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Anger/fear of losing my person

Posts: 69
Joined: Nov 2009

I'm caregiving my partner who has metastatic thyroid cancer and is a strong and inspirational fighter. Watching her suffer from severe pain, side effects of chemo and radiation, has been hard on me. It's made me angry, irritable, sad, depressed...a range of emotions. I can't seem to let those go though for long periods of time. You'd think I could let them go and realize every moment how thankful I should be for her to be here and fighting like she is. I am so thankful and I am so proud of her but I'm also angry this has happened to her and us.

Does anyone have any thoughts, experiences on how best to deal with anger? Fear of losing your person?


grandmafay's picture
Posts: 1639
Joined: Aug 2009

Hi Lisa,
I don't have any answers except to tell you that anger and fear are very normal reactions. I suspect that everyone of us have experienced them. I found that just accepting my feelings as valid helped me. Fay

Posts: 69
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi Fay,

They seem like normal feelings but they're so powerful. I am trying to accept my feelings and realize I have a right to be angry, very angry.


soccerfreaks's picture
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

What you describe are among the stages of grief described some time ago by more than one psychiatrist/psychologist. They are to be expected, along with denial, which you do not mention explicitly but which seems to be implied, and maybe one or two others I can't remember.

I am a survivor, myself, Lisa, which is to say that I have twice survived cancer. The person I most admire in this world is my wife, who has ENDURED me during all of this. I am happy to say that I am now cancer-free, but that is, sadly, not the case for all of us.

The point, though, is that you really do have the harder job. You need to accept that first, I think. Believe it or not, and this is just my personal experience, it is easier to consider dying than it is to consider the dying of a loved one: your job is harder.

That said, I would advise that you celebrate, you and your loved one. In my view, cancer is designed to take something from us, even our lives, but it is not designed to impact our emotions, our moments, our days, our weeks, our years. We do that.

We take the biological thing, the disease, the diagnosis, the treatment, the eventual pain, weakness, forgetfulness, and such, and we add our own pain, misery, anger, despair, depression, all of the things you listed and more.

We do that. I submit to you, Lisa, that we must not let cancer have more than it is permitted. Do not let it take your joy, your love, your hope, your humor.

Be together.

Live, love, and laugh. Hope.

Do NOT let it have more than it is designed to take.

Start there.

Best wishes to you and your loved one.

Take care,


Posts: 69
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi Joe,

Thanks for your thought provoking post. Appreciate hearing your perspective as a survivor.

I always thought we grieved after someone was gone but am realizing grief happens all the time and for different reasons. Yes, denial is something I think I'm doing as well; Kelly's mentioned that I'm denying some of the reality of this cancer.

It's interesting that you said your wife has endured you. You both have obviously endured a lot, including one another during your trials. Congratulations on being cancer free. This is wonderful. Celebrate!

I hear what you've said about 'my' job being harder, caregiving, etc. but I'm not sure I completely agree. See, the person with cancer could succumb and in succumbing they could be letting go of their love, their person. Does that make sense?

Thanks again for your words. They struck deep. I'm trying very hard to employ better ways of dealing, even though it's harder than anything I've ever done, as is seeing Kelly suffer.

Thanks again.

The fight is on. Our dreaming will never end.


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