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Dealing with the anger Dealing with the anger

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Unread 12-14-2003, 05:30 AM
Dealing with the anger

I am almost 3 weeks post-op now and this isn't the first time I have written about anger in relationship to this hyst. I woke up this morning so angry again at my gyno because of both the clueless way he dealt with my chart and the way he answered questions I had with put-downs about my concerns instead of with answers. I only hope this time I can learn from my anger and not keep letting other people intimidate me when I have the right to my concerns.

I can almost not even write a post right now because my feelings are so mixed up inside because I am not sure whether to be glad I questioned his first choice of another laser surgery or not. It was only after I told him that he had already done two laser surgeries that he looked back in my chart and noted that was a fact. His next option was a hysterectomy, but since I don't have sick days or medical leave, I begged for another options so had a d&c and cone biopsy in late October and with that kind of surgery, the tissues removed are sent to pathology.

Had I not had that biopsy, I might be enjoying the Christmas season with my kids at work and have presents under my tree anticipating my Christmas giving to others because I wouldn't have had the alarming pathology report that caused the doctor to insist on an ASAP hysterectomy. I feel angry at the knowledge that I don't know for sure how my finances will stretch to the end of this month if EI doesn't come in in time since I have no sick days or medical leave on my job.

But had I not had the biopsy, I wouldn't have the results from 2 pathologists (the first pathologist sent the mterials for a second opinion because he was so concerned) I wouldn't have known that the "precancerous cells" in the cervical lesion had become cancerous and had extensively spread into the deeper layers of tissue. When my doctor learned that, all the sudden my case was taken seriously and surgery was set ASAP and couldn't even wait until January to give me the Christmas season and to let me prepare financially and mentally and emotionally for it.

He had given me the option of a hystectomy when he realized he had already done 2 laser surgeries without successfully removing the lesion but I would not have been able to reconcile why I was having that surgery based on the way he was dealing with my questions at the time as he was treating me as if it was a minor problem and he was only offering that because I had brought it to his attention that he didn't even know my chart. But because I decided on the "least invasive option" I know why the hysterectomy was necessary so am finding it a bit easier to let go of my pride to beg for help where I need it. I hate this feeling of helplessness as I have fought so hard to be able to support my home independently in the past 4 years.

I am only glad I kept my appointments going with my psych when the urgency of my July pap smear (urgent to my general practioner, that is) surfaced. I go see my psych next Tuesday and you can be sure this anger as well as stored grief will be part of the discussion. For today, guess I will go take my Clonazapam to deal with the day. I have to deal with this anger and not ignore it, but I can't let it overwhelm me if I am to do the things I need to do to get back to work 6 weeks after the surgery.

I don't expect any answers for my feelings since I know I have to sort this out. But I didn't know where else to go to share my feelings so that I can handle being alone for the next week. Why can't this just be simply a medical procedure like it is for some sister's on this site? There are so many layers of experience that are coming out for me to deal with because of this. But for now, I will settle for lowering this feeling of anger to get through today.
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Unread 12-14-2003, 02:24 PM
Dealing with the anger

Dearest hopeseeker,

Be proud in your feelings, for they define how you will learn and grow from this experience. It sounds like maybe with your anger and hopelessness, there is also so much fear. There is an end to it, I promise. These feelings will not swallow you whole. What do you fear? There is so much in your post that you have every right to be afraid of ... but do not let it overwhelm you. Name your fears. You have started. Money, losing your home. Losing your job? or a reprimand? Losing your life? Your family?

Once you name them, these fears, take a small step on each to make it manageable. Maybe a talk with your boss or your human resources is in order. I actually found that pressuring myself to go back to work at 6 weeks post was detrimental to my health, but my boss reacted in such anger to my wanting more time. But I needed the time, and I took it. There were consequences (sort of a reprimand -- sheesh). It certainly didn't help my opinion of him, did it? Sticks and stones ... when offered another job, I did not think about my loyalty to my boss in making my decision. Remember, one thing at a time. Even if all that you fear comes to pass, or seems to have fearful consequences attached to them, you will survive this. You are alive right now, and I am so thankful you are here and posting. Sometimes even the progress of time scares me ... but behind that is another fear (the end of the month bills, for example). And perhaps there is a way to ask for a period of grace right now, because of sudden circumstance?

