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Anger is a good thing!

eric1
Posts: 4
Joined: May 2003

Can anyone relate to this message? I am 23 years old and just finished my 12 ABVD treatments and will start radiation. I have an excellent job and make good money. I still finished college even though I have this crappy disease and worked full time while going through treatment. We all know there is a lot of pain and stress while undergoing treatment.....but if I have to hear "God has blessed you" or "..I know this one guy who had cancer..." or "..is it all over now?..." I will go off! BACK OFF!!!!! Sometimes trying to help makes things worse. This message is for all parents, friends, spouses, and girlfriends/boyfriends. When the patient shuts everyone out (which I am doing) it is for his/her own good. They will come back over time. Realize that they have been through a very rough time and let them deal with it. Obviously I am bitter and angry about HD...but who cares! i am allowed. I am sure I'll lose this attitude in time but not now. I definitely don't want to start a theological argument but I was not religious before HD, and I really could care less about "God" now. I mean, if he is so caring and benovolent then how do you explain all of us suffering through cancer? In conclusion, let's not perpetuate a society of wimps and learn that anger is an acceptable feeling that does not always have to be looked down upon and invoke the response of "be positive". The next person who trivializes my feelings is going to get my foot up their ass! Somebody has to feel the way I do!

dpomroy's picture
dpomroy
Posts: 137
Joined: Dec 2000

Anger is most definitely a normal reaction to all you've been through. My "favorite" line people gave me was...God never gives you anything you can't handle...yea right! So why are there people in nut houses and those who commit suicide cuz they couldn't handle it?

I found that my personality changed somewhat after it was all said and done. Sure I learned some valuable lessons about what is really important in life, but I also was left with some not so nice side effects as well...I'm not a very patient person anymore. I don't want to waste my time in lines at the super market, at the bank, listening to someone ramble on and on trying to sell me something over the phone...and so I don't! Maybe I was too nice before, or maybe I'm a total grump now, maybe it will stay this was and maybe it won't - I don't know. But I'm gonna cut myself some slack after all I've been through and I hope others can too.

runr
Posts: 15
Joined: Apr 2003

I got so sick of people saying "You look Great!" when in reality I fell like S--- It always made me so angry when people would say that. I would think "you have no idea".. I had a lot of anger too and I think that is somewhat noraml.

Christa
Posts: 1
Joined: May 2003

Anger is just as natural as pain. Pain comes to alert you that something is wrong just as anger comes when someone or something happens that you don't like or agree with. In my experience people say those things because they don't know what else to say or do. They feel helpless. The reality of it is too much to handle. I know it was too much for me to handle but I couldn't walk away from it like they could. And then to hear their advice and those comments. Anger was the word!

My advice would be to release your anger before it pops like a balloon. You can use me as a punching bag. Holding in negative emotions only allows them to grow. Eventually destroying everything in it's path, including you. Funny sounds just like a form of cancer!

Let me make clear that the anger you feel is not wrong, it is not trivial by any means. It is a natural emotion. Just don't let it stop, delay or destroy you because that's what it will do, trust me. Try and take this and every experience as a learning. A learning that allows you to advance to become who and what you want. Take it a day at a time, the good with the bad and smile! The bitterness will sweeten in time. I myself am an optimist. I feel that I CAN CERvive anything and have. Now I just have to learn to live.

krisic
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2003

Eric - I felt the same way during that time. People didn't understand what I was going through. Most of the time they told me that I looked good because they didn't want to deal with it. It's been over a year since I finished chemo and radiation and I have mellowed. I still don't want to talk to people about it however. They sometimes still talk to me like I am a child who needs to be comforted. I just want to forget it happened and be normal again. Anger is okay. Just don't let it eat you up. You've had enough hurting you lately and you shouldn't let "you" hurt you also. When I finished radiation, but was still wearing a wig to work, people at work kept asking, "is it growing back yet? Can I feel it?" HOW RUDE! Just a word of encouragement - there IS life after Hodgkins!

