Help for Depression

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alexinlv
alexinlv Member Posts: 194 Member
Good morning! My husband, stage iv, liver resection in dec. and now on 4 rounds of xeloda, oxi and avastin- He is very depressed. He won't answer his phone, talk to any friends, leave the house during the week when we are at work and school . He has pretty much cut himself off from everyone except his sister since Dec. He pretty much sleeps all day until the kids and i get home then he has a hard time sleeping at night. I am so sad to see my always upbeat husband like this. The weekends are better because we're home. I don't know how to help him. Especially if I am at work during the week. I feel like I should take a day or so during the week to be with him to get him to go on a walk or go to a support group, see a therapist etc. I too am finding that I just want to cocoon myself and not do anything except stay home when not working. . Any suggestions appreciated.

Comments

  • Lovekitties
    Lovekitties Member Posts: 3,364 Member
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    Hi
    You need to call his surgeon and talk to him about the situation.

    Having depression after this surgery is not uncommon. I had it and my surgeon prescribed a mild anti-depressant. It worked.

    If the surgeon doesn't want to do it then call his regular gp or get a referral from the surgeon.

    No need to be going thru this, and it will not be long before he will be able to rejoin the world without the help of medication.

    Marie who loves kitties
  • John23
    John23 Member Posts: 2,122 Member
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    alexinlv -

    Sometimes parsing a story makes finding the solution easier (or not.?)


    1. My husband, stage iv, liver resection in dec. now on 4 rounds
    of xeloda, oxi and avastin

    2. He is very depressed.

    3. He has pretty much cut himself off from everyone except his sister since Dec.

    4. The weekends are better because we're home.

    5. I don't know how to help him. Especially if I am at work during the week.

    6. I feel like I should take a day or so during the week to be with him

    7. I am so sad to see my always upbeat husband like this.

    8. Any suggestions appreciated.


    According to your profile, he was a 3c prior to Dec, and re-staged as
    a stage 4 in December? That's only about a month out of surgery.

    Nice! Happy holidays. My first dx and operation was in Jan, 2006,
    and my last was in Jan of 2011. It's always nice to get the news during
    all the gala events!

    He was just told he was a "stage 4" a month ago, and is still recuperating
    from all the anesthesia, pain killers, etc that they dump into him during
    and after surgery... He spent the Holidays in the hospital, and any joy
    of the season was drowned by the overwhelming concerns that the
    new DX makes the disease even more terminal.....

    It hits hardest to those that are living it, and it can be overwhelming!

    Could he use your company more now, than before?

    I think you answered all your questions at lines 4 and 6.

    It sounds like the thoughts of never seeing you again are starting to
    sink in. There's no anti-depressant in the world that's going to solve
    that. It might make his attitude more palatable to those around him,
    but does it help -him-?

    He's got reason to be depressed; it takes time to work through
    it all. Some of it only he will be able to come to terms with, while
    other aspects of it will require your input. The bottom line, is that
    he needs -you- right now, but.... he needs some space as well.

    You can't expect him to want to socialize and answer all the
    "how are you feeling today" BS from friends that mean well;
    he's caught up in inner thought and attempts to resolve all the
    issues that one feels when they begin to realize the reality of the
    morbidity of the situation. It is earth moving. It is earth shattering.

    Line 3 suggests that he's been seeking some console from his
    sister; someone close, unlike casual friends. That's far from
    "hermitizing" oneself.

    Read lines 4 and 6 again.... I think you'll find the answer you're
    looking for.

    Good luck! It's a tough road.

    My best hopes for you both!

    John
  • PhillieG
    PhillieG Member Posts: 4,866 Member
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    Cancer & Depression
    I think they almost go hand-in-hand. I don't see how someone can be diagnosed with a later stage cancer (III or IV) and not feel a bit depressed about it. It's depressing! Not long after I was diagnosed I started to see a psychologist who I still see now. She's helped me immensely with dealing with the changes from cancer as well as helping me deal with issues from surgery, relationships with family and friends, and other fears that I've had over time. I'm also on a small dose of anti-anxiety meds that take the edge off things.
    You can talk to his Onc about it and/or see what mental health benefits your husband has.

