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Still angry after almost 3 years

jmaddox915's picture
jmaddox915
Posts: 80
Joined: Nov 2009

I don't know why but I am still angry about all this cancer stuff after almost 3 years since my dx.

I thought I had accepted and working on beating it. I keep having one set back after the other and I guess it is starting to get to me mentally.

I miss me. I don't know how else to explain it. I am angry that I am not able to be the wife I want to be or the Mom I want to be. My 8 yr daughter should not have to ask if Mom feels good today or not so we can decide what we are able to do that day.

I believe in God and understand that there is some greater good that is suppose to come from things like this but I don't know anymore.

I am weary....

smokeyjoe
Posts: 1428
Joined: Feb 2011

Well, you have every right to be angry. Vent away, we all understand what you are saying and going through. It's just amazing how much we took for granted prior to diagnosis. I so long for those carefree days of not worrying about cancer.

jmaddox915's picture
jmaddox915
Posts: 80
Joined: Nov 2009

Thanks Smokeyjoe. I really hated posting that as I know so many people come here for positive support and hope.

I just needed to tell someone how I feel sometimes. I am glad I have here that I can do that.

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4907
Joined: May 2005

It certainly has a way of beating us down at times. I suppose if you can "see" the bigger picture (whatever that might be for you) it could help you accept things. People of all walks of life, races, religions, and cultures get cancer. It certainly doesn't discriminate...

I hope you feel better and keep going forward. It's the most that you (or anyone else) can do.
-phil

*Update:
Question: At what point does being angry for X number of years become counter productive?
Yeah, cancer sucks. I miss the old me at times. I'm glad I'm not the dead me though.
I'm glad I'm not one of many who have it much (much) worse And things can ALWAYS be worse>.
I've been at this for over 8 years, non-stop. If I were angry the whole time I doubt I'd be here.
People get cancer. It's (just about) that simple... We happen to be some of those people.
I glad it was me and not my kids, that I know for certain.

I'm not saying you have to feel a certain way or that at times I don't get pissed I have cancer.
I certainly could have done without it but that's not what happened. I have it and that, as they say, is that!
Being pissed all the time sure as $%&# isn't good for a person.
Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but sometimes, playing a poor hand well.

Antpopoola
Posts: 10
Joined: Jun 2012

Yes, it is ok to be angry. But it is also great to be alive! People are dying every day from heart attacks, accidents, etc. and suddenly. We have cancer but we are living. We must try not to let it consume our thoughts and learn to live with it. Each day is a gift from god, it may not be the way we want it to be but as long as their is life there is hope. A positive attitude is the number one cure for cancer (in my opinion). I am new at this was diagnosed with cancer January, 2012. I accepted what I have and from day one made up my mind I will fight and is determine to beat it. Of course there will be bad days, but they passed and good ones comes. Cherish those good days. Get up take a walk, do something fun with your family or friends. Don't let negative thoughts linger, immediately replace them with good thoughts. This will not always be easy but keep trying. You can do it. lots of love and prayers to all my fellow cancer survivors.

Doc_Hawk's picture
Doc_Hawk
Posts: 685
Joined: Jan 2012

Venting is a very positive thing. If you hold into your anger, anxiety, fears etc. then it impedes your progress and ability to fight cancer. One of the drugs I'm on (Victibix) causes my fingers to crack and split, which is very painful, and the tips are getting numb so between the two I drop things because I didn't get a good enough grip, or bleed on things (I've become a walking bio-hazard!)and no matter what, they just hurt all time. Of course when that happens, I'll snap out a curse and get angry for a couple of seconds. It's not only alright to get angry, it's healthy. Like the old Isley Brothers song says "Throw my hands up and SHOUT! Throw my head back and SHOUT! Come on now SHOUT!"

gophergenius
Posts: 33
Joined: Apr 2012

Doc, I read your post, but never had my hands split and hurt like that, bless you. I would like to say, I love the Isley Brothers music...my favorite song...This Old Heart of Mine. I still listen to it on ITunes. Thanks for the smile!

JayhawkDan's picture
JayhawkDan
Posts: 206
Joined: Apr 2012

I didn't know which of the drugs I'm on was causing this, but I'm on vectibix, as well, and you described me exactly. I'm suffering from stage IV freakin cc and my biggest pain right now is my damn split fingers. I put antibiotic cream on the bad tips every night and cover them with bandaids, and I've got them in pretty good shape at the moment, but it's a constant thing. I've got a golf date in a couple of weeks and if I don't have it under control I won't be able to swing a club.

