For those facing cancer bad moods and anger are often part of the package. Is it normal? How do we combat it? Excerpted from The Bald Headed, Tattooed, Motorcycle Mama's Devotional Guide for Women Battling Cancer & Those Who Love Them.
Bad Mood Days: My chemo schedule was every three weeks. I had the treatment, and then had three weeks off until the next one. The first week was the hardest but by the second week the side effects really eased up and by the third week I was feeling pretty good. However, during the second week, like clockwork, I would wake up one day in a really bad mood. Bad, bad mood. I would wonder, what is wrong with me? I went to bed normal and woke up a potential serial killer.
I was angry about everything: having cancer, my pillows weren’t comfortable, I didn’t like the taste of my food, the curtains looked funny, my favorite TV show’s season ended, and on and on. I told my husband during these days it was best just to leave me alone. I wasn’t fit to talk to, so stayed holed up in the bedroom. It seemed like even the cats and the dog didn’t want to disturb me.
On one of these bad mood days Dave knocked on the door, cautiously opened it a crack, set my favorite ice-cream sundae on the bedside table and closed the door again. Not a word spoken. This still makes me smile. It was like sneaking food into a lion’s cage. And that gesture reminded me, I was still loved.
Is anger wrong? Is it normal during cancer treatment? There are certainly a lot of legitimate things to be mad about. The Bible states, “In your anger do not sin.” (Ephesians 5:26). This means anger is to be expected, it comes with life, seeing things that don’t make sense, feeling pain, seeing people hurt, or injustices done. I think the key is not to lash out. I love my husband, but when I am upset he is usually the one who receives the brunt of my anger, undeservedly. God has really been opening my eyes to this sin in my life. So what can we do instead? First and foremost pray. God knows your anger, He knows your reasons, and He is not afraid of the angry you. You can talk to Him honestly and pour out your heart, all of it, including the dark corners. He does not shy away from your pain and honest feelings.
Secondly, talk to a friend. A good friend, the kind that does not judge but will listen and pray with you. Those kinds of friends are worth their weight in gold. And when you pray together, wow, it is powerful. Bringing your soul before God and praying with friends gives God the opportunity to work in your heart. He can dissipate the intense anger and replace it with His peace. It may take time, but He can walk into that lion’s den and tame the lion.
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:31-32.
The Bald Headed, Tattooed, Motorcycle Mama’s Devotional Guide is an uplifting month long, daily devotional for women battling cancer and their loved ones, written with humor to lighten the heart. Copyright © 2013 by Sara Nelson O’Brien