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By Chandrama Anderson

A Hard Road

Uploaded: Aug 10, 2017

I want to share an excerpt from another new book of mine: A Hard Road It's a story of cancer survival for patients and caregivers.We hope it will help you as you travel your own hard roads.

Locke was diagnosed with tonsil cancer that had spread to lymph nodes in his neck.. We had an amazing community of people--near and far--who helped, loved, prayed, and supported us. That's what's needed to go through this journey.

Here's a short section recently written by Locke:

A Few Words on Fear

During cancer treatment in 2011, I was rarely conscious of my own fear. Pain and misery, yes. Fear, no. As you read, you will notice very little content about fear or death. I genuinely don’t recall stuffing or denying fear at the time we walked the hard road.

It turned out that a reservoir of fear had been with me all along, however, as I had a revealing experience, five years post-treatment.

One part of the hard road was the stretch of Highway 101 between our house and the Oyster Point Cancer Treatment Center. I made this round trip at least 50 times that winter.
At the same time, there was constructed a concrete pedestrian/bike bridge over the freeway in San Carlos, which became a touchstone for me as I made my way. It came to symbolize my own travails.

The image was then, and is now, striking. The workers built the form work, which reached out from each side of the roadway, arching out over the void and over very real peril below. Amazing faith and belief! “We will connect!” And it was so. And I was cured.

Over the ensuing five years, I occasionally had the impulse to walk or bike over the bridge. Chandrama and I went back there in 2016 to cross that span. Getting out of the car, I said out loud, “I think this might be a THING!”

With scarcely any other warning, as I took my steps up the incline, I was seized with a visceral, wracking fear which increased as we walked . . . At the apex of the crossing, I cried out in terror, “I was so scared! I was so fucking scared!” Over and over, wailing and shaking . . . holding desperately to Chandrama. She didn’t tell me at the time, but she feared I would crack her ribs.

This PTSD-like experience is a reminder to me that there was, indeed, a great deal of fear involved.