Out of energy

My brother had the transplant in June. He's 61, single. He had Mantle cell lymphoma. It's now November and he's on the phone crying that he has no energy to make food for himself. He's very depressed and lonely. I see him once a week or more and talk to him 3-4 times a day. He feels better after but he returns to a profoundly negative bend. I know the loss of energy is part of the chemo as is the emotional aspect. He sees no ight at the end of the tunnel. takes no suggestions of what to eat. He told me this morning he feels like doing nothing. And he's crying. I told him to do what he can do. Easy for me to say. I feel lousy about it; can't do more for him.

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Comments

  • Ailidh
    Ailidh Member Posts: 52
    I'm sorry your brother is

    I'm sorry your brother is feeling so bad. I was the same when my treatment finished in mid July and am only just beginning to come out of it - I even feel quite nervous just typing that, like I'm tempting fate in some way.

    One thing I found really helpful was that the hospital chaplain suggested I make a weekly timetable for myself, and plan into each hour of each day something to do; either something pleasurable or something that needed to be done - sometimes the sense of achievement, even a small achievement, can have a very positive effect. The first one I drew up I sat and cried - there were so many hours in the day to fill. The second one I drew up I cried even more - I couldn't believe that I wasn't going to feel better quickly. After that, it got a little easier but I drew up and stuck to 13 timetables before I dared let them go. It helped, because it gave structure to my day, and when we're depressed the day can seem very big and wide and shapeless.

    "Eat lunch" was something I programmed into the timetable. Somehow it was easier to obey an instruction that I'd already timetabled myself to do. I ate quite a lot of toast and canned soup for a while, it was easy.

    Is he still being seen by the hospital? Does the hospital have a psychology service he can access? I'm seeing an oncology psychologist, it's just a talking therapy, she doesn't offer any suggestions at all as to how to counter any bad feelings but it does help to know that there is somebody who has hold of the string at the end of my balloon.

    Give my best to your brother. He's lucky to have you.

  • illead
    illead Member Posts: 879 Member
    Hi dkatz

    I can imagine how you must feel, not being able to encourage your brother for a very long period.  I am no authority, but it sounds to me like it is all depression.  What lack of energy he has could be totally doable with the right attitude.  Has he told his doctor?  Perhaps he needs a little medicinal help.  To deal with MCL and an SCT transplant, which probably all happened in a short amt of time, is a lot to deal with.  Being 61 and single no doubt factors in also.  My husband Bill also has MCL.  He did not have an SCT but will be in remission 2 yrs in Feb.  Another thing that probably did not help was the ominous prognosis of MCL.  We are very hopeful and so is Bill's doctor that the prognosis is not the same as it was a few years ago.  They have made many inroads and done lots of research and know a lot more about MCL, so your brother has a lot to be optimistic about.  He just needs to get the "connections" back into balance, it seems.  If you can talk him into joining the forum here, there are many supportive people and it would give him something to look forward too.  He doesn't even have to join, he can just read if he wants to.  You are a good sibling and I know this is hard on you.  Continue doing what you can but also do not put yourself on a guilt trip.  You can only do what you can do.  You need to take care of yourself and your family too. 

    My very best to you, Becky

  • dkatz
    dkatz Member Posts: 27
    Ailidh said:

    I'm sorry your brother is

    I'm sorry your brother is feeling so bad. I was the same when my treatment finished in mid July and am only just beginning to come out of it - I even feel quite nervous just typing that, like I'm tempting fate in some way.

    One thing I found really helpful was that the hospital chaplain suggested I make a weekly timetable for myself, and plan into each hour of each day something to do; either something pleasurable or something that needed to be done - sometimes the sense of achievement, even a small achievement, can have a very positive effect. The first one I drew up I sat and cried - there were so many hours in the day to fill. The second one I drew up I cried even more - I couldn't believe that I wasn't going to feel better quickly. After that, it got a little easier but I drew up and stuck to 13 timetables before I dared let them go. It helped, because it gave structure to my day, and when we're depressed the day can seem very big and wide and shapeless.

    "Eat lunch" was something I programmed into the timetable. Somehow it was easier to obey an instruction that I'd already timetabled myself to do. I ate quite a lot of toast and canned soup for a while, it was easy.

    Is he still being seen by the hospital? Does the hospital have a psychology service he can access? I'm seeing an oncology psychologist, it's just a talking therapy, she doesn't offer any suggestions at all as to how to counter any bad feelings but it does help to know that there is somebody who has hold of the string at the end of my balloon.

    Give my best to your brother. He's lucky to have you.

