Together we will beat cancer


In a bad place.

3 Jul 2013 09:34

First of all I want to say thank you Brian for your kind words on the thread that Ghost posted. It is nice to be thought about and after those brief posts I decided to follow my own advice and write about the bad place I feel I am in right now.

As some will know I have lost many friends and loved ones to cancer over the years with last year being the worst.  It was difficult watching my Dad get sicker but I feel I was actually dealing with things relatively well and even after he died in May I have coped about as well as anyone could expect although I still do mourn him because I miss him so much.  Unfortunately my Aunty died last November and it feels like her passing was the straw that broke the camel's back.  Ever since I feel like a fundementally different person!

I don't just have less patience I am actually just plain angry a lot of the time.  I look at things differently in a way that nothing seems all that important and I find it hard to put in the full effort to work and things in general that I have always given in the past.  My mind is constantly full of thoughts and feelings that will not go away no matter how I try to reason with them or sort them out in my head. I just feel different and what scares me the most is that because of my state of mind I feel differently about the the one person who has given me such great support through everything - my wife. She is such a wonderful person and has done nothing to deserve ending up with me not being the same person she married.  My Mum said a couple of years ago that "grief does funny things to people" and she was speaking from experience although I didn't fully appreciate what she meant at the time.

I have tried to concentrate on the positives in my life, of which there are many but it seems to make no difference.  Even when I read what difficult times others are going through, Beaker83 for instance, I feel guilty for wallowing in my own selfish thoughts when others are are so much worse off but even then I just revert back to my own petty problems and wrap myself back up in self pity.

Hopefully I may feel a little better for writing this and let me just thank you for reading.

Take care everyone.


Re: In a bad place.

3 Jul 2013 10:31 in response to GARF

Hi Garf,

Thank you for this post. I had a feeling all was not well with you. Your dear mother is so right, grief does do funny things to us. Grief, which is just one of the many emotions we feel when we have lost someone we love, is a very difficult thing to deal with and often has a delayed action affect in that some people feel worse some months later. I can understand how you are feeling as cancer has really affected your family, much like it has mine. It is quite normal to feel angry and to lack motivation under these circumstances Garf. Cancer does effect the way we look at life and often we see families that have not had to deal with cancer and it makes us feel almost jealous. Things will improve in time and you have taken the first step by writing about your feelings on here for by doing so you have acknowledged your problem. If I can help in any way, just let me know and I will do all I can, for you have supported me in the past.

Please take care and come on here as often as you need to, sending best wishes your way, Brian

Re: In a bad place.

3 Jul 2013 10:41 in response to GARF

I wasn't going to reply to this but as I read it I just wanted to cry. I want to tell you a bit about my self and hope some how it's helps. I am almost forty .  I have list a few elderly relatives to the cruel disease cancer . Yes it's a cruel way to go and most off the time very unfair because its always the good one as my dad used to say. But for me it is your anger because I have been in your place angry and furious with the world . My son Jonathon died five years ago aged 13 in November 2008 . It was tragic and very unexpected it wasn't cancer. Anger had nothing on me. I had no sympathy for any one or any thing and my attitude wasn't good. Less than six months later my dad passed , he was found dead in his car at a shopping centre. He was there for almost 48 hours before he was found . No one missed him. You see my dad was a very bitter man , life dealt him some very cruel blows and in turn he was cruel and unkind to every one else . You say you feel for your wife , I bet she lives you so much you just wouldn't believe , but like you it took some telling me what I was doing to others before I realised.

Life is ok , I am now living with the thought of may be I have cancer but you now what I am alive and still here to see another day. I hope you feel better soon because it hurts so bad to live with so much. But it doesn't matter what you do you can't change it all . I hope you feel better soon and please take care xxx

Re: In a bad place.

3 Jul 2013 12:23 in response to GARF


Thank you so much, you are always there for me and so many other people and I appreciate the offer of help and I promise to come back as and when I feel able.  They say there is no instruction manual for life and it is so true.  Having said that it does sometimes feel like we are tring to get through life blindfolded, hands tied together while trying to cross a minefield.  My very best to you and your family, I hope your Dad is o.k.


Firstly I am sorry my post made you feel like crying and also for the family you have lost to this disease although the loss of your son must be so difficult. I just couldn't imagine the pain as I am not a Father. I understand that your Dad became a bitter man and I also understand what you say about sharing the feelings of anger and how our feelings affect the people we love.  You are right in that my wife does love me and yes she probably loves me far more than I realize, I just wish I knew how to get myself out of this mental ditch I have got myself into and make myself worthy again of being married to her.  What strength you have to say life is ok when you have the shadow of maybe having cancer hanging over you, especially after all you have been through. Take care and plese keep us up do date on how things are.

Re: In a bad place.

3 Jul 2013 13:19 in response to GARF

Awwww garff I wish I had a magic wand because life is so unfair . There are so many people I would help because it never happens to who it should , well it shouldn't happen to any one really .

