I’m angry! Ok, I said it. I’m not one to be angry, and just the fact that I AM angry is exacerbating my anger! Anger doesn’t describe my normal demeanor at all. I’m an optimistic, glass 1/2 full, everything’s gonna be alright kind of gal, and I LIKE that about me!
So, I don’t know how to deal with this storm that seems to be brewing in me. My normal side is trying to get rid of it by throwing out, “it’s going to be ok,” “others have it a lot worse than you,” “count your many blessings,” and other such platitudes. And you know what I feel like saying? HAHA!! JUST SHUT THE F@#$ UP!
I’m angry at cancer; as a matter of fact, I HATE cancer! I’m sick of cancer, I’m sick of hospitals, I’m sick of bloodwork and infusions and knowing way more than I ever wanted to know about things like absolute neutrophils, hemoglobin, platelets, and side effects of chemo. I want my life back– you remember the one where I was a reasonably good person with a job I liked who was married to a guy who had a great job that he liked? We ran or jogged almost every day, took scuba diving lessons, planned month long summer vacations, & read about retiring in Belize, Ecuador, or the Keys. We went to baseball games, tried new restaurants, spent family time at the lake, Oaklawn, and Hog football games, had Saturday afternoon margaritas and music on our patio…..that life.
Not only am I angry at cancer for myself and my husband, I’m angry for all of the other people I’ve seen who have given their lives to this disease. It’s not only the ones who have literally lost their lives, but the patients and caregivers who have given up everything to fight this monster. It’s possessive and persistent pursuing its prey until it takes everything—-career, home, hobbies, dignity, even confiscating the “little” things like going out to a restaurant, ballgame, or church service, swimming in the ocean, jogging, working out, having one beer with a burger.
I see people who were once known as a great salesperson, attorney, college professor, mom, athlete, student, architect, teacher, & dad become one of the Cs–either Cancer Patient or Caregiver. All of a sudden, that’s who you are. And it’s hard, hard to change identies without a moments notice when you’ve spent your life perfecting the other roles. In fact, some days it’s almost impossible, but cancer requires it. It wants everything.
I started this blog to try to help me deal, and I think it just did. I’m even a tiny little bit grateful for the anger. It makes me FEEL. So many times, I’m like a zombie just going through the motions, doing what I do. I probably will never give up my hatred of cancer, but during the few minutes it took for me to write this, I thought of some of the things cancer has given me, not just what has been taken: a much closer bond with and love of my husband, greater compassion for people and suffering, medical and nursing school 101 classes, deeper understanding of my faith, closer relationships with family members, and a much greater appreciation and recognition of the “little” things that we do have. I’m still not convinced “everything’s gonna be alright,” but maybe just letting myself be angry is all right for now. ❤️