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F*** cancer (aka anger and frustration)

chrisguy's picture
chrisguy
Posts: 17
Joined: Sep 2009

Hi, folks. I'm a 28-year-old cancer survivor. Diagnosed with astrocytoma in 1987 and in remission officially since 1993. Being cancer-free doesn't mean much given my current physical state, however.

I know I'm not alone in feeling anger and resentment towards illness. I started a blog, now termed my "venting blog" where I've begun to release some of the pent-up emotions I've had.

Cancer presented itself to me when I was 5. It formally left me when I was 13. But the fallout from the battles fought in my boyhood have left me feeling worse than ever. I'm 28, but feel like 128. **** cancer.

Please check out my blog if you are hurting or know someone who is. Know you're not alone. And know that it's absolutely, perfectly okay to say **** YOU to a piece of **** disease.

http://www.lrdlc.dreamhosters.com/articles/

-Chris

shrevebud's picture
shrevebud
Posts: 106
Joined: Aug 2009

Hi Chris:

I read your blog from the link you posted. Man, you have had a hard life. I didn't develop cancer until later in life - I'm only 49 now, but it's still not been anything like you've been through. You're definitely a survivor. I'll go back and read some of those postings later. Hope this internet outlet you've got going helps you deal with it all. Be well. Roy

bluerose's picture
bluerose
Posts: 1089
Joined: Jul 2009

I don't know how this site works when people are 'flagged' so I don't know if you will get this note but thought I would give it a shot.

I am writing to you for two reasons. One is that I totally get your anger and frustration. I can't imagin dealing with illness all my life, I was diagnosed at 39 and that was a long time ago and never recovered from side effects so the majority of my life I have dealt with illness as well but not to the extent you have for sure. I just wanted you to know you are not alone and I agree that we should be able to express ourselves in the way we want to to get our ideas across BUT we can't offend people and that is why the flagging.

When I saw your title of your post here I had to write you to remember that you can do more good by not using profanities as more people will take you more seriously if you don't. Having your own website can be the out you need for speaking out the way you want but by swearing here then many will be turned off and not communicate with you and I'm sure you will lose out on alot of valuable information from some and they will not be able to take advantage of all you have to share with them either.

So I am just offering up a friendly suggestion. Unless you have been banned and can't get back I hope we see you again here, you are free to share your experiences and hopefully learn from others here too but maybe tone down the swearing cause even though we all get frustrated and I'm sure let go with some interesting language in our day to day lives offline or in private messages to friends, it's just not acceptable to expose others to swearing online here. Many people are offended by that and as I said before they just won't take you seriously and I know you have alot of good info to offer.

I hope to see you back here soon so we can all be there for each other. All the best Chris. Blessings, Bluerose

chrisguy's picture
chrisguy
Posts: 17
Joined: Sep 2009

Hi, Blurose: Thanks for your reply. I can understand the flag from your point of view, though like you, I'm also unsure of what quite "flagging" is here...

I'll try not to curse in my reply...

While I can understand that language can be offensive, I also think it's dangerous to stifle blunt expressions of anger or frustration. Personally, no word is as direct, perfect, and punchy as "F---". It just looks so RIGHT sitting in front of the word "cancer."

Before I posted I did read most of the other posts in "Emotional Support" and noticed that we all seem to be adults. Surely we all know each of the basic curse words. They don't kill us. They do nothing but describe words or situations, like any other word.

The swearing is just a way to literally express attitude or anger. And what's wrong with anger and cursing and shouting? Would you tell someone who lost a loved one, "Don't curse, it's offensive"? Probably not. Well, when we get major illness we GRIEVE for our losses.

I am grieving for that healthy boy I lost. I am grieving for my innocence. I am grieving for a healthy body. F--- cancer, because it deserves a good one.

We should be able to express it all, shouldn't we? If we internalize all of these feelings (and don't tell me I'm not the only one!) then they only fester and build.

greta's picture
greta
Posts: 240
Joined: Jun 2000

Hi and welcome from your friendy CSN staff!
Profanity is a violation of our site terms and conditions. I agree it isn't healthy to internalize your feelings. While you are encouraged to express yourself, there are some basic expectations with regard to how you do it on this site. Therefore, I've edited your topic title just a tad. ;-)
Best regards,
Greta
Your CSN staff

bluerose's picture
bluerose
Posts: 1089
Joined: Jul 2009

I don't think I made myself clear when I replied to your posting. You won't find anyone on here who feels like you do as much as I do, I feel it is TOTALLY the only way to go, to be able to express yourself fully when it comes to cancer because oftentimes we hide behind those irritating phrases like 'you are so brave' and 'you look so well now' and just get so bogged down in just wanting to stand on a rooftop and shouting 'this isn't alright, I'm not brave, I do what I have to do and I feel like hell'. I encourage those I correspond with on here to speak their minds and even if they think they are the only ones who feel a certain way that maybe isn't popular they soon find that when they do tell all how they are feeling, how they REALLY ARE FEELING, they find they aren't alone after all.

