Just reaching out for support and advice

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I was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer in January 2024 at the ages of 32. It has also spread to my liver. So I have just started to chemotherapy to treat the liver lesions. As I had surgery on my bowel to remove the cancer from there

I’m just reaching out for some support and advice. I am noticing that I am a lot more angry and frustrated at the world around me. Losing my temper a lot. (Shouting at my wife) when I feel like I’m not being listened to or heard. I just feel like everyday is a struggle and no matter how much support my wife, family and friends are offering I just push them away as I feel like they don’t get it or what’s going on in my head right now. 

I just don’t know what to do or how to feel right now.

Any support, advice or even reassurance would be greatly appreciated.



  • Cancer is tough on patients and their families ....I was diagnosed with Dukes A colorectal cancer in 2017.... surgery cleared it up..... December 2022 given the all clear...... February 2023 diagnosed with head and neck cancer..... felt very angry... tough chemotherapy and radiotherapy was ahead.... very hard time for family and carers....but treatment worked... lots of difficult days .... oncology teams were brilliant.... posting this from Canary Islands....hang in there....

    Take care and best of luck 


  • Hi  It’s rubbish isn’t it? The treatment is tough and it’s frustrating when you don’t feel up to doing your usual stuff. I hated that my husband was having to do more than his fair share in the house and visiting me in hospital after a long day at work. I just didn’t feel like my ‘normal self’ for a long time and that was frustrating. Cancer messes with your head as well as your body so your emotions are bound to be all over the place and, although your family has the absolute best intentions, they sometimes get the brunt of your frustration. 

    So what to do? You can come on here and let it all out? You can ring the support desk on the number below for a chat? The support desk could also point you in the direction of some free counselling sessions if you feel that would help? Does your hospital have a Maggies support centre where you could go for help. Are there any local support groups - the local leisure centre here has one or the support desk might know of one local to you. Do you feel up to some exercise? Even going out for a walk can be relaxing and take you away from everyday stresses.

    Hope a few of these suggestions help

    Take care

    Karen x

    Macmillan Support Line - 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week between 8am-8pm
  • Hi  

    Welcome to the forum . Anger is a difficult one . I did not expect to feel angry when my mum was diagnosed so was surprised at the intensity. I think a lack of control over every aspect of the process was a driver for me . I also think given your age and stage of life it’s a harsh diagnosis to come to terms with so please do have a chat with our helpline staff to see about getting some support around you .

    They say a stage 4 diagnosis is a marathon not a sprint and to prepare for the long term to make the necessary adjustments is a good idea .

    I can only say our families experience , but the first year was rough mentally thinking about how it would become part of the fabric of mums life . All I can reassure you the second year onwards despite ongoing treatments and scanning thereafter we all hardened to the process and became more robust .

    Despite all the bumps along the way my mum is heading towards year 15 as a stage 4 patient. Lots and lots of good times and family holidays and events in between which just seemed impossible at the beginning and yes , tougher periods of treatment in the mix too.

    Liver surgery has become much more common since my mum’s diagnosis and other interventions too . Mum’s liver has been clear for 13 years I think . The centre of excellence for the liver was impressive stuff and the surgeon and team well equipped. 

    So please do take the time to invest in dealing with the mental health aspects . I will link in someone else post on how they addressed this because it can be a chronic condition you want to prepare for the best way to approach it over the long term .

    So much research on the good now and even my mum playing her part in long term survival research .

    Take special care and  keep talking ,


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  • Hi. I have, for the most part, always been quite accepting of my diagnosis and prognosis. Personally, and it may be because I am older, I have never seen the point in being anger with my situation - to me that is wasted energy and I would much rather channel my energy in to living the rest of my life well (however long that may be). Don’t get me wrong, I have down days when I ponder “Why me?”  But more from a philosophical viewpoint than anything else.

    I do think your innate personality plays a part in how you feel and not just about the cancer. Me, I have always been ‘a glass half-full’ type of person and cancer hasn’t changed that so I’ve always tried to find the silver lining - even when the news hasn’t been good.

    That said I now suffer from Functional Neurological Disorder (FND), which is probably attributable to the stress of living with cancer and, if I’m honest, may be the internalisation of anger. So, my advice, would be find a coping mechanism that works for you. It can be hard on your loved ones but if you need to get anger, get anger. There is plenty of guidance on this website for you and your family members on living with cancer.

    At the start of my cancer journey my sister-in-law sent me a card with the message ‘Stay positive’. Two years on it still sits on the mantelpiece in my eye line to remind me of my daily mantra. May be something similar might work for you.

    All the best.


  • Hello Peter, 
    Each person reacts in different ways to deal with serious illness. My lovely wife had four major operations over several years but I was the one who was in a world of pain watching the love of my life undergoing these life threatening operation never knowing if she would survive. My wife was almost serene in the way she was able to accept that there was another tumour, while I audibly groaned at hearing this the second time, it was she that put her hand on my knee saying ‘Its alright” - she was comforting me! She knew that I was hurting so much out of the love I felt for her. Peter your wife is hurting too and feels helpless like I did. At times like this it is Love that keeps us together and it is love that helps heal the spirit. I was amazed at the strength she was able to show. It would have broken my heart if she had lost her temper with me, I needed to be able to put my arms around her and in a sense become one. I did fight for her in every way I could, writing letters, contacting her GP when I noticed changes in her pace slowing down, this was the first time that cancer had struck. I wanted to understand everything. All I fought for may have given us more years but pancreatic cancer took her from me. I miss her so much but her courage and serenity live with me always and makes me want to live my live in a way that I can somehow repay her for what she gave me in those years when we walked hand in hand through those hospital doors, her serenity masking the clamminess of the hand I held belying the turmoil she felt inside, but she knew that I knew and it was that all sustaining love that bound us together.

  • Good morning 

    I have tried and hidden how I have been feeling,I'm a positive person normally although having had cancer my personality  has changed,I see life more clearly,my challenges at work make me realise we can only do  what we can,I don't do stress I do what I can,I say hello and smile and never worry I will get trouble for being pleasant, we Do  need to talk or find a quiet place to reflect,And if it helps to sound like a broken record as we all dealing our issues differently..

    Mediation Apps help I've found them useful.

    Or creature comforts you tube worth a watch to make yrself laugh. 

    What ever age we are, don't let this disease make you angry. Your only hurting self deeply. Xx 

     Put your thoughts down,write a letter explaining how you feel. I did then I read out loud and started to cry but overall I felt so much better. X 

  • Hi  

    Firstly I'm sorry you find yourself in this position and you clearly have a lot to deal with - take it steady and be kind to yourself. Acknowledging your anger and frustration is a great first step.

    If you get a chance to self reflect, have a trusted mate in life or are happy to try a supportline, you may find it helpful to explore elements behind each part of your emotions to see if there are positive actions you can take to either rebalance the scales, give you a little control or just give you a better quality of life.

    My personal advice is the importance of being kind to yourself should never be understated. You deserve it.

    Good luck on your journey and I hope that this forum will help you feel supported on any high or low you wish to share.

  • I think we have a similar story, I just started chemo and Monday will be my 3rd cycle of 4 until the MRI/CATSCAN to see if the lesions have shrunk. But understand what ur feeling, I'm quite upset in general and have to force myself to not be so negative, basically it sucks and I'm just trying to get thru cycle to cycle, lots of prayer, side effects make it quite hard to have a good attitude. I don't think there is any particular way to feel, just let yourself process it as you need to. I hope we both have a good outcome!

  • Hi  

    I think that’s a really good point .about the side effects   Harsh to expect that not to impact your emotions .


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