    Out of energy

    Thanks for responding so quicky. I think he needs to talk to a professional. I didn't even know there was a subspecialty called oncolgy psychologist. I go for help for other issues and I know there are no answers to every dilemma but it feels good to unload. I will pass it on to my brother. Your strategies make sense and I think to some extent he tries. But now, he's at the point where he thinks he's going backwards. He has spoken to hsi doctor about it and he says they tell him 'it could get worse or it could get better'. No one knows. He's in a tight circle. Too tired to make anything to eat and if he doesn't eat properly he'll never have enough energy. He hates everything that is remotely edible. Too heavy, too doughy, too greasy. No flavor, too spicy and on and on. . He really needs to get on board and start typing but he refuses to get internet in his apartment preferring to go to the library. But her has no energy to go to the library.  And around and around we go. Thanks for listening.

  • dkatz
    dkatz Member Posts: 27
    illead said:

    Hi dkatz

    I can imagine how you must feel, not being able to encourage your brother for a very long period.  I am no authority, but it sounds to me like it is all depression.  What lack of energy he has could be totally doable with the right attitude.  Has he told his doctor?  Perhaps he needs a little medicinal help.  To deal with MCL and an SCT transplant, which probably all happened in a short amt of time, is a lot to deal with.  Being 61 and single no doubt factors in also.  My husband Bill also has MCL.  He did not have an SCT but will be in remission 2 yrs in Feb.  Another thing that probably did not help was the ominous prognosis of MCL.  We are very hopeful and so is Bill's doctor that the prognosis is not the same as it was a few years ago.  They have made many inroads and done lots of research and know a lot more about MCL, so your brother has a lot to be optimistic about.  He just needs to get the "connections" back into balance, it seems.  If you can talk him into joining the forum here, there are many supportive people and it would give him something to look forward too.  He doesn't even have to join, he can just read if he wants to.  You are a good sibling and I know this is hard on you.  Continue doing what you can but also do not put yourself on a guilt trip.  You can only do what you can do.  You need to take care of yourself and your family too. 

    My very best to you, Becky

    Out of energy

    Yes.. He has a history of depression (never been treated for it and hates/fears any medication) but the effects of the chemo and the whole experience is making his inclination towards depression that much worse. I sent him the link and I hope he joins. He told me he'd rather talk to someone on the phone but the world doesn't work like that anymore and we have to make lemonade when lemons are available. Thanks for your kind words. My magic wand doesn't work anymore (I think it needs batteries) so the best I could think of is to try and refocus his little world into the big picture. Thanks for listening and responding,

  • jimwins
    jimwins Member Posts: 2,107
    dkatz said:

    Out of energy

    Yes.. He has a history of depression (never been treated for it and hates/fears any medication) but the effects of the chemo and the whole experience is making his inclination towards depression that much worse. I sent him the link and I hope he joins. He told me he'd rather talk to someone on the phone but the world doesn't work like that anymore and we have to make lemonade when lemons are available. Thanks for your kind words. My magic wand doesn't work anymore (I think it needs batteries) so the best I could think of is to try and refocus his little world into the big picture. Thanks for listening and responding,

    Welcome dkatz

    Welcome to the site and I'm sorry to hear about your brother.  I agree with the advice given by the others.  Other things to consider is someone coming to his residence to help out for awhile.  i know during my treatment, I received several calls from my insurance company checking to see if I was able to take care of myself regarding meals, housework, bathing/dressing, etc.  Fortunately, even though I was very tired, I was able to take care of myself.  I also spent time with family for some meals, etc.  

    You might check with a social worker where he was treated to see what is available to help him out.  Is there anything he finds to his liking to eat currently?  A side effect of treatment can be (usually temporary) a change in taste that can make it difficult to eat what you once enjoyed.  Hopefully he will be able to eat more soon.

    He is welcome to come here as well.  If he doesn't have Interent at his apartment, maybe he can "borrow" wireless from a neighbor if it's available and try it out for awhile.  Please tell him he is not alone and will find friends here.  We're not professional medical or psychology folks but we have walked in his shoes.  

    Other things, what does he enjoy or makes him laugh?  Sometimes just a little bit of laughter can help so much - that's why I can be such a clown here sometimes.

    Oh, don't they make those little blue pills for magic wands? Innocent  Be good to yourself.

    Hugs and hang in there.

    Jim

  • Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3
    Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3 Member Posts: 3,721 Member
    jimwins said:

    Welcome dkatz

    Welcome to the site and I'm sorry to hear about your brother.  I agree with the advice given by the others.  Other things to consider is someone coming to his residence to help out for awhile.  i know during my treatment, I received several calls from my insurance company checking to see if I was able to take care of myself regarding meals, housework, bathing/dressing, etc.  Fortunately, even though I was very tired, I was able to take care of myself.  I also spent time with family for some meals, etc.  

    You might check with a social worker where he was treated to see what is available to help him out.  Is there anything he finds to his liking to eat currently?  A side effect of treatment can be (usually temporary) a change in taste that can make it difficult to eat what you once enjoyed.  Hopefully he will be able to eat more soon.

