Let’s talk emotions today! The one that has been most prominent for me is anger. As women, many of us are conditioned not to display this uncomfortable emotion. In my house growing up, my mom was the only female allowed to be angry, and hers was of the rage variety. I learned that anger was a dangerous and scary emotion, so I stuffed my anger and turned it inward. Hence, I battled depression in my young life.
As any of you who know me or followed this blog, I definitely support the validity of the body, mind, spirit connection. I believe stuffing my anger and turning it on myself was a contributor to getting cancer. I was surpised to learn there are studies dedicated to the connection and recommend mobilizing anger to battle the disease. With years of therapy and a 12-step recovery program, I gained access to my anger and learned how to use it in a positive way. I learned I have a profound reaction to things I consider unjust and will take action to correct them.
That was the case when an oncologist at the world’s premier cancer center told me in 2008 I would certainly die of breast cancer. I got angry, and it inspired me to start this blog and write my book From Incurable to Incredible. How dare her take my hope away! I wanted to prove to myself and others that there is always hope no matter what the prognosis, so I found and interviewed people from around the country who proved their doctors wrong. According to statistics, I shouldn’t be here now. It’s been almost five years, and here I am … and now I know so many others who are also beating the odds.
This same aversion to injustice is what is fueling my fight against our insurer, which is denying coverage for the top chemo combination recommended to me by the chemo sensitvity test I had back in May. At first I felt defeated and exhausted by the process, but now I’m finding myself energized by it. As a result, I have found a slew of wonderful people and organizations that are helping me with my appeal.
Today, I was talking to a representative from The Patient Advocate Foundation , who listened to my plight, offered suggestions, and is sending me an appeal packet to guide me through the process. Yesterday, I spoke with Joanna Morales from Navigating Cancer Survivorship , who is connecting me with a lawyer who is a cancer survivor and specializes in insurance issues. By contacting LIVESTRONG , I was directed to Navigate Cancer Foundation , which matched me with my very own nurse navigator. Suzanne spoke to me for almost an hour about my situation and helped me think about aspects of my appeal I never even considered. And through Facebook, I received an offer to help from friend Suzanne Lindley from Beat Liver Tumors , who helps people all the time with insurance appeals. She had lots of great suggestions for me.
Whew, I know that’s a lot to remember, but you might want to keep these organizations in mind. They are wonderful resources! So, as you can see, the universe is providing me with the help I need as long as I put the next step forward. To me, that’s a sign I’m using my anger in a healthy way that will hopefully change things around, and I can help you and others from my experience.
Now here’s the flip side of anger. Sometimes I just react and do impulsive things. This whole Pinktober thing (not to mention this contentious election) brings up a wide array of emotions. I was getting in touch with my anger that more isn’t being done for metastatic cancer. That’s good, because I believe it’s true and something more needs to be done. But my anger flared up and may not have been absolutely fair with my comments in my last post about the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC). I actually blew my top on a friend who works for NBCC about something one of their advocates said that struck a nerve.
I emailed my friend this morning and now I have some answers to questions and concerns I had. I think it’s only fair to share their side, so I’ll do so in my next post. So I’m learning that there are positive and not-so-positive ways to handle anger. Hope you have a wonderful day and find ways to mobilize your anger in a positive way!
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