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I've seen anger plenty of times in my work with cancer patients — and it seems so many people feel guilty for feeling angry, or they just simply don't know what to do about it.
Anger is a normal emotion to experience as you're dealing with the diagnosis, treatment and life after treatment. Cancer is a big interruption in life — an unexpected and unwelcome interruption for everyone.
The emotions you experience are also unexpected — shock, guilt, anger, fear, sadness and depression can all be part of the roller coaster ride of emotions you feel on a daily basis.
One of the hardest to deal with is anger. If you're normally not someone who is angry, you may not what to do about it. Your family and friends may not know how to react when anger comes out either — this just makes everything more complicated.
Sometimes anger shows more naturally as an emotion with a young cancer survivor. As a young person dealing with a diagnosis of cancer, the life interruption seems so very unfair and unexpected for sure.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
The Living with Cancer blog is open to your expressions of anger — feel free to let the words flow. You'll find much support from each other here.
Follow me on Twitter @SherylNess1. Join the discussion at #livingwithcancer.
Sheryl M. Ness, R.N.
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I came across this by accident and what perfect timing. I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012. Had total hysterectomy, debulking, and 6 months of intense chemo. Treatment worked and i was cancer free for 18 months. Went back to work during my remission and enjoyed life more knowing i came close to losing it. Now that its back, Im out of work , racking up the medical bills, and going through endless bloodwork, and chemo again. I am angry but try not to show it to anyone. I am a widow with 3 sons and I try to minimize it so they do not get scared. But I am scared. I want my old life back and know that will never be. and this message is to Lisa. I read your statement and was moved to tears. In 2012 when i was first diagnosed, my so called fiance had a change of heart. He moved out and out of state while I was in treatment. No support at all when I needed him the most. I know how you are feeling. But after he left , I was stronger and realized I was better off alone than with someone who really didn't want to be there. If you ever need or want to talk, let me know . I can send you my email address..hope you are well.
This comment is in response to Edward. I am sorry that you feel that the blog entry is not helpful. The intent was to recognize that anger is a normal reaction and does suggests a few strategies to deal with this. Everyone will have a different take on this. You may have your own ways of dealing with anger that work in other areas of your life. As mentioned above... Take the powerful energy of anger and direct it to something positive, active and creative — such as writing, exercising, golfing, painting, knitting, etc. Think of ways to get the anger out and direct it to another, more positive activity.
Other ideas might include writing down the words you're feeling, using your peer support groups and blogging to get your emotions out. I wish you the best.
Well this blog entry is completely useless.
It acknowledges anger as an issue with cancer; but says nothing about how to deal with it, and overcome it.
The reader is left with the sense that it will always be: a life tortured by anger with cancer. Is that what the author intended?
After being diagnoised with breast cancer in January 2014 and the knowing it had spread to my lympth nodes, litteraaly pulled the rug out from underneath me. My mom was living with us and it was a God send that she was here. Now that I have completed chemo and starting radiation, I am so darn angry , mad, don't want to be around anyone, and now my mother is leaving me and moving all the back to the east coast. I will not keep her against her own will. She wants to go, then go. She is a weak human being and has no sympathy for what I am going through. She has hurt me terribly and I don't want her to be around me any more. I need positive support and understanding. My husband always tells me how much he loves me and sticks through this with me. I know he loves me and that helps a lot. I now have this laying heavy on my heart and still fighting cancer. I don't know what to do now.
I was just diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer. Still waiting for staging but not to concerned because I am going to fight this.. I have been a little angry though the last two days because it is breast cancer awareness month and I am seeing slogans everywhere that screening saves lives. I am angry because for 14 months I have had 3 mammograms and 3 ultrasounds and every time they told me they are cysts! I had lumps show up in my armpits and again the said cysts from my small hometown radiologist. Well I had enough of those dang cysts because they hurt so I scheduled elective surgery on my own and came out of surgery to the words " You have breast cancer". What is the purpose of screening???
I’m hardly ever angry, but the experience of having early stage breast cancer has made me angry with myself most of all. I’m exhausted, discouraged, and unable to perform routine tasks as well as I’m used to. When I relax a little, I realize this is not so much anger as understandable frustration. We need to have compassion for ourselves.
People telling me what to feel and what to do makes me angry. When you have cancer and are going through treatments you lose control of your normal life. Someone telling me to smile makes me want to stab them with a pencil.
Do you know what helps? Being honest. If you tell me that if I need something and I ask, then follow through. Don't blow smoke up my rear. Don't only talk to me about my cancer. Don't expect me to be upbeat and grateful for the gift of cancer. I call BS. It's not a gift. Don't tell me you understand what I am going through if you haven't been there and done that.
It is not easy. I'm going to start telling people to stay positive when they are miserable with the flu. More appropriate than people telling me that with cancer! Yes, I am angry!
Debbie, I agree that your situation is confusing to understand. If you can, ask for yet another pathology opinion. Mucinous cystadenoma and mucinous adenocarcinoma are probably related cell types within the same tumor site or location. Ask your oncologist to clarify this for you.