    He is welcome to come here as well.  If he doesn't have Interent at his apartment, maybe he can "borrow" wireless from a neighbor if it's available and try it out for awhile.  Please tell him he is not alone and will find friends here.  We're not professional medical or psychology folks but we have walked in his shoes.  

    Other things, what does he enjoy or makes him laugh?  Sometimes just a little bit of laughter can help so much - that's why I can be such a clown here sometimes.

    Oh, don't they make those little blue pills for magic wands? Innocent  Be good to yourself.

    Hugs and hang in there.

    Jim

    Brother

    Dkatz,

    Jim has probably given the best advice available to you: Your borther's treatment center should have a social worker of some sort who can give him referrals for depression and well-being.  You do not mention how close you live to where he is, but if you are nearby and can get him out, even to walk the mall or whatever, it may assist in jump-startiung his emotions.  I was run over by a car 26 yerars ago, and could not walk for a long time.   When a relative would take me and my wheelchair to the mall or church, it did me a great deal of emotional good.

    I never required SCT, but I know the chemo prior to the transplant is often given in megadoses, and that the overall process can be extremely rough.  He is depressed, but his weakness may be partially physiological -- due to the trauma his body has suffered through. Healing from that can take a long time.  His sense of taste may not be working properly, but that will return to normal over time.

    As was mentioned by someone, take care of yourself, and realize that doing what you can is all you can do.

    max

  • dkatz
    dkatz Member Posts: 27
    jimwins said:

    Welcome dkatz

    Welcome to the site and I'm sorry to hear about your brother.  I agree with the advice given by the others.  Other things to consider is someone coming to his residence to help out for awhile.  i know during my treatment, I received several calls from my insurance company checking to see if I was able to take care of myself regarding meals, housework, bathing/dressing, etc.  Fortunately, even though I was very tired, I was able to take care of myself.  I also spent time with family for some meals, etc.  

    You might check with a social worker where he was treated to see what is available to help him out.  Is there anything he finds to his liking to eat currently?  A side effect of treatment can be (usually temporary) a change in taste that can make it difficult to eat what you once enjoyed.  Hopefully he will be able to eat more soon.

    He is welcome to come here as well.  If he doesn't have Interent at his apartment, maybe he can "borrow" wireless from a neighbor if it's available and try it out for awhile.  Please tell him he is not alone and will find friends here.  We're not professional medical or psychology folks but we have walked in his shoes.  

    Other things, what does he enjoy or makes him laugh?  Sometimes just a little bit of laughter can help so much - that's why I can be such a clown here sometimes.

    Oh, don't they make those little blue pills for magic wands? Innocent  Be good to yourself.

    Hugs and hang in there.

    Jim

    out of energy

    Hey Jim.. Thanks a million for your words. My brother is deeply depressed. He tells me over and over that he is lonely but he doesn't want anyone to come into his apartment. 'To do what..?'  'I can clean'.  I asked him if I could stop by on Saturday and he asked me not to. He talks over and over about having no apetite and eating nothing. He wants to lay in bed and do nothing but pushes himself to go out. For example, he goes to the library and looks at the internet but it's 'pointless'. He cannot figure put how to log on to this site.. or he can't get on for one reason or another. I offered to try and help. I'm no better at tech than he is but 2 heads are better than one. I mean..  I'm on. But even if he were on.. he doesn't have the energy to type. He wants to talk to someone not type. He hates TV. HE hates the radio. He can't focus on a book or a magazine artcile. He has no friends and his neighbors ignore him if he ever sees any. He argues in circles. He is too tired to make food and hates the food offered in the local diner. The diner that may be OK is too far (5 mile drive but he has to take a congested highway) and even if he bought something there, he would throw it out anyway. He can't eat meat. He can't eat anything heavy. He hates the drink supplements. He has no happiness in his life. He talks about all the corruption in the world and how he got the short end of the stick.

    He's a tough one.  I've suggested all the things you mentioned and more which makes me feel a little better but everything is 'no'.. 'there's no point', etc. I can't get angry with him. I just keep at it. 

    He said his doc's nurse told him last week that he could feel lousy for 6 months or forever. It's been 4 months since the transplant. It could get better suddenly or never. He had been better and then slid back and he feels there is no light at the end of the tunnel and being the person that my brother is.. he crawls into his hole and blocks out the world. He thinks he's the only person who is going through this nightmare but at the same time told ne he doesn't care about anyone else's problems. He just wants someone to help him and make it all better.

    I have 2 kids with Cystic Fibrosis and a wife who stopped talking to me 2 years ago and that's my corner on hell. So, I can only help my brother so much; I can't make it all better if he's not willing to seek out help for himself.

    I'm hanging in there with him.. but it's a tough go. That's why I'm glad you commented. Got it off my chest, anyway and the PS is.. I've been in therapy for years and it does help a lot.  Whew.. off the soapbox! Have a good day!

