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angry husband

kayaker01
Posts: 20
Joined: Aug 2010

I can not imagine what anyone feels when the doctor says those three dreaded words "you have cancer".

I only know what I as a spouse and caregiver felt... devistated.

That was 4 years ago. My husband of 5 years (at the time) called me at work to tell me his dr had just explained to him he did not have pneumonia as previously thought but a rather large tumor on his left lung.

After several rather intense rounds of chemo, his left lung removed, 2 infections in his chest cavity and a pulmonary embolism he was finally on the road to recovery.

We went through the living for 3 months at a time that all cancer patients have to endure, then every six months. Still every six months even after 4 years.

My husband is doing well considering, with no reports of any new cancer.

The problem is I like a lot of caregivers have a very angry man that I live with. Very selfish, uncaring, angry man.

He says things that are unbelievably hurtful. He has alienated everyone in his family and most of his friends.

I have tried over the 4 years to be understanding, patient, and loving but I am so angry and hurt.

I thought about a therapist,the insurance company only gives you 16 visits - out of which you have to pay 40% of each visit, but because of the cancer we have been having financial problems. (another reason he is so angry).

I found this site purely by accident and find that (although it pains me to know someone else is enduring the same thing) it truely helps to know that someone out there understands.

Not only do I wish there was psychological help for ALL cancer patients, I wish there was more of a support system (counseling and support groups) for caregivers.

GOD bless all of you caregivers, cancer patients and your family members.

Tina

Dotsmom
Posts: 11
Joined: Jun 2010

It must be quite difficult to have to deal with your husband being as angry as he is in addition to the illness itself. Mine usually just shuts down. I don't know where you live but is there some sort of mental health clinic where you might be able to access counseling for a nominal fee? or are you connected to religious organization church/synagog etc. where a clergy person maybe able to assist you with out a fee? Just a thought. Will keep you in thoughts and prayers.

kayaker01
Posts: 20
Joined: Aug 2010

thank you for your thoughts and prayers. the problem is that whatever help i need must be free.

geotina's picture
geotina
Posts: 2042
Joined: Oct 2009

Welcome to the Board from another Tina. I usually post on the colorectal board and check in here every few days. I am the caregiver to my hubby who has Stage IV coloectal cancer with mets to the liver and lungs. He has been in the fight for 18 months. Although my hubby is not mean to me, I can relate to everything you are saying. I once posted that although us caregivers don't have cancer, we sure do live the cancer. I guess only a fellow caregiver can understand that statement. I have no words of advise except if your hubby is unusually cruel just turn your back and leave the room. I have done that a few times and George got the message. I'm doing the very best I can.

Since this is the caregivers board I feel more comfortable saying some stuff on here. As far as finances, the cost of cancer is huge and drains finances and if we are being honest, as caregivers, we will be the ones left to pick up the pieces and more than likely be financially drained. I think I am more financially set than most having my own IRA and rollover and there is life insurance but who know if that will be used up in future treatment, but so many are left bankrupt with kids. This is America and this just should not happen because someone gets sick and it can cause horrible marital strain.

Don't know if all of this is any help but please know, you are not alone with these problems.

Take care - Tina

kayaker01
Posts: 20
Joined: Aug 2010

thank you so much. i have found "you might be a caregiver if..." I love that post. it is a good way to vent and laugh/cry.
GOD bless you and your husband.

teacher9
Posts: 17
Joined: Aug 2010

I am not sure where you live but I have found Gilda's Club so helpful. They are free of cost and have all kinds of support groups, including one for caregivers only. My husband is very angry as well, however it is due to his meds. I hope this helps.

