I am furious

By on Mar 28, 2018 in Autumn, Blog Posts, Cancer | 7 comments

Share On GoogleShare On FacebookShare On Twitter

“Just think of the hassle,” Shannon tells me. “The insurance claim.”

“Money well spent.”

“The trip to the loony bin would be a bind.” He starts the car and turns out of the parking lot in the opposite direction to The Rude Woman. I’ve been begging him to “Kathy Bates” The Rude Woman’s car. The Rude Woman, cut the queue for the lifts in Rosebank Mall on Saturday. Then, to add insult to injury, she didn’t have her parking ticket ready at the car park pay station. In addition to stealing my spot in the lift she delayed me by literally SECONDS in the parking.

If that wasn’t enough, one of the local schools has hired two (two!) security guards to direct visitors to park on the verge. The verge! There is perfectly good on-street parking and the school has an often-empty parking lot (reserved for teachers, I assume).

“Can you see the damage the cars are doing to the path and the grass?” I rant at the guards as I dial the security company’s switchboard for the third day in a row.

Once the control room has pretended that my phone reception is cutting out AGAIN, I phone Shannon at work to rant. He’s treasurer of the local Rate Payers Association; I demand they get involved.

“You don’t think you might have a teeny, tiny, rage issue?” He foolishly asks. I understand why he has stopped working from home. I put the phone down without responding. Later I Google baseball bats and try to recall the name of the movie where Michael Douglas’ character begins destroying things after ordering breakfast seconds after the morning menu has closed. Falling Down, I think.

Of course I have a bloody rage issue.

Josh did everything right. He ate well, exercised, looked after himself, engaged socially, took his vitamins, and performed academically. A still he contracted a CANCER THAT KIDS DON’T GET. Even when he was diagnosed he kept a positive attitude and stuck to the grimmest of treatment schedules. He invested huge effort into making his sickness bearable for everyone else. He was cheerful and compliant with everyone from the surgeons and oncologists to nurses and hospital orderlies. He was even nice to the moody hospital catering lady. He was inspiring and optimistic to his friends. AND IT WASN’T ENOUGH.

Don’t even whisper to me about anger being a “normal” part of grieving. I am not angry. I am incandescent. I am wrathful. The very mention of Ms Kubler-Ross and her grief curves will elicit a head-exploding stare from me. I don’t recommend it.

I know (thank you therapist friends) that my rage is misdirected. The problem is who to be cross with? Josh, who didn’t deserve this? His medical team, who gave us eleven “extra-time” months? His friends? The school? Me? Shannon?

There is no one to blame.

And I am still furious.




  1. Deanna Soldner

    28th March 2018

    Post a Reply

    Oh Penny, I can relate so much to what you’ve said! I can remember Susan being so nice to everyone even when she was miserable! She never failed to thank someone for doing even the smallest thing for her. She always remembered her manners, even when she was in pain, nauseated, feeling scrappy whatever. She would put a smile (& she had a beautiful one) on her face & say thank you! I sure do miss that girl!!

  2. Debra Davis

    28th March 2018

    Post a Reply

    Thank you Penny. You’ve hit the nail on the head once again. My own fury is sometimes misdirected, everywhere-directed, and nowhere-directed. It can explode at the very cosmos or at the woman in line ahead of me that needs to get off her stupid cell phone and pay for her items. Sometimes I dredge up the anger, sometimes it rises on its own. Sometimes it is apologetic and sometimes it offers no apologies whatsoever. Oddly, enough, the polar opposite – a great sensitivity and kindness – also exists in my day-to-day behavior as a by-product of Kristen’s illness and death. Like Josh, Kristen was so kind to everyone before and during her illness. At her funeral, I heard over and over how people loved her sensitivity, regard, and caring for others, how she had an ability to make people feel valued and appreciated. And, like Josh, during her illness, she tried so hard to beat this cancer and to maintain high spirits as much as possible. The doctors and nurses loved her for her wit and humor in the face of unbeatable odds and for her regard and respect for them. She apologized when she felt she had inconvenienced them and thanked them profusely for their every assistance. She took the nurses in the chemo center a huge basket of cookies and coffee for Christmas. She would be gone from our lives a mere month later. And here I am, both kinder and angrier…kinder for the life she lived and the example she set; and angrier at the horrible undeserved fate she suffered. Perhaps, in time, I will no longer rage at the cosmos. Perhaps, I will simply be kinder. But, for now, anger still sits with me and can still make its presence known. I just miss her so much.

  3. Brian Derby Low

    28th March 2018

    Post a Reply

    What Deanna says reminds me of a close friend who died as the result of an electrocution accident while working on the railways near Birmingham, England, fifty years ago. He was fortunate to be treated at the Birmingham Burns Hospital, which was one of the leading units in the world. At that time he was the longest living survivor, undergoing finger amputations and skin grafts before succumbing to his injuries three months later. When I first saw him he was being wheeled back to his room from the X-ray department. He was completely black where his skin had been burnt. However, despite his injuries when I entered his room he wanted to know whether I had been looked after and had they made me a cup of tea! Fifty years later that memory is still with me.

  4. R Smith

    29th March 2018

    Post a Reply

    Remember the lady who swore at the black cops. TWO YEARS. Bloody unreasonable but I don’t want it to happen to you. Dad

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join the mailing list

Join our mailing list to have the latest adventures from cancerland and the garden delivered to your inbox.

You will also receive your copy of the Writing Bit and Bobs - a short collection of memoir posts.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Share This