  • dkatz
    dkatz Member Posts: 27

    Brother

    Dkatz,

    Jim has probably given the best advice available to you: Your borther's treatment center should have a social worker of some sort who can give him referrals for depression and well-being.  You do not mention how close you live to where he is, but if you are nearby and can get him out, even to walk the mall or whatever, it may assist in jump-startiung his emotions.  I was run over by a car 26 yerars ago, and could not walk for a long time.   When a relative would take me and my wheelchair to the mall or church, it did me a great deal of emotional good.

    I never required SCT, but I know the chemo prior to the transplant is often given in megadoses, and that the overall process can be extremely rough.  He is depressed, but his weakness may be partially physiological -- due to the trauma his body has suffered through. Healing from that can take a long time.  His sense of taste may not be working properly, but that will return to normal over time.

    As was mentioned by someone, take care of yourself, and realize that doing what you can is all you can do.

    max

    out of energy

    Thanks, Max. He is so far under that I can't get close. I read an article on line that described his emotional state to the tee and it all relates to the 'carpet bombing' he sustained in Sloane Kettering. I know it and he knows it but he is completely focused on his lack of appetite and lack of energy and his response at this point is to become angry and withdrawn. I believe that he believes that he will never get better. Every survivor tells a different tale which is why I joined this discussion. Thanks for responding.

  • Rocquie
    Rocquie Member Posts: 858 Member
    dkatz said:

    out of energy

    Hey Jim.. Thanks a million for your words. My brother is deeply depressed. He tells me over and over that he is lonely but he doesn't want anyone to come into his apartment. 'To do what..?'  'I can clean'.  I asked him if I could stop by on Saturday and he asked me not to. He talks over and over about having no apetite and eating nothing. He wants to lay in bed and do nothing but pushes himself to go out. For example, he goes to the library and looks at the internet but it's 'pointless'. He cannot figure put how to log on to this site.. or he can't get on for one reason or another. I offered to try and help. I'm no better at tech than he is but 2 heads are better than one. I mean..  I'm on. But even if he were on.. he doesn't have the energy to type. He wants to talk to someone not type. He hates TV. HE hates the radio. He can't focus on a book or a magazine artcile. He has no friends and his neighbors ignore him if he ever sees any. He argues in circles. He is too tired to make food and hates the food offered in the local diner. The diner that may be OK is too far (5 mile drive but he has to take a congested highway) and even if he bought something there, he would throw it out anyway. He can't eat meat. He can't eat anything heavy. He hates the drink supplements. He has no happiness in his life. He talks about all the corruption in the world and how he got the short end of the stick.

    He's a tough one.  I've suggested all the things you mentioned and more which makes me feel a little better but everything is 'no'.. 'there's no point', etc. I can't get angry with him. I just keep at it. 

    He said his doc's nurse told him last week that he could feel lousy for 6 months or forever. It's been 4 months since the transplant. It could get better suddenly or never. He had been better and then slid back and he feels there is no light at the end of the tunnel and being the person that my brother is.. he crawls into his hole and blocks out the world. He thinks he's the only person who is going through this nightmare but at the same time told ne he doesn't care about anyone else's problems. He just wants someone to help him and make it all better.

    I have 2 kids with Cystic Fibrosis and a wife who stopped talking to me 2 years ago and that's my corner on hell. So, I can only help my brother so much; I can't make it all better if he's not willing to seek out help for himself.

    I'm hanging in there with him.. but it's a tough go. That's why I'm glad you commented. Got it off my chest, anyway and the PS is.. I've been in therapy for years and it does help a lot.  Whew.. off the soapbox! Have a good day!

    Your Brother

    dkatz, I am sorry that your brother is so depressed after his lymphoma treatment. IT IS HARD. I respect you for trying to comfort him despite dealing with your own troubles.

    Would he accept a kitten? They are easier to care for than a puppy, yet playful and full of antics that might just make him smile. Pets are known to have so many therapeutic advantages.

    Is he warm enough in his home (or cool enough)? Does he have enough light? Darkness is depressing. He may need a full spectrum light source. Does he have a blender? Taking some beautiful fruits and making them into smoothies may taste delicious to him. Lighting a beautifully scented lavender candle can be relaxing and soothing to stare at.

    Maybe you 2 need a night out on the town for you both to look forward to, once a month or so? A movie or sporting event, out to a fun restaurant?

    Bless you both.