kayaker01
Posts: 20
Joined: Aug 2010

thank you so much. I will certainly look into Gilda's Club

zinniemay's picture
zinniemay
Posts: 534
Joined: Mar 2009

I think that we are all angry, Angry our spouse got cancer, angry at how little who know about it. Angry that people say sorry to hear that. I think Angry is a part of cancer they go hand in hand.
My husband and I have been married 36 years, Yes he gets angry and he will say things but I have to leanr to not take it personally. Very hard to do when I am angry to. I tend to cry when he does this then he feels bad. So it is like even when you win you do not gain. I just remind myself that he is sick, that he still loves me. That we are in it for better or worse.
We live in a place with no such services, or if there are they are well hidden . I want to say I am sorry but that seams such a petty word to use. I think sounding it out on the board will help you too. You will see you are not as alone as you think. Some can expres it better than others.
In the end I know that I love my husband and he loves me . So I take it with a grain of salt. I am getting more back bone and when he does things that hurt me I tell him out how I feel.
Jennie

kayaker01
Posts: 20
Joined: Aug 2010

thank you. i have tried telling him how i feel.. he tells me he "doesn't care".
I have tried letting it roll of my back and i can to a certain degree but it really gets hard when someone is constantly saying things and doing things that hurt.
I have a very hard time crying when he is around because he has this way of looking at me that looks like disgust. So when i really need to let it out i drive to one of the state parks, sit in my car and cry my heart out.
I am finding that being able to connect with other caregivers through this website is more helpful than i ever could've imagined.
GOD bless you and your husband.

zinniemay's picture
zinniemay
Posts: 534
Joined: Mar 2009

I know it is hard you are not alone, I fear lossing my husband he fears death , I don't know who's fear out does the other. Old saying you only hurt the loves you love sounds like it might be true. But who knows for sure.
I try not to cry but I do . I try not to worry but I do. I try not to think of the "what if's" but I do. Sometimes I wish my brain would be quite and let me think! It is like a race trace and I can't stop it!
If you need some one to chat with feel free to email me. I am on and off here everyday. woody@i2k.com I will always answer .

Noellesmom
Posts: 1270
Joined: Aug 2010

The problem with anger, whether you are a cancer survivor or a cancer patient caretaker, is that it feeds on itself. Once the cycle gets started, it is off and running. And it is amazing how it takes on a life of its own. The flip-side of anger is apathy, where one doesn't feel anything at all and I would rather have anger, personally speaking.

My husband of 32 years currently has stage IV hypopharyngeal cancer (a type of throat cancer). Believe me, pre-cancer there was all kinds of anger and disappointment because he is also an alcoholic. Although he hasn't had a drink for several months because he opted to go through a (thankfully) successful treatment program, 30 years of drinking left its damage on our marriage. I would like to be able to shake my finger and tell him "I told you so" about the drinking and smoking(which he still does), but, to what avail? The damage is done, both to his body and to our marriage.

I am disappointed I did not matter more to him than this. I know he loves me but an intelligent person could see this was coming - why not prevent it? Reality is as he says: the alcohol had hold of him and he couldn't hear a word I was saying until I told him I was leaving. Then, he woke up.

But, and here is the tricky part, you don't have to stay with him and the pain. Even if you said until death do you part, you don't have to. God does not expect you to stay and be abused, and, whether you have put a name on it or not, that's what it is called - abuse.

And, maybe, just like with my husband, your decision to leave will wake him up to reality. Be prepared to do it, just pray you don't have to leave. And do you really have the marriage you need, anyway?

Had I known Jim would stop drinking when I threatened to leave, I would have left him years ago. And maybe now he wouldn't be facing what is likely a terminal disease.

Take care of yourself. It is your turn.

zinniemay's picture
zinniemay
Posts: 534
Joined: Mar 2009

For me my marriage of 36 years, It is different. My husband never smoked and he never drank, He has been a good husband, and I have been a good wife. Not to say that is was like walking in a field of flowers. It is what is is. For better and it has been better for worse . My husband had and has been there for me. He and I have had a good life.
He is angry and he does not know where to place all his feeling. I know this . He is scared and I know this. We all say things and sometimes hurtful, but when you have cancer , or tyhe caregiver of someone who has cancer, every word you cling to as if it is the last words. I also know that he is my best friend. So when you are scared hurt afraid who do you go to, your best friend.
Make no mistake I love my husband , he is a good man, a good father . He is just sick and it is the kind of sick even when you are well , you still are sick and you know it.

