cancer · love · my heart · my sister · unconditional love


The scans results were in. My sister needed brain surgery to remove a mass.

The rage that engulfed me was all-consuming. My vision narrowed to see only that spot. That singular tiny spot. A small anomaly on her right frontal lobe. Maybe if I stared hard enough, long enough, it would go away.

I sat with my sister. I held her. I squeezed. Focus. Breathe. Do not break here. Do not break now. Listen to her. Slow your breathing to her. She needs you calm right now. She needs you to focus.

Be positive. Get a firm action plan. Ask  the questions you always ask. “What’s next?”  Re-affirm her. Repeat the action plan over and over. Make sure you sound convincing. Make sure she believes the words you are saying. No matter how much you feel like you are spewing bullshit. Call or text your siblings. Let them know. Answer any questions they have.

Everything that came out of my mouth that day was trash. I was all lies to make people feel better. I knew if it reached her brain, that was it. We would just be buying time. Buying time for my sister to spend as much time with her kids as she could. I never got to live in a delusion. This was when my anger took over.

Furious rage. Breaking things in my path. Destruction. Axes to trees. Yelling. Screaming. Carnage.

No crying. Screw that. No sadness. Only hot hot fury.

Why the hell did this happen?? Why my sister? If there is a God, as in the one all-powerful being that my sister believes in, WHY???????

Even to this day, I can’t remember exactly how or when..I hurt my left shoulder. I felt the heat during the injury. I brushed it off. Used some Icy Hot. Went to the gym the next morning. I used a couple of machines, felt searing pain. I felt even more angry.

Walked back to the locker room. Got my keys, dropped my keys. Bent to pick them up. The pain radiated down my whole left side. Great now I’m going to have a heart attack. Did I call for help? Nope. I just drove home.

My husband was enraged. Frenzied. Cool. Yell. I’m looking for a fight.

He noticed my stance as soon as he really looked at me. Once he got past his worry, he saw the “Come at me bro” in me. When he took a couple of minutes more, he saw the hurt.  He calmed. Made me so much more mad.

” I’m not going to fight you. You are being hard enough on yourself.”

And he walked away. That made me sad. He never walks away from me. In that moment all my rage, all my anger, everything turned to grief. Everything crashed down around me. I feel apart. Rapid breathing. Racing heartbeat. So much pain on my left side. The physical pain finally registered over the emotional pain.

That’s how I handled the initial wave of anger I felt. I hurt myself. In the damage I did to my shoulder, I gave myself a permanent reminder of those two days.  Beyond what I wrote here, I have no idea. It’s a blank.

I couldn’t see anything but my rage. The pain that consumed me saturated every fiber of my being.

My husband was my saving grace.





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