Sometimes, I find that the Ativan helps me work through the overwhelming anxiety, but it also sometimes lulls me away from the source of my deepest terror, and so I don't do the deeper work I need to. But enough is enough. You need your rest right now desperately. You are, above all right now, a recovering .

In the resolution of your anger: I believe you have a right to talk to your gyn about how you are feeling. I did this when I felt wrongly treated by my GP, and, while I certainly did not get what I wanted (or needed) in the way of resolution, I got confirmation that it was time to switch Doctors. If I may make a suggestion: if you go this route, pick out another one ahead of time. Even make an appointment ahead of time for a "consultation." Your case has become so complex now, a second opinion is well-recommended and deserved.

The honest discussion of my feelings with my GP, at least, made me feel better. On the Road right now, there is some discussion of letter-writing. I myself haven't found that as useful. But I know I tried to bring it honestly out into the open, and resolve my anger and feelings of being mistreated in a way most appropriate for me at the time. It is hard, because we are so very dependent on our medical caretakers, for our very lives, to get us through these circumstances that threaten our being, our bodies, and our way of life -- including the timing of our surgery and the economic impact upon your quality of life and very survival. To be minimized in your concern, and very life, by someone with such power over you, is absolutely terrifying. Anger is a normal and healthy reaction right now. You are not alone in this experience. When you remember, as you remember. these events, it helps to surround yourself with light and love. You have never been alone in this, not for one second. God has always been there. Do not relive a terrifying moment and think you were ever alone.

You have so much on your mind and in your heart, hopeseeker . My prayer for you today is that you move through this experience becalmed and at peace with yourself. Act in a way that you maintain your personal integrity, and all will be right in the end.

With love and light,
Unread 12-14-2003, 09:46 PM
dealing with anger

hey hopeseeker..been where you are...except I've great bosses..and some medical leave..I also was diagnosed with cancer and it made me so angry I could spit!..especially since I had been watched since age twenty for it..and my first gyno just kept brushing me off.... had 6 hrs worth of laproscopic surgey 5 years ago..and they should've just taken it then... use your anger as a catalyst to do GOOD things with...find your answers..and try not to take it out on innocent Loretta said..anger is most likely fear.... and once we can see that and start dealing with fears...anger sorta fades... you can't change your will happen..and it most likely will NOT be as bad as you isn't everything..and you can always call and try to get a temporary extension on'd be surprised how a lil sugar..and honesty works with billing depts.....
be pro-active and it will help... Whatever deity you believe in will get you thru this's one a lifetime of events..and it will pass... don't get caught up in the should've could've would'ves...stay focused on here and now..and do what you need to do... K ?...hugs and prayers..and remember..this too shall pass
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Unread 12-15-2003, 12:20 AM
Dealing with the anger


I think you have every right to be angry. The only thing I worry about is if you are going to let it get in the way of your healing process. You don't want to do that. At some point you will let yourself move on, and then, hopefully, you will be done with it......mark it down to another chapter in your life and go ahead with the next.

I am sorry all this has had to happen to you during the holidays. But surely it will not completely ruin your family's celebration. It will just be different this year. Try to look at it that way. I'd be willing to bet that your family would rather have you be healthy and alive for years and holidays to come than trade it for one unblemishedl holiday season.

Could be that your hormones are giving you a run, sometimes that makes it harder for us to let go of our anger. Recognizing that fact helps me. Sometimes I just need to take a little time to prioritize my feelings. Making a list of the things I am thankful for has helped me more than you could know. When I look at my list, which mostly contains things about my family and those I love, I am able to let go of some of the bad feelings that tend to clutter my brain and bring me down.

