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Family issues

nyogus1
Posts: 30
Joined: Jul 2010

My husband was diagnosed with non small cell lung cancer (stage 4) with mets to bone & lympf in April 2010. We are 10 chemo's into a 18 week program. We were significant other's for 8 years, living separately. With the diagnosis, we got married and he is living with me so I can care for him and be there for him. He was alone for 12 years previously. A short time after he moved in, my daughter got home from college for the summer. He is overwhelmed with dealing with feelings about the cancer, cancer pain, chemo side effects, trying to close his business (which is his life and loves dearly), working with his disability insurance company for payment of benefits, trying to get used to living in a different house, making out his will, dealing with a college student home from the summer who has a completely different personality than himself (and also is not his child), dealing with me, money issues. I could probably go on with more issues. When I think about it, I guess I have to understand why he is suddenly becoming horrible to both my daugther and I. He is using us as a skapegoat for his anger. Hey, we aren't perfect. Who is? He is finding fault with everything we do and is now making demands on how we must change. He doesn't want to live like this. He is very unhappy. I was so distressed that I moved my daughter out Thursday night to live with her Dad. I just thought the environment was not good for her. Now I can't stop crying and am very, very angry with him. I know I need to be compassionate as his wife and his caregiver, but I'm angry. I am so angry and I can't stand it. He has said very bad things about my daughter which are not true. He is not in his right mind. He now says since she is gone she is never allowed back, even to visit. I'm a Mother Bear right now. I can't talk to my family or friends, as I don't want them to hate him too. I need to get myself together.

stayingcalm's picture
stayingcalm
Posts: 656
Joined: Feb 2007

nyogus,
is he on any meds that could be affecting him? Steroids, maybe? Also, I hate to even mention this, but has he had a brain MRI? Sometimes sudden personality changes are the result of brain mets. I'd be a Mother Bear, too, it makes me feel like growling! But there is always the possibility that he's not really responsible for the way he is acting, if it is meds or mets...maybe you can talk to his doctor without him being there.

stayingcalm

nyogus1
Posts: 30
Joined: Jul 2010

I do think he needs to be on depression medicine or something. He is taking steroids, and I noticed this big mood swing starting the day after the last steriod pill. (He takes them for 3 days after his BIG chemo every 3 weeks.) He also has a tendency for anxiety, he always has. He had anxiety meds he took (only when needed) when stress at work got too high. And this week he is trying to finish his last job before he closes his business, and it's 95 degrees in MI all week. He is simply hurting himself working. But just keeps going. I give. I just give.

I will try to have a private conversation with his Dr. At Chemo this week, there was a new nurse. When she asked how he was he started to cry and cried for 25 minutes talking to her. She gently asked about depression, but just didn't push to say she thought he should be on medication. She did say it was 2010 afterall, and he didn't need to feel that way.

His brain MRI in April was clean. Cancer can't be growing there when he is in chemo, could it?

Dapsterd's picture
Dapsterd
Posts: 291
Joined: Jun 2010

I truly believe that to recover from cancer one must have balance....I do not kno how he can work in the heat with his condition, if I am in the Mi. sun like it has been, for more than 5 minutes, I feel sick a bit, due to chemo/rad/cancer.
He needs all the balance he can get, I am glad it is his last job, but maybe a good friend could help/finish.
I believe in antidepressants...wondering is he getting is sleep at night as well as a nap in the day...very necessary.

Take care, he needs to do a gratiude list and have you on it !!

Dave

nyogus1
Posts: 30
Joined: Jul 2010

I have some positive news to report. I had spoken to his Social Worker at a Cancer Support Group Tuesday. She rallied the troups, and at Chemo today, his regular nurse was WONDERFUL. She had a nice talk with him, and in the end he agreed to counseling and medication. He also admitted to NOT sleeping. He takes Ambien at 9:30 p.m., and no sleeping till 3 a.m. This means the Ambien is NOT working! I'm relieved. Although we still have a long way to go, this is a start. I agree he needs balance.

Another worry off his mind is approval for his disability insurance. He has been very worried about no income coming in at all when the business is closed.

