entering outrage

June 4, 2007 § 12 Comments


We’re all challenged; ears too large for our face, bellies too big for our backs, tender knees, overactive thyroids, and delicate hearts. Any number of afflictions befall us. They can be physical or psychological. I know people with both. They slow us down, they bring things to a halt.

Maybe yours causes bloating.

I integrate my disadvantages by disguising them as fashion statements.

“Fantastic haircut” I heard that recently in the ladies room

I‘ve been out, for business and for pleasure. It’s amazing what a snappy outfit, large earrings and lipstick will do.

“You look so chic” Perfect since I was dining at a Manhattan hot spot.

I have successfully concealed my cancer. My hair is growing. Everywhere. Not necessarily everywhere I want it. I seek out situations with good lighting.

My eyebrows were a surprise. Overnight a rush of charcoal punctuated my face. The reunion with my eyelashes followed. It was lovely.

I forgot I was sick. I started to plan. I planned to take a week off in mid-August. Seven easy days in Maine. Frannie would go to day camp and I’d make art with paper and pulp and images from my recent passage; bandages and bras.

I forgot about the mastectomy, I brushed off the radiation. I planned my fabulous summer. At some point I’d think about a bathing suit, or choose a T-shirt.

Then I received an email from my radiation oncologist and instead of a drive to the north shore, I boarded sonic transport to outrage. I didn’t expect to go there, I barely noticed the mileage. One moment I was at the computer, the next I was out of my mind uttering a language familiar when bleeped.


The mastectomy would mess with my bathing suits, but radiation would undo my vacation plans. Adding insult to injury, earlier in the week my oncologist was flummoxed. He wondered why was I seeing a physical therapist between surgeries. Gaining maximum mobility in my arm didn’t impact survival rates, so what was the point.

Outrage looks like every place else but it feels like fire and a rabid pit bull.

I am trying to live with my affliction. Then, some so and so reminds me that I can’t vacation as usual and worse some other suit with stethoscope seems to think reclaiming my range of motion is extreme.

I entered outrage earlier this week and have stayed here hissing. I can’t seem to find my way back to chill. I may go from outrage to mastectomy and remain in outrage. Since radiation follows, I might just spend the summer there.


While the bluefish are on a feeding frenzy, it may make sense to stay clear of my wake as well.

Short hair and a tough expression, it’s all the rage.


xoxo Momo


§ 12 Responses to entering outrage

  • Karen Waer says:

    Glad to see you with such a big smile MOMO (your hair does look good). I love that you are going to send exerpts of the blog to an agent. Are you thinking of sending it to Oprah also? I just picture you being interviewed.

    So what’s the status of a visit? Are we pushing it back a little? Mark’s going to work on a project in Brisbane for about 4 months. I’ve been invited to go for the whole trip but instead will visit him for part of it.

    I’ve never gone through anything like you are but I believe that it’s OK to live in outrage for a while. It’s healthy to get feelings out.

    Thanks so much for writing this MOMO. It’s really an honor to read your blogs. Love, Karen

  • Nina Schwarzschild says:

    Go with the outrage.

    Love, Nina

  • oz says:

    My 10 year old, Noah, has to make a fully articulated costume of a bug (of his choice) for his final project in 4th grade. He chose a termite. As you know, we have 4 boys, and this is the third time we’ve been assigned this project. Prior to Noah, we had a grasshopper and an army ant. Needless to say, the majority of the work falls squarely on the shoulders of the parents.

    Aside from the educational value and the photo opportunity that this assignment creates, I need to ask if it is fair to put parents through this THREE times. Could we not just petition the principal for clemency? Or at least to be reassigned to a grasshopper or army ant?

    My fallback is to paint a box brown (wood), cut a hole in the top, stick his head through and put antennas on there. Finally, stick some gum in his mouth and call him a termite. What do you think?

    It’s a little off point, but I think you could use it just about now.

    love,hugs and kisses

  • LB says:

    As someone who sees you almost every day, I can testify to both the fabulous appearance and the oohs of admiration from the masses. And you’re fooling yourself if you think it’s because of the lipstick and earrings ; ) You’re beautiful.

    Go with the outrage. Submerge yourself in it. But don’t let it swallow you up.

    Love love love

  • LB says:

    P.S. shocking how much you look like Sigourney Weaver.

  • Wynelle says:

    What is it with doctors and their cliche focus on the malady rather than the person? ANYthing that makes you feel better and gets you back to 100% should get his full approval and support. This just seems beyond obvious.

    Better than Sigourney Weaver, by the way. Much better.

  • Philippa Woolley says:

    I am proud of you and your daughter is too. I get outraged over…what? Telling my daughter for the 17th time to brush teeth? Not getting the children to fall asleep before 9:30 so I may actually have an evening left? It’s so trivial my reasons to be angry. Your writing puts life in perspective. I am so blessed. How could I feel outraged? You, on teh other hand, Marilyn have every reason to feel this angry. Thank you for being honest with us all.
    Love Light and Peace

  • Nancy says:

    Do you know what provider incentives and restrictions might influence your provider(cancer doctor) patterns for treating you? Maybe he thinks Blue Cross should not pay for a physical therapist?

  • Karen Cote says:

    Another artful description of how the medical community takes over our lives during this breast cancer journey.Go with the outrage, just don’t let it ruin your summer and remember the margaritas!
    Submit your entries! They’re all wonderful. I like the Oprah idea as well!
    Love, Karen

  • Liz Hill says:

    Marilyn, I have been thinking of you today. Screw what they say…sometimes rage is good. You need alittle or maybe alot of it to get through this.

    But for now, rest and drink that juice. And then come back swingin’!

    Just think of Sigourney in the original Alien. Fuck those toxic demons! Go Fight Win!

    XO Lizzy

  • Gail says:

    Sending healing energy, calming thoughts and lots of love.

    Take it easy for a couple of days…..
    We are with you in spirit and in strength.

    Love from the Maine Contingent…

  • Edie Read says:

    out rage

    it’s for getting out and directing to the proper recipient.

    first great candidate: stethoscope in suit.

    it is all ourageous.

    out rage.
    xo edie

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