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my Dad- mood swings, agitation, on hospice

Posts: 12
Joined: Nov 2012

So I'm not new here but this is new for me. I lost my mother 3 years ago to uterine cancer and now I'm back here with my father. I feel very alone. My father was diagnosed a year ago August with stage 3 lung cancer. A couple weeks ago I took him to the ER with what looked like signs for a stroke. Come to find out he now has 2 mets to the right frontal lobe of his brain. Major swelling and his brain is shifting to the left because of it. He's not on Keppra for seizures and a steriod to help the swelling. He's in home hospice here at my house and I thought I would be ok with this. I was my mothers caregiver when she went through these steps but I find it much harder now. 

I guess my question is: My father is having mood changes, he get really angry really easy. I am concerned about what that looks like moving forward? I have 3 kids in the house that I worry about seeing their grandpa like this. The  doctors don't give him more than couple months, he's very weak though he refuses anything but a cane and is very stubborn. He's also having diffuculty with getting his breath and he's not sleeping well. I keep wondering if his aggitation could just be his lack of good rest or if it's the tumors causing his agitation. One minute he's fine and chatty...others he's very distant and easily confused. Anyone have any advice who has dealt with this? I even thought some of it could be the steroid causing his "rage" but if he is not taking that.. I worry the tumor would cause it anyways.



Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2017

I am so very sorry to hear about your father, and that you've experienced caregiving for this terrible disease with your mother as well.

First of all, I wanted to let you know that you were heard, and that you are not alone!

My mother has brain cancer (unlike your father - hers is a primary brain tumor, and not a secondary brain tumor), and after two rounds of chemo and radiation, has also been placed in home hospice. She, too, has been growing confused, but still has moment of greater coherence.

What you are experiencing sounds very familiar. Unfortunately, in brain cancer it is not just the body that is affected, but also the mind, so your experience with your father may well be different from what you experienced with your mother.

There are several things that could be causing your father's agitation, the tumor being one of them. In our case, the doctors weren't certain if it was the tumor, but determined that she was suffering from delirium and perscribed some meds that are making her more comfortable and calm. Focusing on what she is feeling rather than what she is saying has also proven to be helpful (for example, not trying to correct her and convince her that what she is saying is wrong, but rather asking her what is troubling her and making her feel safe and reassured).

Your father's situation certainly might be different, but you should certainly discuss all of your father's symptoms with his doctor so he could figure out exactly what is going on. There are ways to make him feel more comfortable and calm.

Sending you best wishes, and hoping that you'll be able to find strength during this difficult time.

Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2017

I was diagnosed with brain cancer 15 months ago. T did my last treatmnet 3 weeks ago. My mood swings are violent. I go from laughing to crying to wanting to punch someone. I cant contol it.

Posts: 5
Joined: Jul 2017

I believe the morphine my husband was own led to rage, confusion, and paranoia, Have discontinued at this time and much better!

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