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Getting to know you...November 21


Ann

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Well, for me it was through knowledge. The more I learned, the less angry I was. I must admit that when I ask my mom's Drs. questions and they do not answer them to my liking (incomplete answers, ignore me), I do still give them a bit of attitude and push them. Perhaps they perceive it as me being angry or crabby, but really it is how I manage the anger!

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I never got angry and still don't. Figured when I was told like any other health issue I have just deal with it. Getting mad, angry or taking it out on someone is not going to chance anything. Never felt sorry or why me. I believe that we are all on a journey and that things are going to happen along the way, good, bad or indifferent. Part of life and it is up to one to turn a negative into a positive. There is a reason for everything and that things have a way of balancing out in the long run. Some very positive things have happened since my diagnoses with lung cancer and I think it has made me a better person.

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I was angry...very angry...but not quite sure just who to be angry with! I first thought of being angry with Dennis, as I had tried to get him to stop smokling for 25 years. But...I couldn't be mad at him, as he was was going to die. I thought of being angry at God for allowing this to happen to my wonderful husband, but...I couldn't be mad at Him because He was the only one that could allow Dennis to live. So...I guess I was angry with myself for most of the time. I had a very hard time dealing with the anger and very few chances to release the anger that would build inside of me. At work, I had to be nice to people all day. At home, I had to care for Dennis and show only love, compassion and tenderness. I had to be brave and pretend that I really believed we would beat this illness. So, I finally found a release. When I was driving in the car alone, I would scream. Really scream. Thank God that here in Florida, we always have windows up and AC on. That screaming helped me make it through.

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When I first learned of Alan's Lung Cancer I was numb, it wasn't until he almost died in March that I became angry. I have a very long discussion with God and told him exactly how I felt. (we are on better terms now)

Now when I am angry I play a good hard hockey game. nothing like taking out on guys who are 6 inches taller than me and out weight me by about 75-100 pounds. (Although I am sure I am more sore than they are the next day :? )

Then I volunteer at the hospital and go up to the cancer ward and realize that even though Alan and I are dealing with this disease, there are others in worse shape than we are. No more anger.

Debbie

Husband Alan DX small cell lung cancer Jan 10th 2005

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I was really angry (maybe still am but in a different way)

I stalked the internet for information, needed help but didn't find any, so we created a place that offered help.

I stay extremely busy working 40-60 hour weeks, and when there isn't something going on, I create something....because if I stop just for a second, I would be frozen in my grief- over my dad, the MANY we have lost here that I had grown to know and love, and now my brothers DX.

I just don't stop. That's how I deal with the grief and anger.

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I think the anger is much more intense for the caregiver than the patient. How did I handle the anger? Well not very well. The anger came a little later--at first I was shocked, and just devastated. I have never cried so hard in my life. We had three kids and one was only three. We were told John didn't have a long time so at first I was so focused on other things there was no time for anger.

The anger came mainly at certain individuals that acted so selfishly and abominably I will never feel the same about them again. It came when someone offered to mow the lawn and then never showed up. It came when offers were made and then never followed up on. I was just so incredibly tired I wanted to bite someones head off.

Maybe it wasn't the best thing to do but I finally had it out with the worst person of all. It felt good and to this day I don't regret a single word I said to her. I think it was the absolute best thing I could do for my family at the time.

Sorry I've run on...this got me going... :lol:

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I never got angry and DH didn't either. Instead I went into deep depression (while searching and researching and gathering info on a tumor no doctor here had ever treated) and became withdrawn. DH felt frustrated and helpless, but not angry.

Even when disappointed by people, like Ry was, I didn't become angry - just hurt. One example....one 'friend' offered to do 'whatever' when needed. Well, there was a caregiver seminar offered at the hospital and we thought it would be a good thing for DH to attend. However, I was in a state of not being able to be left alone and I called her to come visit with me. She had plans for dinner with friends and couldn't. Asked her another time to come for a visit so DH could get out with some of the guys for a while... she couldn't again. I NEVER have asked, nor ever will ask her for anything again. NOW I am angry about that. Guess that is not really what's being asked here, huh? Sorry - got off on a tangent.

Kasey

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This is such a good thread. I was very angry. I can start up on things today and STILL be angry. None of this is fair for any of us, no one deserves to go thru this cancer or to lose someone to it. It's just not natural.

Yes like RY's post, there are so many people that dissapointed me. It took a while to realize that we had to just focus on our family and not what others could or would do or not do. You just can't control that.

A story: I got very angry just yesterday.

My mom told me her old friends J & L were buying a new house and I nearly choked.

This is a married couple my parents age. The man was a vietnam vet like dad and the woman from vietnam like my mom- Their kids and I used to play together before they moved away and we all grew up. Anyway, when my dad was at his sickest, they came to visit. SHE boo-hoo'd all over the place and HE sat with dad and talked about the "old days".

When they left I thought it was so nice of them to come visit- then I learned the truth. SHE had been complaining to my mom the entire time how broke they were, how they weren't going to make the mortgage because SHE had been sick and HE wasn't getting work and their kids were deadbeats still living at home. THEY were there to borrow money from my DAD!