I hope your recovery and return to work goes smoothly, and I hope that God looks after you and your family this holiday season.

Unread 12-15-2003, 12:40 AM

Please understand, I am not dwelling on my anger and letting it control me nor am I running from it. The meds simply stop my brain from what I call "short-circuiting" my thinking ability by slowing down the chemical pulses caused by anxiety. That leaves me free to actual deal with the things that are going on.

I learned this lesson many years ago when dealing with an infant almost dying. During the crisis, a lot of the feelings have to be put aside to let you handle the here and now and do what is needed -- in that case, be with the child in the hospital and interact with the other women sharing the sleeping space without overwhelming them with my own feelings. There is a high correlation between stress and the condition that lead to my hysterectomy. If I need it, I will take a medication to help with the stress/anxiety aspects so that my body can heal.

You are right, there was fear in part of what I said and I dealt with it today by getting out the copy of the pathology report that I ask my doctor to give me and researched the terms in it to better understand the whys of this whole operation. Doing so gave me the sense that having the hysterectomy was necessary but also gave me reason to believe that there will be an end to this. Time will tell there.

But like when I got ill after the crisis with my dd passed, the feelings I couldn't deal with as I had to handle the ASAP aspect of my surgery can be dealt with now especially this week while I am going to be alone 95% or more of the time. I am not going to run from my anger. I will look at the causes but I will not rename it to make it acceptable.

This is my third period of time of more than a month that I have had to be off work in the past 4 years. The first lasted 2 years. 3 months after getting totally off disabilty for that one, I broke my ankle -- another 10 weeks with months of pain and concern afterwards that was minimized by the doctor until an xray 6 months later demonstrated irrevocably that the bone did not heal but was being held together with scar tissue. That xray was in April.

In July I got my first ASAP call to my general doctor that paved the road to this surgery and recovery period. My gyno minimized the problem by delays and attitude until the biopsy report irrevocably let him know that this was a serious problem. I need to learn the lesson my anger has to teach me about being more assertive with my questions and concerns.

At work, my supervisor is great and everyone has done what they can to help me along but I work for a government agency whose bureaucracy has no room to change the rules to help out in a situation like this because of my position. I will be all right in the end, I always am........ but I will take this time to deal honestly with my feelings because when I get back to work, I will be back in my caring profession and will need to put my clients and collegues first during my 12 hour shifts.

Thank you for taking the time to give such caring responses. I really appreciate that this wasn't just blown off with silence.
Unread 12-15-2003, 07:14 AM
Dealing with the anger

Hello Hopeseeker,
I am glad to see you posting about your anger and your plans to manage it.
the other women have written terrific replies, and I don't have a lot to add, - but I think that because you are facing your anger, you will deal with it, and finally - conquer it.
I can see that you are not going to let it eat away with you - good for you!

take care!
Unread 12-15-2003, 04:23 PM
Dealing with the anger

Dear hopeseeker,

Remember we are here this week as you work through things -- so you are not alone! Sometimes, because I too have had difficult medical experiences, I can't really read the records without being overcome by the emotions, and have had to put them away for awhile, especially while I recovered physically, unless there is some urgent information to glean. You sound like you know yourself and your emotional experience well -- just remember that there are better and worse times for everything and if you need to put it away for awhile, you wouldn't be the first.

Please don't turn too much anger in on yourself for not being more assertive -- your doctor deserves a fair share of this pie -- it is their job, for which they are well paid, to listen the first time, especially with their knowledge of disease and when we are compromised. Me, when I had the worst of my horrible dr-not-listening experience -- it felt like that dream where you scream, but no sound comes out, or like I was talking underwater or something. But I know the feeling too -- if only I had done this or said that ... but the truth is, I did say, and question, and still was minimized, my phone calls not returned, etc. etc. And became horribly ill as a result. Sometimes we really do become powerless, when someone takes our power away from us.

