He discovers a purpose in life again. His financial impotence rises by using his chemistry skills to cook meth, justifying it because if he didn't do it somebody else would.
The unfeeling narcissistic Heisenberg becomes addicted to the prestige, money, respect and power providing evidence of his overlooked and under appreciated level of intelligence. The drug business brings him a will to live. As the Cancer progresses the lines between poisoning a child with his drugs who stands in the way of profits blurs as he plays his fatherly role with his disabled son and newborn child, putting on a show strength for his disillusioned wife while keeping his deadly secret hidden from everyone who matters.
The level of distress rises, feeling engulfed by the affects of the disease he is fighting and knowing he is crossing the lines of morality defiling his claims of family unity. He now claims his behavior is protecting their futures.
With the clock running he reaches beyond his comfort zone to become the man he never was, knowing it's now or never.
As his meth cooking progresses so to does his protective wall of denial cloaked in irrational thinking that it's all for a good cause.
He finds that he will do anything to defend his new found persona including conspiring to kill anyone who tries to take it away from him. The line between his moral justification for his family evolves into self-centered ego gratification.
"If you were born with the ability to change someone's perspective or emotions, never waste that gift. It is one of the most powerful gifts God can give - the ability to influence."
- Shannon L. Adler, Writer
(1) Depression - as he finds the cancer treatments have drained his savings making him wonder if there is any point in going on.
(2) Isolation - after devoting himself to an under appreciated and under respected profession of teaching. (3) Anger - as the current stress of his life begs the question what kind of a provider has he been with the answer being as bleak as the diagnosis. (4) Bargaining - he feels alone and disillusioned and decides if he can become a provider for his family everything will be right in the end. (5) Acceptance - he realizes he has lost control of his life.
At that moment he turns away from the light and ascends into darkness, his Cancer becoming an analogy for his thinking.
A change occurs as he “breaks bad” with his emasculated terminally ill persona and assumes an alter ego known as Heisenberg, who is ruthless with a taste for power and greed.
Breaking Bad is the story of how a man's life choices change after being diagnosed with Stage III lung Cancer. When Walter White hears words like inoperable and incurable it makes him face his mortality and the fact that his days on earth are numbered.
Walter, the once mild mannered chemistry teacher, with a pregnant wife and disabled son is now in a constant state of distress, dealing with the inevitable loss of his life. He also deals with the deep sense of regret for not ever having lived up to his potential, for not becoming someone people respect and admire. He feels he settled as a low paid public school teacher who teaches students that chemistry is the magic of change.
Walter says, "I've lived under the threat of death for a year now. And because of that I've made choices."
Cancer affects Walter’s thinking, behavior and how he interacts with others as he struggles with emotions associated with the five stages of loss.
The Psychology of Morality
In the end, he demonstrates that people have choices in life and to allow cancerous thinking to take over normal thought despite the adversity they struggle with but when negative thinking takes over that’s where a real death occurs.