How can he even deal with it all? I was letting my own anger get in the way of understanding. But my daughter and I were being attacked. That's my excuse. Hopefully things will get better.

Thanks to everyone out there that cares and helped.

Dapsterd's picture
Dapsterd
Posts: 291
Joined: Jun 2010

Nyogus1......I woke up every couple hours on Ambein and Ativan, but I also had bad heartburn from radiation. But....I tried Lunesta for sleep and now on Prilosec for heartburn and that seems like a good combo.
One thing...my chemo nurse is going to shy back on the steroids, this may help with the sleep she said....just some thoughts.

Dave

nyogus1
Posts: 30
Joined: Jul 2010

Dave that sounds like the same sleep pattern he had on Ambien & Ativan. Now his is taking Ambien with an antidpressant (sorry can't remember the name). Anyway it's been a week, and his sleep pattern is getting better. They said it would take 2 to 4 weeks before we can really say the new drug is working or not. So far after a week he is calmer with the sleep.

SuzyQ67
Posts: 31
Joined: May 2010

I'm sorry to hear that your are dealing with this change in your husband. My father has NSCLC and was getting radiation 5xs a week and mild chemo 1 a week. He is 70, but very independant & strong willed. I live with my folks- about 3 weeks ago I began noticing these odd changes in him, I mentioned them to my mom, or would point them out. She thought he was acting odd too.
He began focusing anger on me also. And my dad physically came after me about weeds in his garden. He doesn't have a garden. And so it went. He had a stroke 2 days later.
. We were originally told that the steriods would change him also. Bottom line I am sure you are a wonderful wife, and I hope your daughter understands it isn't her - he just isn't himself. he's sick, and has chemicals in him that sometimes act differently in people. My mom decided it was best for me to stay close by, at a friends. until we see how dad is once he comes home. He's been a bear at the hospital, and now these additional losses from his stroke are making him crankier. It is VERY difficult to see someone look into your eyes, with no remorse or recognition - and call you names you never would think a father would say. But it happens. Please hang in there. We also had a PET for the brain done, and it hadn't spread.

nyogus1
Posts: 30
Joined: Jul 2010

I'm sorry for what you are going through too. What was I thinking, that this would all be sitting my his bedside, patting his hand while he was grateful I'm there?? I cook, I clean, I wash, I work full time, I don't see my friends, I don't do any of the things I used to do. And now he turns on us. It helps to vent and journal here. Then I can go back and deal with what I need to deal with. Thanks for listening and caring.

cool49
Posts: 27
Joined: Feb 2010

MAYBE HE DONT QUIT UNDERSTAND WHATS GOING ON WITH HIS BODY.its hard enough to deal when the doctor tells u have cancer ,the whole family goes through it.its sad but maybe its dawning on him now that he has cancer and he could did and all that posion is going into his system.have they got him on anxtiy meds depssion meds.has he talked to someone about this besides his family .i have lung cancer very rare type and my whole family goes through it except theirs know cure for mine.it rare it came from basal cell carcinoma mestatised to lung .but keep faith and talk to his doctor and yes its had to see our family members go through what they go through .be patient and god will lead u and youre family through this.god bless youll keep in touch.

nyogus1
Posts: 30
Joined: Jul 2010

Thanks for your support & friendship. I pray your treatment will provide you with time. He is dealing with the same issue, no cure offered. Only providing time through Chemo. He doesn't feel good. Doesn't feel good at all. The chemo is really building up in his system, and his rear is being KICKED. And he is still not done with the final job before he closes his business. Heartbreak for him to close the business. Loss of his purpose in life for years. We was a workaholic. 60+ hours a week. Since he was 14 years old, and now he's 64. He hates everything happening to him.