I had 2 major surgeries last year, in Oct and then in December, each requiring 6 weeks off work, completely devastating my FMLA and all leave balances. I asked for donated sick leave at work, and they told me that people around the agency (I work for a government agency too) donated more than enough within a half hour. I was so thankful, I cried when I got back to work and saw the email and heard about the response. It really helped me out.

I wish you luck getting there,
We are here for you,
With love and light,
Unread 12-16-2003, 06:23 AM
Dealing with the anger

Well today is my appointment with my psych and I will get to talk to him about all these feelings. It will be the first time I will see him since the morning of my cone biopsy and d&c in October. Funny how a lot of that conversation was about being ready for whatever came from that surgery. I sure wasn't ready to be where I am now. I am glad I have him. He is a good guide -- listening and pushing me to explore further at just the right places. Glad my need for the clonazapam has backed off to only a couple every few days though as I couldn't afford to get more right now anyway.

I am more in control today. I know that when I get home I will be starting on my clay art project to explore what this surgery and the other threads of my life it has brought to the surface mean in the scheme of my life. I think that will be a way to help me deal with the angry aspects of this.

Its funny though, anger doesn't seem to mean I am not forgiving, just that it is a growing process. In learning about my kind of cancer through researching it on Sunday I found that the mixed reading before the biopsy make total sense and know that I don't regret having chosen the less invasive surgery first because I can validate my needs to ask for help as the end of this month draws near and finance become dire. I have always taught students and other children in my care that we need to forgive ourselves when we don't do things the way we think we should have and then learn the lessons from those mistakes so we can grow from them. I may be dealing with anger and having to remind myself that those words apply to me too. My hope is that maybe my doctors might have learned something from being confronted with what they almost missed in my conditions. At least that would redeem the experiences. In the meantime, I know I learned and have grown through it.

Loretta, I read your other thread about your present struggle. My thoughts are with you and I put an answer on that thread.
Unread 12-16-2003, 11:11 AM
Anger and forgiveness

Dear hopeseeker,

I, too have found that you can work toward forgiveness and still be angry. For me, the forgiveness is a grace -- I ask god to get it going, because I personally, in my humanity, cannot -- I am too hurt. And then, you wear the face of God, as well as your own, for those who have hurt you. Also works if you are angry at hurting yourself!

While I am still angry, sometimes, for so much loss -- my hysterectomy was also avoidable, had a post-partum uterine infection been appropriately treated by my former doctor -- I wanted more children, I suffered severe pain and horrible disruption in my life -- I prayed one day in church, specifically for help, for God's grace to enter the situation and heal some of the hurt and anger I felt. I am Catholic, and we do the "our Father" ..."... and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us ..." and then we turn around and shake hands with the people to our sides and in front and behind us. And I turned around, and there was my former doctor. And he had a look on his face like "I have been expecting you," as he must have known I would be turning. And I shook his hand. I know the direction God wants me to go, needs me to go, but I do not have to be something I am not.

The human part of me hurts and is angry, mostly that I never got to hear "I'm sorry" and that tomorrow is my hysterversary, and I really wanted to bear more children, and my life (as you see from my previous post) has been irrevocably altered by my illness and others' mistakes. Still, asking for God's helps in forgiveness has been very healing for me. We do not have to be alone in any of it, nor did God ever say we had to be "perfect" or give up our humanity.

Good luck at the psych's appointment! Sounds like a good fit for you.

Take care, hopeseeker, on your journey to wholeness and healing.
With love and light,
Unread 12-16-2003, 02:20 PM
Just found these quotes for you

We cannot exist without mutual help. All, therefore, that need aid have a right to ask it from their fellow men, and no one who has the power of granting can refuse it without guilt.

Walter Scott (1771-1832)


Asking for support from the right people at the right time helps you summon the courage to show more of who you are to the world.

Rhonda Britten

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