Friday, December 21, 2007

Inspirational to whom?

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.

6 comments:

Ronni said...

You have a total right to be a curmudgeon. It goes with the territory. Those who love you like to see you feeling positive because that makes them feel better. This is about you feeling better, not the rest of us. I think you have to express the anger and confusion before you can get past it.

So be a curmudgeon. We love you anyway.

Hound Doggy said...

"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? "


Yes, of course. More so IMO. You are real.

You are grieving. You know the 5 stages? #2 = ANGER. You will very likely go back and forth through the stages for a while. You are doing this just great. Rage and cry you deserve it. You will get a life back. It may not be exactly the same as the one that you had before but....who knows...it may be even better.

Jooley Ann said...

M, I hope there's not someone in your life *telling* you that you "should be grateful"...! In your shoes, I'd be as curmudgeonly, if not moreso. I think you should take the time and energy and path *you* need, and not feel forced into some kind of inauthentic, "thanks for the good things" mode.

If you want me to hang out on your lawn so you can come out in your rolled-up trousers and mismatched socks to yell at me, just say the word. I'm there.

eefolsom said...

I know you're not super religious, but a pastor once pointed something out to me that I always find terribly helpful. There is a verse that is commonly used at funerals about walking through the valley of the shadow of death. The pastor reminded us that the passage says "walk through", which meant that it would be a place of pain and difficulty for a while, but it would PASS! I just find it comforting to know that even though sometimes life might be throwing a pie right in my face, at some point, I'll get to lick the whipped cream off my fingers. Hang in there Marsha, the whipped cream is coming!

yer mama said...

You have the right to feel any way you want. I love reading your blog whether you are cursing your cancer or feeling your strength. It's just all part of the human package.

radioactive girl said...

I absolutely get this. I just recently had a little scare with my follow up chest CT and it freaked me out and made me angry.