My fear of mice… and blogs

A mouse just ran across my kitchen floor while I was putting groceries away. I screamed “OHMYGAWWWWD NOOOOO!!!!” and ran down the hall shrieking and hyperventilating. There is almost nothing that gives me the heebie-jeebies more than mice. In fact, I’ve even had recurring dreams where I am being attacked by vicious mice. True story.

As I hid in my living room, with the door closed, I tried my usual mantra of calming myself down: You’ve had cancer. This isn’t so bad. It’s not cancer. It’s just a mouse. Nothing can scare you anymore.

As the kids these days say – EPIC FAIL.

As much as I try to employ this type of logic all the time now, it rarely ever works. As I have said before, I am still fundamentally the same person. Sure, I had cancer. But does this now mean I am not completely, irrationally petrified of a tiny little mouse? Have I been cured of all my pre-cancer phobias? Hellz no.

I just got a notification from WordPress congratulating me on blogging for one year. Happy anniversary, blog! What a pal you’ve been.

After I was diagnosed, I had thought of starting a blog where I could document what I was going through. But I put it off for a couple months. Not because I was afraid of exposing myself or revealing I had cancer. Not because I had nothing to write about. But because I was worried writing a blog would kill me.

I had been searching online for blogs written by young people with cancer, to find something I could relate to. But the more I searched and the more I read, the more it started to feel like everyone who wrote a blog about having cancer ended up dying. I can’t tell you how many blogs I found, particularly of young women with breast cancer, whose most recent entry was either about their cancer metasticizing, or an entry written by a loved one informing the readers that the writer of the blog had passed away. It seemed like for every one blog I could find where the person was alive and well, there were ten more where the opposite was true.

So I convinced myself that if I were to start a blog, I would be writing my own death sentence. That my blog would join the many other young adult cancer blogs, with a sudden, abrupt ending, letting down all those who stumbled upon it, looking for inspiration and hope, as I had with so many others. I felt like writing a blog, and having people read it, would somehow curse me, and set my fate in stone.

I’m not sure what changed, but eventually I realized this was a crazy way of thinking, and blogs do not have the power to kill you. At least I really, really hope they don’t.

Writing this blog has truly been a gift to me, connecting me with so many awesome and lovely people all over the world. It has given me a healthy dose of confidence, allowing me to feel both brave and vulnerable, and uninhibited in my self-expression. It has made me feel less alone and isolated during a very lonely time, being the dependable friend I so badly needed. It has forced me to confront some very deep and dark feelings. It has also turned me into some sort of writing machine, where I feel as though I can’t stop, and I won’t stop (to quote the very inspirational Miley Cyrus).

So, happy birthday dear blog, and thanks for all you have done. I will continue to update you and visit you as often as I can, as long as I have something to say. And you can return the favour by not killing me. And if it turns out you do possess some sort of mystical power to decide who lives and who dies, please choose the mouse. Thank you.

Sorry buddy, it's either me or you
Sorry buddy… it’s either me or you.



17 thoughts on “My fear of mice… and blogs

  1. Such an echo of my own irrational thoughts. Just read a blog about mets to liver the other day and it kept me up for days. For the record, I am really enjoying yours. And I don’t think it will kill me. Or you. Keep on keeping on.

  2. So my first apartment with my husband was this really crappy in-law, and one day I was home sick and I heard a noise in the kitchen. I looked over, AND THERE WAS A MOUSE CRAWLING OUT OF THE TOASTER! I was horrified. And terrified. I actually couldn’t sleep that night because I was freaked out by the mouse. A few months later we had some money saved up and moved to an apartment that was four stories high (I wasn’t taking any chances), and when we moved the furniture we found mouse droppings under EVERYTHING! Even the beds. I still shudder to think about it. And this is actually only half the store (I’ve been meaning to do a blog post on it for awhile).

    Anyway, I just wanted to tell that it is totally reasonable to be freaked out by mice. Also, throw away your toaster.

  3. Happy blog-a-versary, Steph! I’m so grateful that I found you this fall during my breast cancer misery. In my house, my husband has to deal with the mice, but he’s a fraidy-cat about spiders, so that’s my domaine. 🙂
    Keep writing! You are making such a difference to so many! 🙂

  4. Happy first anniversary Steph. Keep up the good writing. This blog is a keeper and will run for many years. Your strenghth and self belief will sustain you for decades to come.Lots of love from South Africa and a fan. xxxxx

  5. Hi Steph! Happy anniversary to your blog! I’m really happy I came across your blog…it really helped me get through that rough time in my life. Oh…I’m also extremely afraid of mice and I recite the ‘I had cancer so I can get through anything or nothing scares me anymore’ speech all the time. It doesn’t seem to work when it comes to rodents or bugs. Keep on writing!


  6. I was dumb enough not to take pictures of myself during my chemo treatment even though one side of me badly wanted too, exactly for the same superstitious logic you quote–that if I identified with it it would somehow kill me. Also I had the feeling that my parents thought that, and having the burden of keeping them happy was killing me (story of my life). I guess I was too chemo-fogged to think straight or to ask for the camera. So I’m really glad for you that you thought otherwise, both for yourself and for readers like me.

    1. I know a lot of people didn’t or don’t take any pics… I’d say majority of people don’t. I think it was more for the blog that it made me document. Some of the pictures are really hard for me to look at now though… it’s hard to look at them and realize some were taken only several months ago! I know all about crazy superstitions though, believe me, you are not alone!

  7. having trapped more than my share of mice i do not fear them. however better them than us. agree fer shure. we are the survivors. :o) and don’t you forget it.

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