Trouble transitioning from treatment

My father is 84 and had a rough time through treatment.  He lost his appetite the last 4 weeks of treatment and would not eat or drink enough to sustain himself.  We tried everything and then finally got a feeding tube.  Now 6 weeks out of treatment he is slowly physically recovering, but does not want to eat, do things for himself or socialize.  The doctors have confirmed he can and needs to walk, eat and drink in addition to the feeding tube.  He seems to just be giving up or having trouble transitioning from a patient to a possible survivor.   Does anyone have any advice on how we can help him? 



  • Deathorglory
    Deathorglory Member Posts: 364 Member
    edited December 2017 #2
    Hello Stacey

    Hello Stacey,

    The process of dealing with cancer, its treatment and everything involved frequently leaves people in a depressed state.  This is just a thought from a guy who is decidedly not a psychiatrist, but it seems like that might be what your dad is running into.  I'd talk to his doctor about it and see if perhaps an antidepressant is in order.

    Hope he does well,


  • paul61
    paul61 Member Posts: 1,388 Member
    edited December 2017 #3
    Post treatment depression is not uncommon


    I agree with Ed. It is relatively common for many cancer patients to go through depression after treatment. Cancer treatment takes a real physical toll on even a strong person’s body. Given you Dad’s advanced age, it would not be unusual for him to be dealing with depression. I am not a medical professional, but after my surgery and chemotherapy I went through a period of depression. Perhaps an antidepressant might be beneficial. Some tricyclic antidepressants have an added benefit of appetite stimulation. It is certainly something that might be worth discussing with your father’s oncologist.

    Best Regards,

    Paul Adams

    McCormick, South Carolina

    DX 10/2009 T2N1M0  Stage IIB - Ivor Lewis Surgery  12/3/2009
    Post Surgery Chemotherapy 2/2009 – 6/2009 Cisplatin, Epirubicin, 5 FU
    Eight Year Survivor


    Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance!

  • staceycorry
    staceycorry Member Posts: 14
    edited December 2017 #4
    Thank you

    Thank you Ed and Paul.  I will see if we can get him something to help with depression.