Monday, May 25, 2015

Coping with Emotional ups and downs

One of the unexpected issues I'm dealing with this weekend is the after affects of the nearly deadly reaction to Cetuximab.

Rich is beginning to have some emotional issues with his daily outlook on life.

Some of these are normal for patients who have cancer and are undergoing treatment.
In my mind combining chemotherapy with radiation at the same time is a pretty tough regime for the body to handle.
Some things that he is experiencing:

  • Worry
  • No interest in things that were normally of interest
  • Emotional numbness
  • Disconnect 
  • Feelings of no self worth
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Hopelessness
  • Extreme Fatigue
I think that the emotional side of being treated for cancer is taking its toll on him.
He feels helpless, as if he can't do anything that he normally does.
He is extremely tired and fatigued all of the time and has developed severe trembling which seems to confuse the doctors.

I have an explanation for that which is pretty simple.  Combine his medications, add anxiety, distress, emotional fatigue, and physical fatigue, and you will get shakiness.

Chemotherapy adds to this by giving these very same symptoms aside from the toxic side effects.  Chemo of any kind can give a patient these feelings.
The 'cancer' diagnosis itself is a reason to send anyone into an emotional tailspin.

Since the Cetuximab treatment the emotional fall out is much worse than it was the previous week.  This makes complete sense to me.  But not to 'my patient'.

My once very strong independent husband, who was THE decision maker around our farm and house has suddenly had it yanked away from him.

This week has been an emotional roller-coaster that would give anyone a pause that is a caregiver.
Last night I held my husband for over an hour while he wept.  This was the most I could do for him.

I felt helpless.

Where Flowers Bloom, 
So does Hope.

So today is one more day.

And I continue to live by the advice found on multiple cancer sites.


  1. I wish I could help. I've been down this road and I'd like to say it gets easier, but....

    One day at a time. The tumors are shrinking so try to hold to that.

    1. I had no idea, but it helps to know that he is not alone.

  2. Can they prescribe medical marijuana? It binds to the pain and emotion receptors. It has shown remarkable results for PTSD and cancer treatment. It was a godsend to Niki, but wasn't' legal here yet, so I had to ask a friend, who asked a friend. So worth the risk to have such relief...

    1. Unfortunately it isn't legal in this state. We both wondered about that.

  3. I can't tell you how many times I've held Nick when he's 'lost it'.

    I lose it when I'm alone. And there is no one to hold me.