Feeling Angry

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Feeling Angry

It’s just over 18 months since I finished treatment. To say it’s been a roller coaster since,  is an understatement, I’ve had more scans, scares, broken bones and issues than I did before the treatment started, however I remain cancer free!

I’ve recently realised that all this has made me angry, I can loose my temper at the drop of a hat. I’ve questioned my anger, my life has changed, I think im angry for the life I lost. I know I’m still alive, I’m sure this all sounds selfish and self indulgent. But I miss the old me, the old life I had.

So many things have changed, still toilet issues a plenty, Also my sex life has virtually disappeared, I need pills to help, I’m unable ejaculate, but I can orgasm (dry) sorry too much information? my confidence has all but disappeared.

My partner says most people who suffer cancer will never be the same again, life changes, and this is the new normal, I get that, but can’t accept it. I’ve lost the man I was.

Is it just me? Does anyone else suffer with anger ? Any other men out there with the same issues?

Thanks for reading, I needed to get it off my chest, and thought some of you might understand. I hope I’ve not said anything too personal or upset anyone.


  • Oh Dino.

    You aren't alone.  I am female and I don't get angry but I do, on occasion, have moments of real regret of how my life used to be in comparison to how it is now.  A cancer diagnosis and the subsequent treatment can irrevocably change us, mentally and physically. 

    So I completely understand your anger, and please don't worry, you haven't said anything too personal or upsetting.  And I don't think you are being selfish and sel-indulgent in the least.  Some of us ladies also bemoan the loss of a sex life because of vaginal stenosis or in my case, the skin splitting.  And I think we all miss the old carefree life that we took for granted BC.

    Some have found some comfort in counselling from a professional that specifically works with cancer patients.  I don't know if you have a Maggie's Cancer Centre near you, but they offer a six week course 'Where now?' (free) for cancer patients after treatment.  The fact that you are 18 months down the line shouldn't make any difference, you are struggling with very real emotions and physical differences in the aftermath of what is a fairly brutal treatment.  And it would be worth asking your GP if he can refer you for counselling too, should you not have access to a Maggie's.

    I am hoping that some male members on the forum will come and give you their perspective after treatment and what they found helpful.  In the meantime, please don't add feelings of guilt to what you are going through.  To me, a fellow cancer patient, your reactions are completely understandable in the aftermath of cancer treatment, you could just maybe do with some help coping with them.

    Irene xx

  • Hi Dino,

    I'm a gal, but I hear you. I get you. I've always had a bit of a temper, so the surges of 'Why the F me?' aren't necessarily new- they're just a bit more appropriate now!

    I think mourning what we've lost is entirey appropriate. I'm lucky in that I can still enjoy sex, just not very often. I miss riding my pony terribly, but have learned to love ground work with her. This has had the added bonus of getting much more in tune with her, which I'm loving. 

    But I can't be around people for long at ALL any more. That's where I really notice the anger flashes. I've been on a path from People Person to Misanthrope for a good while now, but my tolerance for mingling is at an all-time low. Even with people whom I love. 

    Not sure I can blame my almost pathological need for solitude solely on cancer, but I think it plays a part.

    I'm two years out, and I think we all expect that after that much time, we should have our lives back. The reality of Life After Anal Cancer is a blow for those of us who don't regain How It Used To Be.

    Mourning the loss of the man you were is a difficult journey, but a necessary one. My Faery Suzauntie wish for you is that you (and your supportive partner- yay for that!) fall in love with the man you're becoming.



  • Hi Dino, I and many others fully understand how you are feeling. Please don’t feel bad about venting your feelings on here as that is what we all need from this group. I am 30 months post treatment and it took an awful long time for me to come to terms life is never going to be the same. As Irene has mentioned, the vaginal stenosis which is what us ladies can experience and we are given the dreaded vaginal dilators as a matter of course after you have finished your treatment. I was presented with these bright pink objects around twelve weeks post treatment. I had no idea what they were for as sex was the last thing on my mind whilst dealing with bowel issues. Diet played a big part in managing the five/six times a day of rushing to the toilet but eventually started to take a bit more control. I did persevere with the dilators but still unable to penetrate the largest one and was sore as it seems friction is uncomfortable. My guilt was being unable to be loving to my very supportive husband that I also noticed I would avoid any contact at all! The mornings were spoiled with not being able to just lay in bed for a cuddle but my bowels constantly putting on pressure and not knowing how long I was going to take in there and by the to

