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.


When it Rains, it Pours.

The results of my ultrasound are in.

I need further screening procedures. Not just in one breast. But in both. And not just needle biopsies. One needle biopsy on the right and an MRI-guided biopsy on the left.

Yes, when it rains, it pours. On my boobs.

I’m actually kind of angry right now. Yesterday, after the ultrasound, I was devastated. I was sent to the little dressing room to put my clothes back on and as I wiped the cold gel from my chest I just started sobbing. When the doctor invited me in to see my images from my mammo, MRI, and now ultrasound and explain the situation, I sobbed. When I walked into the waiting room to tell my boyfriend, I sobbed. Then I went back to work and threw myself into other things so I didn’t have to think about it.

Today, I’ve come to terms, but I am angry. I know it’s not my fault or the doctor’s fault or anyone’s fault, really (I don’t blame you for giving me these genes, mom, because you gave me so much more that is positive). I just feel so angry that I’m 25 and I have to go through this. I’m angry at the insurance company that’s probably going to charge me an arm and a leg. I’m angry that this is my only option at this point. I’m angry that I decided to do surveillance and I sometimes just want to say, “OFF WITH MY BREASTS!” I’m angry at myself for thinking that. I’m angry that I got tested so young and I’m angry that I’m not being stronger.

I know these feelings of anger, sadness, fear (I hate needles… who doesn’t?) will pass, but for now it’s just how I feel and I’m glad to be able to write about it.

My tests are scheduled for next Thursday, St. Patty’s Day. Erin go-friggin-bragh.