By Dave Balch
I have to admit, I was pretty apprehensive. Okay… I was REALLY apprehensive. I was on my way to an ultrasound-guided biopsy of my thyroid. In case you don’t know what that is, think of it this way: they were going to stick a long needle in my neck while looking at an ultrasound display, move the needle around and position it just so, and then extract some cells to examine under a microscope.
If you didn’t get much farther than “long needle in my neck,” I don’t blame you… that’s precisely what bothered me.
As with most things that I worry about, it was not as bad as I thought it would be. In fact, it was a total “non-event” because they numbed me up just fine; it was actually less painful than getting a shot of Novocain at the dentist. (I don’t like that either, but that’s another article.)
I walked out of the hospital feeling kind of silly for being afraid, feeling as though I hadn’t been very brave about the whole thing.
Or had I?
I remembered something that I learned years earlier that made me feel a lot better: bravery is not the absence of fear, but rather having fear and taking action in spite of that fear.
Based on that definition, I had indeed been brave. Woohoo! Good for me!
I bring this up because I don’t like to think of anyone beating themselves up for being afraid when, in fact, they were actually being brave. If you have been feeling ashamed and/or embarrassed because you were afraid of something before you did it, think again. The fact that you did it anyway is what makes you “brave.”
My wife, Chris, showed incredible bravery during her breast cancer treatment. She went through a lot of scary things in spite of her fear of them: surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation, laser surgery… it is quite amazing, really.
Any major medical treatment is scary, especially cancer treatments such as chemotherapy. If you went through it or are going to, then you, too, have been brave. It doesn’t matter how much you feared what was happening to you, the fact that you did it anyway is much to your credit.
Give yourself a pat on the back for being brave. You deserve it!