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As well as sharing experiences with our friendly online community, registered members are able to contact our experienced online team. The Centre is staffed during office hours and the online team aim to reply within 24 hours.

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


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

Angry and upset all the time

Started by Anonymous on 08 July 2015 at 00:08

My partner of 32 years underwent a mastectomy two years ago. I thought it was the worst time of my life. About four months ago, my partner had a bad back problem. We both thought it was a slipped disc. One visit to the doctors later, we end up with an MRI and a visit to the Royal Marsden. My partner has secondary bone cancer. There's more but even after all this time I still can't straighten it out in my head. It's not treatable. She's going to die. I have two sons one is 7, the other is 10. All I can think about is them losing their mum. I've known her more than half my life. I can't think of a future without her in it. I spent weeks feeling a crushing sadness. Now I just feel angry and upset most of the time. It's not fair on my kids but I just can't help it. I can't continue like this. I know this, but I don't know what to do.

Comments (1)

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  • Picture of SusieQ
    From SusieQ  
    08 July 2015 at 11:06
    Edited on: 08 July 2015 at 17:21


    When someone you love has secondary cancer - your plans, hopes, and dreams of a continued future together is suddenly under severe threat. To be aware that at some undetermined point in the future, you will lose her, is understandably devastating - and you are naturally pre-occupied with a myriad of feelings and emotions.

    It is so hard, then, to try and live a normal life, with routines for the boys, intermingled with hospital visits, when all you may want to do is to curl up in a ball, and wish it weren't happening.

    I'm not sure how reassuring it will sound, if I explain that the feelings of sadness, rage, and turmoil are natural. You're processing an enormous amount of information, worrying about managing your own feelings, supporting your partner, and anxiety about the children. You're also beginning the process of grieving...anticipating and dreading a time when she may no longer be here.

    It's not a time to try and manage this alone. You and your partner may have already been working on the practical issues about the boys welfare, when anything happens. However, it doesn't take into account the emotional pain.

    Talking openly with each other, about things, painful though they may feel can help. Sometimes, as the person watching the illness unfold, you may need individual support too. Good friends and family can be a source of comfort, even if sometimes it's to do normal things, and take your mind off the 'bigger' picture.

    Something like this can catapult you into feelings of anxiety and depression, so keeping in touch with your GP, for your own health/wellbeing, is very helpful. Finding people to talk to about how you feel, and how you might cope, can help take some control back over the situation. If you live near one of our Maggie's Centres, drop in and speak with the team there - it's a welcoming and friendly environment, and there will be other people around who understand the depths of sadness and anger you're feeling right now.

    Also if your partner is being treated at the Royal Marsden Hospital, there are support groups and psychological support available within the hospital. It is likely that your partner has been allocated a specialist nurse (sometimes known as 'Macmillan Nurse') who can be a source of knowledge and guidance for you all as a family. he or she will also know of any local counselling available, or local men's groups.

    If you work, alerting your colleagues about the home situation, and it's effects, will enable negotiation for flexible working - and understanding that you're not always going to be able to concentrate or function well...

    Trying to create a new sense of 'normal' at home, treats, enjoyment, family times - may be poignant, but help create the memory bank, which you as a family can build on...because with secondary bone cancer, some people can live for a considerable time - and it can feel a bit like being in the airport departure lounge, with no definitive leaving time. The uncertainty can hang over you all - and the dread of what is to come can supercede the 'here and now'.

    Here online, we offer a family, partners and friends support group, which meets on Monday evenings 7pm - 8pm, and can be somewhere to talk through practical and emotional aspects of what you're all going through. (To find out more about our online groups and workshops - follow the link here). We also have people in our online community who have been where you are today - and will identify with how you feel.

    I'll send you a personal message too, so you can have a place to talk privately about how things are - and I know that everyone reading your conversation post will be thinking of you, and wishing you well...

    Warm wishes


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