Tuesday, May 5, 2009


A couple nights ago, I scarcely slept. I don't know why. Last night, I was in bed before 8:30, and I slept like a rock. I woke up early this morning. I was physically tired, but mentally wide awake. I went into work at 6 again. I've been pushing myself, and working hard. I am again tired tonight. Cara is out with friends, so the house is quiet. No thumping music. I need the quiet time. Now that treatment is done, I'm at a strange place. I feel like the battle is done, but not really. I don't know how to explain it any better than that.

I began to read other blogs about people with cancer. Tonight, for whatever reason, the blogs I came across were angry blogs. 'Fuck cancer!' Anger at stupid people, and their stupid questions. 'WHY? WHY? WHY?!!!!!' One blog basically said, 'I'm mad as hell, and that is cancer, and if you can't take it, leave.' The comments were all along the lines of "You go, girl!" and "Thanks for telling it like it is..."

I went from one blog to another, to another. I can't identify. I don't feel that way now. Although my emotions sometimes got the best of me, I didn't feel that way then, for the most part. There were brief flashes of emotion. It was an emotional time. Once I got angry watching a biker riding down the road on his motorcycle. His long hair flew about his helmetless head, and he was smoking a cigarette as he flew by. It just seemed unfair, and the anger bubbled up. But I came home, went to bed, read for a while and contemplated things. That rage didn't last. Reading these blogs, I kept thinking how much energy it takes to sustain a rage. I just couldn't. My energy was going to fighting cancer. As I flipped through these blogs, I came upon this one, and I quickly skimmed an entry. It was so calm, and lovely. She was so beautiful and matter of fact. Her thoughts seemed to mirror my own. I went back to the beginning of her blog and read all of her entries. I understood her thoughts and I loved her outlook. There were longer lapses in her blogging and I thought "She has thrown herself back into life, and living..." There was one final entry, listing her date of birth. Her date of death. It hit me like a punch. It was so unexpected that I just cried. All I could think of was this...what if you need to be mad as hell to beat cancer? What if wisdom and contemplation and praying are not what, in the end, wins? Just that quickly, the bottom fell out of my stomach.

I am tired, and I am confused, and I am depressed. My shoulder has been aching since mid radiation and it is throbbing now. My hands hurt. Suddenly I want my husband. Suddenly I want my children home, and loud music, and the confusion of all their voices. But my house is quiet, except for the gentle snoring of my big old dog. I decide that I've spent enough time on the computer this evening. I've got dishes to wash.


Alison said...

I have not been through cancer - I don't personally know that battle - but I know anger and I think I have a pretty good idea of people.
Deb, some people need anger because the energy of the rage is the only thing that will get them through. Maybe they don't have the perspective, or maybe it's the guts, or the life experience, or the faith, or whatever it is that makes wisdom and contemplation and praying possible.
You said it yourself - all your energy was going to fighting cancer - maybe these angry people needed anger because they couldn't face fighting cancer on its own.
Maybe that is all just my imagined ramblings, I don't know.
But I do know that there is no right or wrong way to fight. So long as you fight.

Caroline said...

sometimes I have a very hard time reading others blogs. Because I know the ending isn't always what we want. Shortly after my diagnosis, someone suggested a book to me, 'How Cancer Made Me A Shallower Person'. I got it out of the library and read it. But I should have read the subtitle first. "A Memoir". Now I always check and decide am I up for more than a trashy novel where they ride off into the sunset together? When my emotions are in upheaval due to medical issues, it can be very difficult for me to deal with other's issues.

I try to keep the language in my blog relatively clean (my mother sometimes reads it and she wouldn't appreciate F bombs all over) but sometimes there are no words for how I am feeling.

What are the stages of grieving? I can never remember the order but anger is one, acceptance is there also. We all have to get through these stages. Sometimes, we get through them quickly and sometimes the curves cancer throws at us, make us go backwards again.

We just have to learn to deal with what we can.

I read the blog you linked to. She was young (10 years younger than me) and she looked very happy. I hope she is at peace.

Daria said...

I think there is a lot of frustration wrapped around cancer and not many people can vent their true feelings. So when someone does vent, it's like they are venting for more than them selves.

Hopefully, once they vent, they go back to a more calmer self more focused on fighting the cancer.

Gayla said...

Bless your strength and humor I say :) Not only are you one tough cookie, but a great writer.
When my Mother was diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer, stage 4-I was very pissed off. I never let Mom or Dad or anybody else see this, but man I was ticked!! Mostly I was ticked because I knew I was going to lose her, and I did-April 30, 2005.And that set me into motion to be the more than thorough researcher I already am. But my anger didn't last long and that's good, because I'm just not like that. For me and think you too, it's better to be non-angry then to be constantly stressed from anger. Am I making any sense at all? LOL
Bottom line is I admire you and your outlook-it's truly the best!
Thank you for sharing and I hope and pray you are considering writing a book.
Huggers, Gayla

Lavinia said...

Hi Debby. Glad to see you are as punchy and feisty as ever. Yes, feisty with an 'f', not heisty with an 'h'. Although...oh never mind....

Your friend in Canada sending you a hug, a smile, and some of those pepperoni thingies you posted about a while back..

quid said...

Debby -

I spent a lot of my life ranging from "annoyed" to "being mad as hell". It never accomplished much. When I got over it and moved on....ahhhhhh
that's when I accomplished something.


PaintedPromise said...

sometimes? and i can't say all the time or for everybody because i can only speak for me, but sometimes... anger is foremost because i forget to call on God...

and i envy people like you who have such a solid relationship with Him that they don't forget...

you inspire me to try harder!

Hal Johnson said...

I dunno Debby, sometimes I think people use anger as a way to sidestep determination.

jeanie said...

Everyone reacts differently, I suppose.

I think everyone reacts according to their nature. You are determined and focussed, and have overcome many problems in your life with that drive.

I don't think there is a "right" way or one that is going to guarantee returns OR reprise.