The last few days have carried some crazy thoughts. I’m guessing I’ll just have some moments of crazy thinking for awhile as I experience a landslide of emotion out of the blue or a fit of crying for seemingly no reason.
I keep telling people that receiving a cancer diagnosis is much like I imagine going to war would be. The soldier is thrown into a battlefield in a life or death situation. He sees death and dying all around and still has the incredible adrenalin fueled ability to make life and death decisions well. Then, just because he’s back home all safe and sound doesn’t mean he can’t still hear the cannons or feel the fear. (I think the experts call it Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.)
I keep reading that after time passes and cancer doesn’t make an appearance,
patients survivors actually forget all about cancer until the time surrounding their scans. And then they actually forget it’s time for their scans. And so life continues.
I’m ready to forget.
Yet in forgetting there lies danger. I don’t want to forget to grab every single opportunity life throws at me. I don’t want to forget to take a step closer to my dreams each day. I don’t want to take life or any of its relationships for granted. Ever again. I want cancer to change my quality of life. For the better.
Yet still, I want to forget.
When I get a thank you note from my child saying she's so glad my hair is on and my cancer’s gone, it makes me want cancer to go away. How dare cancer make my children grow up too fast. Make me forget, please. But, help me remember too.
And so I wonder if I will forget.
I want to forget.
All of these conflicting emotions course through my body. My emotions raw, my muscles tense, I wonder if I even can forget. I don’t think it’s possible yet I know that I’m no different from the others I’ve met. There will be days I forget. Eventually.
Today I spent a great portion of my day being angry. I got angry at cancer today. Angry that it’s taking up so much of my precious brain space. Angry that it’s monopolizing so much of my thought processes. Angry that it’s consuming the precious minutes that make up my treasured days. I got angry that cancer has invaded my life and is now part of my future. Even if it’s a just a little part that gets scans every once in awhile. It’s there. My history.Threatening. Hovering. That makes me angry today. Sorry, if that’s offensive to you. It just does.
And when I question my anger, I don’t think it’s misplaced. Cancer is yuck. It’s okay to be mad at it! I won’t dwell in the anger. I will wander through my emotions, sifting and sorting the beneficial from the disposable. I will remind myself anger is caused by another emotion… Most likely fear. And I will choose trust. Again and again I will choose trust.
I will rest my thoughts on sweet promises whispered in the howling wind of the storm. I will enjoy the green grass and blooming flowers nourished by the torrential rain. I will soak in the warm and bright sunshine as I remember the roar of the crashing thunder in the thick of the storm's darkness.
And I will give thanks to the God who at the appropriate time commands the storm to stop.
"He rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm." Mark 4:39-40