Some times I come across not so caring but I am but that anger was me and I said and done some pretty awful things. I suppose it's like baby steps, make your wife a cuppa and smile because that's a brill start and a smile can say and mend a thousand things words can't . Here's hoping u have a good day x

Re: In a bad place.

4 Jul 2013 11:33 in response to GARF

Hi Garf,

Thanks for your kind words and for asking about dad. Due to the floods in Calgary, he was given two hours notice to leave his home. He was just one of 100, 000 people who had to move out but luckily it was only for about three days. He was very lucky in that the flood water stopped just short of his place. My sister is very mad at him as he didn't let anyone know and it was quite worrying until she through friends managed to fine he had gone to stay with his friends. I spoke with him and he seems to have almost fully recovered from his illness although I think it has sapped his strength.

Anyway enough about me and my family. Hope you are feeling better for writing about your feelings. Please take care, best wishes to you and your wife, Brian

Re: In a bad place.

4 Jul 2013 14:11 in response to GARF

Hi Garf

You had a pretty rough time of it last year and you still are on the forums offering people valuable advice even me at one time.

Sometimes I look at my husband and he appears to be coping well after losing his father last year but Garf I tend to feel sorry for him all the time.  Don't know if that sounds right or not.

He can sit with his family and joke and laugh about his father while at times when I think of mine I start to get emotional.

I can fully understand having less patience and you know the old saying we always hurt the one we love the most and I think we have all done that.

My husband never talks to me about how he feels maybe this will change later in the year as his father's anniversary approaches.

You are still grieving Garf and there is no set time for grief to subside and it can affect everyone different.

I just seem to feel sorry for everyone I come into contact with and then sometimes I feel so guilty.  It is strange sometimes I can't fully explain it myself.

Take care of yourself Garf.  Maybe a wee break for you and your wife might help.


Re: In a bad place.

4 Jul 2013 14:15 in response to GARF

Hello Garf,

So sorry to hear you are in such a bad place at the moment, but I hope writing some of it down on here, along with people's responses, are helping you a little.  You sound cross with yourself for feeling the way you do, which you musn't do.  You feel the way you feel and the important thing is to accept that and try to find ways of dealing with it.

Your words about your wife really struck a chord with me - my husband has been a wonderful support for me, both through my Mum's illness and since her death a few weeks ago.  I am not sure how he has done it, both providing masses of emotional support for me, but also taking on all the care of the house and our daughter when I was away with Mum so much, and going to work of course.  The last week, I was snapping at hime about something, just because like you I don;t cope very well with day to day annoyances and frustrations at the moment, and took it out on him.  And he snapped back at me - soemthing he very rarely does.  But it made me feel awful, that I have just been a miserable person, a long way from my normal self for months now, and probably haven't recognised how hard that has been in me.

It scared me, almost as much as losing Mum - because it just made me realise that when awful things happen, we take our loved ones for granted, even if we don't think we do.  But in my case, this was true and it has really made me think, and it has also helped me sort myself out a bit as despite what has happened to mum, I do recognse that I have a lovely life and lovely family and I would hate for anything to change that.

At the same time, I think I said to you before that when you lose a loved one, I do think it changes the person you are.  In your case you have lost more than one so understandably the impact on you has been even greater.  I am sure your wife realises this - just make sure you keep talking to her, and don't assume that the way you see yourself is the way she sees you - you say she is a wonderful person, so I am sure she accepts that events have changed you and that you are still coming to terms with things.

I really hope things start to feel a bit better for you soon - take care of yourself,


Re: In a bad place.

4 Jul 2013 17:09 in response to CAE*75

Thank you all so much for the support and advice, it means an awful lot to know there are people here who care and understand as we all have our own experiences and knowledge.

Brian I am very glad your Dad seems to be recovering so well despite his adventure with the flooding in Calgary. He seems to be someone who copes well with adversity which is obviously a trait he shared with you.

Mickied it sounds completely right that you feel sorry for your husband all the time.  I very often catch my wife looking at me and knowing I am not myself and her smile, although genuine is full of pity for what I am feeling.  I am also guilty of not telling my wife exactly how I am feeling and the thoughts I have although we very often discuss my Dad and sometimes words just don't seem neccessary.

Catherine we really do take our loved ones for granted almost to the point where we can forget that they also have problems and worries. Just because we need support doesn't mean we should forget how to give it.

I think I learned something today while at work.  I had arranged for some elctrical work to be done and while the elctricians who I know well were here they, myself and a guy who works for me actually had a bit of a laugh trying to put a chandelier together.  For a few minutes I forgot about my state of mind and was doing fine until I laughed out loud with them.  It felt wrong!  It felt dis-respectful!  As a result I went back into what seems to have become my default setting.  Maybe it's a result of having spent so many months worrying, being scared and mourning that feeling happiness has become alien.  I certainly can't shake the opinion that I have no right to feel happy when others that I know and love have suffered so much, and I include people here in that thought.  I am sure that Dad and others would tell me off for thinking like that but it is very hard not to.  It seems I have given myself something to consider.