    Rocquie

     

  • jimwins
    jimwins Member Posts: 2,107
    dkatz said:

    out of energy

    Hey Jim.. Thanks a million for your words. My brother is deeply depressed. He tells me over and over that he is lonely but he doesn't want anyone to come into his apartment. 'To do what..?'  'I can clean'.  I asked him if I could stop by on Saturday and he asked me not to. He talks over and over about having no apetite and eating nothing. He wants to lay in bed and do nothing but pushes himself to go out. For example, he goes to the library and looks at the internet but it's 'pointless'. He cannot figure put how to log on to this site.. or he can't get on for one reason or another. I offered to try and help. I'm no better at tech than he is but 2 heads are better than one. I mean..  I'm on. But even if he were on.. he doesn't have the energy to type. He wants to talk to someone not type. He hates TV. HE hates the radio. He can't focus on a book or a magazine artcile. He has no friends and his neighbors ignore him if he ever sees any. He argues in circles. He is too tired to make food and hates the food offered in the local diner. The diner that may be OK is too far (5 mile drive but he has to take a congested highway) and even if he bought something there, he would throw it out anyway. He can't eat meat. He can't eat anything heavy. He hates the drink supplements. He has no happiness in his life. He talks about all the corruption in the world and how he got the short end of the stick.

    He's a tough one.  I've suggested all the things you mentioned and more which makes me feel a little better but everything is 'no'.. 'there's no point', etc. I can't get angry with him. I just keep at it. 

    He said his doc's nurse told him last week that he could feel lousy for 6 months or forever. It's been 4 months since the transplant. It could get better suddenly or never. He had been better and then slid back and he feels there is no light at the end of the tunnel and being the person that my brother is.. he crawls into his hole and blocks out the world. He thinks he's the only person who is going through this nightmare but at the same time told ne he doesn't care about anyone else's problems. He just wants someone to help him and make it all better.

    I have 2 kids with Cystic Fibrosis and a wife who stopped talking to me 2 years ago and that's my corner on hell. So, I can only help my brother so much; I can't make it all better if he's not willing to seek out help for himself.

    I'm hanging in there with him.. but it's a tough go. That's why I'm glad you commented. Got it off my chest, anyway and the PS is.. I've been in therapy for years and it does help a lot.  Whew.. off the soapbox! Have a good day!

    Hi Dkatz

    I'm glad you were able to vent a little.  That is one of the things we're here for.  You definitely have a plate full and I'm sorry about your little "corner of hell".  I guess we all have one of those corners at some point in our lives :).  I have issues with mild depression and all the "normal" stuff that goes along with being a cancer survivor.  I try hard to be positive but sometimes you have to experience the "downs" to appreciate the good things so I don't beat myself up for having those gloomy times as it is temporary.  I can laugh (especially at myself) and humor has helped me through all of this. 

    I think the fact your brother pushes himself to get out is good.  You said therapy/counselling has helped you.  Has he considered this?

    I found a website that offers telephone support but cannot vouch for it's quality, etc.  It's titled the "Cancer Support Community".

    I don't know if this will help but worth a shot I suppose.

    http://www.cancersupportcommunity.org/MainMenu/Cancer-Support/Cancer-Support-Helpline.html

    Below is a paste from the site:

      Please call 1-888-793-9355 and a CSC Call Counselor will be happy to assist you with any of the following concerns: 

    • Information about local, regional, or national resources
    • Finding a Cancer Support Community program near you
    • General information about the Cancer Support Community and its services (in-person, online and by phone)
    • Help in talking about some of the emotional and social worries that cancer sometimes brings into our lives
    • Information about, and assistance in, ordering Frankly Speaking educational materials
    • Help finding a nearby support group, online support group or discussion group to connect with others 
    • Short-term cancer counseling and emotional support
    • Open to Options™ treatment decision support counseling
    • Make a donation to the Cancer Support Community
    • Access to CancerSupportSource™ online distress screening program 
    • Live web chat available during call center hours
  • NANCYL1
    NANCYL1 Member Posts: 289
    dkatz said:

    out of energy

    Hey Jim.. Thanks a million for your words. My brother is deeply depressed. He tells me over and over that he is lonely but he doesn't want anyone to come into his apartment. 'To do what..?'  'I can clean'.  I asked him if I could stop by on Saturday and he asked me not to. He talks over and over about having no apetite and eating nothing. He wants to lay in bed and do nothing but pushes himself to go out. For example, he goes to the library and looks at the internet but it's 'pointless'. He cannot figure put how to log on to this site.. or he can't get on for one reason or another. I offered to try and help. I'm no better at tech than he is but 2 heads are better than one. I mean..  I'm on. But even if he were on.. he doesn't have the energy to type. He wants to talk to someone not type. He hates TV. HE hates the radio. He can't focus on a book or a magazine artcile. He has no friends and his neighbors ignore him if he ever sees any. He argues in circles. He is too tired to make food and hates the food offered in the local diner. The diner that may be OK is too far (5 mile drive but he has to take a congested highway) and even if he bought something there, he would throw it out anyway. He can't eat meat. He can't eat anything heavy. He hates the drink supplements. He has no happiness in his life. He talks about all the corruption in the world and how he got the short end of the stick.