    Just a side note; I had spent the better part of the past year and a half not doing a whole lot with myself. Recently, I've been keeping myself much busier and the change in my mood and energy levels are amazing. If your husband is not exercising maybe you can get him to take a walk around the block every day. John's suggestion (and yours) of taking a day off a week would be great. Maybe you could both get out to walk...
    -p
  • coloCan
    coloCan Member Posts: 1,944 Member
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    John23 said:

    alexinlv -

    Sometimes parsing a story makes finding the solution easier (or not.?)


    1. My husband, stage iv, liver resection in dec. now on 4 rounds
    of xeloda, oxi and avastin

    2. He is very depressed.

    3. He has pretty much cut himself off from everyone except his sister since Dec.

    4. The weekends are better because we're home.

    5. I don't know how to help him. Especially if I am at work during the week.

    6. I feel like I should take a day or so during the week to be with him

    7. I am so sad to see my always upbeat husband like this.

    8. Any suggestions appreciated.


    According to your profile, he was a 3c prior to Dec, and re-staged as
    a stage 4 in December? That's only about a month out of surgery.

    Nice! Happy holidays. My first dx and operation was in Jan, 2006,
    and my last was in Jan of 2011. It's always nice to get the news during
    all the gala events!

    He was just told he was a "stage 4" a month ago, and is still recuperating
    from all the anesthesia, pain killers, etc that they dump into him during
    and after surgery... He spent the Holidays in the hospital, and any joy
    of the season was drowned by the overwhelming concerns that the
    new DX makes the disease even more terminal.....

    It hits hardest to those that are living it, and it can be overwhelming!

    Could he use your company more now, than before?

    I think you answered all your questions at lines 4 and 6.

    It sounds like the thoughts of never seeing you again are starting to
    sink in. There's no anti-depressant in the world that's going to solve
    that. It might make his attitude more palatable to those around him,
    but does it help -him-?

    He's got reason to be depressed; it takes time to work through
    it all. Some of it only he will be able to come to terms with, while
    other aspects of it will require your input. The bottom line, is that
    he needs -you- right now, but.... he needs some space as well.

    You can't expect him to want to socialize and answer all the
    "how are you feeling today" BS from friends that mean well;
    he's caught up in inner thought and attempts to resolve all the
    issues that one feels when they begin to realize the reality of the
    morbidity of the situation. It is earth moving. It is earth shattering.

    Line 3 suggests that he's been seeking some console from his
    sister; someone close, unlike casual friends. That's far from
    "hermitizing" oneself.

    Read lines 4 and 6 again.... I think you'll find the answer you're
    looking for.

    Good luck! It's a tough road.

    My best hopes for you both!

    John

    Seeing a therapist , esp one who has dealt with cancer people,
    may prove helpful as well as getting a prescription for appropriate meds...
  • Sonia32
    Sonia32 Member Posts: 1,071 Member
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    Hugs
    Through my treatment my depression got worse, plus I started to get panic attacks. But no one apart from my csn family on here could understand what I was going through. You sound so supportive and he's lucky to have you. He needs to speak to his doctor, possibly for anti depressants? he needs to talk to a consoler about his situation someone who understands cancer. Is there is anyway you can try and get him on the board? This is a brilliant place for support. I think we all know what fears run through a cancer patients mind, the what ifs and that's a crippling thought if you don't have anyone to share it with or feel you can burden those who you are close to with not going through it.
    With time it will get better, he will get out of his shell with love and support.
  • Annabelle41415
    Annabelle41415 Member Posts: 6,742 Member
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    Depression
    It's very normal to be depressed, it's a hard pill to swallow that he has been dealth this situation. Talk to anyone of his doctors to see if they could put him on something. Stay strong by his side - he needs you and the kids even if he doesn't show it. Being a supportive caregiver can be very hard as the patient can have many emotional needs daily with many swings. You are a loving wife and it shows.

