Sunday, July 11, 2010

Facing the Emotions

MONDAY, MAY 24, 2010 8:43 AM, MST
This past weekend, and while in the hospital, anger hit me from what seemed like out of nowhere. Oh, I know where it stems from. I was angry at this disease from preventing me from living the kind of life I've wanted to live since being diagnosed in September 2006. On Friday, while in the hospital, it hit me that I wanted more than anything to be on stage at the Go Red luncheon with Katrina to share as a mother/daughter team our journey about the emotional trials of this number one killer of women. I recalled the instant sparkle in Katrina's eye when I told her that Nancy from the Heart Association had asked us both to speak at the event. Katrina jumped up and down with such enthusiasm and gave me the biggest bear hug! Later, however, when I found  out I needed the open heart surgery and I told her that ironically it was scheduled the day prior to the luncheon, I witnessed the instant disappointment and sadness in Katrina's eyes. But, she didn't miss a beat and immediately asked me if she could speak for the both of us. Now that is one amazing tween! I was mad on Friday because, yet again, this disease prevented me from doing most what I wanted to do at that given moment and that was to standing proudly on stage next to Katrina. I remembered what Katrina had written in her speech and this came from her heart. She talked about the difficulty having a mom with heart disease because often mom was too tired to do lots of things that she wanted to do and that made her sad. I was angry because if I had a dollar for every person that has ever told me I was too young to be in a cath lab or now to have open heart surgery, I wouldn't have to worry about looking for a job once I regain some more strength :) I was angry that countless number of cardiologists and other medical professionals have told me over the years that I've been doing everything right but yet I was still the target of this number one killer of women. I've had lots of reasons to be angry and as part of the emotional healing process it's critical to acknowledge and process that particular feeling because it's very valid. But more importantly, I realize all the blessings bestowed on me. I know that because I have read my body precisely countless times over the last few years, that I have been given yet another chance at living that life I envision. I have the chance that unfortunately 5,000 women a year in AZ who die of this disease will never have. 

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