Now for the boring philosophical stuff. My life is like a river. No I won't go there but I do like to ride the river. I like to see what is around the next bend. I don't worry about where the river leads - I just go. If I worried that around every bend in the river was something awful and was afraid then I certainly wouldn't enjoy that kind of ride. I just look forward to what is around the next bend - whatever it may be.
What you described is what I'm working toward.
My fear wasn't really caused by pain but by a lump I noticed under my left ear in May of last year. I had it CT scanned and the results were that it was not cancerous. Based on the results of the CT scan my primary care physician at the time told me that a biopsy wasn't necessary. But it's still there. It hasn't gotten any bigger but it hasn't gone away. For a while I celebrated. But my fear came back when another doctor, this year, told me that the only way to know FOR SURE was to have it biopsied. And I'm kicking myself for not having done that, even though I was following my doctor's advice. I play a what if game in my mind. WHAT IF I have lymphoma and I've let it go for more than a year because I didn't have that biopsy? That thought haunts me. What if the tech that looked at the CT scan made a mistake? Why didn't I go ahead with it and MAKE SURE?
But I am doing something about it now. I'm seeing a head and neck specialist. I had my first appointment with him on Monday. He's having me gather up the CT scan that was done of my sinuses and the one that was done of the lump on my neck. He's going to look at them himself and make a recommendation as to whether or not I need to have it biopsied. My hope is that by the end of October I have all this behind me. Because every time I feel weird ... if I can't sleep, or get a new pain, or feel fatigued ... I wonder if it's the cancer that I didn't catch last year spreading. If it were aggressive, sure, I'd know by now. Or be dead by now. But there are slow growing forms of Non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
My rheumatologist, based on my blood work, tells me not to worry about that at all. But I still do. Fear isn't always logical. But I look forward, by the end of this month I hope, to adopt your attitude and just live. See what's around the next corner. Be present. In the now. And stop worrying about what MIGHT be. Because living this way sucks. And it's exhausting. I don't like the man I am right now. I miss the man who rarely ever visited doctors and never thought anything bad was going to happen to him.