I haven’t posted for a while because I haven’t had much inspiration to write and I’ve been busy with house-related things. I did finish writing my memoir and came closer than I’ve ever gotten to having a full-length book published, but it didn’t work out so I’m back at square one with that. Not very much news on the lit mag front either – I haven’t been submitting much but there is some of my stuff that has been accepted but not published yet, and with no date set, and some stuff that’s been out for ages with no response. Meanwhile I’ve closed Peeking Cat to submissions and it’s probably going to stay closed for a while as my PhD gets underway in October. But people keep submitting stuff, which is a bit pointless because I have to either reply saying we’re closed, or just delete it.
Also, fear is good. Some fear, anyway. When I went to Iceland with my parents earlier in the year, it was of course snowy and icy, and I was a bit worried about slipping over. But I think my mum was the most worried about that between the three of us – and she was the only one of us who didn’t almost end up on our butts. And it makes sense that the most worried person would be the most careful, and therefore get the best results out of the thing – the thing in this instance being walking over ice in -12 degrees celcius. Fear made my mum careful – she was able to control her movements and take great care, and be successful. It’s a bit like how scanxiety is actually good for us, in a way. Yeah, it feels pretty awful. And yes, we can’t control whether or not the cancer actually comes back – just like we can’t control whether or not the ground is slippery. But we can control how we approach it – by taking small steps. Fear makes us vigilant, fear makes us pay attention. Fear of falling over makes us buy shoes with good grip, hold onto each other, walk carefully, slow down. Fear of recurrence makes us go to every appointment, keep our medical professionals organised (sometimes they do need organising), follow up on any body changes or symptoms, and try to somehow protect ourselves emotionally and mentally from the effects of being a cancer survivor (still working on that one). Fear makes us careful, and maybe at the end of it all, fear makes us.