Sunday, May 5, 2013

Anger Management

I had a really fun post planned a few weeks ago - I knew May was just around the corner (my birthday month!) and I was going to share how strong I felt going into the one year mark of fighting melanoma.

Then that rug that I was standing on?

Yeah, it got pulled with the swiftness of Speedy Gonzalez from underneath my feet.

I went in for my 6 month check up on April 16th, expecting no difference from my check up back in October where I was given a "You're progressing fine - no new developments, just keep doing the Interferon injections with blood work every few weeks."

I am still dealing with the anger that I didn't mentally prepare myself for something worse.

During the exam, my dermatologist noticed another flesh colored mole that had grown in the last 6 months right on top of my scar. It was a black or white situation - no grey area. It was either really crappy luck that another mole just happened to appear there, or the melanoma was regrowing and spreading.

I really didn't know how to regroup after leaving that appointment. I had gone by myself (as I had to most every appointment over the last year - and no, I will not be doing that anymore) and I drove home in a haze. I knew that the phone call I would get in the next 4-5 days would be life-changing...again.

Almost in an exact repeat of last year, I got a phone call Friday morning 2 weeks ago and at first I let out a huge sigh because I thought it was the nurse. But then I heard, "It's Dr. H, are you at a place where you can talk?"

I knew. She didn't have to say anything else.

It was another melanoma, and this meant a whole new ballgame. Bring in the relief pitcher, it's time to regroup and throw a perfect game.

I made the phone calls, I texted and emailed to break the news - and I just sat in my chair and looked down at my son playing happily on my iPad and felt helpless.

Then I got mad. Really, really mad. I could have punched the wall.

Why had I done all this work over the last year to get better, why had I followed all the advice and did what I was told, why had I been praying, why had I trusted, why had I believed?


I stayed in this state for quite a few days. I'm still holding onto the spark of the anger feeling, because I know it will help me fight and keep the strength I need to keep trusting, praying and believing.

But then I began to get the answer to the Why? - not why I was still sick, or why I had to have a CT scan, more surgery and stronger treatment, but if I was prepared to ask why in such a demanding way, God was going to give me an answer.

My family and friends have surrounded me with love, strength and even anger, too. They have given me the tools and resources to FIGHT the anger and the uncertainty of why I'm having to go through this. I am not alone, and while I will continue to question and wonder why, I have every tool available to me to use what I am going through for a greater good. I refuse to look at this in any other way.

As I looked out the window from the hospital during my consult a few days ago, I noticed the highway that I drive on every day to get to work, and how my view of the Cancer Center has always been from the outside looking in. Now I was the one inside, looking out. As I took in that realization, I scanned down a bit more and noticed a sign on the gas station right in front of the hospital. It's hard to see from this picture I took, but it's a sign looking back towards the hospital that says, "GET WELL SOON!"

That really moved me. I won't ever be able to thank the person who came up with that idea, but it only encourages me to pay it forward as I continue on my journey.

I'll be having surgery a year to the day - so any good juju you can spare this Tuesday the 7th around noon would be greatly appreciated.

And if you don't hear from me here, just pester me - I tend to withdraw and get quiet when I get anxious and don't want to make other people worry. I'm WORKING on this, I swear. :)


  1. I don't know why this happened sweetie. I'm so sorry and I wish with all my heart that I had a magic wand so I can make it all go away. I'm here for you {{hugs}}, prayers and light coming your way!!!

  2. Ugh! i am so sorry! JJ, you are always in my prayers. Going to pray a little more in te coming days.

  3. You are in my prayers. I've been thinking about you and I am happy that there are so many people out there praying for you and showing you so much love and support!

  4. I'm glad to hear you have an amazing group of people standing behind you. You need to draw all of that strength from them. I can not imagine what you are going through or how you are feeling but I pray that this all goes away. You are stronger than you give yourself credit for. I will be praying that all goes well tomorrow.

  5. As the great Dolly Parton says, "We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails."

  6. First, where has my brain been that I didn't know you have a new blog? So glad I keep on top of things. :(

    Sorry to hear about the return of the melanoma. Much luck with the surgery tomorrow - I hope you never have to encounter this kind of fear/rage/uncertainty cycle again.

  7. sending so much love and light. we're all loving on you from near and far, wishing you well. hoping your recovery is smooth. xo

  8. DAMN! Thinking of you. Hoping things are going smoothly. Sending you love and healing thoughts.

  9. For all the years that you have touched my heart with your blog, I want you to remember you have friends out here in cyberspace thinking and praying for you and your family.


    PS: It's ok to be angry

  10. I hope everything went well today JJ. I'm sorry you were at that appointment alone, but please know you are never truly alone in this.

  11. i'm so sorry...praying for you...sending hope your way.

  12. I am glad to have found you again... hoping all went well. (((hugs)))

  13. JJ, I've been away and only found my way back here through the post on Stirrup Queens. I'm so sorry to see your news and hope all went well Tuesday and that you will be able to update soon. Out here thinking of you and yours.

  14. I haven't popped over for a while, just wanted to send some good vibes your way, hope the surgery went well and hoping for an update when you're ready.

  15. Great post, JJ! Hope you are doing ok. Praying for you!