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Joined: Feb 2002

My husband was diag with squamous cell of the head and neck with unknown primary in 2000. He is cancer free for 3 years but has such a bad attitude about everything. He takes oxicoten vicadon for pain and is on lexpro for depression. He just cant seem to get past the fear and learn how to deal with the pain,I am not sayong it is easy but how does a family learn to live with such hostility? I just cant throw away 25 years of marriage but living with him is like living with a totaly differnt person .

Posts: 29
Joined: Mar 2003

I sent you an e-mail in your e-mail box on this site. Mary Ann

Posts: 29
Joined: Mar 2003

This is Mary Ann again. I am sorry I deleted your e-mail. I didn't recognize the address and I usually don't open it if I don't know who it is from. Later I got to thinking and I remembered I sent you a message so please e-mail me again and I will answer. I am sorry I just wasn't thinking. Mary Ann

Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2004

I would suggest a couple of things to try.
One is seeing if he is open to seeing a therapist. Someone who he can talk to, and share his frustrations with. He may need someone besides his family to help him get past the negative. But if he's anything like my husband, he's too stubborn to get professional help.
A week before each check up, mine goes from making himself physically sick from worry, to dumping his anger and fear on me. That's when I talk to him (sometimes calmly, and sometimes I just yell for him to stop being a jerk) I calmly tell him that he is a walking miracle for having survived. Yes, he will have pain. Yes, there are things he can't do anymore. But instead of looking at that he can't do, or concentrating on the pain, he should look at what he CAN do.
If he has something he really likes to do with his free time, try to focus him on that, to take his mind off it. You can also distract him by asking his help with something, or doing something together that you both enjoy. (rent or go to a movie, play an online game together, go to dinner, etc.)
If he catches on to your trying to distract him, (they usually don't, but once in a while they do) and gets upset with you for doing it, tell him the truth. Tell him that it hurts you to see him so miserable, and to have him dump on you. Tell him that he was given another chance to enjoy life, and he is not taking advantage of it. If need be, find an example of someone (like Christopher Reeves) who's life has been even more devastated than his, and the man still looks at what he Can do, and not what he Can't do. (I've used that one a couple times)
One way or another, he has never gotten past the anger part of dealing with cancer, because the pain is a reminder. When he has those moments of hostility, tell him how it is affecting everyone around him. You may just have to let loose some of your frustration in a dramatic way, like yelling and crying. But don't be afraid to let loose. Sometimes they need to see that they are not the only person that their illness has affected.

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