    He's a tough one.  I've suggested all the things you mentioned and more which makes me feel a little better but everything is 'no'.. 'there's no point', etc. I can't get angry with him. I just keep at it. 

    He said his doc's nurse told him last week that he could feel lousy for 6 months or forever. It's been 4 months since the transplant. It could get better suddenly or never. He had been better and then slid back and he feels there is no light at the end of the tunnel and being the person that my brother is.. he crawls into his hole and blocks out the world. He thinks he's the only person who is going through this nightmare but at the same time told ne he doesn't care about anyone else's problems. He just wants someone to help him and make it all better.

    I have 2 kids with Cystic Fibrosis and a wife who stopped talking to me 2 years ago and that's my corner on hell. So, I can only help my brother so much; I can't make it all better if he's not willing to seek out help for himself.

    I'm hanging in there with him.. but it's a tough go. That's why I'm glad you commented. Got it off my chest, anyway and the PS is.. I've been in therapy for years and it does help a lot.  Whew.. off the soapbox! Have a good day!

    OUT OF ENERGY

    Dkatz:

    I have had some issues with moderate depression off and on.   Loss of energy is of course a symptom of depression and is bad enough in itself.  But coupled with the Chemo effects your brother had must be very hard to fight.  Wanting to stay in bed, not go out,  not speak to people, etc., that's depression.   Therapy would help I think with a psychologist, perhaps, who is used to working with people who have walked in your brother's shoes.

     

    I have B Cell Lymphoma and have been having a series of Rituxan infusions, which are less powerful than most Chemo, apparently.  But there have been some side effects:  Loss of appetite, some nausea, tiredness, depression, anxiety.  Tiredness makes depression worse.  

     

    Coffee helps my mood, but too much is not good on the "gut."

     

    My husband and I are isolated at the moment,  which is not good at all.    Seeing others, perhaps in a support group, might help your brother.  And, as I mentioned, a therapist.  At the moment, I see a therapist, and also take a Lexapro generic. 

     

    Many libraries in my area offer training on the computer.   Some computers have "Voice Recognition," so that you can talk and the computer types.   I have found that when depressed, getting on the internet and getting the mind off other stuff, seems to remove depression.  There are political boards, if your brother is so inclined, where he could zap a few folks and perhaps feel better.    Also, there is light therapy, where you sit next to a special lamp.  This helps some people.  The lamps are really made for those who get a winter depression, but also can help others.   Should check with someone who can give good advice about the lamps and how long you can sit under them, which is quite a short period of time.

     

    I have a magazine, which I got at the cancer center, called, "Eating Hints, Before, During and After Cancer Treatment."  It is 68 pages  long.  I think it is free from Cancer.gov or 1-800-422-6237.  (National Cancer Institute)

     

    Nancy

  • dkatz
    dkatz Member Posts: 27
    Rocquie said:

    Your Brother

    dkatz, I am sorry that your brother is so depressed after his lymphoma treatment. IT IS HARD. I respect you for trying to comfort him despite dealing with your own troubles.

    Would he accept a kitten? They are easier to care for than a puppy, yet playful and full of antics that might just make him smile. Pets are known to have so many therapeutic advantages.

    Is he warm enough in his home (or cool enough)? Does he have enough light? Darkness is depressing. He may need a full spectrum light source. Does he have a blender? Taking some beautiful fruits and making them into smoothies may taste delicious to him. Lighting a beautifully scented lavender candle can be relaxing and soothing to stare at.

    Maybe you 2 need a night out on the town for you both to look forward to, once a month or so? A movie or sporting event, out to a fun restaurant?

    Bless you both.

    Rocquie

     

    Out of Energy

    Rocquie: Funny you should ask about accepting a kitten. In my house, we have 10 cats a dog and a few reptiles. My daughter found 3 baby kittens in August and we bottle fed them. We gave away 2 and still have Casper. I would love to hand him over but my brother may be allergic to animals. (He was when he was younger). I don't think he would want to deal with litter or cleaning up or anything else that's involved. You know.. you open a closet and the cat runs right in. All of a sudden, something falls on the floor and the cat's sitting their with a 'wut?' look on his face. I have to say.. my cats are often the only thing in my house that makes me laugh. They are all in it for themselves and live for the moment. Lessons for us. He has a blender but won't use it. Would rather eat ice cream. I thought he could add other things to ice cream like you mentioned but he's not interested. His apartment is nice and bright, faces front. Nice neighborhood but it's very quiet. For me.. it's great but I don't live there. Thanks for your thoughts.

  • dkatz
    dkatz Member Posts: 27
    jimwins said:

    Hi Dkatz

    I'm glad you were able to vent a little.  That is one of the things we're here for.  You definitely have a plate full and I'm sorry about your little "corner of hell".  I guess we all have one of those corners at some point in our lives :).  I have issues with mild depression and all the "normal" stuff that goes along with being a cancer survivor.  I try hard to be positive but sometimes you have to experience the "downs" to appreciate the good things so I don't beat myself up for having those gloomy times as it is temporary.  I can laugh (especially at myself) and humor has helped me through all of this. 

