Monday, February 16, 2009

February 16, 2009

The healthier he gets, the angrier I become.

When I saw him yesterday, he looked FANTASTIC. Color in his face, sparks in his eyes, his attention on our conversation astute.   And when I leaned in to kiss him hello, there was only the faintest of faint chemo smell.   

I spoke to him on the phone today. He WALKED down the hall (with a walker and no fainting!)  He sounds happy, healthy, alert, alive…no trace of that chemo gunky stuff in his voice. 

And I had trouble begin civil.  I had trouble being nice to the guy with cancer. I wanted to scream in his face.

The deep, ugly leave-your-throat-sore scream that we, as women, rarely consider in our lady likeness, let alone allow to emerge. 

And there is no place for the rage in care giving.  The cancer patient can rage. The caregiver smiles and losses too much weight. 

I found a place for the rage today.  The car.

I looked crazy, I’m sure, as the disgruntled words poured out of me, distorting my smooth skin into this brown sea of revulsion. If I had been on the sidewalk, you would have crossed the street to avoid me.  My disgust reaching out through my flailing arms, extending the wildness of this emotion.      

I drove around Santa Monica yelling at him where he could not hear me. Saying hateful things, thing I meant right then and there, but only then and there. 

Then I drove home.  Read the kids a story. Called him to share the most up-to-date list roster of friends making the pilgrimage to see him.  I felt civil.  The anger having subsided,  not being so full.  Finding the space for other things…like a bit of respect and oh!  Was that love too?

I think the trick -- and it is a trick! -- with this disease, with care giving, with life, is to let the feelings roll out of me.  I am learning to find spaces where I can succumb to them in their entirety. 

I keep expecting to be swallowed by them. 

I keep coming out the other side.

Nothing has killed me yet.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Rage,
    After all the craziness,
    Thursday still works for me.
    Yes, you may SCREAM at me.
    (just do it in yr car, ok?)
    Let's talk and dim sum it up.