If I had written this post a month ago, it would have been very different in context, mood, and language! Artist, Alys Calviness-Gober graciously gave me permission to use her image for this post. Find more about her at National Academy of Medicine Expressions of Clinician Well-Being online exhibit
‘Rage’ shows and tells the discord and lingering anger I have with leukemia and stem-cell transplant that stole my life. In fact, leukemia stole EVERYTHING from me. Health care professionals, as well as others, have told me I will begin a new normal. Well, I happen to like my previous normal, thank you very much. And when is this new normal supposed to take place? Am I supposed to accept the physical limitations caused by graft vs. host disease? I can’t do that…it’s not my nature to accept LIMITations. I’ve read stories of others going through treatment for other cancers, and claiming a positive experience. Who are they kidding?? Or is this their way of accepting and adjusting to an unwelcomed monstrous intrusion?
Being angry is helpful in motivating and setting goals to conquer those things that are challenging and seemingly unattainable…as long as it’s temporary. Yes, everyone deals with life’s difficulties in different ways, but in the end, an open heart, positive attitude and goal-setting triumphs over rage. As the artist, Alys Calviness-Gober succintly puts it, “…there is life and beauty behind the rage…”