But that's off topic -- I've only been at this 3 months, but I have a very short fuse and get angry easily. I'm working on controlling it for my family's sake, but it consumes you sometimes. I ask God for strength to get me through. Hugs, Dan

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4907
Joined: May 2005

I've been on Erbitux for 5-6 years. I get the split fingers too but not quite as bad as I used to. That does suck! I've crazy glued the splits, used liquid bandage, and taped my fingertips. I'm a guitar player (for fun, not profit!) and there have been times where I've had many fingertips taped so I could play. I also have issues with my toes at times. It hurts, I dealt with it. I have not found a sure-fire solution. Bag Balm is a product that helps at times but it's greasy. They use it in the northern states to keep cows udders supple. I use that on the heels of my feet too. I will say that my udders never looked better but those darn fingers are udderly impossible at times.

Doc_Hawk's picture
Doc_Hawk
Posts: 685
Joined: Jan 2012

I've found that trying to use lotions tends to burn and sting the splits pretty bad. Aquaphor is great for it, but it's pretty greasy. If you decide to try it, you might want to put on some white cotton gloves to prevent sliming anything that you touch.

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4907
Joined: May 2005

I have tried the gloves too. It weird to have to prep before bed.
I've done a similar routine with my feet too. White gloves and white socks...what a sight.
It is strange how I had so much trouble at times then other times I don't. Right now it's mild, the toes are worse.
Do you have trouble with your toes at all Doc Hawk?
-phil

Doc_Hawk's picture
Doc_Hawk
Posts: 685
Joined: Jan 2012

Yeah, Phil. My toes,heels, pretty much the whole bottom of the foot. Sometimes the pain is so bad that I can barely walk and that's with the aid of a walker. It'll literally bring tears to my eyes. Usually it's after I wake up or have had them elevated for a long period of time, to I think it must have something to do with blood circulating back down that causes it. On occasion someone will ask why I'm wearing white gloves and I'll tell them that I have the delusion that I'm a cartoon character. The expressions that draws is pretty funny to watch.

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4907
Joined: May 2005

That's funny! Did you ever notice cartoon characters only have 4 fingers? I looked into why that is and it's as simple as "it's easier to draw"...

That sucks about your feet. I just get theses small growths on my toes that hurt like hell. Sometimes they go away but other times I need to have the nail cut back and the growth cauterized. With the bottom of my feet it's dry, cracked skin that hurts.

Have you seen a dermatologist?

Doc_Hawk's picture
Doc_Hawk
Posts: 685
Joined: Jan 2012

Haven't seen a dermatologist about the hands and feet, just racked it up to the poison my body. (Speaking of which, I've wondered what would happen if a mosquito were to suck up some of that stuff)

Getting back on topic of anger, my fingers are what causes me the most anger. I'll accidentally whack a sore finger on something or (worse) pick up something and then drop it because of a poor grip, or turn the page of a book and leave a smear of blood across the page. Times like that is when it gets real frustrating because of having difficulty managing the simplest of day to day tasks. I love to cook (and am pretty good at it, too) but some days the hands hurt so much that I can barely grasp a knife, let alone use it for serious chopping. There's times when they hurt so bad that using a fork to eat is problematic.

marbleotis's picture
marbleotis
Posts: 706
Joined: Mar 2012

I was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer on Jan 13, 2012 (Friday the 13th - even God has a sense of humor) and I totally understand. I feel like I was placed on a super fast and curvy roller coaster I cannot get off of. I had the colon resection, cath implanted now I am about to do chemo 7 of 12, my head spins and I say why me? Then I say I am so lucky I had no mets. It goes around and around and around. So every once in a while I get angry, then........... I see someone that has it worse then me........ and I am humbled. Enjoy your daughter. My kids are 24 and 20, they both took it hard at first because it was a shock (no symptoms). But we now get through each day.The cancer is just one more thing to deal with - do not let it rob you of anythng else. The "old" me is no more, but there is a "new" me emerging (she is 52 pounds lighter thanks to the chemo diet - not recommended by the way), she is happier, less stressed, doing what she likes, looking forward to so many things. I wish you the best!!!!!