I think many of us have cussed to ourselves or others offline about our situation but you don't want to do it on this site as there are just some who don't like it and feel offended and then they don't listen to all you have to say and I know you have plenty to teach others as well as learn for yourself from them. I just don't want to see you selling yourself short is all, we all need support. This site also has rules and the site is such a good one because they monitor so closely to make sure no one is offended and all treat each other with respect. That's all I was trying to say.

I really do agree with you in that we should be able to express it all but not in a way that makes others uncomfortable, they have enough that makes them uncomfortable just dealing with this stupid disease. You don't have to internalize anything, just try and put them in a more respectful language, that's all I am saying.

Hope to hear from you in sharing more of your story. Blessings, Bluerose

bluerose's picture
bluerose
Posts: 1089
Joined: Jul 2009

I just read the CSN staff note to you Chris and I think it's amazing how open and sensitive they are to everyone's feelings, including your own, by understanding why you used the wording you did but having to edit it just a little so it offends no one. What a great compromise. Other sites would have banned you right off or deleted your entry, harsh for sure but I have seen it happen, but CSN is so understanding that way. I have been on many other sites who are not as sensitive to the users. It's what makes this site so special and keeps it accessible to everyone.

I am a 20 year survivor of NHL, I have nearly died 3 times from treatments and side effects and have been left with a whole list of after effects from the treatments, divorced due in part to the stresses of it all, and have developed a wicked case of anxiety and trauma issues as well due to all the interventions. I have an irritating case of chemo brain that has caused a major disruption in my life and suffer from early arthritis they say due to all the total body radiation I had during my bone marrow transplant. I have been through all the stages of grief and loss and anger and why me and all the rest and sometimes through them over again and sideways so I do know what you are talking about - up close and personal. I also know that it's healthy to go through all the stages of loss but the important part is not to find yourself stuck in one phase of it for too long, like anger or why me or any of the other stages. If you get stuck in any one of those stages it starts to interfere with your life and no one wants that, enough of the treatments and cancer itself has interfered with our lives. On occasion when I have had issues with getting stuck I have sought out a good grief counsellor or just a psychologist who deals with chronic illness and loss and I find they really help to just get you through the rough spots. Just an idea.

Anywho I hope to read more of your story soon. Take care. Bluerose

chrisguy's picture
chrisguy
Posts: 17
Joined: Sep 2009

"I just read the CSN staff note to you Chris and I think it's amazing how open and sensitive they are to everyone's feelings, including your own, by understanding why you used the wording you did but having to edit it just a little so it offends no one. What a great compromise."

Well said, and now I know to censor myself a bit on these boards. Thanks for understanding!

bluerose's picture
bluerose
Posts: 1089
Joined: Jul 2009

Great to hear you understand where the site is coming from on this subject. Don't thank anyone for understanding on this site Chris, if after all we have been through we don't understand all the emotions one goes through with cancer, what the heck was the point of going through it in the first place? We live and learn and then it's our duty to share and help those who are coming up behind us. You have a ton to share Chris and now you can make yourself understood to everyone just with that one little change.

Good on you Chris. Hope to hear from you soon again on this board. Blessings, Bluerose

tiny one
Posts: 467
Joined: Jan 2009

I was very active in the gym, lifted weights about 3 years before being diagnosed. Despite surgery, chemo and radiation I am in pretty good shape. I garden and believe me you get a really good workout from it. I want the me back, the before surgery me. Emotionally I'm still dealing with the after effects of all I've been thru. Need a way to physically work off the rage. How far can we push our bodies after treatment? Lance Armstrong did this. Chrisguy what will it take to claim your body back?

freddyfox
Posts: 10
Joined: Sep 2009

WE ARE ALREADY BLESSED!!!!!!!!!!!**** CANCER .>.IM WITH U CHRIS>>>>>GOD BLESS

bluerose's picture
bluerose
Posts: 1089
Joined: Jul 2009

As you know tiny one I am an 18 year survivor of NHL and have been left with tons of side effects from treatments.

Yesterday I went shopping for clothes and I'm telling you after about 2 hours of just walking slowly around clothes depts in the same store and same area and trying things on I thought I was going to have to call an ambulance. Man what a shock that was. I am such a gimp now.

Now I have to say that I am home alot and so my muscles are like jello I'm sure but still it was really painful yesterday. I have some arthritis in my back and in many other places and fibromyalgia now too and it was all of this that was acting up. I am on daily morphine for the pain in my back espeically but even that wasnt working. I barely made it to the coffee shop to sit down and have a drink and have a rest.

It totally gets me down, as your health situations get you down, but one step at a time we press on. No one says it's easy, it sucks actually. I get angry on and off especially on days like yesterday when all I was doing was finally feeling well enough (I thought) to go out and buy a couple of new clothes and even that I couldn't do because of these derned after effects. The F word and others were totally under my breath and I'm sure that won't be the last time either.