    ime I had finished he had got up anyway . I don’t really talk about issues to family and only come here as I know you will understand. Am I a different person? Definitely as I cannot be who I was, which was to be impulsive and not have to plan everything before hand and wanting to know where the toilets might be etc. Life is improving and I am trying to be more loving again but feel that to not be able to give the ultimate goal of full sex means I have let my husband down. I have just started taking a female hormone estrogen to help make things more comfortable so let’s see what happens. I had the need to visit a gynaecologist and he was wonderful when making suggestions whereas I feel my oncologist has dealt with the cancer and basically said do the best I can with my life as it is now. I am 69 so had gone through the menopause and no spring chicken but not past it yet. I don’t really have anger issues but can go into a situation where I don’t want to talk or be hugged which I never used to be before. My husband is great but it doesn’t help make me feel good but he says he wants life with me even if he has to put up with my sarcasm when I’m moody than be without me and we do manage to laugh about it afterwards. I will add he isn’t perfect either ha ha.

     I hope you find some kind of comfort on here and that what is happening to you, other men have probably had the same issues. Also is this something that improves in time? I have never really given it much thought on how treatment affects men as we have quite a lot of ladies on here. The younger ladies may spring back better than those that have gone through the change. I suffer from osteoporosis due to treatment so concentrate on trying to get fit using weights.

    Nothing on here offends us and we can’t go through anal cancer treatment thinking everything turns back to normal for all of us as it plainly doesn’t. I hope you are able to seek counselling to help you manage your frustrations which is basically what your anger is.


  • I think that confidence comes with exercise. Imagine singer is on stage with no exercise or vocal training. Would he/she be confident?

    While i do not have partner, i regularly (near daily) exercise doing masturbation while watching porn. It is not addictive, but a physiology. I need this bodily function maintained to avoid associated problems. So far all is well with this, and even PSA dropped to pre-Nigro chemoradiation level.

    I also think your feeling of angry influences other bodily functions. I found sport cancels negative emotions, especially running, stretches, etc. There are plenty of different exercises that should be appropriate for people with different capabilities.

    Good luck!

  • Dear Dino

    l have lost my temper a few times over nothing which l assume is really due to anger about the very same things you talk about. My old life just disappeared and l don’t like the new me. I live alone with my dog and l think this makes life a little easier in that l am not constantly in contact with people who remind me of the old me. It doesn’t matter that l lack energy or enthusiasm, that l can’t get an erection or even sit on the toilet and read. If l had a partner l just couldn’t wander around doing my own thing and not thinking about my old life.  I don’t think you are self indulgent and you are only human to be angry when confronted with terrible loss. Sometimes l wish l had died when l thought l would instead of just lingering on half living, half dying. 
    express your anger it’s just the growing pains of the new you. 
    kind Regards 


    and here’s a photo of my dog that will hopefully make you smile 

  • Hi Dino, First let me say you are not alone in your feelings. We hear you and are here for you. Second this is a safe place to vent and nothing is off limits when it comes to what is discussed here. You have every right to be angry and frustrated because the treatment has changed you. You are still early in your life after treatment and I would recommend speaking with a McMillan nurse to see if there are any other options for you that your current Doctors do not know about. 

    There are many many anal cancer survivors men and women on this site who have gone on to live with their new normal after treatment so don't loose hope!!

    I am 12 years cancer free Praise the Lord!! I suffer from radiation proctitis ulcerative colitis and bowel incontinence due to radiation. I also can no longer have sex as my skin in that area is too thin and tears so I understand your anger and frustration. For me I find comfort in my Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus. I have learned to live with my disabilities, not to say I don't get angry and frustrated at times, but I try to make the best of the life I now have. I have been blessed with four great grandchildren and another on the way since my diagnosis. I surround myself with the love of my family and friends which makes it much easier to find joy in my life.

    I am thankful you have a supportive partner, because I am married but unfortunately my husband has not been supportive nor understands what I am going through.

    God bless you Dino, and don't lose hope!!