Hi all, I’m so sorry to hear about all of your stories and hope you are all doing well. 1 thing about me is I tend to ramble and write long messages so sorry about that! If anyone has any ideas on how to pull patients out of depression I’d REALLY appreciate it (3rd paragraph)
***My Story***My husband and I are 36. In January ’16 he was diagnosed with stage IV colorectal cancer which has metastasized to his lungs and badly to his liver (tumor the size of a football). He went from never having any health issues that we knew of (the cancer was actually there for 4 years) to a prognosis of 3 years (which we are optimistic will be longer). We were engaged in May ’15, planning a big wedding for next month, I just got a new job, we just bought a house, planning on starting a family a year or so after marriage (next summer), things were the best they’ve ever been. The day I quit my job late Dec ’15 (the only negative thing hanging over our heads) he found the bump on his side which led to hospital and diagnosis. Went from our lives as close to perfect as they could be to cancelling the big wedding (got married in our living room in March w/4 friends, it was perfect), I’ve since lost that new job, found out we can’t have kids (cancer had already ruined his body) and worst of all the realization that after FINALLY finding my soul mate and best friend I’m going to lose him.
***Treatment*** The past 8 months have been surgery to remove half his colon, chemo (it REALLY helped but the agents should have lasted for 10 months but only lasted 2 due to neuropathy) and targeted radiation to his liver. Thursday we’re finding out what the next treatment will be – some clinical trials are being considered. The normal treatments have been put on hold due to the sir spheres (targeted radiation) surgeries. He’s been extremely anxious over the past few months waiting to find out what’s next. All treatment goals are to extend his life, the cancer has spread too much to eradicate it and he’s not eligible for a liver transplant.
***This is where I could use some HELP***He’s fallen into depression which I completely understand, it took SIX months for him to stop being 100% positive. But from positivity to depression has taken a bad toll on us both. He’s never been depressed and doesn’t know the signs so he’s blaming the symptoms on his hemoglobin level and needing another blood transfusion… yet he refuses to go to the doc before his apt. He’s sitting in our dark finished basement on the couch watching TV 24/7… literally… barely comes to sleep in our bed upstairs anymore. I don’t know what to do. He’s tired, body can barely handle a short walk now (he doesn’t relate this AT ALL to not moving and sitting on the couch for 2 months!!), went from so positive to SO negative, irritable, not wanting to go out to do anything or see anyone, not responding to calls and texts from friends, barely any appetite, etc etc. I’ve tried to schedule short 1-2 block walks and yesterday he FINALLY agreed to go in the evening. when i went down to get him he pretended to be asleep. I know he was pretending because he wakes up so easily just when I walk in the room and i said his name a few times and he still didn’t wake. Doc mentioned antidepressants 2 months ago and he says he’s open to that but I don’t know if he’ll actually take them. Funny thing is I’m bipolar and although I’ve been stable for about 8 years, throughout our entire 5 year relationship, he knows the stories of my struggles prior to being stable. Yet he still doesn’t take my word for it when I tell him the signs of depression. It’s frustrating. Anyone have any suggestions? @IndianaScott gave fantastic advice about letting him feel what he’s feeling which I have and its helped a great deal! But its really starting to effect his body and he won’t handle the next treatment as well if he’s weak and not eating much.
As I warned… I ramble sorry! Can’t seem to help the long emails even when I try. Before this depression I’ve had the experience that many of you have that ironically our relationship has never been better. Its the shining light through this nightmare. No longer do we take each other for granted or time for granted. Those little things that used to upset me SO much (like my job not going well) just seem ridiculous now. No more daily grind and no more living/planning for the future and not appreciating the present. Priorities have changed.
Hugs to you all!