Interesting question 'what will it take to clain your body back'? I don't even recognize this body as mine actually. And all of this is 20 years after diagnose. Of course I have always been a tad on the slow side. lol. Blessings, Bluerose

tiny one
Posts: 467
Joined: Jan 2009

Blueroses and Chris my side effects are pretty few compared to Blueroses. Physically I am in good shape. No arthritis, most days no pain. Side effects are from the radiation, but I think this is starting to get better, I'm not narrowing anymore. The neuropathy in my feet is almost gone. Keep in mind though that I have been able to stay physically active the whole time. I think this is why treatment was easy on me. Chris what kind of physical limitations do you have. I am 51 years old and my oldest son is 27.

liveformiracles's picture
liveformiracles
Posts: 15
Joined: Sep 2009

I only found this site a few days ago, but after reading your posts, I swear it must be a godsend. I am also a long term survivor, diagnosed at 3 years old (1990) and said to be in permanent remission seven years later. I am now 23. I do not have any serious health issues resulting from chemo or radiation and have been extremely fortunate. I do have some limitations, but I know that they are not nearly as chronic in comparison to some. However, I suffer mentally and emotionally. I am on the opposite side of the spectrum from Chris, often getting upset instead of mad.
I vent as well in a private journal or to those close to me. I am lucky enough to have two friends that are also long term survivors diagnosed as children and now in their 20s. I have been struggling with the physical reminders of what cancer has done to me and to those I have lost to it for years. I try very hard to see the positive in being a survivor, and I know there are good aspects of it, but the negative still remains. I have been able to make small steps to accept it but the main issue is very present. I have tried many therapies and solutions but it is very difficult to cope at times. It is nice to know that other people have had similar experiences.

tiny one
Posts: 467
Joined: Jan 2009

Try EMDR therapy. I just did this yesterday and let me tell you it does work. I still have more sessions but couldn't believe that this worked like it did. It stands for eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy. I had my doubts until I gave it a try.

bluerose's picture
bluerose
Posts: 1089
Joined: Jul 2009

EMDR is amazing. I had it to get rid of 2 trauma scenes years ago and it did the trick. Of course you still remember the scenes but they don't bother you anymore, it's wonderful. They have successfully treated many vietnam vets with EMDR, it doesn't work on some people but it does on many, like me and sounds like on you too tiny one. I'm glad you found it and that it helped you. The key thing for people to realize is that they need to find someone who has been well trained in administering it. Psychologists or shrinks here are the best bet.

Take care. Bluerose

chrisguy's picture
chrisguy
Posts: 17
Joined: Sep 2009

I'm right there with you right now. I've only been blogging a couple months now, but can say that going public has helped. It's funny, but it almost feels like I'm coming out (only not in a gay way - not that there's anything wrong with that). So far, the reactions of friends and family has been something like, "Finally, Chris...we were wondering when you would burst!"

The empathy is encouraging.

Maybe when you're ready you'll turn that journal into a less private blog. I just get frustrated sometimes at all the portrayals of cancer patients in the media. The tone is always rosey, full of optimism. It's as if cancer patients are robots...blind followers of the positivity cult.

Now, I DO think the goal SHOULD BE positivity, but as noted before...nothing wrong with showing our humanity. We can surpass being just "patients" by saying to the world this $H*# sucks. We ache, we mourn, we suffer, just as much or even more than we smile some days.

tiny one
Posts: 467
Joined: Jan 2009

I agree with you and my views are somewhat different than those in my cancer support group. I have started therapy again because of the anger that I feel. They need to educate the public about exactly what cancer patients go thru. Tell about the side effects, pain and scars we're all left with. There's alot of people who feel the way you do. Keep telling everyone about your feelings. You are not alone.

bluerose's picture
bluerose
Posts: 1089
Joined: Jul 2009

I have for a very long time talked about this very subject - being real about how we feel during and after cancer. There has been so much hype on us being brave and courageous and laughing through the pain and while that can be the case at times we feel like cwap and cry and yell and swear and get angry and 'why me' it over and over. Let's face it, cancer is no fun and can reek havoc on one's life in no uncertain terms in many ways but in the past it was as if it wasn't proper to talk about the downsides. That's why today this site is so important, it helps us realize that we aren't the only ones who feel this way - most or all survivors do, but now we can openly discuss our true emotions and feelings and that is just so validating and healthy.

Bluerose

chrisguy's picture
chrisguy
Posts: 17
Joined: Sep 2009

I was diagnosed with astrocytoma gr.3 at age 7. That's brain cancer, but the tumor presented in my spine. Short, short story:

Surgery at age 7 to remove tumor, followed by radiation and chemo therapy. Radiation/chemo leads to nerve/muscle/god knows what else damage and blah blah blah... 2 more major back surgeries at ages 13 and 14.... and flashforward to today (29 yrs old next weekend). I am cancer-free, but have major nausea/weight loss and back pain. My current emotion is: sick of being sick.

Feel free to check out the "Who Am I" section on my blog for more details.

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