CSN Login
Members Online: 15

You are here

How do you deal with anger?

Posts: 54
Joined: Nov 2012

I find myself being angry a lot. I am not angry at my sweet wife who is battleing stage 4 cancer. I am angry at the disease for destroying our dreams. I am angry at my two older step kids for there lack of support. I have no one to help me. I have no one to talk to. I am so tired from lack of sleep. How do you get through this? It has only been about
Seven weeks since she was dx. but I see the slow deterioration already
How do those who have been going through this for years do it? You must be incredibly strong. I need to find that strength or I wont make it. Sorry about the rambling and thank you for listening.

ppaseka's picture
Posts: 70
Joined: Oct 2011

Your anger is justified. Be careful though not to show it. My wife has been fighting for 14 months now. We are six months post treatment. My best advice is to try to accept that it is what it is and do whatever you can to help your wife. Take it one second at a time. Live for the now.

Posts: 683
Joined: Apr 2010

Hi, I was one who used to ask how do people do it. My beloved daughter was dx in 11/11 and I did have a lot of help but I did the majority of the work. She passed this November and believe it or not I did it all. I took her to apps, I shopped, cleaned, washed, cooked everything you can think of I did.
Do not apologize for rambling, this is what we are here for. I am on the board because I get some comfort----comforting the other friends like you.
I am so sad about my daughter's passing, but when I read other posts, I really didn't have it so bad because she really got bedridden in the last two weeks.
If this is any comfort to you and I really hope so, your wife has only been dx 7 weeks, I know people who have been in bed for years. Love her as much as you can, talk to her as much as you can. This is the time to apologise to her for any misunderstandings you had in the past. Ask her if she has anything to tell you. I massaged my daughter until the day she died. We discussed everything. Four days before she died she told us she was dying and how much she loved us. Before she got really sick, we told her that sickness is part of life and that we have to face it even though it was breaking our hearts. Make sure that your wife tell you what she wants and just be there for her. I know you must feel angry, but let it go and do what you have to do for your wife. Love her and love her, give her kisses and massages. You be the one to be there for her, you do not know how long she has. It would be a privelege for you to be there when she takes her last breath. Forget the Kids and do your best to find some peace. Your wife would not want you to be angry with the kids, you know how that is. Now I am rambling, but I do know exactly how you feel. Trust me once you get over the anger with the kids and you decide to take full responsibility, you will get some peace and that power beyond what is normal. I did it, you can too. Please don't think I am being insensitive, but please have your wife do a will if she dosen't already have one. I did that with my daughter and it is now a big help.
Be comforted that you have the strength and health to be able to take care of your wife, I know how tiring it is and how stressful it is but God will give you the wisdom and health to endure. Please take care of yourself and I do hope your wife is comfortable at this time. May our Great God give you comfort and help you to rid yourself of this ugly feeling (ANGER which is a normal process) we get when our loved ones get sick. Please keep in touch.

Posts: 54
Joined: Nov 2012

Thank you both for your kind words. I feel like i am on a emotional rollercoaster most of the time. You both know what I am going through. I know I will find the strength I need to take care of her. I am sorry for the loss of your daughter, she sounds like she was an amazing person. My heart goes out to you and your family. Thank you both for caring. It means so much to me to be able to communicate with someone who understands what I am going through.

Posts: 1846
Joined: Aug 2010

That's the best way I can describe emotions for a caregiver.

Even if we haven't lost our loved one to cancer (and, hopefully, never do) there is a kind of death of the innocence one has, the moving through life not being able to see an end to life as it is. Realizing mortality of a loved one causes new perspectives and feelings.

Elizabeth Kubler Ross's stages of grief can be applied to our emotions after the diagnosis of cancer for a loved one.

Come back and let us know how things are going.


grandmafay's picture
Posts: 1639
Joined: Aug 2009

I t isn't strength that gets us through. It's love and, for me, a sense of humor. I cared for my husband during his six year battle with cancer. We were told from the beginning that his cancer would be "life shortening." He actually lived longer than expected, but it is never long enough. Yes, somehow we found what some consider strength. Sometimes things just totally overwhelmed us. We laughed together and we cried together. I think the operative word there is together because we truly were in it together. When he felt pretty good, we made memories with our friends and family. So many wonderful things happened during those 6 years. They helped balance out the bad things. We celebrated each Christmas as if it were our last. Each birthday was special. Doug chose to buy as much time as he could which meant several surgeries and endless rounds of chemo. I think I would have given up long before he did, but I supported him. He also supported me and appreciated what I was going through. We were blessed with the support of family, friends, our cancer support group, and our church family. They still support me today. Your feelings are pretty normal for this very abnormal time. Anger, fatigue, fear, the need to vent. Hey, I'm betting that most caregivers can relate. Remember to take care of yourself, too. That is the number one rule of caregiving and the hardest to follow. Find time for some me time. Go for a walk, write in a journal, punch a pillow. Come here to vent as often as you need. You are not as alone as you may feel at times. Many of us here understand. Fay

Posts: 306
Joined: Jan 2010

Not the cancer or anyone else. She needs you, and you need her. My wife was in treatment for three years before she died, and we spent that time traveling, being with fun people, and just taking care of each other.