amasurvivor
Posts: 15
Joined: Sep 2002

God got angry. He's the best one to look to to learn how to handle it! I'm sorry I couldn't just let this thread pass without comment. Anger is an extremely ok response to the horrors of cancer. I've had it twice, 6 mo. of AVBD, then, 2 yrs later, a bone marrow transplant when my only child was 4 months old. It sucked. It angered me. What you are going through is valid, is expected, is not trivial. Most people are at a loss for what to say to someone with it. BUT, don't unleash your anger on them. They are not trying to make your life miserable. I think if you could see in their hearts, they care for you. When all is said and done you might want them around you again. Have you ever watched someone you love suffer? What do you want to do? Try and make them feel better? That's all they want as well. You can ask them to just treat you like a regular person and not ask so many questions, but do you really want your mother, girlfriend/wife to leave you alone? Take your anger out on cancer, and beat it with your head held high, with stregnth of character, and with dignity.

I read this once: (author unknown)
Cancer is limited:
It cannot cripple love
It cannot shatter hope
It cannot corrode faith
It cannot destroy peace
It cannot kill friendship
It cannot suppress memories
It cannot silence courage
It cannot invade the soul
It cannot steal eternal life
It cannot conquer the spirit

Well, you asked the question, I can only answer from my own experience. God never told anyone they wouldn't have problems and go through difficult times. They (trials)can have very postive effects on their lives, during and afterward. He DOES promise that He will be with you through them. I can list you a great number of ways my cancer experience was "different" and I believe because of God's presence. I can list a great number of ways I am "different" because I went through cancer, all good! The biggest point that needs to be made (and it answers dramerth's question as well) is that God is with those who follow HIM, who's faith is in HIM! HE completed my stem cell transplant in 1 1/2 months, spending only 7 nights in the hospital! He helped me to control my anger and not shut myself off from those that loved me the most, but gave me insight into their struggle of watching me suffer. I DO "do all things through Christ who gives me stregnth" BECAUSE I am a child of His. You cannot take Biblical principles out of context. Even if you don't believe God's Word is valid, it wouldn't hurt to try reading some, (ie. Gospel of John) analyize it for yourself. He reveals His truth to both wimps and intellectuals, of which we all are both.
30 year old 2X HD survivor.

mc2001
Posts: 344
Joined: May 2003

Hi Eric,
I agree, sometimes people think they should say something when it only makes the situation worse. Anger is normal and healthy. Just don't bottle it up, release it in a healthy manner. And it is hard sometimes, but remember that the people you love are only trying to help you. Take care.
-Michael
PS: My favorite is, "Oh, I know exactly what you are going through. My neighbors uncle has it and........"

onlytoday's picture
onlytoday
Posts: 586
Joined: Jun 2010

People can really say the stupidist things sometimes. I am sure that I've probably said some pretty dumb things to people at times so I try to cut them some slack. HOWEVER it is very hard to control my anquish at times. I get so angry esp. when I get the " my neighbor's friend(or Uncle as MC pointed out!! ) had it and she told me all about it" and then I get a lengthy explanation about what NHL is. AS IF I need that!! And this is from someone who loves me!! People really don't know what to say or do. It doesn't mean we can't get angry- at them, at it , at God , at whatever! Normal and to be expected. I find myself going through all the steps of grief in no particular order. We have lost our good health and we have every right to react to that!! Trying hard to get to total acceptance but I still have moments of denial. Be kind to yourselves and give it time. And stay with this discussion board - great people here who can relate!

Catherine_2004
Posts: 3
Joined: May 2007

I felt the same way also and still do and I am in 3 years of remission. I hate when people say oh you look good or how are you feel after and couple of year I was like hello I don't have cancer any more leave me alone. Or when your friends leave you because you have cancer and you have to make all new friends. That what I had to do I lost all my friends I had to make new at college it was hard to lose all your friends when you need them the most.

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