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Picture of Topic  'Today I am feeling' - managing emotions

Topic

Topic 'Today I am feeling' - managing emotions

Share how you are feeling and swap tips for managing stress with other members and the online team

  • 186 conversations

Cancer and anger

Started by Anonymous on 16 June 2014 at 18:17

Do you think anger is a stage most people go through at some point when they have had a cancer diagnosis? And do you think we are encouraged/allowed to say we feel angry to family, friends and health care staff?

Comments (4)

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  • From Anonymous
    03 July 2014 at 07:44
    Edited on: 04 July 2014 at 11:46

    What an important thread this is, touching as it does on issues affecting so many people on Maggie's online.

    The eminent psychologist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, in her 1969 book "On Death and Dying", highlighted a series of emotional stages experienced when faced with impending death or the death of someone.  These are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.  It may be that these are the source of the emotions pointed up by C2FEA in her post below. Certainly they can be applied and adapted very readily when a cancer diagnosis is placed before someone. What is interesting about these various stages is that they need not necessarily follow any particular order.  They can jump about all over the place, and crop up at the most unexpected times.  So we can be up one day, down the next; full of anger, fear etc at some points and then a bit more composed and resigned -optimistic even- at other times.

    We are all of us only human and it would be very strange if we were not affected by some or all of the five emotional stages identified here as we face life following a cancer diagnosis.  Those who have submitted their thoughts so eloquently in this conversation are living examples of the fears and other feelings which can abound when faced with a potentially life changing illness.  As some have said it's how we channel these and get on with living that's important.  It can be a huge challenge though, and perhaps that is the main inspiration behind Maggie's - to offer support, solidarity and hope when we feel our lives have been turned upside down.


  • From Anonymous
    02 July 2014 at 19:51

    I'm with you all here, I'm mindful of something I once came across during a really tough time which is was described to me as how a person copes with a major event or trauma. I think it goes, Denial, Shock, Anger then Acceptance. To my mind, it's a natural process of processing but there has to be a way to channel it so it doesn't consume you. I haven't got to anger yet, I'm stuck in desperation about what I may not live to see, as I have such young children. I know it's not healthy or helping and my head and heart say different things, but ultimately, I have to feel, deal, brush myself down and do my best with it. I don't want to exude any more negativity, for the sake of my family - that makes me feel guilty.


  • From Anonymous
    02 July 2014 at 19:22

    My husband really needed an outlet for his anger when he was diagnosed with Terminal Lung Cancer. He struggled to control his anger at times. I wanted to help him express it but I didn't know how. Jeanette


  • From Anonymous
    17 June 2014 at 06:21

    Some thoughts. I think most people go through a stage of feeling angry and also look for something or someone to blame for the cancer. Sometimes we turn that inside and blame ourselves all of which can add to the feeling of loss and hopelessness. Although I was diagnosed and treated last year I still find myself trying to understand 'why me'' and I then feel guilty when I see examples of others bring brave and courageous in the face of it all, like the wonderful Stephen Sutton. It sometimes feels that everyone has moved on- family, friends and even medical staff( fewer monitoring appointments) - but I still can't picture a future without cancer. Logically, I know there's no point to anger but perhaps if we felt we could express it freely it might be a first step to leaving it behind. Elaine


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