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ANGER


lisaRN

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I have been away for a few days and when I returned I found myself surprised at some of the posts I was reading re: ANGER.

Without getting specific (I have no desire to go there) I do have some thoughts on ANGER.

It surprises me to see how many people are easily offended by other's "ANGRY" tones. I think that it is important for us all to remember that we each are dealing with this horrible situation, that unfortunately we all have in common, in our own individual ways.

And while yes it's true that life is about give and take, it also helps us to remember that sometimes we are so consumed with our own anger that it is not easy for us to "give back" at that time (sometimes we don't have anything left to give) ....

after all there is no definitive timeline that tells us that we must be over our anger and learn to acccept in such and such timeframe..... there can't be....we are all DIFFERENT.

Thank GOD most of my days I am able to stay focused on the positive.... keep myself together for my son's and my husband's sake as well as for my own sanity...

Although I consider myself to be an optimist and try to encourage everyone around me to stay positive also, I too HAVE experienced some of the stages of grief.... I would challange anyone who says they have not experienced these stages as well.

I for one, reserve the right to be angry.

I HATE CANCER.

I HATE what it is doing to my family and to the other families I see suffering from it's wrath.

I HATE having to wake up every day to the REALITY that this isn't a dream....

I HATE having to hear my son asking me ( through streaming tears) if his father is dying and WHY hasn't anyone found a cure for this disease....

I HATE having to translate all the "bad news" in the reports to my husband and son because the docs held back and simply handed us a copy.

I HATE it when we walk into the doctor's office and the nurse asks "How's he doing?" and then I tell her not well and list all of his symptoms of the day and she nonchalantly says.... "Oh, that's normal" NORMAL???? There is nothing normal about this disease or the situation we are in....

I HATE it when everyone tells me when to cry or not to cry and how I should try not to worry.....

I FEEL WHAT I FEEL WHEN I FEEL IT AND I THINK I HAVE A RIGHT TO WORRY....

AM I ANGRY????? ..... YOU BET I AM!!!!

I dont think about my anger every single second....maybe not even every single day... but it is there...and it is NORMAL..... and it is a RIGHT that I wish I hadn't earned...

I know everyone has good intentions.... but the whole point here is to SUPPORT.....

I think patients/caregivers coming to support boards like this come here to VENT their ANGER....let out their frustrations.....

I think that the expectation is that if you speak openly about your feelings that you will not be JUDGED in a SUPPORT community but instead will be SUPPORTED.... even if your way of dealing with this is different from everyone else...

I think that when patients/caregivers take the time to post messages and replies on a SUPPORT board that they are looking for others to UNDERSTAND AND SUPPORT them by saying " I HEAR YOU" "I MAY NOT AGREE WITH YOU, BUT I HEAR YOU"

That being said.... is there anything ABNORMAL about being ANGRY????

NO! NO! NO!

Grief is a process of physical, emotional, social and cognitive reactions to a real or perceived loss. It is usually experienced by both patient and caregiver.

Although individual responses to illness/loss are as diverse as the people experiencing them, the grieving process has significant common stages.

What is most important is that we all understand that ALL of these EMOTIONS are NORMAL and EXPECTED.

One needs to be patient with themselves or others experiencing a terminal illness or loss. As a nurse, I have learned that people often go through stages or phases of grief.

Some stages of grief reactions are described below, they were taken from a project given to me in nursing school and are not my own words.

Although, I am unsure of the author of this specific excerpt, I believe it is based on Elisabeth Kubler Ross's book On Death and Dying.

I hope it is helpful to patients and caregivers alike....

The Five Stages of Grieving

1. Denial, shock and Isolation:

The first reaction to learning of terminal illness or death of a loved one is to deny the reality of the situation. It is a normal reaction to rationalize overwhelming emotions. It is a defense mechanism that buffers the immediate shock. We block out the words and hide from the facts. This is a temporary response that carries us through the first wave of pain. The reality of terminal illness/death has not yet been accepted by the bereaved. He or she feels stunned and bewildered as if everything is "unreal."

2. Anger:

As the masking effects of denial and isolation begin to fade, reality and its pain re-emerge. We are not ready. The intense emotion is deflected from our vulnerable core, redirected and expressed instead as anger. The anger may be aimed at inanimate objects, complete strangers, friends or family. Anger may be directed at our dying or deceased relative/friend. Rationally, we know the individual is not to be blamed. Emotionally, however, we may resent them for causing us pain or for leaving us. We feel guilty for being angry, and this makes us more angry. The grief stricken person often lashes out at family, friends, themselves, God, the doctors or the world in general.

Health professionals deal with death and dying every day. That does not make them immune to the suffering of their patients or to those who grieve for them.