Peace
Jennie

Noellesmom
Posts: 1270
Joined: Aug 2010

Jennie,

Please understand that in spite of Jim's alcoholism, I love him, too. We were high school sweethearts. It just got to the point the drinking was killing our relationship and something had to give. I could never (and still can't) imagine a life without him as part of it. Although it did not come to that, divorce was the only thing that made him consider the seriousness of his drinking.

People who are sick do sometimes say hurtful things and, you are right, it is very hard on the caregiver. You know the person inside the hurt and you will find your way to see past it. It sounds like your husband may need someone to talk to besides you, too. I hope there is someone who can help in that way.

As for being afraid and having no one to talk to, you have so many people right here who seem very compassionate and willing to listen. I'm betting someone is online most any time of day.

zinniemay's picture
zinniemay
Posts: 534
Joined: Mar 2009

I am not understanding now the chat thing works and I type and spell at like a 5th grader! I don't think I say things the way I mean to but never sure how to get the words out of my head onto paper!
You are right he does need someone to talk to. I am a talker and love to chat with everyone and anyone, he is the stay at home type. Some it has always been a stuggle to get him to go out. He does go once a month with a friend that he trust. It is more me, I don't go out and I have such a fear of leaving the house. I am working on it.
Anyway Thank you , I am so sorry about your husband and in no way was I saying or thinking you did not. I feel the love you have for him. I do understand very much.
I am not a christian but for have beliefs, in the laws of marriage.
I met my husband he was in the service, came home on leave with my brother in 1972 and in 74 we got married. Been a good life.
Thank you for taking the time to answer.
Jennie

Noellesmom
Posts: 1270
Joined: Aug 2010

I think you write just fine. It is more about expressing oneself and you do that beautifully.

I think if I had to say just one thing to you it would be it is important for you to take care of yourself. If you don't, you don't have as much to bring to your husband. As for being afraid of leaving the house - had I not had to go to work seventeen years ago to pay for college for my children, I think I would have stayed home, inside my house, forever. I just didn't want to go anywhere. It didn't feel safe, even though I love people.

Take small steps, leaving for just short periods of time, until you are more comfortable. If you afraid to go alone and can't find anyone to go with you, make the trips even shorter to start with.

Let me know how it goes :)

zinniemay's picture
zinniemay
Posts: 534
Joined: Mar 2009

Noellsmom,
I will I just need to get my head on right. My first though is of my husband and how to help him. Not always easy he is stubborn But we will work on it. I am getting better at voicing my thoughts and that is helping me.
I stayed work with my children (Daughter 31 son 29) till they went to Junior High then I got a job and worked there till they shut the doors. I like to work but now am not so able. But that is a different story. I just go use to staying home.
My main thing now is how to make sure I do everything humanly possible to help my husband. To get him healthy as I can.

Noellesmom
Posts: 1270
Joined: Aug 2010

Just remember: getting well and moving forward is on him, not on you. You cannot motivate anyone else. You can be there for him, but the heavy lifting is up to him.

I'm betting the stronger you get as a person, the better he will get, too! I will say a prayer for both of you.

kayaker01
Posts: 20
Joined: Aug 2010

although alcoholism is a disease it is one that if the person chooses to, they can get help/treatment and hopefully be cured. I don't doubt that it makes marriages very difficult as I have watched it tear apart my sisters household.
Cancer however, is a disease a person has absolutely no control over. I can not imagine anyone leaving someone because they have a disease. And I am fairly certain the anger erupts because of the fact that he feels bad all the time, not only because of the cancer, but numerous other health issues he deals with everyday.
I can totally understand the anger. But that does not make it any easier to deal with. I also understand the reason I am the target is because I am the one around. He has alienated everyone else.
So I try to deal with it the best I can. Sometimes it just gets to be too much to deal with and I need to sound off.
Thank you everyone for listening. It makes it a lot easier to deal with.