They borrowed $2,000 from my dad, who was sick and dying and could hardly sit up. It makes my stomach sick just thinking of that.

Anyway, they just bought a new house- and incidently they never paid my dad back.

WHEW! Thanks for this thread and letting me vent.

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I was supposed to handle my anger? That wasn't in the brochure. :wink:

I probably ate more chocolate than usualy (quite a feat), probably snapped at my DH a lot...maybe yelled at my students more than usualy (another big feat).

Then I went on the internet to learn more, and found you dear friends.

It all got easier at that point.

:) Kelly

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I haven't "handled" my anger yet. Just yesterday afternoon I took a throw rug out on our back deck and beat the hell out of it over the rail...boy did that feel good. I usually let the anger build up and about twice a week I find some way to let it out. Last week it was a big tree in our far back yard that I took a hatchet to, now Bill tells me that I've probably killed it and it will have to be professionally removed ($$), I guess I'll stick to my cheap throw rugs from now on!

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I was angry at mom at first. How could she do this to us! I know that was a TOTALLY rediculous thing to think, but that's the truth. I already knew to much about it since I'm a respiratory therapist, and I next just felt disbelief. THIS couldn't be happening to us. Not again. I had just lost my grandmother the year before to lung cancer. She went through hell with it and I didn't want to see mom go through that. Then, one day, I just accepted it. Getting angry wasn't going to make it go away. The only time I was angry then, was at myself because I knew to much. Ignorance truely can be bliss when you know to much. I kept a lot to myself because I didn't want to discourage her. That made me angry , why did I have to know and understand so much. Then, out of the blue I decided to let God do his thing. At first, all I asked and prayed for was for her to be healed, and he did that, for a few wonderful months. Then, I just asked for his will to be done. And somehow I found peace in that. It was for Him to decide, not me, my dad, the doctors or nurses, it was just between God and mom; and it was time for her to go home.

Am I angry still? No, mom had done her job; she lovingly raised her family, touched so many with her loving and giving heart, and most of all, she finished her journey by showing me, my sister and brother the way to the Lord. It was time for her reward. I'm still sad because I miss her so much, but the anger is gone.

Sorry for rambling on, but when I speak here on paper, so to speak, I mend just one more little piece of my heart.

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Like Ry said, I focused a lot of my anger on individuals that disappointed me (that's why I hand out so many, "Quit being dumb" cards now. ;)). One thing I did, and still do on my really angry days (and I'm not saying it's healthy) was stand in the shower and imagine conversations with people I was mad at... And boy did I let them have it! Then I would stop myself and say, "Self. They didn't even say that. Boy are you wasting a lot of emotional energy on conversations that you aren't even going to have." And I'd roll my eyes and quit.

Incidentally--I don't think having anger or going through moments of "Why me" are bad things. I think they are things that happen because we're human and being gentle with ourselves and letting ourselves feel those things when we're there is important. Just so long as we don't get stuck there.

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You know, I just have a hard time imagining that some of you guys weren't angry! Yes, I shared a lot of the other emotions that many of you mentioned but anger was right there at the top of my list! Maybe there is a big difference in the way a loved one takes this news. I suppose the patient has to keep it together mentally in order to fight. I was so angry and still am at times. I felt so cheated because this was happening to my family! I couldn't understand why there were so many mean people out there who were perfectly healthy, while my kind and gentle husband was dying? Maybe this wasn't supposed to be a part of things? Does this mean I should have had counseling? As a wife, I had so many fears that built up inside me and these fears became anger. Dennis had been my rock for 25 years, How was I supposed to merely accept that he was going to die? You know what...thee are days that I have it all together pretty well and manage to keep it all in one sock. But then, there are still days that I'm mad as hell!!! Sorry guys....guess I just don't have the right attitude.

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I wasn't angry either, ever. The only thing I have been angry with has been insurance companies, incompetent medical people, misinformed people, tobacco companies, government, ignorance in general.

I have never been angry about having lung cancer, it just happened, nothing to be angry about. AT diagnosis, my number one, two and three emotions were fear, terrible fear and paralyzing fear. I had no room for anger. If you had asked how I handled the fear, THAT would have been appropriate for me.

Good question though, brought some interesting insight into the emotions of both the caregiver and patient..

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I wasn't angry very scared and concerned for Joel. But for some reason I just knew he would be alright. He was so lucky to have an early stage, which helped.

I got right on the internet and search out information and the best doctors in my area.

We definietly found them. They saved his life.

Maryanne

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I cant remember ever feeling angry. What I did feel was an overwhelming sadness. A sadness that soon became a major depression that I hid from my Brother throughout his journey. My family felt they had lost me and I felt I had lost myself in the sadness. The depression started from his dx and continued for a very long time after his death. I would say I am not the same person as I was before his dx. I am not depressed any more but I have changed. Anger?? The only anger I felt was towaeds his wife and her treatment of him and the fact that no matter how much I tried to educate her on things that would help him etc she never paid any attention to.

As soon as I read the posted question, immediatly I knew it was sadness I felt, not anger.

God Bless You All,

Jane

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