Thank you all again so much and take good care.


Re: In a bad place.

4 Jul 2013 17:51 in response to GARF

Hello Garf

I have just read you post and I am so sorry to hear of the sad loss of your much loved dad and your aunts and I can fully recognise that you are in a bad place right now.  I lost my lovely husband to Malignant Melanoma last October, we were married for 45 years and just about to retire but it wasnt to be.  I know that anger that you feel  and like you nothing seems important anymore and I am fundamentally a very different t person.  Your mum is quite right grief does do strange things to you but this is the whole process of grieving. I was so angry at my lovely David for dying I remember screaming on one bad day that I was having "how dare you leave me" bless him he couldn't help dying. Like you I am now in the process of desperately trying to look for the positives in life.

Garf do one thing for me go and put your arms around the one person who has stood by you, tell her you love her explain what this grief is doing to you, hold her and kiss her and just love her.  I was so in love with my lovely David and every day we told each other we loved each other, I used to wrap my arms around him and just hold him I would give anything to have just one more of his hugs

Don't beat yourself up Garf just recognise that you are grieving and if you want to talk some more I am here

Take care look after yourself

Beryl xx

Re: In a bad place.

5 Jul 2013 09:04 in response to BerylB


Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou.

Even with everything and everyone cancer has taken from me I just can't imagine the pain you have felt at losing your husband to this hideous disease.

I promise to do what you ask and when I get home after work I will give my wife a big hug and try and explain what is going on with me right now. And thankyou for the offer of being there if I need to talk.  Between yourself and Brain and everyone else on this site there is no shortage of support.  What a great place this site is!

Take good care.

Garf. x

Re: In a bad place.

5 Jul 2013 14:49 in response to GARF

Hi again Garf,

I just read your previous reply, and your story about laughing with the guys at work reminded me of something someone told me. They said that when you start to come to terms with your loss, you will find a way to keep all the memories of that person in a little box inside your head.  You will, from time to time, dip into that box, and sometimes will find good memories and sometimes sad ones.  But what they were getting at is that by keeping those memories tucked away allows you to hold onto them, but stops the sad ones mixing with things that are happening in our lives now.  It made so much sense, as like you I can't quite get straight how you hold all the pain of losing a loved one but carry on doing normal things and feeling normal about doing them.  I guess this idea is the answer - I'm not there yet, I don't think you are either but it is something to work towards.

I loved Beryl's reply to you about going home and hugging your wife - I wholeheartedly support hugs with our loved ones as one of the best forms of support  - at the same time as reassuring her that you are still you and that you love her, it will give you great comfort too!

I hope you have a happy and relaxing weekend to come, and enjoy the sunny weather whilst it's here!

Take care,


Re: In a bad place.

5 Jul 2013 15:08 in response to GARF

Hello Garf ,we havnt spoken before but I just wanted to say our emotions are very strong ,when we are are the partner of a loved one withan awfull illness ,or like myself and others on this forum we have lost the love of our lives ,we get annoyed because loss and what is to come are alien to us ,but we are stronger than we know and we will survive ,we wont give in so I realy hope you get all the help and support you need and deserve ..keep smiling ..Susanne.......

Re: In a bad place.

5 Jul 2013 20:22 in response to CAE*75

Hi Catherine,

I  really like the idea of keeping memories in a little box in our minds.  Memories are treasures and at the moment I think we both suffer from remembering something that will initially make us smile but then immediately feel sad afterward.  I don't know about you but I have always been someone with deep feelings.  That along with having a mind that I have never had much luck keeping quiet means things are a real challenge right now.  At least I have hugged my wife and told her I love her.  That felt good!

Susanne I completely agree that we can be stronger than we believe we can be but I have to admit to being completely in awe of the strength of character of some of the people who visit this site.

All the best to you both and I will try and keep smiling.


Re: In a bad place.

11 Jul 2013 14:03 in response to SUSANANNE

It is so very frustrating!

After writing this initial post and receiving such kind responses I actually felt a little better with myself.  The weekend was quite a good one, I even managed to resoundingly beat my Brother-in-law at tennis on Sunday which is unusual. Back at work on Monday was more or less fine but then on Tuesday I felt thoroughly rotten and miserable for no apparent reason and I have spent so much energy since trying to get back to myself I am now drained again.

Why does my mind suddenly decide to ditch all the hard work it has done and go back to "woe is me" mode?  Why is it impossible to have any kind of control over such a fundementally crucial part of my body?  Surely there is a part of my mind that knows these thoughts and feelings are causing pain and misery but it continues blindly on.

I am going to North Wales for a few days tomorrow and my first port of call is to spend the night visiting my Step Mum.  I haven't seen her since we scattered Dad's ashes and it's the first time I have set foot in that house since the day he died. I am not looking forward to it and although I know that this will affect my state of mind I have the distinct feeling that this battle in my head will continue at full tilt after I get home in nine days.

Wish me luck and I will post again at some point after I get back.

Best to you all, Garf.