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Your Opinion Please

Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6720
Joined: Feb 2009

My brother just found on around Thanksgiving that he has lung cancer which has spread to liver/nodes.  He went hunting two days after he found out and then Wednesday before Thanksgiving he started laying on the couch.  He hadn't had chemo yet, but he quit eating (saying he was full all the time) and has layed in bed since.  They can't find any reason why he can't eat (or his reason for seeming full) and he won't get up and walk around, only to go the bathroom and have a cig.  He sleeps about 20+ hours out of the day.  My SIL left for work the other day and had all his medicine out and three protein shakes and when she got back 7 hours he hadn't taken any of his pills nor drank any of the shakes.  He has lost almost 40 pounds since Thanksgiving and is nothing but skin and bones.  He has been in the hospital constantly (for low platelets, bowel problems and dehydration) and they continually make him get up to move about but he is reluctant.  He is getting a feeding tube on Friday.  He has been on gebz (or something) and thought that was not such a bad chemo but that is only one week, I'm not sure what the other cocktail is.  I'm just not sure that this sleeping this much is common and so soon especially when he started this shortly after being diagnosed.  He is on anti depressants but I'm not sure that this is very common.  I'm almost thinking that he has just given up and so soon.  What do you think?  I'm stumped, my dad is and the doctors, and needless to say my SIL.  Any input would be much appreciated.

Hugs!  Kim

Lovekitties's picture
Posts: 3372
Joined: Jan 2010

It sounds very much like he has convinced himself that there is no need to do anything any more.

If he is already on max anti depressants then I think it is time for the doctor to have a very deep conversation with him, perhaps even send him to a pshcologist.

Each person does have the right to determine how they will deal with a cancer diagnosis, but they owe it to the ones who love them to give them straight answers as well.

I would press for either a nedical or pshcological determnation on his in activity and other symptoms.

I sure hope that something will help.


Marie who loves kitties

Trubrit's picture
Posts: 5504
Joined: Jan 2013

We all know how devestating a Cacner diagnosis is, and we all handle it in different ways. This is a very drastic situation, though it is not clear if his problems with not eating and fatigue are physical or pyschological. 

I know of two people who have 'given up' and basically just laid down to die, while their loved ones were left with everything to do around them. Neither had Cancer, or actually anything that would have caused them to die, but eventually they passed away. 

It is very hard for loved ones to understand what is happening inside a persons head, and thus, a specialist is probably called for. 

How very hard it must be for his wife and father and for you to watch this happening and not know what to do. 

I pray that he will find the help that he needs before more damage is done to his body through lack of nutrition. 

Sue - Trubrit

tanstaafl's picture
Posts: 1302
Joined: Oct 2010

Sounds like maybe cachexia,... manifests as asthenia; anorexia; early satiety; nausea; taste change; significant loss of body fat, muscle, and other components; anemia; and hormonal aberration.   We don't have much of it in colon cancer, but it is common in many of the other cancers.   It is not considered well understood or well treated.  It involves the increased release of nasty cytokines, kind of a generalized inflammatory state. 

Posts: 2215
Joined: Oct 2011

As I am reading through your post depression keeps coming to mind, then I got to the part where you mentioned that he is on antidepressants. Maybe he should see a therapist that specializes in dealing with people who have chronic and potentially fatal diseases.

Posts: 105
Joined: Sep 2014

I'm so sorry.  While it does seem like he was hit hard by the news and may have given up, it sounds familiar to my scenario just before diagnosis.  I became extremely fatigued and didn't feel like eating.  I wasn't hungry, struggled to eat and lost 2 lbs per day.  I slept all day and night and shed 50 lbs in two months.  I started chemo soon after and within a couple months my appetite returned.  I hope things turn up for him soon.

annalexandria's picture
Posts: 2573
Joined: Oct 2011

I felt terrible, lost a ton of weight, and could barely choke down a few bites of food at a time.  I spent almost all of my time on the couch.  It's quite possible that all of these symptoms he's experiencing are due to the impact that stage 4 cancer is having on his body (although I'm sure he's depressed too, but I can say that in my case, I wasn't emotionally down all that much, just felt unbelievably crappy...I felt like I was dying, and as it turned out, that was pretty accurate).