3. Bargaining:

The normal reaction to feelings of helplessness and vulnerability is often a need to regain control. If only we had sought medical attention sooner. If we got a second opinion from another doctor. If I changed my diet, maybe I will get well. In this stage, the bereaved asks for a deal or reward from either God, the doctor or the Clergy. Comments like "I'll go to Church every day, if only my loved one will come back to me" are common. This is a weaker line of defense to protect us from the painful reality.

4. Depression:

Depression occurs as a reaction to the changed way of life created by the loss. The bereaved person feels intensely sad, hopeless, drained and helpless.

5.Acceptance:

Reaching this stage of mourning is a gift not afforded to everyone. Acceptance comes when the changes brought upon the person by the loss are stabilized into a new lifestyle. Death may be sudden and unexpected or we may never see beyond our anger or denial. It is not necessarily a mark of bravery to resist the inevitable and to deny ourselves the opportunity to make our peace. This phase is marked by withdrawal and calm. This is not a period of happiness and must be distinguished from depression.

PRAYERS FOR ALL

WITH EVERY DIFFICULTY ~ THERE IS RELIEF..................LISA :D

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Lisa, I sincerely appreciate this post. You have made me see that it is normal for all stages of the process. I am in the stage that I still haven't truly accepted this and haven't entered the real ANGER and GRIEVING stage yet. I am still at the point of trying to be strong for everyone else's sake. I know that it will come, and soon. Thank you so much for saying these things.

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Great post, I was just talking about this friday with Connie. We grieve over many things not only the loss of a loved one. We grieve over the loss of our health, the loss of our dreams, the loss of our energy, the loss of our carefree-ness. We are not finished until our loss is resolved. Thanks Lisa for putting it down so well. Donna G

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I know there were several times in the 11 months and 21 days of my dad's illness that I felt everything inside of me had been stretched and beaten. My husband will attest that there was nothing left inside of me to give to anyone else- that the roller coaster I was on with my dad had my emotions on auto pilot, my anger fuse was very short...I had little or no patience at all.

I agree with your post. Unfortunately, that really needed to be said, and thank you for doing it so well.

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Lisa,

I understand the grieving process, and I understand a need for anger. I have been angry once or twice :roll: myself. I believe that venting helps to relieve that core of anger that builds up in a person's soul - but I do NOT agree with lashing out personally at someone who is trying to help or offer support.

I understand everyone has a bad day, and that apologies are hard to make. There is a level of responsibility in carrying a loaded weapon (and I mean anger) and if that weapon is to go off accidentally, there are consequences. Normally, an apology will suffice when a person has shot off their anger randomly.

Although I understand the anger and the need to release it, I do not support the personal attacks that seem to be the "norm" around here. This board is supposed to be for support, after all. We are ALL hurting from the same disease, touched differently, but hurting nonetheless. A little bit of empathy goes a long way.

Thanks for the informational post.

Becky

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I have not been around much lately...mostly due to overwhelming sadness at some of the losses and setbacks suffered here. It all became too much to contend with emotionally and I found myself without adequate words of comfort so I've mostly just lurked a little.

However, it's also true that part of my pulling away had to do with some of the anger and conflicts that arose here over the past couple of months. It seemed needless and it was upsetting to see it going on. Although I do support getting one's anger out, I don't think it needs to be directed OR (as has been the case here) MISdirected at other members!

In that regard, Snowflake has said it all for me! A few threads have deteriorated into personal attacks and there have been a few notable chips on a few shoulders. This is not the place for that and I, for one, have found such attacks good cause for me to keep some distance rather than fan any fires with my comments. :(

I live with a guy who is madder than he## about my cancer....my husband of 33 yrs. I've fought to keep my own spirits up...to remain positive and optimistic and quite honestly, it's been made more difficult by the fact that he's still stuck in anger! We are trying to deal with his anger now that it's become clear just how stuck he is....but my personal feeling is that anger isn't going to help me get well. In fact, just the opposite!

Trust me....I have my own moments of anger and frustration....but few, if any of them, have to do with the simple fact of having lung cancer. The way I see it....it's as simple as rotten d*mn luck! Any anger I might have at "The Fates"....I'd rather channel into some positive determination to beat this lousy beast !

When someone else inflicts their anger upon us....it leeches our energies away from the real fight....the cancer itself. That's how I see it. Giving support, caring, offering up words of kindness to someone struggling with this disease, someone with worries, a setback, a loss or simply the shock of diagnosis....doesn't take away from us, so much as it gives us a positive sense of having helped someone else.

But countering someone's anger is a drain, especially when it's in the form of a personal attack, name calling or if the anger is misdirected in the first place.

