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A group for survivors. Tell your stories and discuss your plans.

What do I do with all this anger? (8 posts)

  • Profile picture of rick rick said 6 years, 2 months ago:

    Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.
    Mark Twain

    I met one very very angry cancer caregiver last month. After his wife’s diagnosis, and each test indicating things were worse than anticipated resulting in many changes in treatment plans, he just couldn’t take it anymore …and blew. All this misdirected anger landed everywhere, especially on those he needed most: his medical care team and his coworkers.

    So what is that like? Being so angry at cancer that it takes over all rationality and the anger explodes like a firework singeing everything nearby. Has anyone learned how to safely express that anger? Anyone have any experiences where the anger was completely counterproductive? Please share your thoughts on how you managed that anger.

  • Profile picture of val val said 6 years, 2 months ago:

    I can appreciate something like this happening when faced with more and more problems. It can be a grueling experience, once that makes the beast come out very easily. You keep asking more and more questions, keep on becoming more and more scared, you watch everything the cancer patient does, walk, talk, eat, sleep. It becomes an obsession, just because you want things to be BETTER. But, in the long run, the anger just gets in the way. It eats at you and becomes another problem to deal with. I remember, during my treatments, I would talk with my husband and seek consolation and a very definite statement from him in medical terms, mind you, with my diagnosis, even though Dr. Boulay and all his coworkers were so positive. One time, I remember, he got mad at me (I did ask over and over), and just blurted out something in anger because he was tired of hearing of it. I’ll be serious, it didn’t help me, it only made me think more of what I had and whether or not it was going to go away. That only happened once though – everyday from my diagnosis to Dr. Boulay telling me I was in remission, was encouragement, which is what you need. Love and encouragement. I went to Mass one Sunday and the gospel and sermon centered on words the Lord said “Do not be afraid”.
    Those words I must have heard all my life, but that day I really heard them. Turn to God, give up your trials and tribulations to Him. Some of you may think I’m a religious nut, but it works. Right now in our lives we are dealing not only with my diagnosis, but with the diagnosis of my 35 year old son who in March was diagnosed with a brain tumor. After the initial shock set in, it was so difficult for me. This is my son. No one wants anything bad to happen to their children. Belive me I asked questions, compared my life to others I know, but for what. This was happening to us, here and now, and we had to face it and just provide all the love and healing power and encouragement to him, who just had a second mri, which actually looks better than the previous one. THAT’S GOOD NEWS. Stress levels are at an all time high, but anger – no, can’t do that. We, as patients, need all the help we can get, whether it be physical, emotional, spiritual. Anger only destroys rapport. My anger probably is now in the form of shingles, which I was diagnosed with this week. Wow, really never realized how they hurt. I imagine all my stress and anger is bottled up and now in the form of shingles. Is that good or bad????? I have a loving husband, two wonderful children, a great son-in-law and daughter-in-law, and a little girl (2 months old) (my son’s miracle child), and my baby boy (16 months old) who make my world a wonderful place to live in. How can I get angry when my Kevin comes in this house and runs into my arms like he hasn’t seen me in a year!!!!! Or when our little Emma smiles that smile with those beautiful little lips, or when my son and daughter keep telling me – Love you, Ma, or when my husband just puts his arm around me, or when I come and see you Dr. Boulay with that smile and all your coworker who care so much. Can’t be angry

  • Profile picture of rick rick said 6 years, 2 months ago:

    From the twittersphere:
    immortum1 immortum
    “@journeycancer: Kicking thedog Anyone know of a better way of dealing with canceranger journeythroughcancer” the cat?

    Sorry to the cat lovers, but this did make me giggle a little.

  • Profile picture of rick rick said 6 years, 2 months ago:

    This post from Reverend Jeff Aiken:

    I too have been the one on whom anger has ben vented, especially when a loved one has died prematurely, or received a cancer diagnosis at an early age. Being seen as “the representative of God,” I have had anger at God directed toward me. In those cases, I’ve let them vent and sometimes, when they’ve come to their senses and become more rational, they’ve apologized. I understood at those times, that persons hurt and feeling of despair was often inconsolable until a bit of time had passed. As long as the individual does not get violent, the expression of anger can sometimes (but not always) be cathartic. Some have, in their moments of apology, expressed that they appreciated me taking their rage and that it helped them to have someone who could accept it without being defensive. I must say though, those encounters are never pleasant when you are in the middle of them.

    Below you will find several Bible verse that deal with misdirected anger, although they are not necessarily offered in the context in which we are speaking.

    P.S. And yes, I’ve seen very counter productive anger as well. Once a very angry guy came into my office wielding a rather large knife, but I was able to calm him down and get him to put it away. That was the most extreme case of misdirected anger. He was mentally unstable and i found myself visiting him in the psyc using about 2 years after that event.

    A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare. Proverbs 15:1

    But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Col. 3:8

    Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret–it leads only to evil. Psalm 37:8

    Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Eph. 4:29

    Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Eph. 4:31

  • Profile picture of Mary Hayes-Sharp Mary Hayes-Sharp said 6 years, 2 months ago:

    When I talked with my husband about the concept of anger, we both agreed that we had never experienced it when dealing with my cancer. I relied heavily on my husband and he relied on you, Rick. When I’d get crazy with worry, he’s logically explain how things were proceeding according to plan and help me maintain as positive as possible frame of mind. Although I was sick as a dog going through my journey and needed my caregiver almost constantly when not in the hospital, he stayed stong and never angery. It’s just not how either of us respondes to illness. Illness happens and needs to be dealt with as positively as possible.
    Glad you escaped the dude with the knife. We kinda need you, Buddy!

  • Profile picture of rick rick said 6 years, 1 month ago:

    Again from the twittersphere:

    @journeycancer Exercise.

  • Profile picture of rick rick said 6 years, 1 month ago:

    Don’t think I found this problem in our journey. More just overwhelmed and fearful. I think you need a whole lot of energy to be angry. I just didn’t have that energy to spare. I had too much to do to keep all the pieces moving in the same direction. And I didn’t really do that very well. Nevertheless. I couldn’t manage true anger. I was a bit short, though. And I think friends and colleagues gave me the benefit of the doubt that I needed some time.

  • Profile picture of darrell darrell said 6 years, 1 month ago:

    I was consumed in anger. But I think what angered me most was those who look upon us as “different”. I have met so many survivors who said spouses were “tired” of living with someone who was sick, and that angers me. I am angered when I realize that former co-workers or friends are “busier” these days and seem to avoid us. As if we survived, but we now have some contagious disease. I am Really angered by those who whisper and call it “The Big “C”, or The “C word”" !! It is called Cancer… A thief in the night. There are those who would stand up and fight a burglar come to take them from their children, but are too scared to face this thing, that has the same purpose.
    With so many living in fear and running scared from it (or from us) we can never unite and find a cure. We are not aliens from the planet Zandar, we are people who fought a horrific battle and against all odds, we survived. Yes, maybe scarred and slightly beaten, but we are still people. We don’t ask for pity, we ask you to join us and to unite and beat this thing once and for all. It is time for everyone to step up to the plate and demand a cure.