Anger is a stage of grief. And the grief stages don’t go in a lock step linear order. They swirl in and out. I have had difficulty managing anger in my past and it was typically rooted in anxiety and not feeling like I deserve to assert myself to others. I am not a wallflower by nature and there’s only so much time I can act like one. And then I get really angry.
I have not felt a lot of anger since my cancer diagnosis nearly two years ago. But today, I am so incredibly angry. I have gotten through some of the most stressful few weeks of my life being relatively reasonable and calm outside of an eye tic. I don’t blog about EVERYTHING in my life. I’ve got to tell you that the stress has been big but I THOUGHT I was managing it.
Then I got a stupid cold! Right before I leave for New Orleans on Saturday to visit the city and see my daughter sing. I see this as a once in a lifetime opportunity. I have never been to the city and I have never seen her perform in such a setting.
The trip almost didn’t get scheduled at least for John and me to be able to attend. There were financial issues that needed to be addressed. It is very expensive for me to take off time from work not to mention the cost of air travel and hotels. Then there was a whole issue of my seeing the trip in a much different light than John did for awhile. Without going into a great deal of detail, I saw this as a chance for us to have much needed time together. It took awhile for us to see this similarly.
Then there came the fashion show/charity opportunity, which turned out to be far more of a commitment than I had realized. I turned my schedule upside down and was able to get everything done including my work.
Then I got a stupid cold. An annoying stupid cold. I rarely get sick unless I travel. My typical pattern is to get sick within three or four days of a trip, assuming that it involves air travel. Airplanes are floating germ boxes if you ask me. I get sick about a third to one half of the time. Now I am sick before hand. The whole thing will be in full bloom by Sunday.
Again, I rarely get sick but when I do it can be severe. I was a premature infant and was born with respiratory distress. I have residual respiratory issues. So although my immune system is strong, my respiratory system is compromised due to probable damage including collapsed alveoli and missing cilium. Alveoli help us breath. Cilium help move fluids out of our body.As a consequence, my body relies more heavily on coughing to move fluids. So I cough A LOT when I am sick to the extent that after 27 years together, it still freaks my husband out, especially when I wheeze and gasp for air. My daughter also gets alarmed. The parents of my patients get alarmed. You probably get the picture by now. My cough is alarming to people. The only way I can describe it is that at its worse, it sounds violent. I can’t tell you how often I am asked to reassure people that I am not dying when I am in the middle of a coughing attack. By the way, this is not a time to ask someone to talk with you, especially when I am wheezing. I have attempted to use the logic that if I am coughing it proves that my wind pipe is open, but this has yet to convince anyone.
So now I am two days from getting on planes and having people think that I am going to die in my seat not to mention my fears that despite all of the hand sanitizer that I use will not protect others from catching this stupid cold from me.
Body, I can forgive you for getting cancer, as long as you make a firm purpose of amendment (the nuns taught my mom that apologies don’t count without one) but if you think you can keep me from seeing MY kid in New Orleans, you have another thing coming.