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Depression

Hockey Wife
Posts: 15
Joined: Jan 2013

Has anyone expierenced depression and anxiety post esophogectomy? Taken Raglan and suffered side effects? I would love to hear your story. Difficult 6 weeks for my hubby. Trying tpo figure all of this out.

Thanks,

Janet

Hockey Wife & Mom

cjmac49's picture
cjmac49
Posts: 110
Joined: Jan 2010

Depression and anxiety are common after treatment for EC.  I liken it to PTSD.  The normal course of treatment - Chemo/Radiation and then esophajectomy are brutal and the recovery long.  The total upheaval of life style doesn't help either.  Many EC survivors take medication to help with the changed moods.

 

I did take reglan for a while - two weeks - but didn't need it after that.

Good luck to your husband and you.

bingbing2009
Posts: 179
Joined: Feb 2011

Hi. My name is Vaughn. My wife Melinda was T3N1M0 EC. She had the 'stomach pullup' surgery in February 2010, so she is 3-plus years post-op. The first six months post-op were horrible. She had many complications. Depression was one of the complications. She was very, very depressed. I never openly confronted her or discussed her depression. She did take some of the 'zapam' family of drugs (Valium) for anxiety and panic attacks. Instead of confronting her, I focused my attention on trying to make her look to the future. She's a teacher, so I would coax her into getting in our truck and going for a drive. I would drive by the school where she teaches and talk to her about the day when she would return to teaching. I talked about vacations we would take after she recovered. I tried to get her involved in planning these vacations. There is a Doberman dog who lives about a mile from our house, and I would drive her past his house and let her look at how big and strong he is. Anything to get her focused on life and the future and try to push EC and the surgery and all the complications farther and farther into the past.

Melinda returned to teaching 7 months after her surgery, in 2010. Today, she is an active, vibrant woman. Sure, she has scars, physical and mental, but she is engaged in life and living and her career. She eats a 'normal' diet, even Mexican food and pizza, just smaller amounts. She has a cold beer every Saturday night, just one, but she is able to enjoy it.

It may seem dark and painful and depressing now, but there is a future for your husband. And for you.

Vaughn, caregiver to Melinda

DX October 2009:  T3N1M0

November and December 2009:  chemo (Cisplatin and 5 FU) and radiation

February 2010:  Ivor Lewis surgery

CarolandJoe
Posts: 23
Joined: Feb 2013

Depression and anxiety are to be expected I think since they have gone through so much.   My husband's surgery was 1/8/13 and he started chemo again 1/29/13.  After surgery, he was home within 7 days with no pain.  He had been taking oxycodone for several weeks but since he wasn't feeling any pain he stopped taking it completely.  Within 12 hours he was an emotional mess.  He was going through withdrawal.  We put him back on the oxycodone and gradually reduced his dose for 3 weeks until we could stop without side-effects.  After the first 4 weeks of chemo, he started getting depressed again.  He now takes a low dose of lorazapam every evening.  He moods have been better.  If he doesn't take the lorazapam, he will breakdown and cry.  It is so hard to see such a strong man so defeated and depressed.  

With the weather warming, he is getting outside more and that is helping his attitude, too.  I try to give him easy tasks to do during the day while I am at work so he is busy when alone.  If he just runs to the grocery store to get milk, it seems to help keep the depression and anxiety at bay.  The worse days are when he stays home all day alone so I try my best to make sure he has something to do everyday. 

Try planning a future event or activity.  I think it really helps to be future thinking.  I hope my suggestions help. 

Joel C's picture
Joel C
Posts: 172
Joined: Mar 2011

Janet, I think it would be almost impossible not to be at least somewhat depressed after receiving an EC diagnosis and dealing with the treatment and surgery.  Through my diagnosis, treatment, surgery, recurrence (now stage 4), another surgery, and more chemo I was depressed but didn’t feel the needed to seek professional help.  That was until last fall (2012) when we found I had delayed stomach emptying and started on Reglan.  Two weeks after starting Reglan I made an appointment to talk with a mental health professional.  I started on 15my per day of an antidepressant called Renron.  I’m off the Reglan but still on the Remron, I’m not sure if the Remron is helping but I guess it can’t hurt.  I would stay clear of Reglan as depression in only one of many side effects of that drug.  The funny thing is there is another drug that is much more effective for digestive issues/nausea than Reglan called Domeperidone but unfortunately this drug is not approved by the FDA and as a result not available in the USA, go figure, I’m sure it has to do with financially benefiting one of the pharmaceuticals. 