stayingcalm's picture
stayingcalm
Posts: 656
Joined: Feb 2007

nyogus,
Nobody expects the person they care about and are caring for to turn on them, it's an awful thing. I know I'm grouchy and critical when I'm sick, but this sounds like something more, probably a combination of all his feelings that you mention, exacerbated by the steroids. I hope you can resolve this, with his oncologist! Best wishes, stayingcalm

puppy2010
Posts: 10
Joined: Jun 2010

Dear Nyogus,
I, too, am experiencing anger towards me from my husband. He was diagnosed w/Stage 3A squamous lung cancer in his left lung in September, 2009. He had 35 radiation treatments along w/5 chemotherapy treatments. Since he was tolerating the radiation so well, his radiation oncologist wanted to really streamline the radiation on the tumors to try to shrink them as much as possible. He seemed to be doing ok, but developed pneumonia in February, 2010 and had to be hospitalized for 5 days. The dr. put him on steroids because they couldn't tell if the pneumonia was from scarring due to the radiation or an infection. We saw his medical oncologist in June for a follow up visit and she prescribed Tarceva for him. She said that his left lung looked "yucky" (her words), and that they couldn't tell if he had an infection, scarring, or a nodule that was missed during treatment. I think that his hopes were dashed in that he (and me, too) was hoping for a miracle and that they got all of the cancer. Since that time, he has been very grumpy and takes out his frustration on me. Some of our family and friends have noticed his attitute towards me, too. I tell them that I wonder how any of us would react if we received the news of lung cancer. I feel very bad for him and also for our two grown children, ages 28 and 23.

nyogus1
Posts: 30
Joined: Jul 2010

Thanks for your post. It is very frustrating to have this issue. I spoke to his 18 year old son last night, who is not experiencing any anger from him. He said he seems normal. While it's comforting to know I'm not the only one, it doesn't seem there is a magic solution for this besides understanding and putting up with it. I am sorry you are going through this too. I pray you (and I) start to have some peace in our home and lives. You seem to have the strength to understand his feelings and to defend his actions. You are very strong and brave.

I saw a counselor last night. She said that all this is just noise, a way of him not dealing with the real issues. I need to get him to see a counselor, but don't know how to get him there. He also needs to go on medication for depression, because he is depressed.

I feel like I'm not a very "good" person, because I'm darn angry about the way he is treating me. Hey, I'm not perfect, but neither is he. If this is the way he wants to spend the time he has left fighting with the person who loves and take care of him.........pretty sad.

They say you have to reach bottom before you can change and grow. I hope I'm getting to the bottom of my anger so I can rise above it and do what I need to do to help him. I just can't shake it right now. But maybe I have to just change my attitude for my anger to go away. If I just start acting the way I know I should, maybe I will lose the anger.

Update: I just had a reality check conversation with a good friend that is a Psychatric Nurse. She told me that I need to become much more sympathic to his issues. I have to give him as much latitude as possible. Get over my anger. Get on with taking care of him, and trying to convince him to get couseling to deal with his issues. If he won't, then show more understanding and do the best I can to be sympathetic. She said it's best to have my daughter out of the house. Best for my daughter, and best for him to reduce any influences which cause stress.

puppy2010
Posts: 10
Joined: Jun 2010

Thank you for your kind words. I saw our family dr. today for myself. I told him some of the things that are going on at home. He said my husband may be depressed or that the steroids can cause personality changes. Good luck and hang in there. I'm glad I came across this site. I was beginning to really feel depressed. Although I have the support of family and friends, I think it is hard for them to truly understand what my husband, son, daughter and myself are going through.

kayaker01
Posts: 20
Joined: Aug 2010

nyogus, reading your first post was shocking. it was as if i had written it myself. our stories are almost identical. the difference is that when my daughter moved in, her (at the time) 3 year old son moved in too. truthfully, i do not know how my grandson still loves his grandpa some of the things that "grandpa" said to him were just awful.
anyway, it has been 4 years since my husband was diagnosed. went through chemo, a lung removal, a pulmonary imbellism and 2 chest infections where his lung used to be. he is very lucky to still be here. 4 years later still no sign of cancer. he is however, extremely angry and with all he has been through i can understand.
it is just so hard to deal with the nastiness, anger and selfishness day in and day out. the only thing that keeps coming in to my mind is i deserve to have someone listen to me too. i listen to his constant complaining everyday. i have a good friend and family members who listen but they can not possibly know what we are dealing with.
some of the responses you received suggested steroids... my husband is not on any.
suggestions of talking to his dr.... i tried that once and am STILL paying for it. he will not talk to a therapist, cause he "doesn't need it". he will not tell his dr's the truth about how he is feeling, he's too macho.
i am at the end of my rope after 4 years and am SO very happy to have confirmation that the cancer drugs are apparently what are causing the nastiness.
i am really sorry that anyone else has to go through what i or my husband has been through the last four years but somewhat relieved that someone out there understands.

