I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t angry about something. I thought perhaps I’d slowly become less angry and more happy until eventually I was mostly happy and only occasionally angry.
I’m angry at The Cancer, of course. I’m trying very hard to not be angry at The Chemo but sometimes when words don’t happen or I can’t breathe, I do get angry at The Chemo.
I’ve never been angry at a person in relation to my cancer. Until recently. This anger isn’t going away. It’s here to stay for a while. I don’t know how to process and move through it. It sits in my chest, burning. This anger is new and consuming.
I was at a wedding recently and it was beautiful. The bride and groom were so in love and it showed across both of their faces. It should have been a lively event. For the most part it was.
I wear my ready wrap occasionally and especially in crowds so people don’t hug me too tight or slap my arm. Someone asked what happened to my arm while I was at the wedding. Instead of having to explain lymphedema I generally say “it’s Breast Cancer related ” and they move on. But the comment that was returned to me made me full stop. “Yes, we heard the cancer had returned. We are praying for you”…..
I said “No no, I’m fine.” I quickly concluded that they must be mistaking me for my cousin that recently died from stage 4.
But then I get the comment again and again.
I ask my relative exactly what’s going on. She’s heard my cancer has returned.
“No no. Traci.”, I say.
“No. Tricia.”, she confirms.
Someone in my family has told people that my cancer has returned.
Is it not enough that I have lymphedema? Is it not enough that I have emphysema? Is it not enough that I don’t have ovaries, that I have Chemo Brain? Or that I have phantom boob? Or that I have a port and scans and that I’m filled with anxiety? Is it not enough for you that I randomly cry in the shower while I wash my scar or that I have sex with a shirt on? Is it not enough that I’ve gain 100 pounds and have neuropathy? What more do you want from me?
Fuck you. FUCK YOU. FUCK. YOU.
I survived my childhood, mental illness, rape, depression, and everyone calling me crazy. Oh and, And. Fucking AND …..
I survived breast cancer.
It initially was staged as a 2, not a three but the pathology oncotype moved it into an early stage three. It was invasive ductal carcinoma. I am not BRCA positive. I am triple negative.
Should the cancer return, you will hear it from me.
As for the person telling everyone I have cancer, I’m livid. I’m spending the least amount of time and energy with this person because I can’t. I just can’t.
Maybe eventually I’ll no longer be angry at this person or at Cancer.
Maybe, one day.
Probably not any time soon though.