Last Year’s Anger

I haven’t posted in a while, which is probably a good sign that I haven’t thought lately about cancer.

To prompt this entry, I decided to look back at what I was writing this time last year. I had my MRI done mid-February and then an ultrasound a couple weeks later, and I wrote this post after the ultrasound but before my biopsies, on March 8, 2011.

“I just feel so angry that I’m 25 and I have to go through this… I’m angry that I got tested so young and I’m angry that I’m not being stronger.”

I’m struck by my expressions of anger, but what strikes me most is this feeling of being disconnected from the person who wrote that entry. It’s only been a year, and yet I keep saying in my head, “I am not that girl anymore.” When everything was happening, I was hyper-present for it all. The feelings felt deeper, the emotions were stronger, my head was right there, and now… it’s all a blurry vision. Sitting in the chemo suite hooked up to the wires. Prepping for surgery. Hanging out by my parents’ pool, bald. All just silent videos in my head.

Is it weird that I’m kind of saddened by this dulling of memory? By no means do I want to return to last year. But I don’t want to lose the memory or the feelings – the energy of fighting for my life and and focusing on me and knowing I had only one job to do – it kind of made things easier. Now, I’ve got my job, maintaining relationships, cooking, cleaning, deciding what to do on the weekend, making plans, paying bills. Cancer is hard work, but I’m starting to think that life is even harder.

As a side note, I want to share that I did sign up for a 5k race at the end of April and I’m proud to be training for it right now. Working out feels good – I pump myself up by saying, “Body, you betrayed me last year, and now I will run you into submission.” I also signed up for the First Descents program and I’ll be traveling to Colorado in September to rock climb with other young cancer survivors.

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2 responses to “Last Year’s Anger

  1. Scharf Jeffrey

    you know how in a movie time is shown passing, by multiple scenes flashed on the screen for split seconds.?thats how i see this year . slow down now. take life at a normal pace for a while. but run fast and climb strong.

  2. I, for one, am really glad to have you back to normal and just hang out as friends. And pumped to run a 5k with you!

    I know what you mean about feeling separated from the past situation – whenever I think about my mom, and her fight with breast cancer, I can’t really connect with the feeling. I can sort of see myself from a distance, sitting in my office in North Carolina on the phone in disbelief as my mom told me she had cancer. I can remember hours in waiting rooms, looking away from chemo IV inputs, making her lunches, tiptoeing around the house while she slept. But I don’t really find myself able to connect with the feeling of dread, with the scariness of it all, because now I’m on the other side and I know it turns out ok. It’s like last night, when I was watching an episode of Doctor Who with Sasha (spare me the nerd comments) – he was nervous about what would happen to the characters, and I was painting my nails, because I knew how it would turn out. You can’t ever really get back to that feeling. I think that’s probably for our own good – I remember some of the sadness and hurt of past breakups, but not so bad that I curl up in a ball sobbing every time I think about them. I think our brains suppress the intense feelings so we can cope and move on with our lives.

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