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My Fear: Sharing this journey of mine with all of you

11:30pm. Saturday, August 23rd 2014. 

How I’m feeling: Happy and inspired. 

I just got home from an incredible event put on by my friend, Todd Charron – Follow Your Fear Day.


I was asked to join a line up of speakers to share with an audience facing a fear. As soon as Todd asked me if I could speak, I couldn’t say no. 1) I am always up for speaking 2) I like Todd 🙂 and 2) Not speaking would go against the fear I’ve actively decided to face.

That fear is being personally vulnerable with all of you by sharing my highs and lows as I fight this war with cancer.

In my adulthood, I have always been strong, confident, assertive Carolyn whom always finds her way. As a business and communications educator, I always have the answers. I am always looked to for answers. I solve problems. As a technologist and innovator, I am always getting people to take risks, try new things and to look at things in a different light. Professionally, taking risks is no stranger to me.  I’ve never had a problem sharing my professional vulnerable moments. It’s my most effective tool when educating others. But allowing others to see the personal me, is something I am terrified of. I  always felt comfortable hiding behind my confidence, intellect, professional endeavours and accomplishments.

I always have my $#it together. I always have a plan. I always come up with a solution. I never ask for help. I’m here for everyone else.

But when I was diagnosed with cancer, I couldn’t devise a plan. I didn’t have a course of action. That confident, strong assertive Carolyn was no where to be found. I was a mess. A F$#@ing mess. I didn’t have an answer. I could not be certain of anything. I still don’t have answers, I still don’t know what’s going to happen and I need your support. And having you all know this about me – is a fear I have and now face with this blog.

I started writing because I was concerned for myself. I was concerned that I wasn’t feeling.  I felt myself defaulting to rational and logical Carolyn.  I was numb. And that worried me.

Shouldn’t I be feeling something?
I’m not ok, right?
Am I processing all of this?
What the hell is happening to me?

Writing was me giving myself permission to feel whatever I was feeling. I promised myself that even especially in my darkest of moments – to write. Write, never edit and hit publish to set it free. I’ve posted about having difficulty facing the mirror, feeling like I’m in someone else’s body, tuning out of conversations, being so angry at cancer, my “Why Me?” moments and not having answers.

Will I come across as weak?
I don’t want to become “Cancer Carolyn”
How will this change my relationships?
I’m a mess and everyone is witnessing it
Will I come across as being too “emo”?
Am I making a big deal about things?

These are questions I ask myself all the time as I write and hit publish on my blog posts. Sharing this all has not been easy. Sharing my personal self with you is scary. In fact, it’s terrifying to me but I’m gaining so much through it all. Being personally vulnerable has improved my relationships with others, I now crave vulnerability in others and I feel more human.

Do what scares you. Gift yourself with being vulnerable. I can guarantee that you’ll learn so much. I’ve experienced it and I’ve seen it with others countless amount of times, professionally – and am seeing it with myself, personally.


A live sketch of my presentation


Improv pros, Todd Charron and David Pearce committing to 30 minutes of improv. They did such a great job! Another fear of mine? IMPROV. Holy cow, that terrifies me.

Get to know the other brave souls who shared their fear chasing stories tonight:

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