Stages of Cancer: Pissed.

Thanks to Amy, guest blogger and 2010 Cowgirls vs. Cancer scholarship recipient. She will blog here monthly on her journey through breast cancer treatment.

I had a tough couple of days and started writing; it seems to be the best process for me. Happenstance, absorb, process, and write. I googled stages of cancer, thinking that maybe I am going about this process backwards. I think I started in denial, moved to acceptance, and then on to anger; but all that came up of course were the medical stages of cancer, which added to my list of why I’m pissed because I’m not particularly happy with my medical stage of cancer either.

It all started with a phone conversation with my doctor who really just reaffirmed some information that I think already I knew in my head. Although I tried to negotiate and rationalize with him, it didn’t work, so I entered stage pissed.

Apparently most breast cancer patients (90+%) who face a mastectomy have the opportunity to go into it with an immediate reconstruction. Which is a benefit…less surgeries and an aesthetically better option after all is said and done. But no, not me. Apparently, my more aggressive treatment plan doesn’t really leave me that option; I’m facing additional surgeries down the road if I choose a reconstruction. So, as I sat there contemplating this, it occurred to me that my armpit still aches from the removal of nodes and the concept of ok, what will it feel like when they remove an entire breast sank in. And of course, how many surgeries am I willing to go through.

I didn’t stress too much over the hair, miss it of course, but understand it will return. I am not liking the idea of the breast removal at all.

Here’s the thing: I never complained about turning 40. I actually embraced it, believing that 40 brought about a new kind of freedom in my life to celebrate the independence of my kids as they get a bit older. My husband and I can go for a walk together or a dinner without worrying about a babysitter. In addition, I felt good…and peaceful.

Then August bit and a patch of rouge cells turned my peaceful world upside down.

So here I am. Pissed. It took every inch of my strength to hold back yesterday as I walked into my husband’s office, past a fog of smoke from a bystander with a cigarette hanging from her mouth. She looked to be about 40. She was just lucky that the bald lady didn’t also want to appear crazy, ranting about the unfairness of whom cancer strikes.

I’m getting over it, but also not positive that stage pissed won’t return.

I read my daily book of positive quotations. It was a good one for me the other day, by D.H Lawrence: Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you’ve got to say, and say it hot.

Works for me.