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Husband wiTh metatastic melanoma is in brain and I, the caregiver, have become an angry person

Janjaah
Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2017

In September, 2016, two and a half years after we were married, my husband was diagnosed with metatastic melanoma (15 tumors in his brain) and two in his lung. Two months later (December 2016) I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Since I am his care taker, I chose a double mastectomy  Before we got a 2nd opinion as to his treatment, the radiologist said he needed full-brain radiation. He completed 10 of the FBR.  When we met with a melanoma specialist and neurologist, they both stated that he should not have been given the full-brain radiation. They implied that everyone knows full-brain radiation doesn't work on metatastic melanoma. They began target therapy and after several months began him on immunotherapy.  He had such bad swelling around the brain and fevers of 105 degrees that they stopped the immunotherap, put him on high-dose steroids, and began more target therapy (Cotellic and Zelboric). This week he is going to have the gamma ray treatment on his brain, and two days later will have actual brain surgery to cut the three largest ones on his right frontal lobe. I am scheduled for reconstructive breast surgery about a month later.

If I could offer anyone else any advice, it would be to NOT do the FBR without knowing what you are getting into. As a result, my once-strong motorcycle-riding husband can not walk without a walker or wheelchair. His cognition and memory, along with his emotion, have deteriorated. The neurosurgown and oncologist both agree that he now has grey matter in the back of his brain from the FBR and that is what is causing the inability to walk--not the tumors!

I have always been kind and loving, but I find I am so angry all the time. I have never cursed, but the words fly out of my mouth like a drunk sailor. I cannot get rid of the anger I am harborIng. I have spoken with my parish priest, but that was terrible. All he focused on was getting my previous marriage annulled. I've gone to a couple support groups; I try to pray but can't stay focused. I cry every night (just started anti-depresantd); i can't get rid of my anger. I feel so guilty. 

lthenderson
Posts: 19
Joined: Feb 2017

I offer my condolences on your experience. It sounds dreadful thus far. The only words of wisdom I can offer would be to seek out another priest to speak too. Like almost any sector in life, not all priests are the same. I would also recommend finding books on others who have gone through similar experiences. I have read over a dozen books written by other caretakers/cancer patients who talk about various issues including dealing with anger and depression. They have really helped me put this experience into persepective.

clgoelzer
Posts: 6
Joined: Jul 2017

I'm sorry sorry for all you're going through. It's too much for one person! My husband was diagnosed with GBM 4 brain tumor and had radiation as part of his treatment. It did cause numerous side affects that made life more difficult. However, it is a standard of care for many cancer patients and you're only human. You have to rely on the "experts" and that's what you did. I know of a man who also had metstatic brain tumors from melanoma and he too got FBR so it must be a standard of care in many places. Doctors don't always agree with one another and I think it's hard to guess who is right/wrong. And with cancer, time is usually not on our side so we don't have the luxury of months to do our research and getting second opinions.

I understand your anger. I am angry too. Go ahead and be angry - it can feel powerful (which I prefer to sad) - but try not to let it consume you. You're doing the best you can and that's all you can do. Stay as strong and positive as possible. I hope you find some peace to get you through this horrible situation. You are not alone with your feelings.

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