One thing that should be checked for and treated if it hasn't been already is anemia...I had to have several blood transfusions, and they did help a bit with energy.

I'm so, so sorry you all are going through this.

Big hugs coming your way~AA

Easyflip's picture
Posts: 588
Joined: May 2013

medical marijuana? Appetite stimulant, anti nausea and mood enhancer. Step 1 is to put some weight on him. Good luck, sounds terrible for everyone involved. 


Fight for my love
Posts: 1530
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi Kim, I am so sorry to hear about your brother. I feel like he was knocked down by the diagnosis. He probably lost confidence and hope for many things. I hope there is an option that the local support group would talk to him and help him. My prayers and thoughts are with your brother and his family.

herdizziness's picture
Posts: 3642
Joined: Apr 2010

For him to be in.  I completely lost my appetite back in July and ended up in hospital in August (just counted the days up today, so was in there for 9 days) on TPN (nutrients, etc., to keep you alive), was told to call family in so They could see me alive and say their goodbyes, part of the reason was the tumor (they had just recently found it at the time in my colon at 5 inches long and 1 1/2 inches in diameter) which caused pain when things went by the tumor, which caused me to quit eating, and I did not even realize it myself, actually no one noticed the over 50 pound weight loss, as I had lost 20 of it earlier while in Stanford hospital the previous month.  I can tell you the not eating doesn't hurt, you don't think about it, you feel good because you have no pain, so you stay on that route until your Oncologist takes a look at you and tells you to get to the ER.  And of course you get very tired because you are not eating, had my daughter not forced me into eating by threatening to stay with me, and missing her children, and not making any money on business unless I ate to her satisfaction I may not have made it. She had already changed her ticket to stay longer, because I felt guilty keeping her away from her children and livihood, I did start eatingl and she got to go home.

Another reason for my loss of appetite lately is that things are pressing on my stomach and lungs, giving me less room for food and feeling less appetite, does his scan show anything?  He does have to get this under control, and you have good reason to worry, malnutrition is very difficult to come back from.  

So while I don't know if he has something in colon (rare to get with lung cancer but still can happen) or something causing pressure on the stomach (scan should show this) or depression, I hope that with family pressure he will seek the reason why and start eating and drinking fluids soon.

I'm sending good vibes, prayers to the Spirits that be, and fingers crossed that he is able to start eating soon.

Hugs back at you Kim and hugs to your brother,

Winter Marie

Trubrit's picture
Posts: 5504
Joined: Jan 2013

We are so happy to have you with us. Please thank your daughter for her tenacity.

Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6720
Joined: Feb 2009

Winter you never end to surprise me and all that you have endured and you still are the most energetic person and continue to drive forward with everything.  You are such an inspiration.  Thank you for the explanation on why you felt full.  They aren't going to do another scan until February sometime.  Just can't believe they waited this long (over 40 pounds) to give him a feeding tube.  I'm not sure he will ever recover from that but I'm praying he does.  I'm praying for you to gain your strength, breathing and for tumors to shrink.  Kudos to your daughter for looking out for you.  Thanks for all your insight and kind words.


Phil64's picture
Posts: 838
Joined: Apr 2012

Sounds like clinical depression. I beleave finding the right drug and dosage is an itterative process. E.g. the first drug may simply not work as well as another for him. I also beleave therapy/meds used together have proven more successful than by themselves. It would probably help him a lot if he was part of a group going through similar challenges as him... To listen to other's stories, etc. 

I'm so sorry you and your family have to suffer with him. It is very hard to have a family member struggle with depression or cancer... And both together is more than a magnitude more. 

Love and light to you and your family.

Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6720
Joined: Feb 2009

Thank you all for your insight and thoughts and prayers for my brother.  He continues to not do well and like Winter Marie said it is hard to come back from malnutrition.  We will just continue to pray and hope that things change for the better.  All of your well wishes are much appreciated.  Always know that here you all are so kind and giving of your time, even when you feel down and not feeling well yourself.  Once again, thanks for your input.

Hugs! Kim

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