Okay, I'll get off my soapbox now, but not before I say this: There are some truly wonderful people here and it didn't take long to discover that. There are very few whose anger might be more pronounced or who might be more prone to "sniping" at others. I'll say it again...this is not the place for that as I think most of us would agree that it drains the positive energy from this place!

Maybe, for some, this place is too "touchy, feely"...and if that is the case, they are welcome NOT to visit here! For those that need a little of that while dealing with cancer....this place is just the ticket.

It's not anyone's "job" here to judge anyone else. This is the lc SUPPORT community, so it's all right there in the name, isn't it?

I'm going back to lurkdom for a while. Being angry ain't the problem. Taking it out on others here, is. No matter how p.o.'d someone might be....in my view, there is NO excuse for telling someone with cancer to "get a life"!

One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was from a friend who was a clinical psychologist. He said....."Never say in anger what you wouldn't say otherwise!" Angry, ugly words can resonate for a long, long time.

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ADDIE,

It's SO good to see you post - and a great one at that. I've really missed you! I know we've communicated in PMs, but I'm happy to see you "on the board." I'm sorry that you are dealing with anger in your home - that's a tough one to work through. We've had some of that here, mostly from our 27-yr-old son. He has worked through it somewhat and is doing a lot better now, but it's been tough trying to stay positive with that anger present. Of course, my husband has had some angry moments/days, but not too many. He's really handled having this disease with grace.

Just wanted to WELCOME you back, and I sure hope you will stick around and share your insight and wisdom with all of us.

Love,

Peggy

P.S. I keep meaning to tell you that your dogs look almost exactly like mine. The brown one is nearly identical, same size and same color. Our black one is the same size as your black one, too, but she isn't totally black - she has some other markings. Send me your email in a PM and I'll send you a couple of pictures. You won't believe it!

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I can see both sides of this issue, I think. Anger is normal and unavoidable. Taking it out on someone is also normal. What I saw was an attack that goes beyond just "a bad day" or a hurt person lashing out from their pain. It was mean-spirited and very, very hurtful. I don't think that kind of behavior is acceptable, especially when it's directed at another lung cancer survivor who's suffering.

Jack, I admire your attitude, and I admire your heart. Maybe there is a balance between "ganging up" on someone who's lashed out in anger and just letting it go.

Since you are a kind-hearted, compassionate person who deeply loves a lung cancer survivor, I would honestly appreciate hearing how you believe the situation with BoBennett should have been handled. Let's say that he attacked Cheryl in the same way he attacked Snowflake and you were given the sole responsibility of responding to him, what would you have said? Or would you have said anything?

Please, I'm being real here. I want to learn from your perspective and compassion. If you're rather reply by PM, that's great, too.

Thanks.

Pam

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Pamela, thanks for responding and offering your opinion. Mean spirited and hateful is how you described Bo's post if that is what you read into it. I don't think Bo came out of the blue and blasted this person, I think quite the contrary. I think these 2 had some diagreements prior to this episode and I feel Bo felt he was pushed past his limit, after all, like everyone here, we are all under a great deal of stress to begin with. Sometimes we all look at the effects and never question the cause. Like in a football game, the guy that throws the first punch rarely gets caught... it's always the guy that retaliates that gets the flag.

In answering how I think the correct way to handle it would be? That is very hypothetical because Cheryl doesn't seem to put herself in that position as she has never had incidents like these. If it came out of the blue from a guy and for no reason.... I'd probably want to rip his head off. No, God wouldn't like it, but that's how I would feel. Those that didn't get a chance to read the post before it was erased, would have been shocked. Yes, Bo had some unpleasant things to say (loudmouth being the worst) but the responses were downright dreadful. Like "TERMINATE YOUR MEMBERSHIP NOW", and so on. Almost a RIOT type of atmosphere. Pretty sad. You would think that the person for whom Bo had the argument with would be willing to ask him back personally by now. I guess holding a grudge is the cool thing to do these days.

Hope I answered some of your questions Pamela... thanks for listening to my opinion as well as giving yours.

Jack

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i just found this site last week. the first few days were so encouraging and then all this @#$% started. i was blasted by bo for an innocent comment i made. i choose to let it go.

i don't know what has happened in the past, but i do know that this site was a God-send for me. for all the people who will be diagnosed today and looking for help tonight.... could we all please just let the 'anger' stuff go and get on with helping one another????

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This tune just popped into my head.....

You take the good... you take the bad... you take them both and there you have the facts of life, the facts of life.

When the world doesn't seem....to be livin' up to your dreams... and suddenly your'e findin' out... the facts of life are all about...you!

:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

Melanie,

You're right....we are here for supporting each other.....please don't get discouraged.... i am so glad i found this group and glad you did too.....

WITH EVERY DIFFICULTY ~ THERE IS RELIEF........................LISA :)

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