Noellesmom
Posts: 1270
Joined: Aug 2010

Was your husband an angry person pre-cancer? I have read about so many angry cancer patients who have made it through to the other side but now that their energy and focus is no longer getting cured and stronger, they seem to not know what to do with their emotions and energy. I wonder if this is your husband, too?

Like you, I don't judge, but leaving someone who is sick, with cancer or anything else, would be nearly impossible for me. Hence, my long marriage to an alcoholic - I consider alcoholism a disease and not until I felt I was losing my mind did I decide it was enough. Ironic that my threat to leave caused him to go into a successful treatment program.

Unfortunately, my husband's alcoholism likely contributed to his hypopharyngeal cancer. He has times of remorse during which he berates himself for not quitting sooner. Other times, he realizes one must go on and deal with life as it exists now.

kayaker01
Posts: 20
Joined: Aug 2010

to a certain degree yes he was. i think it is in his jeans. the older his family gets the less they care about how other people feel, or what they think.
i think this is just exasperated by the fact that he has discovered he is mortal and all the other health issues he has.
i still believe that the chemo (no matter how long ago it was) tends to do something to the brain (unbalances it or something), no matter who you talk to about cancer patients who have had chemo, the story is always the same. they all at one time or other have anger issues.

how is your husband doing?

kayaker01
Posts: 20
Joined: Aug 2010

although alcoholism is a disease it is one that if the person chooses to, they can get help/treatment and hopefully be cured. I don't doubt that it makes marriages very difficult as I have watched it tear apart my sisters household.
Cancer however, is a disease a person has absolutely no control over. I can not imagine anyone leaving someone because they have a disease. And I am fairly certain the anger erupts because of the fact that he feels bad all the time, not only because of the cancer, but numerous other health issues he deals with everyday.
I can totally understand the anger. But that does not make it any easier to deal with. I also understand the reason I am the target is because I am the one around. He has alienated everyone else.
So I try to deal with it the best I can. Sometimes it just gets to be too much to deal with and I need to sound off.
Thank you everyone for listening. It makes it a lot easier to deal with.

Tina Blondek's picture
Tina Blondek
Posts: 1560
Joined: Nov 2009

Hello Tina
I am also a Tina! Seems to be quite a popular name here. I was a caregiver for my dad. He passed away in March from esophageal cancer. My mom was his main caregiver, I was the one to make all of the phone calls, appointments, trips to the pharmacy, and driving him to his treatments. Mom was the one who got to hear all of the nasty comments, bad moods, yelling, and screaming. Is your husband on any kind of pain meds? My dad was, and I believe his nastiness towards my mom was a side effect from the pain meds. They are also just mad at the world because they have cancer. They get mad because they lose their control of things. Your husband tends to take it out on you because you are the only one there. I made my dad start writing in a journal. It was one of the best things he could have done. Here he wrote to mom and to me. He told us all of his thoughts and feelings. This journal brought all of us back together emotionally. Dad was not good at speaking his feelings, but he was great at writing them! I also made appts. for both my parents to see a counselor. This helped a whole lot. You might want to check with the hospital, cancer center, or church. They may have counseling available for free. You just have to ask. You also have to take some breaks from your caregiving. Have someone come and stay with your husband at least once a week. Go to the library, go get your hair done, etc. Come here often. This is also great therapy for all of us. Keep in touch, and know we are always here for you and praying for both of you.
Tina #2

