it to determine what exactly I was afraid of. It was death. While waiting to have a partial mastectomy, I asked, why am I afraid of death? I worked on that question and the fear went away.
I started 33 days of radiation. I hated and feared every treatment. I got blisters and a radiation burn. I got over it.
One year later the radiologist found another lump. ( I am at high risk for recurrence but turned down chemo because the risk of congestive heart failure was 11% and the chemo would reduce my recurrence risk by 5%.) I had a biopsy and waited four days for the result. I was afraid. I analyzed this fear. This time I found out I was afraid of the horrific treatments that I would endure if it was a recurrence. The fear went away leaving me still fearing chemo, but certain in my mind that I was not afraid of death. I would accept it if and when I had to. The results came back negative.
One year after this, the radiologist saw a suspicious spot in the other breast. Another biopsy and this time a wait of six days. During this time I analyzed my fear of treatment and I realized that I no longer feared chemo but would accept it if and when I had to. When the results came back negative for cancer I was very pleased but I was already accepting of any result. The fear of chemo was gone.
Now I am afraid. My brother has just been diagnosed with his second oral cancer. He may or may not lose his jaw. He may or may not be on a stomach feeding tube for weeks or months. He may need radiation. He made need chemo. He may die. I am filled again with fear and I am analyzing every second of it. This fear for the well being of another is the hardest fear yet.
The Buddha taught us how to deal with suffering and fear. He taught us to analyze our emotions, not suppress them or be paralyzed by them or cling to them. He gave us tools to use to end suffering.
Those of you who think there is too much talk about suffering are missing the point. I do not fear the realm of hungry ghosts or a lower rebirth. The Buddha emphasize ending suffering. And his way works. I have ended my suffering many times by working through the my fear. Each time more fear drops away. I will work through this latest suffering as well and I will be there for my dear brother. I will go into the hell realms and I will come back out.