10 March 13 Shopping Cart Road Rage

Hubby and I were walking down the aisle of the grocery store, just plugging along. I noticed something interesting: I was getting mad because he wouldn’t always let me push the shopping cart. It was so stupid. When I realized what I was feeling, instead of lashing out like I wanted to, I asked myself why it upset me. The answer is textbook survivor: Control.

I wanted control.

See, even after all the treatments are done, you are left managing your care, still making follow up appointments and stuck at the mercy of being told when to be where, at what time, with what, and with whom.  That is a reality of life post cancer. It will never end.

In the midst of treatments, we feel so helpless and so out of control, because we are. Everything we do is based off of what others are telling us to do. Is it really any wonder why our beloved caretakers get snapped at when they are doing something for us that we have always done for ourselves, like tie our shoes? We are frustrated that we cannot even do this simple little task on our own.

Back to the shopping cart.

I realized that I depended on that silly cart. After surgery, I needed it to lean on. Later I needed it to carry my bottomless purse that weighs a ton. Now, it has become a crutch of sorts, a stability in a time of storm. It was something I could control. In fact, as I recovered, it was one of the first things that allowed me to regain control in my life. Just controlling where that cart, when, how fast, and what went in it, allowed me a liberty that cancer had taken from me.

So when you see me in the store, knuckles gripped, with a look of a road rage race car driver, know that I am just exerting some of the last vestiges of control I still feel is completely mine.

Oh, and don’t even think about touching that cart.


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