steveandnat's picture
steveandnat
Posts: 887
Joined: Sep 2011

I to am three years on this cancer venture and it really stinks. The pain and side effects get so tiring. If there is a positive it really does make you stop and appreciate my wife, kids, grandbaby and all of my supportive friends, neighbors. But only we can feel our actual pain. Cancer give us a break. Bless you and everyone who supports you. Jeff

Helen321's picture
Helen321
Posts: 1409
Joined: May 2012

Three years, I'm angry after only three months. You should be downright mad as hell. I'm watching everyone planning for vacation and I'm planning how I'm going to manage the kids, a new grandbaby with surgery and an ileostomy this summer. I'm going to miss my daughter's baby shower, the world is going on all around me and my head is swirling from trying to figure out how to beat this. What can I change to make it happen. My friends are going out and having a good old time and I have cancer. Then I come on here and I see how much everyone is going through on here and I think wow, you've all been dealing with this for years. You are the strongest people in the world. Cancer can go to hell. Cancer sucks!

danker
Posts: 1248
Joined: Apr 2012

We are all angry that we got cancer and not the other guy. But no matter how rocky our road, we have survived it. You will too. Just hope for the best.

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4907
Joined: May 2005

Not to play Devil's Advocate (who...me?) but Angry with Who?
God? Doctors? The World? Cancer? Yourself? Nothing in particular, just enjoy being Angry?

JayhawkDan's picture
JayhawkDan
Posts: 206
Joined: Apr 2012

I do well most of the time -- in some ways better than before the dx. I really understand how blessed I am in so many ways, and I really enjoy many things about life more than before. But I'm only about 3 1/2 months in on this deal so I don't know what I'm going to feel after 3-4-5 years, iif I'm fortunate enough to get there, and beyond. But sometimes I just get pissed. And it's at nothing or no one, just pissed, or maybe more accurate -- kind of frustrated. I do my best to show people around me that I'm doing fine even when I'm not, and I guess it just builds up. The only one that really understands is my wife, and of course she can't fully understand. We're hiding the full dx from my daughter -- she's 7 months pregnant with our first grand child, a grandson, and we just don't want to burden her with the full monte. But my wife and I have a pact -- we won't "edit" ourselves and will say whatever is on our minds -- good, bad or otherwise, and that's helped both of us a lot. I'm sure we're like the rest of you -- just trying to figure this out as we go along. And you fine folks on here have helped me a lot. Thank you, and hugs...Dan.

Doc_Hawk's picture
Doc_Hawk
Posts: 685
Joined: Jan 2012

Good question, Phil. On the occasions that I feel anger it's at my body for "betraying" me. But then I tell myself that it was my lifestyle (serious addiction to red meat) that probably caused it. And Dan, just like you I usually feel blessed. I was a prime candidate for esophageal cancer and dodged that bullet. With untreated, severe acid reflux it's simply a miracle that cancer didn't start there. when people hear me say that I feel blessed with my cancer, they just can't get it.

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

I know I don't post much anymore, but I still 'lurk'. This one, I felt, I needed to respond to.....

OF COURSE there is anger...but, as Phil said...at who? I had that anger-still do...every time I do something that used to be so easy, that now I have to think about my bad hip from the radiation, or my 'special arm' from the breast cancer.

But, for me, I turn it into a determination to beat all of this by doing outrageous things. Still within my limits...but, a mild example will explain: I used to ride horses, all sorts, when I was young. Showed them, too. Both Western and English. After the treatment for the rectal cancer, my left hip painfully pops out of joint when under strain...and my left arm is weak from the surgery on the lumpectomy that took nodes. I figured I should never try horses again. But, when the opportunity arose...well, I went. And, when the worst happened (my hip popped out in the saddle), I just took a deep breath, popped it back in, and went on. I stopped for a moment and said in my mind scr*w you, cancer...you cannot and will not get me!!!!

I have many other examples...but my thought is all the same...as I go on, I need to remember how sick I was, and scared I was, during treatment. I paid my dues, (still am!) so it's time for me to enjoy life as much as possible. In my experience, my mind is one of the biggest blocks to joy that I have...and I remind myself of that when I say 'No, I can't' without thinking about it.

But anger can also be constructive, when turned into determination! It's not about what bad things have and are happening, it's what you do with it. It's no one's fault. My favorite saying applies "It is what it is"...Enjoy your loved ones...in this case, plan for the future...just hedge your bets with travel insurance...*smile*....

Ok, done...from someone who was told 8 years ago that she had a maximum of 6 months to live.....

