I used to love the show “Fear Factor.” Joe Rogan was a perfect host choice for this stimulating and disgusting show. I was so turned off, yet I tuned in to watch the gross concoctions of blended bugs and maggots that contestants would drink for a CHANCE at winning $50,000. I used to sit in my comfy chair, red wine in hand and wonder if I could do it. Would I drink that stuff, would I sit in a bed of snakes, would I try to escape from a submerged car? The odds weren’t in my favor of ever winning, it seemed like the show would make sure of that, so I enjoyed the show from the A/C with my bug free dinner, usually mentally forfeiting after round 1. Of all the stunts they pulled on that show the one I could not bare to watch was the highlighting of the needle phobia or trypanophobia.
Having cancer was a learning process for me. I learned a lot about my personal limitations but maybe most important, I learned there was plenty I thought I knew about my body and overall health, that I was completely clueless about. I always believed I was healthy and in fact the adjective “healthy” was one I would use often to describe myself. When asked in a group setting icebreaker game to name three words to describe yourself, I would say “understanding, caring, and healthy.” I would go to a health food store before a candy store any day. I truly loved frozen yogurt; I knew kidney beans were high in antioxidants; and washing off pesticides from your food was a must. I wasn’t necessarily wrong or being inauthentic when using this term prior to my diagnosis, I simply wasn’t aware of everything “health” encompassed.