How to Deal with the Anger of Cancer
After diagnosis, many experience a feeling of "why me?" about their cancer. Sometimes it can manifest into a resentment either at a higher power or those around them. However, there is a way to manage it and ensure it does not fester into something more harmful.
Understand that it's common and understandable
It's important to know that many people go through the exact same anger and frustration that you are right now. There is no reason to feel guilty or apologize for this anger; it is simply important to find a way to manage it, both for you and those around you. Often, it helps many to reach out to others who have been diagnosed with cancer, and be open and honest with them about the anger you are experiencing. They will likely understand from experience, which helps in validating those feelings so they do not become explosive.
Know your symptoms
Sometimes when we have an underlying anger, in this case about cancer, we act out in ways that we often do not realize are correlated to the root cause. If you find yourself lacking the reason and rationality, trust, and self-belief you usually have, it may be important to understand that you are not responding out of anger of trivial day-to-day things like it might seem, but the life-changing diagnosis of cancer.
Anger, bitterness, rage, resentment, hate, and fear can be overcome. They do not have to control you because of cancer, and there are ways to overcome them in a healthy manner. Often, by experiencing these changes in personality and attitude, once you work your way through them you will find yourself to be stronger and more emotionally stable than ever before.
Be honest about your emotions
While it is important not to be controlled by your emotions, that does not mean that you should not be honest with them, both with yourself and others. Diagnoses, operations, treatments, and therapies can all be very frightening. You should never lie about being scared or upset, as those are totally adequate emotions to feel in the situation.
Do not keep your emotions locked up inside, as many try to. While you might think you are being strong and refraining from burdening others, this often leads to explosions of rage or bitterness from all the pent-up emotions festering inside. Find a way to honestly communicate the ways you are feeling so you do not have to go through the process alone.
Be optimistic, yet flexible
It is important to remain optimistic throughout your experiences with cancer. It is truly incredible how attitude can alter physical health. However, do not rely on only getting good news, or become too downtrodden when you do not receive it. As difficult as it is, try to be understanding and receptive even when you receive news that seems devastating. While everything is changing for you, you are still in control of how you respond to it.
In other words, "prepare for the worst, hope for the best." However, if your preparations don't work out as planned, don’t worry. No one can ever truly be "prepared" for cancer and what it brings.
Read on for more tips!