Hugs, Kathi

lauragb
Posts: 370
Joined: Aug 2011

I haven't felt much anger from dealing with cancer. When I get down, it is usually depression because I don't feel well and I miss the old (physical) me. I do appreciate some of the spiritual and mental changes that have happened to me but not the physical parts. It isn't fair that we got cancer and have to go through what we do. I try not to be resentful of others, realizing how random this is. And although I have gone through a lot, it doesn't compare to what I've read of other folks. It could be worse.

I understand it must be hard for you when you have to tell your daughter you don't feel well. My mom had Hodgkins Disease for ten years before she passed, diagnosed at my birth. I never felt like she wasn't there for me and honestly didn't grasp how bad she felt at times. While it's hard for you to watch this be your daughter's life, it may not seem that bad to her, especially if you are matter of fact when you don't feel well and you don't let her see your despair. I think it is okay to be open about your situation but let her see your happiness when things are going well. That said, I have to admit one of the hardest parts of this journey for me is to see how hard this has been on my daughter and she is 22. So I certainly don't want to minimize what you're going through as I have been through it in both roles.

No doubt about it, it's a tough gig. Setbacks suck. I'm hoping things will be forward moving for you soon.
Laura

annalexandria's picture
annalexandria
Posts: 2573
Joined: Oct 2011

and am at the three year mark as well. Maybe that's a natural time to start really feeling burned out about the whole experience? Just last night I was in bed at 9:30, when my oldest daughter (20) wanted to stay up and watch a movie with me, which we never do anymore. I just couldn't pull it off, too tired. Not being able to be there fully for my kids, my husband, and in a way, myself, does get old. But as Phil so wisely says, it could always be worse. I wrote up something I call my "gratitude list", on which I wrote all the things, large and small, that I am grateful for. I have a lot, really, despite the cancer. Put it on my fridge, and I read it from time to time. I find it does help me refocus on the positives and move on when the sadness and frustration of life with cancer threatens to overwhelm. Sending hugs and strength your way-Ann

smokeyjoe
Posts: 1428
Joined: Feb 2011

Interesting Phil, as I was reading your comments "thank goodness it wasn't our kids" that got this I'm looking out the window and one of my sons childhood buddies (met in kindergarten) is outside he was diagnosed stage 4 bladder cancer....I'm looking at this straping good looking 24 year old and it's just unbelievable.

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

...become part of the legions....

...my mom even apologized to me for 'giving it' to me....I responded..."Mom, so what you are saying is that you are sorry you gave me life? Because, as far as the cancer, you had little or no control over that. And, I, for one, am VERY happy you DID give me life!!!!"

Hugs, Kathi

elizabethgd
Posts: 146
Joined: May 2009

I am a lurker, but had to comment on how comforting it is to read the variety of comments.. each comment from a different angle .. a different slant or slightly different expression..varying degrees and sometimes at opposite ends of the spectrum..I am nodding in my head...saying oh yeah.. I have felt that way.. or I feel that way today..guess its the not being alone that is the comfort.. there are others who understand the many different emotions involved.... and have experienced same feelings at some point.. thanks

Momof2plusteentwins's picture
Momof2plusteentwins
Posts: 507
Joined: May 2012

I am angry at myself. I am a different person since this cancer and I don't like this sad crying unhappy person. I want to live life for now but it is so hard. I am hoping that when I meet with surgeon Friday and have a date for surgery things can get better???? I know I have a long road but I can't imagine always feeling this way.

Lovekitties's picture
Lovekitties
Posts: 3346
Joined: Jan 2010

We can all relate to the anger caused by a cancer diagnosis. It definately changes the world as we knew it and puts our future into question.

However, don't let anger consume you and rob you of the life that you can have.

If you find that the anger is taking control of how you live, please seek some help, either from a religious or secular counselor who understands cancer patients.

Cancer causes us to face our own mortality...even though it was there all the time...it just makes it seem more possible.

Enjoy the good days with activities with your hubby and daughter, and find other ways to find joy with them on the bad days. Don't let anger and cancer rob you of a minute you might have shared.

