CSN Login
Members Online: 17

DEPRESSION

beatit
Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2004

My husband had squamous cell carcinoma of the right tonsil. He recieved 40 radiation Treatments
and 3 chemo. He is vey depressed right now about his mouth being dry. He is seeing a therapist tomorrow about the depression. I think if he can hear from some one who has been through this it might help. His name is joe and our e-mall is jjs9032@verizon.net Thank you, Jean

tlmac
Posts: 272
Joined: Feb 2004

Hi, I wish I could offer words of encouragement based on experience but we're just starting this journey. My 80 year old father has been diagnosed with squamous cell cancer of the right tonsil that spread to at least one very large lymph node on the same side of his neck. When they biopsied, they also removed 2 enlarged lymph nodes on the left side of the neck. These were negative for squamous cell but indicate my dad also has a low grade lymphoma. There will be no radical neck dissection. He begins radiation on Monday, April 5th. He's 5'7" and only weighs 139 lbs. with clothes on. I'm so worried about the expected weight loss. He's refusing to consider a feading tube at this point. I will not be surprised if depression sets in when the reality of radiation damage leaves him in constant pain and unable to swallow. I think it's wonderful that your husband has agreed to therapy. I battled breast cancer last year. It was a rough time for me and I can appreciate what your husband is going through. It's so good to see someone actually post on this board. I check daily in hopes of getting information I can use to help my dad.

grannyfranny
Posts: 42
Joined: Jan 2004

Hello again - I hope this isn't my second message to you today, but I lost one message (I think) and I'm trying again.

At this URL http://www.cancer.org/docroot/MBC/MBC_6_1_what_to_do_about_side_effects.asp, you can find info about nutrition for cancer patients, including recipes for stuff that's supposed to be easy to swallow. I found it by clicking on "Cancer Information" at the top of this screen and mousing around. There's also some information about depression at http://www.cancer.org/docroot/MBC/content/MBC_2_3X_Depression.asp?sitearea=MBC .

Good luck to you and your father.

Fran (cancer-free for 8 months today)

grannyfranny
Posts: 42
Joined: Jan 2004

Depression hits a lot of us cancer patients. My cancer was different from your husband's, but the depression experience is very widespread. I was depressive before I got sick, which didn't help. What DID help was finding the right medication and dosage. It took about 3 months, but I went from crying all the time to feeling great. Last fall, I looked at the colorful foliage and thought, "What beautiful trees these people have." I saw cute kids or dogs or happy couples and thought "What adorable kids/cute dogs/terrific relationships these people have." Everything good belonged to "these people." It was like looking into a snow globe - I could see the scene, but I couldn't get into it. Now I'm OK.

Having cancer is depressing. Treatment is depressing. Uncertainty is depressing. But the bad thoughts are the depression, the disease, talking, not one's own mind. It helps me to remember that. Depression doesn't see things as they really are. Until the meds get things under control, remember that depression lies - and hang on, because help is, in fact, on the way.

Wishing you all the best,
Fran

Ja9
Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2004

my x husband, age 45, was diagnosed with Oral Cancer. He is being seen by a well supported cancer hospital, however it seems like the solution keeps draggin on. They switched from treatment to surgery and now he is still waiting for the date along with the preoperation tests. He is extremely depressed. He also had depression prior to this and has a drinking issue which for years and now denies. I worry aobut this and how it will impact his surgery and recovery. His tumor is stage IV however they have not said if it has spread.
I don't know how to support him. He sais I don't know what he is feeling and no one does. He is right, but we all want to be there, but not overwhelm him, any advice?
thanks. Ja9

tonyr
Posts: 4
Joined: Sep 2003

hello Ja9, I am 49 years old and was diagnosed with throat cancer last August. I also was stage 4 and my surgeon elected to remove it and follow up with 38 radiation treatments. mine was in the tonsil area and base of the tounge and lower jaw. they did a radical disection and removed my chest peck muscle to rebuild the throat area. I spent 11 days in the hospital and finished the radiation about 2 weeks before Christmas. I wanted to give you a little background so that I can bring you up to where I am at now, about 7 months later. I am back to work 110%,rode my Harley about 250 miles this weekend,getting much of my ability to eat(had my first steak this weekend, although the dry mouth is a pain in the butt). I even shave my beard this weekend at the encouragent of my girlfriend, I was afraid that the scars would look awful.
I too was depressed in the beginning, and even get that way every now and then. But as you can see my life is going on and although my energy level is not back to where it was, it is getting better everyday. Let your ex know that this is not the end but just a little set back. Life is good and the bottom line is not to bad even after what I went through. I do have alot of people encouraging me which is helpful. I do know that God as blessed my life even through this. If you ex would like to talk, I would be glad too.
you have a great day and God bless

Ja9
Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2004

Tony thank you for your story. I realize that my friend(my x, I hate that term) is scared and worried about the outcome. He to will have massive plastic surgery, taking bone and tissue from other parts of his body. they told him to that he would be in the hospital for 10-12 days. My email is listed if you want to email me, at ja92u@adelphia.net
The process of just getting to the surgery seems like it is taking forever which is difficult for family, but pros and cons for him. He is a procratinator to begin with so for him I am sure he in some ways can wait for ever.
He is a police officer and has been going to work now as much as he can. His face is deformed, like a soft ball in his cheek, with large outside leisons. It is not pretty. I feel bad for him. He to has facial hair now to try and disgiuse it. but he can't.
I try not to ask about an update every day, but it is hard to talk about other things. I try my best. The boys, his son's ages 18 and 15 are there for him and have been spending extra time there, but I don't know how to prepare them for this. But they are strong kids.
Well, thanks again. I am glad you are out riding. I don't know where you live, but we finally had three wonderful days of warm weather and sun shine, that was a bit uplifting I hope for him. I know it was for me after a long week of rain and cold weather.
I am glad you are feeling better. God Bless.
Ja9

grannyfranny
Posts: 42
Joined: Jan 2004

By the way, alcohol is a DEPRESSANT. Anti-depressants, under a doctor's care, might be a big help in this situation, but drinking will only make the depression worse. Alcohol on top of anti-depressants is not even to be thought of.

