Emotions Have to Come Out Some How

The five stages of grief when dealing with a diagnosis like metastatic breast cancer.



6/16/20226 min read

Worst of all is when we let them turn on ourselves. Grief can overcome a person and make us feel trapped. Let's talk about the five stages of grief when dealing with a diagnosis like metastatic breast cancer.

I will not say that I took it to the extreme of saying, “I don’t have cancer”. After my diagnosis. I tried to rationalize it. I got it because … IMO< this is almost as bad as denial. I just needed to wrap my brain around the why?

What I came to remember was 1 Peter 1:6 ~ So be truly glad! There is wonderful joy ahead, even though it is necessary for you to endure many trials for a while. NLT It’s not the 'why' we have to understand, but the 'what'.

What is God needing me to learn from this?

What changes do I need to make to myself?

What can I do with this pain? What am I missing?

These are all questions I asked myself at the beginning of my journey. I learned that why is from the world, and what is from God? Denial is not a river in Egypt, but a river within us that if we let it; it will flood our souls. Denying anything doesn’t make it disappear. Ignore it long enough and it will overcome you

For me, this one came out of nowhere. I’m not naturally an angry person. I look for the good in everything and every person.

I was in my second round of chemo (Taxol, Carboplatin, Herceptin, and Perjeta) when it seemed like every smell was just horrendous. I suddenly got a whiff of the most obnoxious smell - EVER! I got up and stomped down to the kitchen, hurled expletives that would have made my Granny blush, at my husband and son, and demanded they get it out of the house immediately. Said a few other choice things and stomped back down the hallway to my bedroom. At that moment, I was miserable and so angry about it all. I wanted was for everyone else to be as miserable and angry as I was.

When my rational self returned, I apologized for my outburst and they both said they understood it wasn’t coming from the woman they knew but the chemo inside me. I hadn’t even realized that until that moment. The love that poured out of my husband and son was absolutely amazing.

God if you … I will … I’ve found myself in this place a few times during my journey. Someone said it’s not right to bargain with God.

What if you are in the place you are in because you bargained with God way earlier in life? Something like, take me and not this person, or let me suffer and not them. Could it be that we are in this place now for that payment? Only God knows the answer to that question.

God’s promise is ~This truth gives them the confidence of eternal life, which God promised them before the world began - and He cannot lie ~ Titus 1:2.

This promise isn’t a feeling. We must understand God’s promise of salvation and the work of the Trinity.

1. The promise of the Father in our salvation. HE will accept all repenting sinners (Eph 1:6).

2. The promise of the Son in eternal and abundant life (John 10:10). Some things are out of our control and the sooner we acknowledge what those things are; then we can move on.

Depression just comes along with something of this magnitude and when we are working through great loss and a deep sense of sadness; loss of motivation and loss of appetite is a part of this process. It’s when we get to a place where we can’t function. When we physically can’t get out of bed. We need help.

*DISCLAIMER - Should you ever get to a place where your life feels impossible. SEEK help!! The National Suicide hotline is 988 from any phone.

There are ways to work through depression and it may take professional help or medication or both. It took both for me. This stage (for me) didn’t come until after a whirlwind of chemo, surgeries, and radiation had finally come to a close. I look back at the tornado that ripped my life apart, scattering the pieces, and thought how will I ever get me back?

SPOILER ALERT: It’s a good ending.

Life will come back together. There may be a few more scars than you had before. It’s a new reality. It’s not a new you. You are still the same fun-loving, adventurous, creative, hard-working, kind, amazing person that you were. You have to make some adjustments. That’s all.

1 Corinthians 13:7 ~ Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. This verse is one that I leaned into when I was at my lowest. To think of my heavenly Father wrapping His arms around me and giving me that bear hug as my earthly father gave me totally warms my heart. Knowing that He loves me in my darkest moments, gives me hope. Hope that I will stay here longer. Hope that I can finish what work He has put in my heart to do. Hope that when it’s time for that bear hug, He will say ‘well done’ and ‘welcome home’.

First off, this does not mean that we are okay with the loss we have endured. It means we have accepted where we are. Our limitations (if any). Building back a part of our life. Yes! It’s a struggle some days.

For me, I am learning to live the abundant life that God has given me. John 10:10 speaks to having abundance. Whether it is in life or joy. John 10:10 says ~The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness (abundance).

There are many thieves in our lives. Cancer is definitely one of them. Abundance is all around us though. We just have to stop and take a moment to take it in. It could be the sun shining in your windows. Watching the snowfall to the ground. The quiet of a being deep in the forest. Walking along the seashore. Listening to a child laugh. Listening to your husband sing along to K-love. Watching your children adulting. The smell of freshly baked bread. Dog kisses. Flowers bloom in the garden. Hummingbirds at the feeder. The abundance is all around us. We just have to choose to see it.

If you have watched the movie Under the Tuscan Sun at the end of the movie her real estate friend comes up to her as she is pondering the events (a wedding and a family) that have happened recently at her villa that she has been renovating. He says to her ‘you got your wish’. Life doesn’t always turn out the way we plan, sometimes it’s better. It was in her process of putting her life back together, that she found her true purpose and got her wishes.

Her earlier rant in the movie about wanting a wedding and a family was her wanting to get married and have a family in this home. Turns out her neighbor's daughter and the young construction worker at her house were the ones who married at her house. Her best friend flew to Italy, pregnant, to have her baby and was temporarily living at the villa. So there was a wedding and a family at the villa. It just wasn’t what she had imagined. Soon after the love of her life walks into her life and gently removes a ladybug from her shoulder. The moral of the ladybug is, to go on with your life. Eventually, life will find you. As the ladybugs will

This is my prayer for all of us who are putting our lives back together. That we get our wishes. I may not be renovating a villa in Tuscany, but my little slice of heaven sits just 700 yards from the beach. I’m not renovating it, but I do enjoy moving things around to give it a new perspective. Sometimes that is all we need. A new perspective to get the ball rolling.