Yesterday, as I was sitting in the pre-op room waiting for a surgery that was very similar to the one I just had a week ago, I broke. The tears fell – silently at first, but soon accompanied by sounds I tossed into a pillow to hide from the hospital staff. I wasn’t scared. I wasn’t lonely. I was ANGRY.
I really haven’t experienced much anger throughout all of this. There was no, “Why me, God?” or “I’m so healthy; this really isn’t fair!” or “Couldn’t the universe have waited another 20-30 years before dumping this in my lap?!” No, anger has not played much of a role in my processing … but every once in a while, when I am trying to cross through another cancer obstacle, I find myself thinking of Maya, and I get angry.
Maya. I’ve barely mentioned her at all in these six dozen blog posts, which is ironic considering she is the reason these blog posts even exist. I never planned on going through treatment for cancer. My intention was to tell no one, continue living life until the cancer started to take over, and then just suddenly move away (without telling anyone) to go through the dying part alone. I just wasn’t eager to spend a year going through chemo and radiation and multiple surgeries and ongoing setbacks, just for a 48% chance of making it to my 40th birthday. But Maya … She convinced me to fight the cancer … and she convinced me to be her girlfriend again … and she convinced me that we would have a future together with foster kids and pets and family vacations, if only I would agree to FIGHT. And I capitulated. And then she bailed. And I have barely talked about it with anyone because the pain is crippling, but the anger is WORSE. See, the anger creeps up behind me in these occasional sneak attacks, and I never see them coming until I find myself sitting all alone in a hospital bed or a parking lot or a chemotherapy Lazy Boy, crying uncontrollably about the latest obstacle in my path and always, always remembering Maya.
Sigh…but I can’t think like that because it doesn’t help, and it certainly doesn’t get me any steps closer to winning this battle that I, essentially, agreed to fight in. So I pack up my anger and my thoughts about Maya, and I kick that box to the curb while pushing myself to stay positive, stay grateful, and stay strong.