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1610
Joined: Aug 2009

Anger is a form of grieving, and we are all grieving because of the way cancer has changed our lives. We are grieving the life we had, the future we though we would have. My husband fought cancer for 6 years before passing away in October 2009. We had been married for 42 years. I am one of the lucky ones, though, fi you can consider anything about cancer lucky. My husband often told me that the caregivers job was the hard one. He understood my fears and we talked openly about them. That cancer roller coaster ride was still a tough one. I am still grieving his loss and I am sure will for a long time to come. I think one thing that helped us was that we had watched my father waste much of his later years to anger. He didn't have cancer, but he had other medical problem. He hated that he could no longer do all the things he had done as a younger man. Both my husband and I were fairly close to my dad, and watching him miss out on so much because of his anger taught us how distructive anger was. We weren't going to waste the time we had left together. I think having a strong faith was very helpful to us, too. Others can find help in other things. Love is a strong support as well.

Have you checked with your local hospital, doctors, or the American Cancer Society to see if there are any cancer support groups available? Our hospital had one where we made some lasting friendships. Just knowing you are not alone really helps. If your husband doesn't want to go, go on your own or take a friend or relative with you. Many churches have groups, too, and they welcome members as well as non-members.

I really hate that so many struggle in our country to pay for medical care. People shouldn't have to go bankrupt to pay for care. Again, we were one of the lucky ones with good insurance, but so many are not. People shouldn't have to make medical decisions based on finances, and families should not have to suffer financial difficulties as well as emotional ones. I do get angry about that. We need a better system!

Ok, I have sounded off long enough. I hope something I have said helps a little, even if it is just knowing that there are many of us here who share the pain of dealing with cancer. Take care everybody, Fay

LilChemoSmoker's picture
LilChemoSmoker
Posts: 192
Joined: Oct 2011

I reserve my statements as untimely.

Regards,
Michelle

puppy2010
Posts: 10
Joined: Jun 2010

Dear Kayaker01,
My husband, too, is very angry and says very hurtful things to me. He was diagnosed with Stage 3A squamous lung cancer two years ago. He had 5 chemo treatments and 35 radiation treatments. So far, there is no new or old cancer activity. However, he takes Tarceva which causes numerous side effects. It really has taken over his life. Many days he has diahhrea and his eyes bother him. He has called me a moron and yelled at me in front of friends and family. One of his friends and one of his family members told him he should treat me better because I'm going through this with him even though I'm not the one with cancer. I am grateful that they said something, even though I feel like crying out of humiliation. I have gained 25 pounds, have high blood pressure and am pre-diabetic due to all of this. My doctor told me I have to lose weight and I've lost 13 pounds to date. I go to the gym and walk during lunch time at work. I also get together w/friends on several occasions for dinner. I don't mention these problems because I don't want to break down in front of them.

He told me last week that he was sick of doing nothing but taking pills and feeling lousy. I feel sorry for him and mad at the same time. I think we are one of the lucky ones because he is retired. I'm still working and carry the hospitalization. We are fortunate because our hospitalization is wonderful. He also is a Vietnam veteran and his lung concer was deemed to be caused by Agent Orange. He also receives veterans' compensation for this. So far, he can still drive and function on his own, although he gets very tired.

I'm sorry you are going through all of this. It's very hard and stressful. God bless you.
Jan

KLScoville's picture
KLScoville
Posts: 161
Joined: Mar 2011

I have found this website board and chat to be the best support group in my life as a caregiver..Even though it has only been since March of this year. We are all here for you!

Take care and God Bless!
~Kelly

rocket baby's picture
rocket baby
Posts: 22
Joined: Sep 2010

I completely understand your pain and the alienation that your husband is causing. My husband dx'd in 2007 with stage 3 lung cancer. With three teenagers testing me and my husband with his own anger issues it has been a challenge. I have found comfort in this discussion board but not nearly enough to make me not think that life would be easier if I was alone. The thoughts of leaving are not an option for me, but I am getting weary and feel like I am being beaten down. If not for my job (which I love) I don't know what I would do. I am lonely and sad and craving affection. I just want my life to be normal....is that too much to ask?

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