    I think the fact your brother pushes himself to get out is good.  You said therapy/counselling has helped you.  Has he considered this?

    I found a website that offers telephone support but cannot vouch for it's quality, etc.  It's titled the "Cancer Support Community".

    I don't know if this will help but worth a shot I suppose.

    http://www.cancersupportcommunity.org/MainMenu/Cancer-Support/Cancer-Support-Helpline.html

    Below is a paste from the site:

      Please call 1-888-793-9355 and a CSC Call Counselor will be happy to assist you with any of the following concerns: 

    • Information about local, regional, or national resources
    • Finding a Cancer Support Community program near you
    • General information about the Cancer Support Community and its services (in-person, online and by phone)
    • Help in talking about some of the emotional and social worries that cancer sometimes brings into our lives
    • Information about, and assistance in, ordering Frankly Speaking educational materials
    • Help finding a nearby support group, online support group or discussion group to connect with others 
    • Short-term cancer counseling and emotional support
    • Open to Options™ treatment decision support counseling
    • Make a donation to the Cancer Support Community
    • Access to CancerSupportSource™ online distress screening program 
    • Live web chat available during call center hours
    Out of Energy

    Thanks, Jim. He's not interested in therapy because he would have to go somewhere and he doesn't trust therapists per se. I'll pass it on the phone support to him. Much appreciate the suggestion.

  • dkatz
    dkatz Member Posts: 27
    NANCYL1 said:

    OUT OF ENERGY

    Dkatz:

    I have had some issues with moderate depression off and on.   Loss of energy is of course a symptom of depression and is bad enough in itself.  But coupled with the Chemo effects your brother had must be very hard to fight.  Wanting to stay in bed, not go out,  not speak to people, etc., that's depression.   Therapy would help I think with a psychologist, perhaps, who is used to working with people who have walked in your brother's shoes.

     

    I have B Cell Lymphoma and have been having a series of Rituxan infusions, which are less powerful than most Chemo, apparently.  But there have been some side effects:  Loss of appetite, some nausea, tiredness, depression, anxiety.  Tiredness makes depression worse.  

     

    Coffee helps my mood, but too much is not good on the "gut."

     

    My husband and I are isolated at the moment,  which is not good at all.    Seeing others, perhaps in a support group, might help your brother.  And, as I mentioned, a therapist.  At the moment, I see a therapist, and also take a Lexapro generic. 

     

    Many libraries in my area offer training on the computer.   Some computers have "Voice Recognition," so that you can talk and the computer types.   I have found that when depressed, getting on the internet and getting the mind off other stuff, seems to remove depression.  There are political boards, if your brother is so inclined, where he could zap a few folks and perhaps feel better.    Also, there is light therapy, where you sit next to a special lamp.  This helps some people.  The lamps are really made for those who get a winter depression, but also can help others.   Should check with someone who can give good advice about the lamps and how long you can sit under them, which is quite a short period of time.

     

    I have a magazine, which I got at the cancer center, called, "Eating Hints, Before, During and After Cancer Treatment."  It is 68 pages  long.  I think it is free from Cancer.gov or 1-800-422-6237.  (National Cancer Institute)

     

    Nancy

    Out of Energy

    Nancy.. thanks for your thoughts. My brother is adverse to drugs (ironic considering..) and doesn't have any desire to travel to a therapist and wil not consider a group session because he really doesn't care about anyones else's problems. He told me there is very limited help in his library. He knows how to log on but he's having trouble getting onto this site. I suggested he go to Staples and ask someone there to help him. Not going to do it. No energy to go. I thought message would be nice but he won't do that. I like the idea of the lamp. I will pass that on and the phone number for the magazine. I was looking for somthing like that as well because I'm out of ideas what to suggest. My heart goes out to you for your stuggles and I wish you well. Thanks for reaching out.

  • NANCYL1
    NANCYL1 Member Posts: 289
    dkatz said:

    Out of Energy

    Nancy.. thanks for your thoughts. My brother is adverse to drugs (ironic considering..) and doesn't have any desire to travel to a therapist and wil not consider a group session because he really doesn't care about anyones else's problems. He told me there is very limited help in his library. He knows how to log on but he's having trouble getting onto this site. I suggested he go to Staples and ask someone there to help him. Not going to do it. No energy to go. I thought message would be nice but he won't do that. I like the idea of the lamp. I will pass that on and the phone number for the magazine. I was looking for somthing like that as well because I'm out of ideas what to suggest. My heart goes out to you for your stuggles and I wish you well. Thanks for reaching out.