Good luck,

Joel

birdiequeen's picture
birdiequeen
Posts: 329
Joined: Mar 2011

Yes, my husband experianced depression and anxiety while on raglan.  It was very bad and we got him switched over to Domeperidone, even though not available in the US you can mail order it from Canada.  Just google raglan and read the stories about the side effects.  I did one night when my husband was pacing the floor with anxiety so bad he couldn't sit down.  Yes he still has some depression and anxiety but its at the level that would be expected, given what he has been through.  I am positive the Raglan was the cause of the uncontrolable anixiety.  He says I saved his life by figuring out it was the raglan.  He did take some anit depresents for a little while as the side effects of the raglan didn't go away completely at first. 

Keep us posted!

Joel C's picture
Joel C
Posts: 172
Joined: Mar 2011

Birdiequeen, Is your husband taking Domeperidone for delayed stomach emptying? Also if you could post the link to the web site for the pharmacy in Canada you use I would really appreciate that. Do you need a prescription from a US doctor to order the drug from Canada? Sorry for all the questions but I’m really glad you posted your experience with obtaining Domeperidone. Thanks, Joel

birdiequeen's picture
birdiequeen
Posts: 329
Joined: Mar 2011

Yes, the first time the surgeon faxed a prescription. But now that he is in their system he just re-orders. He says they are very responsive to their e-mails, you may want to e-mail them and ask if a prescription is needed. Just a side note, the first order got held up in customs and took quite a while. So now he re-orders before he gets very low. Oh, and yes he takes it for delayed stomach emptying. He also takes Zenpep, which is an enzyme that helps break the food up so it can move. The other thing he did was see a dietitian for gastro paresis diet. Pretty much the opposite of what everyone else thinks is healthy. No whole grain, no raw vegetables, no pulpy fruit like oranges and pineapple. 

http://www.inhousedrugstore.vu/p-17-motilium.aspx

Hockey Wife
Posts: 15
Joined: Jan 2013

Oh, you have no idea how much all of your posts meant to me this morning, thank you! The tears are running down my face as I write this, it has just been so hard. I am trying to hold my family together and sometimes reading all the posts is what gets me through my day! I have spoken to his Onco/Therapist (the doctor who got him off Reglan) and she is calling in a script for Klopin (SP?) to help with the terrible anxiety and get him some sleep.  Praying that he gets some relief! Thank you to all of you for the kind, truthful and honests posts. When I do post here its so nice because everyone "gets it"! In our regular life I think people just expect him to go back to the person he was or makes comments "you look great" when he feels he doesn't, lost 25 lbs since surgery. I keep telling him they just love you and don't know what to say. Sorry, just running on, just know that the posts mean a lot to me today. I will say an extra prayer for all of us today.  FYI-Reglan is very dangerous, his Therapist is convinced the Reglan caused this, he was on way to long, if you are on please see the blog I wrote!

Happy Spring!

Janet

Hockey Wife & Mom

Joel C's picture
Joel C
Posts: 172
Joined: Mar 2011

Birdiequeen,

Thank you for the pharmacy info, I placed an order for Motilium.  I’ll post a thread on my results with Motiliun after I’ve given it some time to work.

Thanks again,

Joel

birdiequeen's picture
birdiequeen
Posts: 329
Joined: Mar 2011

Did you have to have a scrip?

 

birdiequeen's picture
birdiequeen
Posts: 329
Joined: Mar 2011

I remember the dark days.  It can get better!  I'm praying it will for you and your family.

 

Joel C's picture
Joel C
Posts: 172
Joined: Mar 2011

No script is necessary now but in around two months that is going to change and they will not be able to ship to the USA without a script.  I picked up a six month supply and will see how that goes.

 

Joel

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