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27 Rounds of Chemo!!

Anonymous user (not verified)

Hi,

In January 2018, my husband was diagnosed with advanced stage 4 colon cancer.  He had surgery and completed 13 rounds of chemo with oxaliplatin and a few rounds of irinotecan, 5fu, avastain, steroids......I feel like he's had it ALL.  He tried xeloda in the fall but could not handle the side effects so he went back to the pump every two weeks minus the oaliplatin and irinotecan.  At this time, he has completed 27 rounds of chemo.  He is so angry and depressed.  He had a major mental breakdown at a doctor's visit so they switched his depression medication and suggested a counselor.  He's seen the counselor three times but he doesn't feel it's worth it.  

When he was first diagnosed he stop drinking alcohol for about nine months.  Now he drinks every single day even when he has the pump attached.  He says he can't stop.  I don't think he cares about stopping.  I'm angry at him for drinking so much.  I don't feel like I have a partner anymore.  He doesn't care about how he's hurting the family. 

The onocologist says he will probably be on chemo for life.  Geez, what is ALL this chemo doing to him?  This is no way to live.  At this point, only bad memories are being made.  

AnneO1965's picture
AnneO1965
Posts: 36
Joined: May 2019

I am so sorry that you have the need to be here.  I'm not the family member, I'm the one who has cancer. I still felt every word you posted.

 

Chemo messes with your brain. It makes you do and say thing you wouldn't normally do. I know this from experience.  Please do not give up on your husband, he may come around or he may not, but either way he NEEDS your support. I'm currently living with my daughter, and I know that I've had mood swings that have caused me to say things to her that have hurt her. I try my best to stay to myself when I feel it coming on, but it doesn't always work out that way.

 

Counseling isn't just for the patient, the family needs support too. Please make sure that you have a support system as well. Being a caregiver is hard work, and your mental health is just as important as his. I know this from experience also. 

 

I wish you much love and blessings,

Anne

SandiaBuddy's picture
SandiaBuddy
Posts: 879
Joined: Apr 2017

This is a bit of a sad story I never told.  A neigbor put me in touch with a friend of her's who lived in another city and had colon cancer.  She was the first person I talked with about this issue.  She was stage 4 and on chemo for life.  One of our discussions was about drinking wine.  She said she loved to drink wine, but quit on her doctor's recommendation.  I shared with her a study that said there was probably little harm in moderate drinking.  

At one point, she stopped communicating.  Maybe it was the age difference, or maybe because my circumstance as a stage 3 contrasted with hers as a stage 4.  Anyway, last year I ran into the neighbor and she said her friend was in the hospital, in and out of consciouness, with days left to live.  She lived less than one year from the time I first communicated with her.

At that point, I remembered so poignantly our discussion of wine, and I really felt like giving that doctor a piece of my mind.  If wine gave her comfort and she had a year to live, why would a doctor tell her not to drink?

Anyway, I am a stage 3 who enjoys a drink. If I graduate to stage 4, heaven help the person who tries to stop my from having a drink when I feel like it.  This is simply my perspective on the issue.  But please realize that for many men, alcohol is a socially acceptable form of valium (or whatever other pschotropic medication is now popular).

I am sure these are painful and difficult times for both of you.  I am sorry you are going through this. 

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

I'm so sorry for the challenges your'e going through. He shouldn't be drinking while he's on antidepressants but plenty of people do it. Is he drinking so much that it's affecting his emotions or are the emotions from the cancer? It must be hard to see him going through this. We all cope in our own ways. Unless he's really being belligerent or the drinking is affecting his personality I'd try to let it go if I were you.  

Your husband is dealing with this the best way he knows how. It may be something you don't want him to do but if he's not affecting anyone and it's just something the family doesn't want him to do I'd try to cut him some slack. You cannot possibly know the thoughts that run through our heads and what's it's really like to live with this. No offence but it's true. I will be on chemo for life, my cancer will never be gone. I cope as best as I can with other methods. But if drinking brought me some amount of peace I'd hope my family wouldn't condemn me for it. 

That being said, if he's a past drinker or it's really getting out of hand then maybe you should encourage him to stop self medicating. Did you go to councelling with him? Maybe you should, if not. Maybe then you can hear what he's really feeling and maybe he'll go if you go, too.

Good luck, it's a tough road being a caretaker for us.

Jan

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