Good luck to you both.

Fran

grannyfranny
Posts: 42
Joined: Jan 2004

By the way, alcohol is a DEPRESSANT. Anti-depressants, under a doctor's care, might be a big help in this situation, but drinking will only make the depression worse. Alcohol on top of anti-depressants is not even to be thought of.

The frequent use of alcohol is also linked to certain kinds of oral cancer - see http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/content/CRI_2_4_2X_What_are_the_risk_factors_for_oral_cavity_and_oropharyngeal_cancer_60.asp?sitearea=CRI, or click on "Cancer Information" at the top of the screen and mouse around until you find something helpful. I would think that a patient who already has one of these kinds of oral cancer shouldn't drink; the doctors would know if that applies in this case. Of course, you wouldn't be able to make the decision about alcohol use. Unfortunately. But it is a question of USE, not alcoholism, and that might be easier to talk about than any suggestion of problem drinking.

Good luck to you both.

Fran

mermayd
Posts: 3
Joined: Jul 2004

Hi. I am curious about what type of cancer you survived and if you ever had a feeding tube. My Mom is recovering from laryngeal cancer and was clear at her last re-eval (3 weeks ago) She seems terrribly depressed (sleeps a ton, crabby, grim outlook, etc) and i know what its all about b/c I have been depressed (though not Cancer related) She isn't advocating for herself and I think she believes she can snap herself out of it (which just makes one feel worse when you can't) . Any thoughts for her or me? You sound like a spunky lady... I wish you the best and perhaps I will hear from you. Peace-

Ja9
Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2004

Jean
thank you for your responses. I am well aware of alcohol issues and that alcohol is a depressant. My x husbands drinking is the main reason our marriage of 20 years failed. I hung in there as long as I could,which was to long. But I am dealing with new issues of our divorce and what he is going through now. Our lives weren't planned to be apart. I am remarried and happy, but I still care about my x in a different way.
I to read about alcohol contributing to oral cancer. So he is double wammied, chewing tabacco and drinking. My biggest fear is how he will deal with the surgery and possible withdrawels. I will wait and see what happens, but it is not my place to inform the surgeons. He claims he has,but I don't beleive him. I have to let go of that and pray.
How is your husband doing? Are you involved with any therapy? My x is Joe too, and he will have to have the radiation and chemo too after the surgery. It is a long process isn't it?
Hang in there. I hope you try and do some things for yourself too. It is important.
God Bless,
Ja9

pdn
Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2004

Go to this website and check it out http://tinyurl.com/25o2r if you like what you see, then get it for him, or suggest it to him. He doesn't have to believe what he's listening to, all he has to do is listen. If he will listen every night as he's going to sleep, in a short time you will start to notice a difference. This website is run by a reputable company and they guarantee everything they sell for 6 months money back no questions asked. I've bought from them and this stuff works, I smoked for 26 years and with their' help I've quit going on 5 months now and I've never looked back and I never will. I don't have ANY desire for a cigarette anymore, all I did was listen to the CD. I also bought their CD on healing because I had been diagnosed with throat cancer. I listened to the CD while undergoing chemo and my Dr. said that he had never seen anyone respond so well to chemo before. Right now, I'm recovering from the chemo and radiation treatments that I received, and I'm still listening to that CD. At the very least, it's very calming and soothing to listen to. This is something that he can do in privacy with no pressure, all he has to do is hit the play button once a day as he's going to sleep and the CD will do the rest. Good luck and I'll say a prayer for you and him both as soon as I finish this, keep your' chin up! God bless.

daveinwoodland
Posts: 16
Joined: Jan 2011

I'm currently still recovering from SCC on my left tonsil, finished radiation and chemo in December 2010 and still I am not back 100% and not working. I actually quit taking any and all medications I was taking previously for high blood pressure and high cholesterol as well as Effexor for mild depression.

Depression is for sure a topic and I'm guessing most of us go through some issues daily. I know I still do. Being on the forums is a double edged sword too as reading about relapses and other pitfalls hurts your state of mind just as much as hearing the good news helps. I guess there's no real happy medium. I've made other posts in regard to various topics but not the mental state we go through during this time.

I know what going through this is like for myself and my wife and I'm sure each individual is different and unique. I still do not have a very positive emotional state after all of this and to be honest I'm not sure I ever will. I previously would hide the real way I felt when others would ask just because at the time I felt it would be better if I was always "positive Pete" about everything. I recently changed that behavior because I found I felt better when I told the truth to people.

They certainly don't always like to hear it and as a matter of fact many have stopped asking which is ok too. If someone really wants to know then they're going to get an honest answer. I know I've felt better since I don't sugar coat my answers any longer. Maybe it's a good step to better mental health or maybe I'm just alienating some people. I honestly don't care either way.

Subscribe with RSS
About Cancer Society

The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions.

Copyright 2000-2014 © Cancer Survivors Network