This past Monday morning FEAR reared its ugly head at me.

It was my follow up breast ultrasound appointment. I was scheduled for the first appointment of the day. Frank was with me (I call him my lucky charm) and we were sitting in the waiting room with the TV blared some morning program, but I couldn’t even tune into the things around me. My heart was racing and plain and simple…I was scared.

I was scared because although I feel fantastic, the thought of cancer still scares the (you know what!) out of me.

I leaned over to Frank and whispered, “I’m scared.” We huddled together and talked about fear. He reminded me about how Harry Potter deals with the dementors (we had just watched a HP marathon). If you recall: the dementors are the dark hooded ghosts that sap the life out of you (just as FEAR can drain our energies). How does Harry fight off the dementors? With his special “patronus,” a vision that he creates in his mind to chase away the scary dark hooded ghosts.

Could I come up with my own patronus right there on the spot?

I closed my eyes, put my feet firmly on the ground, and took three very deep breathes. I let happy and fun thoughts fill my head. Visions of my family came into view: smiling laughing kids, sailboat racing on the Great South Bay, cuddling on the couch watching movies, running my marathon with Frank by my side and the kids and my dad cheering me on at mile twenty six!

My thoughts turned from fear to calm.

My name was called and I realized the woman who called my name is the same technician who found my cancer in the first place! I gave her a hug and told her she could not do my ultrasound. I asked if she could find someone else?

I was very serious. I did not want the same woman who discovered my lump on her computer monitor four years ago to find another one today. Even as I said it, I realized that I sounded silly. I knew deep down I was healthy.

I walked into the dark ultrasound room bravely; after all, I had my patronus with me.

I managed to keep myself calm as she finished up the procedure. She whispered quietly to me that the images were all clear.

I repeated the words to myself, “I am healthy, I am healthy, I am healthy.”

I breathed deeply in order to remember what healthy feels like. Then I got myself dressed.

If you read my book, then you know I take pictures with people who have seen my naked breasts! Well here’s another: