The Spider Smasher

2 Sep

Before cancer, I was afraid of spiders. Not to the point of being terrified. I just thought they were much too creepy-crawlyish for my comfort — and if they insisted on being inside my house, I preferred them to be dead.

And so whenever I encountered a spider in the house, I would immediately disable it with a blast of sticky hair spray (so it couldn’t escape). Then I would grab something big and heavy with which to clobber that fearsome spider until it was nothing more than spider-mush.

Not anymore.

There’s just something about cancer that gives everything a new perspective. Pathology reports, for instance. Now those are scary. Biopsy results? Absolutely terrifying. But spiders? Not so much.

Now when I see a spider, I don’t hesitate to smash it with my bare hands. My kids are very impressed by this. They think I’m awfully brave.

So last week, as I stepped into the shower, there, right at eye level, was a spider. But this wasn’t one of those little house spiders that I’ve become accustomed to smashing. This was actually a pretty big spider. Yet, I didn’t even consider grabbing a tissue or a shampoo bottle or something big and heavy. I just squashed it with my bare hand.

I felt a sickening crunch as its body was crushed beneath my fingertips.  Spider guts, as well as a few loose legs, were stuck to my hand. That’s pretty disgusting, isn’t it? I decided that maybe I’m not that brave after all.

Next week I’m scheduled to have a cancer check up. Now that’s something to get scared about. I am hopeful that all will go well. But maybe it wouldn’t hurt if I stopped wasting my bravery on things like spiders and saved up some of that courage for my oncology appointment.

Perhaps I’ll just keep that can of hair spray nearby. And something big and heavy. You know, just in case…

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6 Responses to “The Spider Smasher”

  1. Kamela September 2, 2011 at 6:42 pm #

    You are one of the bravest people I know!

  2. Janet September 3, 2011 at 2:33 pm #

    A couple of days ago my devotions led me to 2 Peter 3:5 “But they deliberately forget….(and in vs 8) But do not forget this one thing, dear friends:”

    Just as we deliberately forget some things, we can also deliberately remember….how God has brought you to this point after 5 years. Love you in Christ, Jill.

  3. Susan Waterman September 6, 2011 at 12:47 pm #

    Spiders, hmm, I still reach for something to hold all of the “guts” so I don’t have to see them. I hate the pop sound when you squish them too; kinda gives me the hebee-gebees ( not sure how to spell that.) I would say that you are MIGHTY brave to go after those little critters with your bare hands…keep up the courage. I will try to be more brave about things in my life that truly scare me. Thanks for the encouragement.

  4. Jan McNaught September 6, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

    You’ve been in my prayers, Jill. He who thought to create spiders and knows when sparrows fall, is counting the hairs on your head so you can continue to count on Him for everything.

    • Brenda Butler September 23, 2011 at 7:25 pm #

      Hi Jill, My name is Brenda Butler and I’ve had breast cancer twice! I had a mastectomy on the right side in 1996. My wonderful sister yanked me up by the bootstraps with a pep talk before we got the news that it WAS cancer and by the grace of God everything went well…and I was flat on the right side but ok with it. It was scary the first few years of mammograms, but after ten yrs, I felt good about it. I, was cancer free! In 2007, during a routine breast exam, my Doctor noticed some little knots along the old mast. scar. He wanted me to let a surgeon look at them and he wanted to remove them. They were malignant tumors and this time I had to have 35 radiation treatments. Again it went well. Here is what I know…My attitude was that if it killed me, I would get to be with Christ, and what could be more glorious! I will certainly lift you up in prayer!

      • jillnogales September 25, 2011 at 7:16 pm #

        Good to hear from you, Brenda. I always love hearing from other survivors! Thank you for your prayers. My check up went well — so I am celebrating 5 years of being cancer-free! Glad to hear you are doing well now, and I wish you the best of health in the coming years.

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