6 WEEKS AGO I WAS DIAGNOSISED WITH BLADDER CANCER. AFTER EXTENSIVE SURGERY WHEN THEY FOUND IT I HAD 2 BIOPSIES THAT CAME BACK NEGATIVE AND THEN A AMENDMENT OF A 3RD & 4TH OPINIONS THAT I HAVE IT (MUCINOUS ADENOCARCINOMA) I THEN THIS WEEK HAD ANOTHER PATHOLOGIST LOOK AT MY BIOPSIES AND IT WAS NEGATIVE AND THEY CALLED IT (MUSINOUS CYSTADENOMA) OF THE BLADDER...NOW I AM SO CONFUSED AT WHAT TO BELIEVE AND DON'T KNOW WHERE TO TURN TO GET A RIGHT DIAGNOSIS...PLEASE HELP ME UNDERSTAND HOW 2 CAN BE POSSITIVE AND 2 NEGATIVE FOR CANCER. AND WHAT SHOULD I DO NEXT. THANK YOU DEBBIE
I am just tired of questions, why is your head down, why are you walking slow, you have to get out of this funk. there is no funk This is not the flu you don't take alka zeltz plus and it goes away. so i'm always angry because everyone is always reminding me i'm sick. meanwhile, i go to work, work 8 hours, do my job but i am entitled to hurt be slow and not always be dancing in the aisles. the anger kills me and drills me and this is not the first this is metastatic breast cancer triple negative only 6 months after my last radiation treatment, single parent of a 16 years old boy. This is not a walk in the park. Everyone just wants things back to normal, no one wants that more than me.
Thank you Sheryl.......that is pretty much how my doctor described the statement regarding eating SUGAR and tumor growth.
Linda and Stu - Sugar doesn't make cancer grow faster. All cells, including cancer cells, depend on blood sugar (glucose) for energy. But giving more sugar to cancer cells doesn't speed their growth. Likewise, depriving cancer cells of sugar doesn't slow their growth. This is a very popular myth. To learn more - search the mayoclinic.com site for cancer myths. I hope this is helpful.
There is another face of anger to address....the family of the cancer patient. Many years ago(in'83)I was diagnosed with breast cancer, after surgery had some nasty chemo and radiation. Looking back now, I can see how frustrated my husband really was.....we fought all the time, threw glasses across the room(found remnants when we moved 15 years later).With 2 young kids, it was very hard. I learned that my 4 year old son told his friend that his mommy used to have really long hair, like his mom, until Daddy pulled it all out(I lost it from chemo). I hope there is support these days for the family. Fast forward to 2013 (I've since had brain surgery and ovarian cancer)and we are celebrating our 40th anniversary this month.
Can someone please address Stu's comment that "Sugar spreads Cancer".During my first round of chemo for stage IV ovarian cancer, I was taking prednisone, which made me eat and eat and eat...and CRAVE sugary foods. I was concerned that I was "feeding my cancer". When I asked my doctor about this, he said the cancer will find the sugar it wants no matter what I eat. Sheryl, can you comment on this please?
Anger is a form of hostility. Cancer itself is very scary especially when you are told that after my second Pet Ct Scan that my Colon Rectal Cancer has spread and incurable. What a bad hand I was dealt. I keep a positive attitude to help me cope wit life. Sugar spreads Cancer, so please odor note sugar and watch what you eat. We will survive. God Bless everyone who has Cancer. Do not give up! SmileL
When I had a relapse last year after being in remission for 30 years, my initial reaction was shock. how can I have a relapse after such a long time. I put my focus on Jesus's grace and healing then and now to help me cope. Having caring friends and siblings also help in the recovery process. Currently I channel my energy in exercising to build up my health.
The timing of this couldn't be more perfect. I've been in treatment for two years. I've worked very hard at being positive like everyone tells me to be, but, for the first time, my anger came out Friday night as I was recovering from chemo. It made me realize I need to do better at sharing my feelings with my husband so he can help me better cope with this ongoing journey.
AS far as my study there no doctor can cure cancer if you have a cancer there are many to be blame including yourself.Why? in cancer so many women affected in this problem today than in the year of our ancestors. DR.Clark And Jau Fie Chen claim that women are expose more in Enviromental Chemical or sometime we call now a Pollution and Infection.What causes infection 1. a parasite 2. virus and bacteria. And if you have this now the sign is a weak immune system you have.How to make a very strong immune cell. 1. Visit an area where there are so many tree why? a free oxygen you will get 2.Eat more fruit of any kind specially rainbow fruit or a different color of fruit why your Immune system dependent on that SEASONAL fruit. if you make an effort for doing this YOU HOPE OF GETTING WELL x hundred % you yourself destroy the cancer in you body and getting easily.
yes anger is normal, but every time you feel anger remember one thing on the spot of anger in thirty minute your adrenal glan will secrete a hormone called cortisol steroid,and it can feed the cancer cell o stimulate of cloning and it grow faster than you think.In just thirty minute try as fast as you can make an effort by walking doing something that you may be sweating why because cortisol steroid will go out as you sweat and no feed for a cancer cell. JOY IS WHAT THE CANCER PERSON NEED. Why every time you feel happy an immune cell can stimulate the other immune cell the natural killer cell or immune cell kill he cancer cell easily and that is only a very good hope for a cancer person.
Dears, How lovely is this tool how to help people deal with cancer related anger. A very nice support to people exposed to dying from the disease. Banning GMO, nitrates/nitrites, MSG, food without pesticide residue, reducing unnecessary medical XRays could make a real difference. Once I had 18! Eighteen!! Xrays at one dental visit, to get a single, simple filling done, now I am fighting like hell. They did those Xrays to me against my asking not to. What have you done so far to prevent cancer from happening? What have you done to prevent medical and pharmaceutical practices to reduce their carcinogenity? By the way, what is the reason to have artificial color ingredients in medications?
I am very angry that a good, decent young man....my husband.....was taken from me in January because of a rare form of cancer. He fought this beast with every fiber of his being, but he lost his battle and I lost my soul mate.
There is a Dr who has been curing cancer in Italy. Please search on youtube for Dr Simoncini who has had a lot of success treating cancer patients. You will never get a cure here in America
Thanks I feel angry and it does not help me to be around my friends who are mentally challenged thanks for the tips
I feel frustrated too.This cancer is on my mind all the stinkin time now I wish I did not have it but its not true.I deal with it one day at a time
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