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husband very very depressed???

lindadanis
Posts: 267
Joined: Nov 2009

My husband, age 55, was diagnosed with stage four in October. Right from the start, he immediately went into severe depression. We consulted three doctors, all who said it was incurable, all said to do chemo, all had different opinions of what chemo, and right now we are at the end of his second chemo session, cisplastin and camptosar. He did ok the first time, this second round he has had constant diahrea and they put him on med's for this but still has it today, better but still has it. The oncologist put him on paxill before the chemo started about a month ago, nothing really happened with his depression, then they want to add ritalin and now marijuanna in a capsule form. I am very very concerned about all his head medicine being added on. We tried the marijuanna and he said he did not like the feeling he had, he has been on paxill for 6 weeks, no change, we have no started the ritalin yet. His doctor feels he has "failure to thrive"., and that his depression is getting in the way of his treatment. I feel so bad for my husband, I cannot seem to get through to him, we have been searching for a therpist but cannot find one who accepts our insurance. I am at wits end. He stays in bed 20 hours a day, just cannot seem to get himself together to come down and join me and our daughter. I know he is so depressed about his prognosis, they all said without chemo he would last under six months, with chemo, maybe 8-12 months. I think he just cannot grip that he is dying and he has lost about 60 pounds in four months. he barely eats nothing and drinks very little. We are up the chemo center twice a week for iv fluids. We took a break from chemo for xmas week but are to start his third session in two weeks. he saw his dad die from cancer 25 years ago and really never wanted to do chemo but I think felt he had no choice. Any suggestions about all this and about all this head med's. thanks so much for helping.

JaneE2366's picture
JaneE2366
Posts: 332
Joined: Jul 2009

I am so sorry your husband is so depressed...but it is understandable. My husband was the same way.....we upped his paxil....from 25mg to 37.50 mg daily. It seems to have helped. But I think the biggest thing that has helped him is time. Charlie was told almost the same thing....with no treatment, he would only have 3 - 4 months. We decided on a very agreesive chemo and on Christmas day, it will be 9 months since his diagnosis. He has been in remission since May. We will do another PET in Jan and, God willing, he will still be cancer free. Physical exercise has been a help too.....nothing crazy...riding his bicycle, walking....it definitely helps his head. The toughest thing was to get him up out of bed, or off the couch....but I was able to finally coax him to do it. I just kept telling him he had to fight to stay alive....and, very shelfishly, told him he had to fight for me.....I didn't want to lose him! He went through a period of time where he couldn't, or wouldn't eat much of anything.....and I told him the same thing. He had to eat lots of protein to repair all the damage the chemo was doing to his body....and to drink lots of water to flush the poison out.
I also looked into seeing a therapist that specializes in cancer issues and in the meantime I talked Charlie into going to a support group at our cancer center. That has helped tremendously. I stopped looking for a therapist.
Sorry, no magic solutions....but believe, I know how you feel....do desperate to try to help. I will keep you both in my prayers and try to stay strong.
Jane

MAE66
Posts: 70
Joined: Nov 2009

I can't believe they told your husband 8-12 months with chemo. That would send anyone into depression. During one of Paul’s hospital stays a nurse told us that the median life expectancy was 6 to 9 months. We completely freaked. The next morning a very kind oncologist (not ours) stopped by. He told us to forget what the nurse had said and that he had patients in Paul’s situation who had lived years, and are still living. who is to say how your husband will respond to chemo. We were told not to expect results right away. Paul had a CT and PET after 4 rounds of chemo. and saw that he was responding. Nothing will fuel the fight like knowing your treatment is working.

Paul also takes adarrall. It has helped a lot, he is able to focus and I think it also helps with fatigue. Being able to work has also helped. When he was going thru the worst of chemo. and radiation he worked on some volunteer projects to keep busy. Now he is working from home and going into the office when needed.

Susan

Tina Blondek's picture
Tina Blondek
Posts: 1561
Joined: Nov 2009

Hello and Welcome to this wonderful site. My dad was dx with ec stage 4 Nov. 2008. He had radiation and chemo for 6 weeks. He beat it. It is a year later, and it has now spread to his liver. He too went into deep depression. He has had depression most of his life though. With depression, the meds they give you are all trial and error. Some work, some don't. The one that worked for my dad was Lexapro. He also takes ativan for anxiety. Tell him to keep up with the paxil. It does take awhile to work. If it does not, there are others to try. Do not give up. Keep your faith, stay strong. Keep us posted. This site is one of the best therapys I have found. Dad and I are going to be beginning with the lesions on his liver soon. We beat this once, we can do it again!!
Tina

Tina Blondek's picture
Tina Blondek
Posts: 1561
Joined: Nov 2009

Hello and Welcome to this wonderful site. My dad was dx with ec stage 4 Nov. 2008. He had radiation and chemo for 6 weeks. He beat it. It is a year later, and it has now spread to his liver. He too went into deep depression. He has had depression most of his life though. With depression, the meds they give you are all trial and error. Some work, some don't. The one that worked for my dad was Lexapro. He also takes ativan for anxiety. Tell him to keep up with the paxil. It does take awhile to work. If it does not, there are others to try. Do not give up. Keep your faith, stay strong. Keep us posted. This site is one of the best therapys I have found. Dad and I are going to be beginning with the lesions on his liver soon. We beat this once, we can do it again!!
Tina

survivorfam
Posts: 43
Joined: Dec 2009

My husband became very depressed after his first round of chemo. He was prescribed Xanax to help him until the Lexapro that was prescribed could help. He did improve but it did take a little time. Something our doctor told us that really helped me fight the statistic blues was if something is working for you it is working 100% and it doesn't matter what any kind of statistics say.

I have just prayed for your husband and family and will continue to do so.
Jane

lindadanis
Posts: 267
Joined: Nov 2009

thank you all for responding to my post, the doctor put him on Ritalin a few weeks ago along with paxill and things are much better, he is up more and not as depressed. I think everyone is different and I appreciate your information. I am so glad that I found this site.

Tina Blondek's picture
Tina Blondek
Posts: 1561
Joined: Nov 2009

Hey Linda,
Great news that your husband found the right meds to help with his depression! Like the saying goes.....the only place to go from here is up! Keep us posted.
Tina

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