Am I still an inspiration if my positive attitude has taken a hiatus? If I swing from grief to anger several times a day and can't seem to stop the spontaneous crying jags? Am I still a role model on how to fight cancer if I don't want to be around people, friends, because I resent how their lives have simply gone on seemingly undisturbed while mine was hijacked by cancer? It really isn't Pollyanna of me to look in the mirror and not much like what I see. I don't wear my wig or any head covering anymore. Feels like a lie somehow. Who am I kidding?
I hesitate to write such things mostly because it upsets my family. But it is the truth of how I feel right now. More than a little bit lost. And a lot angry. I am embarrassed because I feel this way. I know all the reasons I should be happy right now. I am still here. I got timely treatment and my family has the means to pay for it. I know. I know. Believe me, I know all of the reasons I have to be grateful. I spent a good amount of my treatment this last 6 months feeling those grateful feelings.
Now that I am done with the worst of it, I have the time now to be mad, to be sad, to ask the infernal question "why me?" I have been reading another cancer survivor's blog in which she chronicles similar feelings following her last treatment for breast cancer. She likened it to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. That made me feel better, that she felt just as angry after her treatment. So I am not writing this entry for all of you friends and family who read this to be reassured that I am ok, am making it. I am writing it for other cancer patients surfing the web trying to figure out why they are so mad after all this time. This is validation for them, validation for me and where I am right now.
You are damned right I am mad. I can't believe I had to do this, lose my hair, lose an entire 5 months to being sick, watch my son learn the lesson that his mom can get sick. I am angry that I have a dent in my face. I am sad that cancer can never be proclaimed well and truly licked and all you can hope for is one clear scan at a time. I am crazy mad at the sentiment that I should only focus on the positives, the 'gifts' and 'second chance' cancer has given me. I resent that each time I feel like sobbing and grieving, I feel guilty and stop myself from having that truly cathartic weeping session that I almost feel I need to have. I feel pressure to be emotionally more stable than I feel and that if I am depressed and upset this is a betrayal somehow of the people who love me and have cared for me all summer and fall. That to be unhappy and in mourning over what was lost is to deny all the positives that I know exist. I know they exist. I do. And I am well and truly grateful for many reasons. But right now I am grieving and I am not sure where to go from here and hopefully in a year's time I will have a better idea of who this new person inside me is. I am sure I will learn to love the person I see in the mirror once more.
But tonight, right now, I am just a little bit destroyed and I have yet to put the pieces back together. I assure you, I will do so. But I need a little room to breath first. To catch a grip, cause I really don't have one right now. I am not asking anyone to feel my pain, I just want to be allowed my pain. Like an 80 year old man yelling at the kids to stay off his lawn, I have earned the right to be a curmudgeon. At least for a little while.