    OUT OF ENERGY

    Dkatz:

     

    A couple of other thoughts:

     

    I have read about people using SKYPE online, to communicate, not only with friends and family, but also doctors.

     

    I think some of us have had trouble  at times logging on this Board and other problems with the Board.  You can contact the people responsible.

     

    I hope you and your brother find peace.

     

    Nancy

  • dkatz
    dkatz Member Posts: 27
    NANCYL1 said:

    OUT OF ENERGY

    Dkatz:

     

    A couple of other thoughts:

     

    I have read about people using SKYPE online, to communicate, not only with friends and family, but also doctors.

     

    I think some of us have had trouble  at times logging on this Board and other problems with the Board.  You can contact the people responsible.

     

    I hope you and your brother find peace.

     

    Nancy

    Out of Energy

    Thanks, Nancy. Good suggestion but my brother does not want to bring the internet into his apartment. His thinking is that if it's in his apartment, then he has less motiviation to go to the library or Panera's; i.e.; get out of the house. I think that's a good thing except that he's limiting himself. If the weather turns bad or it's after hours, he's cut off. I thought he should go to Staples where he bought his laptop and ask one of the younger crowd to help him out. We both grew up when home computers was science fiction so I can't help all that much. I'm not ashamed to ask for help. He was negative about going to the store; too tired or both, so I don't think it's going to happen. He is very adverse to anything to do with the computer and would prefer real faces in a group setting. But, in his neighborhood, at least, that's not going to happen. Best to you!!

  • illead
    illead Member Posts: 879 Member
    Can't figure it out

    Your post of Nov 8 to Nancy said that your brother would not accept a group setting now your last post says that  a group setting is the only thing he will consider.  I don't know how we can be of much help here.  It seems like we are kind of useless......just my thoughts.

  • dkatz
    dkatz Member Posts: 27
    illead said:

    Can't figure it out

    Your post of Nov 8 to Nancy said that your brother would not accept a group setting now your last post says that  a group setting is the only thing he will consider.  I don't know how we can be of much help here.  It seems like we are kind of useless......just my thoughts.

    Out of Energy

    I agree that there is little you or I can do. I call it circular reasoning.  He 'wants' to do 'something' but finds reasons a particuar suggestion like logging on to this site is not practical as are the suggestions that have been made by peoiple who are or have gone through what he has.  Then he was not able to get on to the site and then it's no good anyway so why bother.. but he wants to.. but whatever anyone says is useless to him and no one understands because he's single and has no friends, no one responds to him on Facebook and around and around we go.  End result is that he doesn't do anything about relieving his stress or anger. He goes to Panera for coffee and then the library and complains bitterly about 'doing nothing' and having 'no purpose'. He talks about not having much time left over and over like there is a big clock ticking away his last minutes on earth. He's needy and self absorbed. He believes no one cares or understands him. Like he is the only one. But, he told me he really doesn't care about anyone else's problems because 'they have families and friends' and he doesn't. His comfort zone is feeling depressed and angry while at the same time he somehow gets through each day. I am there for him and he knows it although I think he is also jealous that I am not sick. He said yesterday that he dosesn't care anymore about anything because he can't do what he wants. What he wants to do is get up and have plenty of vim and vigor soo he can find a job but he doesn't have vim and vigor and will not have it for some time to come if ever. We don't know for sure. But, around and around we go. I'm just venting.. there really is no solution. I thank you for listening as a part of the community, value what you and the others have said. Wish you the best!

  • illead
    illead Member Posts: 879 Member
    Hi dkatz

    Sorry for my frustration in my last post.  If I am getting frustrated at your brother, I can imagine how much you are.  I wonder if there is someone of a professional nature that you can talk to.  I think you need to be reassured about limitations you need to make and not to be on a guilt trip about it.  We are not professionals though, so what seems sensible to any of us may not be the right counsel.  Maybe you can start with your brother's doctor or one of his nurses, they might start you in the right direction.  Please don't leave us though and you can vent anytime.  I think I can speak for all of us in saying that we understand your frustration and need to talk.  We have all been trying to help your brother, but you are the one who needs support.  Hang in there, Becky 

  • Rocquie
    Rocquie Member Posts: 858 Member
    illead said:

    Hi dkatz

    Sorry for my frustration in my last post.  If I am getting frustrated at your brother, I can imagine how much you are.  I wonder if there is someone of a professional nature that you can talk to.  I think you need to be reassured about limitations you need to make and not to be on a guilt trip about it.  We are not professionals though, so what seems sensible to any of us may not be the right counsel.  Maybe you can start with your brother's doctor or one of his nurses, they might start you in the right direction.  Please don't leave us though and you can vent anytime.  I think I can speak for all of us in saying that we understand your frustration and need to talk.  We have all been trying to help your brother, but you are the one who needs support.  Hang in there, Becky 

    Well Said

    Well said, Becky. I completely agree.

    Rocquie