I’ve taken a mini hiatus from blog writing and social media for two reasons. One, treatment struck again. But two, mostly because I was angry and reacting to my situation.
For treatment, I went through some more rounds of radiation. I also had a scan and found out I have a new lesion in my skull. The good news is that my organs are still cancer free. But really, fuck good news. Or at least, that’s how I’ve been feeling.
The only thing worse than being angry and not being able to get out of that tornado is not wanting to. I found myself holding onto anger like a life preserver that, in the end, only promised to drown me or, at least, make me miserable.
Stage IV cancer is the embodiment of powerlessness. From new mets to hair loss to runaway side effects from treatment. The only control I have is with my attitude or how I choose to come to the world. For the past month I chose anger as the emotion to tether me to a sense of purpose in an otherwise meaningless landscape.
Of course, anger as an anchor into anything worthwhile is an illusion. I knew that when I was in it but it was the only thing that made me feel powerful in the moment.
I don’t recommend staying there too long because, from that place, people get pushed away and internalization of that emotion can lead to depression and inactivity: all things that stand in the way of tapping into real life purpose.
I will thank anger for showing up though. It was a shitty crutch (that I’m sure will be back at some point). But it was one that gave me perspective about my relationship to this emotion. My reasons for holding on to it when I do. Now, being mostly on the other side, I am reminded that things always move and change. I am also grateful to have had access to this feeling, because it is entirely human and part of this crazy life experience. It means I’m still alive.