• How to deal with the anger?

    Asked by szbc on Saturday, February 2, 2013

    How to deal with the anger?

    I find anger is starting to overtake me. I've always been easy to get along with, able to let things roll. But now I'm XXX! Why??? Why me? Why now? It doesn't help that I'm quitting smoking after 35 years.
    I'm ready to rip somebody's arm off and beat them!

    10 Answers from the Community

    10 answers
    • AlizaMLS's Avatar

      Hi Szbc! I understand the anger. I have it too re my breast cancer because there's no family history of it. We;re also the same age. Anyway, quitting smoking is a nightmare-I know not because of myself but because my mom quit when I was 9-she was a witch for a year and my daughter quit in college. She was a nightmare,. The anger over your cancer & how to deal-well, I might recommend what I'm doing, Cancer Care. They have Oncologic Social Workers to help -either in person or by phone. They're a bit different than any other therapist you might see because they're specially trained to deal with cancer patients. I wish I had a better answer for you, but I'm just at the beginning of this myself and well, it's a process and a road. I wish you well on your journey!!

      over 3 years ago
    • carm's Avatar

      I am not a cancer patient, just a nurse and caregiver. Working in oncology and especially in end of life care, you can't imagine the names I have been called because of the anger that this disease evokes. So now I am asking you to be selfish. At moments like these when the anger wells up within you, stop and think, what will you really gain from the anger? Its counter productive. You need to do things to put yourself in a place where you get the most benefit. Only you can know what that is. The energy you waste on anger can be used much wiser and more toward your benefit. If religion is your thing; then pray. If you think you deserve better; get your wallet and go spoil yourself. What you get from anger is zilch. You go from anger to depression...no prize. We are close in age, you and I. We have earned that right of passage, but we both know that nothing in life comes easy. This is a disease, not a punishment for bad behavior, not bad luck, not the short stick; just biology. I'm sure you have heard that saying, " You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have." Yet you seem to be more of the type that goes by that saying, "When somebody gives you a hammer, everything looks like a nail." Lately you feel that you might want to pound at anything. Like I said, I don't have cancer, but I have suffered in this life and Lord knows, I have lost. Now I go by that saying, "Two tears in a bucket, xxxx it!" I'm not letting anything put me in that position where darkness overcomes me, and I crumble for the lack of clarity. I deserve to be here and i'll fight for it. All these years and still we know so little about this disease. Yet, 54 years you have been on this earth and perhaps that disease knows little about you. Cancer does not know your spirit, your tenacity, the depths to which you will go to take back what is rightfully yours. If you want to get angry and you see the benefit of it then, have at it. But if you let this disease put you in a place that you would rather not be then stand up, lace up, and swing for the fences. Just go get your life back. Best of luck, Carm RN.

      over 3 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      I was very fortunate that the hospital i am being treated at has a protocol at their psychiatric center that offers a 12 weeks with a therapist who specializes in treating cancer patients. They know how to deal with the anger, day to day issues we face, etc. I also got a pharmaceutical referral from my oncologist for a doctor who specializes in treating cancer patients as well. A lot of our anger and anxiety are amplified by the chemo and drugs we take to mitigate side effects. The psychiatrist I am seeing joked "Steroids are what keep me in business" I take anti-anixity medication on regular schedule, and that has really helped me calm down enough to deal with my anger in positive proactive ways.

      over 3 years ago
    • BLBragg's Avatar

      Hello! I JUST had this conversation with my husband...there was a time just after treatment that he became very angry with everyone and everything. He couldn't explain it and didn't want to feel that way but simply couldn't help it. He too quit smoking and I guess that had something to do with it. And it wasn't until after we talked about it, that he realized the anger wasn't going to help him. Instead of focusing on what was wrong, he started to count his blessings. You know the old saying, "I was sad because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet" (something like that). Each day he looked for the positive. Each day that became easier. Each day he began to heal. When the pain started to go away, is when he was able to really get back to being his "old" self. Maybe it just takes some time, give yourself a break, don't be so hard on yourself. You have endured a lot and over time you will get back to being that "easy to get along with" person.

      over 3 years ago
    • Richardc's Avatar

      I agree with bl. When I received my diagnosis, i didnt have anger. It was after treatment was finished and when things were not going well that I felt my anger and sense of resentment. I ended up in a nursing home, and the doctors gave me little hope. I didn't know if I would recover enough to work again or resume normal activities. I had to focus on the positives,my faith in my religion(which i doubted for a while). It wasnt overnight, but with hope, came healing. With healing , came the realization that I could do most of my normal activities, including return to work. I did find a new normal, and sense of well being.

      Having someone to talk to who understands what you are going through can help. Those around you need to realize it isn't them you are angry with. But you have to find the positives. It does get better!

      over 3 years ago
    • Clyde's Avatar

      Physical activity helped (helps) me. You'ld be amazed how therapeutic using a chain saw can be. Or, beating a pillow with a stick. Or boxing, or running, cycling (if these are possible)......find an outlet that also hopefully has a benefit.

      over 3 years ago
    • SMT4's Avatar


      I know it can get frustrating and anger certainly at times has its place in cancer. I know I have had my moments, and at times it seems like anger will work to solve the problem. However, at the same time as other contributors have said what will the anger do for you? If you can use it in a positive way and get out there and have it motivate you to kick the cancer in its toushy ;o) then get angry and fight your way through it. The one thing we find out with cancer is what we are made of !

      Grandmother Says... Carrots, Eggs, or Coffee; "Which are you?"

      A young woman went to her grandmother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved a new one arose.

      Her grandmother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs and the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil without saying a word.

      In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her granddaughter, she asked, "Tell me what do you see?"

      "Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.

      She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they got soft.She then asked her to take an egg and break it.

      After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.

      Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The granddaughter smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma. The granddaughter then asked. "What's the point,grandmother?"

      Her grandmother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity--boiling water--but each reacted differently.

      The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.

      The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water they had changed the water.

      "Which are you?" she asked her granddaughter.

      "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?"

      Think of this: Which am I?

      Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

      Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff?

      Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?

      Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.

      When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate to another level?


      over 3 years ago
    • gwendolyn's Avatar

      I think anger is unavoidable. Many of us experience a lot of anger and bitterness. I think the best you can do is find a good outlet for it. For me, physical exercise and counseling with a therapist who is knowledgeable about cancer helps a lot. Others find that writing in a journal is helpful, or expressing themselves in art. I like @Clyde 's idea of using a chainsaw. The important thing is not to hold it all in and not to take it out on your family and friends.

      over 3 years ago
    • vet613's Avatar


      I know what you mean my friend. I am watching this post to learn from other surviviors. I can use the help.

      My best,

      over 3 years ago
    • lady1's Avatar

      My husband is constantly angry. It is very hard to take being yelled at all the time.I don't know how other care givers get through this. He won't go for help- won't tell his doctors about it-won't talk to a counselor.

      over 3 years ago

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