ehires
Posts: 4
Joined: Aug 2010

my husband an i are only starting our journey.. you being the care giver is always the hardest .. i know it isnt the same but i lost my dad to altzimers an he got to the point of being mean an hatefull i was dads little girl.. so i had to understand it wasnt him saying the things he said... easier said then done sometime i know.. my husband who has lung cancer (we dont know if spread) i pray it doesnt go to his brain,, he is a very gental person dont know i could handle him getting mean as i know how much he loves me but if we got to that point i'd have to find a way to deal.. as hard as it is on you an i understand he is having a hard time to.. lean on friends family blog do a journal i have found all that helps.. remember to always take care of you to !!!
good luck an GOD bless

kayaker01
Posts: 20
Joined: Aug 2010

to hear about your husband. as much as i hate the fact of taking meds i think it has come to a point that i may have to use tranquilizers or something myself. i have tried exercising and yoga (which helps but it is only temporary). as soon as i open my mouth he starts with the angry comments. and it does no good not to talk because there is always something that sets him off.
i think insurance companies really need to understand the need for caregivers to seek counseling as well. i am just afraid that if i were to talk to a counselor i would be told with what he is going through it is understandable that he is angry...all this i know. i just need to find a way to live with it, because it is obviously not going to go away. it only gets worse.

UNBEARABLE's picture
UNBEARABLE
Posts: 23
Joined: Aug 2010

Nogus1,
I understand completely. Your story is the same as mine with the expection of we have a 17, 16, 14, and 10 year old. My husband's has 6 spots now, but none in his brain. He also isnt on steroids but his anger is unbearable. I'm not sure what to do myself. The doctors have tried mood altering drug but that hasnt seemed to work either. This is destroying all of us.

UNBEARABLE's picture
UNBEARABLE
Posts: 23
Joined: Aug 2010

Nogus1,
I understand completely. Your story is the same as mine with the expection of we have a 17, 16, 14, and 10 year old. My husband's has 6 spots now, but none in his brain. He also isnt on steroids but his anger is unbearable. I'm not sure what to do myself. The doctors have tried mood altering drug but that hasnt seemed to work either. This is destroying all of us.

UNBEARABLE's picture
UNBEARABLE
Posts: 23
Joined: Aug 2010

Nogus1,
I understand completely. Your story is the same as mine with the expection of we have a 17, 16, 14, and 10 year old. My husband's has 6 spots now, but none in his brain. He also isnt on steroids but his anger is unbearable. I'm not sure what to do myself. The doctors have tried mood altering drug but that hasnt seemed to work either. This is destroying all of us.

1blessedamongus
Posts: 15
Joined: Aug 2010

My daddy changed from being a gentle,joking, and fun person to being paranoid and stubborn and threatening to my brother and me after he had some minor surgery for Prostate Cancer. One day my brother was in the shower and my Dad called 911 and said my brother was holding him at gunpoint and had not let him eat in days. Because I had to work every other week and my brother was my only other help we ended up placing him in a hospice house and this was wonderful. I got to stay with him but they believed in antidepressants and gave them so we had our Daddy back briefly before he passed away. Journal keeping really helped us. My brother and I would write each other letters of Daddy's daily events and always we would add some humor to our stories and this made them easier to bear.
One morning about 2 am Dad woke up suddenly and grabbed his walker and screamed he had to get out of the house because I had him locked away. Before I could get up off the couch he came at me with his walker raised above his head(he had been so weak he couldn't even get out of the chair to go to bed for about 2 days)and scared the life out of me. I am not trying to scare you but this was the day God told me we couldn't handle this at home alone. He needed meds at a higher dose than we could safely give at home.Praying you get answers.

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