Hugs and I hope you can find peace of mind,

Marie who loves kitties

tommycat's picture
tommycat
Posts: 790
Joined: Aug 2011

Not all the time, but sometimes I get so mad/discouraged. My vitality took such a hit and I know I'm not the wife/mother/friend that I used to be.
But then there are the other times--fortunately---where I forget all about cancer and its never-ending side effects.
There are more good times than bad, so............
Fall seven times, get up eight.
It's worth it.
Take good care~
Tommycat

golf_gal's picture
golf_gal
Posts: 69
Joined: Dec 2011

I know how worrisome this disease is. My psychologist told me to get a plastic bat and beat a pillow hard! Get out some of that frustration. As others have pointed out long term anger is not a good thing for you. I know, easier said than done. The bat is cheap and it is very therapeutic. Give it a whack. All my best to you.

steved
Posts: 835
Joined: Apr 2004

Yeah I get that too. Not all the time but it still comes. As does the feelings of sadness at all I've lost intermingled with all sorts of other feelings- some strong and helpful, many unproductive but just as real. I think I have come to live with the messed up feelings this gives you- they are a byproduct of all this just as the cracked fingers, tiredness and pain is. I think it is wrong in many ways not to expect the feelings to happen. All the textbooks say we go through phases of emotions in adjusting to things like this but for me it is less phasic and more just a long term roller coaster.

There is lots of good advise above about dealing with it but it may also be a matter of living with it and not fighting it too much and not being too surprised when it happens. I accept people saying long term anger isn't good but it is also part of the reality for many living with this illness and finding a way to live despite it is another valid approach.

You aren't alone though.

steve

jmaddox915's picture
jmaddox915
Posts: 80
Joined: Nov 2009

Thank you all for your insight. I feel better than I did when I posted this. I really appreciate having this outlet.

gophergenius
Posts: 33
Joined: Apr 2012

Well put Steve. I've never been the same and most people don't understand why I've changed. Cancer has changed me mentally, physically, emotionally and financially. I do not plan to far in advance or anything to long term, but try to enjoy the simple things I like to do on daily basis. Nature calms me and I really enjoy being outdoors so I walk to the grocery store, doctor appointments anything that I am able to do that gives me peace and tranquility. I do find myself questioning "why" and I have to back-off or go crazy. I know people who partied in the 60's, drink like a fish on a daily basis, eat fried fatty foods, smoke, out in the sun for years without sun block and never do any type of regular exercise and are healthy. Again, I have to back myself off this thinking or I go crazy questioning myself and trying to figure out what I did or did not do, what I am supposed to "learn" from this, how to have any quality of life left especially if it recurs and so on.

dmj101's picture
dmj101
Posts: 527
Joined: Nov 2011

Anger.. is a natural response.. it is a part of grieving for what we have lost..
I know I feel it constantly but I cannot put the energy to it to act upon it..
I have to stay positive otherwise I will find myself in that deep hole probably not from cancer but from the anger emotion..
Cancer is ugly not way around that.. it steals everything from us.. it is the slow burn that brings us to our knees.. asking why?.. Well I am done with that.. I know it is far to easy to drown in these questions that I have made the choice to not dwell there..
I am not saying I don't have my moments... I do.. but I cannot share them with anyone.. I have no one to share them with.. If I did maybe I would find those feelings easier to manage..so I try really hard to ignore them.. but they are always there. Fact is I find I am having a moment right now writing this.. so I am going to stop.. and try to find something positive to think about for a while..
I hope you find some peace..

thxmiker's picture
thxmiker
Posts: 1282
Joined: Oct 2010

One has to accept one's fate. We have zero other choices, the past has happened. Always blame George Bush! (or if you are GOP blame Clinton!)

Seriously, life happened, you rose to the occasion, and now life must continue on. One must wake up every morning and decide do I want to be happy, or sad? If you want to be frustrated, OK, I get that emotion. Being angry over the past seems fruitless. We were all given a second chance at how we want to live life. We got the wake up call that life has difficulties and how we handle them is how we will be remembered.

Decide to be happy tomorrow and see how it goes!
Best Always, mike

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5056
Joined: Feb 2008

I'm sorry you're having a hard time with all this, and it's certainly justified. I do hope you will be able to get past the anger (most of the time)and find the enjoyment that is still there in life. When I'm angry about anything, walking is the best panacea for me!

I believe it does take a long time to recover emotionally from the shock of a situation like this. Before I had cancer, my husband had a sudden cardiac arrest and was brought back. For literally years, I mentally divided my life into "before" and "after." Any time that fell into the before category was categorized as "I was happy then." I finally pulled out of that rut, and I'm so much happier now.

*hugs*
Gail

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