VivianLee5689's picture
Posts: 546
Joined: Aug 2012

I too am finding myself on an emotional rollercoaster.  I think the worst part is not having control and not knowing what is to come.  My husband takes medications constantly through the day and needs help in doing most basic self care things.  It is tough.  As a psychologist I know the ramifications of sleep deprivation.  It wreaks havoc on everything.  Your moods and stamina.  It takes the wind out of your sails.  I am sorry you are going through this.  Try getting some rest while she is sleeping.  That is what I am trying to learn to do because I have a really difficult time finding time to sleep with the million other chores I have to do since he can no longer help me. 

Posts: 158
Joined: Mar 2012

I feel your pain and anger. My husband was dx in Febuary of 2012 and we have been on a roller coaster ever since. Short of his story, he is Stage IV that has metastacized to his lungs. He had a radical nephroectomy in March of last year and immediately started on Votrient. He did well with that for 3 months, scans were great then everything turned sour on 5.5 month scans, new growth in lungs so here we go on Afinitor in October. It was a NIGHTMARE from the get go but we agreed for him to try it, long story short 2 weeks ago I carried him to the hospital and he as dx with malignant pleural effusion. While there we were told that there were 2 main spots they were watching on his right lung, well they have doubled in size since October. He now has a pleurax in his back side. He is getting ready to start Inlyta today but told the doctor if it was as bad as the Afinitor he would stop it and ride it out.

Oh how I wish I could take all of his pain and suffering away. He has a large family that offers to help but I want to do it. I want to take care of him and be here for him forever. When he goes to the hospital I stay with him, I can't bare to come home and sleep while he is in there. I have never been a real emotional person but boy have I been this last year. I love this man more than life itself and often wish it were me in this situation. I do everything I can to make his life better and that is my reward to myself. It is hard coming to grips with everything that is going on but you have to do it for your wife.

You do what you do for your wife and noone else, love her like there is not a tomorrow. My immediate family all live at least 2 hours away so it is hard for them to be there but I talk to them daily. I have also started praying more, this is where I try to find strength and I try to remember there is someone out there that is in worse shape than I am.

I know I typed alot but I hope a little of it helps you even a little.

Posts: 3
Joined: Feb 2013

My wife is suffering from Anaplastic Oligodendroglioma Grade III. She is 8 months post surgery for partial resection.  This has changed her personality negatively.  She is irritable and gets annoyed rather soon. She has had drastic effect on her recent memory, she cannot concentrate for too long and has also degraded concept of time. She has had 30 radiation sessions in 6 weeks along with 42 days dose of Temodal. She is now going through 5 days Temodal and 23 days off. This will go on for 6 months. I have found that her anger can best be responded by just keeping quiet and non responsive.

But the positive aspect is that she has shown remarkable improvement in her overall personality in last three months. I hope she will be on positive improvement curve over next few months.

Deborah J Cornwall's picture
Deborah J Cornwall
Posts: 32
Joined: Feb 2013

Rich, I haven't been in your shoes, but I understand your anger because I've interviewd or talked with well over 100 cancer caregivers in the process of writing a book. After the shock of what you've been through, it's understandable that you're angry. I can only hope that you'll find a way to get past it so that you can savor the time that you both have left. Caregivers who have been where you have say that they couldn't control what happened to them, but they could control how they reacted. They focused on two things: Creating some joy for their loved one every day while savoring their time together, and finding a way to take the energy that's fueling your anger and apply it to something that resembles fighting back. It may be advocacy on behalf of cancer patients, educating legislators about the need for more and intensified cancer research to spare us the pain of the disease, or it may be something like fund-raising for cancer research. Just something that's meaningful to both of you.


Beyond my own interviews, I'm active with the ACS Cancer Action Network and have met many advocates who lost loved ones. These suggestions have helped them get past their anger and feel that they did everything they could as caregivers. Concerning the stepchildren, you can't change what I call "pullaways." Lots of caregivers experienced them, either among relatives or among people they had thought were their friends. I urge you to seek out a support group or a social worker who can help you both manage your anger and find others whose experiences may be helpful to you.


There's nothing that will take away your feeling that you've lost your dreams and something incredibly precious, but perhaps those ideas can help you put them in a "parking lot" or mental "box" so you can bring more positive energy to your dear wife and create positive and loving memories, even while you fight the disease.

Subscribe to Comments for "How do you deal with anger?"