    Kim
  • Brenda Bricco
    Brenda Bricco Member Posts: 579 Member
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    You guys are going through
    You guys are going through so much. I am my husbands caretaker and I have to literally talk myself out of a funk daily. I have accepted help from the docs with meds but the one thing that makes or breaks me is exercise. If you can take a day here and there that would be good for you both. It's hard when you see them sinking into depression and not know how to help them, it's even harder when the caretaker gets down. I know what it feels like to withdraw and hide from the world, the last thing you want someone telling you is that you need to do something when all you want to do is nothing. God bless you. I hope this depression is short lived. :)
    Brenda
  • tko683
    tko683 Member Posts: 264 Member
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    Hard times
    Cancer is depressing, that is for sure. My husband is now taking Lexapro which is helping and making a difference. It just takes time to absorb everything and I think it definately helps to exercise if you can talk him into going for a walk. It is hard though if he has neuropathy pain in his feet like my husband has. It is hard, I know for both of you. I hope that in time your husband will start feeling better but it is certainly understandable that he feels depressed....Hang in there....better times are in your future...Hugs, Teri
  • alexinlv
    alexinlv Member Posts: 194 Member
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    You guys are awesome! Thank
    You guys are awesome! Thank you for the wisdom and advice. He won't get on the board although he asks me occasionally what's going on on the board. So I can talk to him about this and even share that others are or have gone through it. That usually makes him feel better. Yesterday was a good day- the bookstore and then lunch. That was the most we've done in a long time. I will take an extra day off besides the treatment days for sure. After being gone on fml for 6 weeks, I was trying not to take as many days. But I have too for both of us. If you're watching the Super Bowl enjoy! I'm not into it and would only watch for the commercials! Maybe a little shopping is in order.
  • tommycat
    tommycat Member Posts: 790 Member
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    alexinlv said:

    You guys are awesome! Thank
    You guys are awesome! Thank you for the wisdom and advice. He won't get on the board although he asks me occasionally what's going on on the board. So I can talk to him about this and even share that others are or have gone through it. That usually makes him feel better. Yesterday was a good day- the bookstore and then lunch. That was the most we've done in a long time. I will take an extra day off besides the treatment days for sure. After being gone on fml for 6 weeks, I was trying not to take as many days. But I have too for both of us. If you're watching the Super Bowl enjoy! I'm not into it and would only watch for the commercials! Maybe a little shopping is in order.

    Hi
    So glad you two had a good day Alex! It will take time to heal inside and out, but it can be done. I remember having more bad days that good, then slowly the tide turned and I had more good days than bad. Exercise really helped. Initially, with a friend by my side, I would walk to the end of the block and touch the stop sign and walk back. That was a small success! Getting outdoors and getting moving helped heal my body and my soul.
  • k1
    k1 Member Posts: 220 Member
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    tommycat said:

    Hi
    So glad you two had a good day Alex! It will take time to heal inside and out, but it can be done. I remember having more bad days that good, then slowly the tide turned and I had more good days than bad. Exercise really helped. Initially, with a friend by my side, I would walk to the end of the block and touch the stop sign and walk back. That was a small success! Getting outdoors and getting moving helped heal my body and my soul.

    Time, and physical and mental recovery
    It took me the full 12 weeks to recover physically from liver resection to the point that I could even go out and do anything to make myself feel better, such as return to my adaptive yoga class, shopr for groceries, go to a support group etc. Once I was strong enough to resume some physical activities, the mental lift occurred too.
  • jasminsaba
    jasminsaba Member Posts: 157 Member
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    Tips on how to cope ...
    Hi there - just read this myself this morning and thought it might also be helpful to you and your husband ... not sure how to create a hyperlink so just copying the address for you below:

    http://www2.mdanderson.org/cancerwise/2012/02/been-there-done-that-tips-on-how-to-do-it-again.html