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Caregiver needs advice

Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2008

My 75 yo mom was diagnosed with sclc in March 2008. After aggressive chemo, her doctor declared her cancer free, this month. The problem? She's depressed and contradicts everything that comes out of her mouth. One minute she's happy, the next, angry, sad. She refuses support groups, the Link program, vitamins, anything that we've been told can help her. She says she's not depressed, yet she won't leave the house, no matter how much we beg and plead. She tells me one thing, each one of my sisters or brother another. Her not-divorced husband, my dad, lives in another town (that's a whole different story....)and visits her often. Yet when he's here, he gets on her last nerve, but when he's not here, she wants him there. We are at a loss of what to do or say. Any advice from anyone would be greatly appreciated. She also refuses antidepressants. What do we do or don't do??? Thanks in advance!!

Cindy54's picture
Posts: 454
Joined: Aug 2006

Hello..I was a caregiver for my Mom who had ovarion for 18 months. I'll tell you between the seizures that changed her personality to the side effects from the meds it was a roller coaster ride. My mom was 87 when she was diagnosed. With elderly people it is usually a combination of things...the meds, the whole experience, the lack of control over their lives. And yes there is a lot of anger. Talk with her doctor or a social worker or a nurse where your Mom had treatment. Maybe they can offer a suggestion. With my Mom it took almost a year before she got back to her usual self. And this was without antidepressants. Maybe your Mom needs something for her mood swings, maybe she just needs to talk things out with someone. It may even be hard for her to accept that she is cancer free. Her situation is a lot to handle for someone elderly. If nothing else, someone needs to talk with her and at least evaluate her to see if it really is a sign of early dementia. They can be a better judge than someone who is really close to her. Most of my Mom's problems were from the meds and the whole cancer situation. She was not senile in any way. Seniors just don't process things in their bodies like us youngsters do. Do not just write all of this off to being old and senile. That is not always the case. What was your Mom like prior to the cancer, and how was she during treatment? Sometimes we too quickly think it is a mental problem with people who have gone through a life altering thing and it really is not. Hope some of this helps you. Hugs, Cindy

grammashorty's picture
Posts: 7
Joined: Jun 2005

My husband had sclc and I was his care giver. Reading your post sounds so familiar. We found out that with less oxygen getting to the brain, cofusion happens, and it is so hard on the loved ones as well as the confused one. We learned that some of the drugs to calm a person down can be crushed and hidden in food and drinks and doesn't have a noticeable taste. I crushed his ativan and he never noticed. You mentioned that at times your mom is happy. Hang onto those moments. Best wishes for you and your family.

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