Are mood swings a side effect of chemotherapy?
I would like to know if mood swings and anger (almost like a Jekyll and Hyde demeanor)is natural in someone taking 8 treatments of ACT chemotherapy? She has had her first 4 AC treatments and afterward, she gets moody and only wants to sleep for days on end. If you ask her if she needs anything, she gets mad. Then,if you don't ask, she gets mad. One minute she is so sick and hurting, light headed, and can't talk to any of us but the next she can talk to friends who call. The tension she creates with family who love her and just want to help her through this is unbelievable. Please tell me if this is something we just need to be patient about and chalk up to the chemo? Should we talk to her doctor? She hasn't made any effort to join a support group. She will go for 3-5 days in a row with out talking to any caregivers. I love my sister and want to help but I don't know what to do.
Yes, be patient. Certainly, the mood swings can be related to chemotherapy. In my book, I devote an entire section to "The Impossible Patient" -- the one who no matter how you try to give care, it's wrong -- because it's so common.
When you think of chemotherapy treatment, remember that the chemicals agents, most of them toxic, are mixing with the regular chemistry of her body. There will be changes and reactions that she cannot control -- hair falling out, "chemo brain" and these emotional outbursts. She may not recognize, process, or remember hurtful actions. I've seen patients cry during crossword puzzles, swear at squirrels, and do other unusual behavior while on chemo.
Also try to remember that these drugs take a tremendous physical toll on the body as they destroy cells. This can make her drowsy or dizzy. Her energy will ebb and flow, as will her desire to be social. Try to gauge when she's at her best and worst -- it will likely be right before chemo and the morning following, respectively. Interact more when she's feeling stronger.
Many readers have asked about feeling "powerless" as a patient or as a caregiver. As a caregiver, you may feel powerless in not knowing what to do or say -- Give her plenty of space. Have plenty of water and some bland comfort foods (oatmeal or crackers) ready to eat at all times.
The patient feels that way because of the changes in her system. With additional treatment, she should know what to expect and be able to manage them better personally. If the symptoms continue to heighten with each doseage, talk to the oncologist about it.
Give yourself some rest and some credit for helping her in this critical time. Remember you are not captive; you are helping her and have a choice to continue doing so.
Hang in there. This will not last forever.
I feel your pain. I'm in the same boat. My sister has cancer, had chemo for 13 months every third week. Sometimes she treats me like I'm the worst person in the whole world. I do everything she asks, I walk on egg shells and she responds like I'm in her way. She asks me to do something and then yells at me when I've done it like I shouldn't have done it. I think it's just her feeling of losing control of her life. Her memory is so bad now that most of the things she says is so wrong it's crazy and all I can do is say, "Oh, I forgot" when she tells me I'm wrong. She won't let me tell my siblings she has cancer and she won't tell them. She chose me because I'm the strong one who will spend the money, cook, clean, fix anything, handle all matters, and make all the problems go away other than her illness. All I can ever say is "I'll always love you and I'm not going anywhere" when she's so mean to me. It's so very very hard.....Hang in there....I'm trying. By the way, I'm not complaining, just scared.
Hey.. I've been going through most of the same problems. My girlfriend has been doing chemotherapy for 2 or 3 months now and already has mood changes, even signs of "Chemo brain" and memory loss. The way she treats me and talks to me sometimes is unreal and recently unbearable. I'm trying my best to be there for her, but she does'nt allow me to see her. When I bring this to her attention she blames the problems on me. I figured I'd do some research and found this page and its defently been helpful in explaining why.. It feels better to know I'm not the only person going through this. I don't want to break up knowing it was something she didn't have control of. Its hard being pushed away at the same time i'm not sure if things will ever be how they once were.. I'm also somewhat scared for her but I'm still hanging on I guess.. Thanks for the info. God bless
Wow! I really thought that the search bar would give me a generic symptoms list but THIS! This is dead on. A very close friend of mine is undergoing chemotherapy. her mood swings for me are out of this world at times and I honestly am not sure how much longer I can hang in there. I am trying to be the caring and supportive friend but she outright MEAN at times. And a little... unpredictable to say the least. I too have walked on egg shells and have adjusted my interations with her in accordance with her mood. I am emotionally exhausted... I just dont knwo what to do. I want to continue being there for her but Its getting to a point where I just cant... Simple actions that generally show respect and care recieve only her irritation, attitude, and disrescpect at times. I'm scared for her but at the same time I see so much strenght and resilience I cant begin to explain it. Im just glad its not me... its not "her" its just her situation I guess. Great read!
I was just randomly hoping to find an answer as to whether what I am feeling as a breast cancer patient on chemo has been experienced by others. Wow! The answers posted have been right on the mark. Thank you. I am definitely like day and night. Angry/mean or normal/pleasant. That's it. I hate it and thought I was going crazy until I read posts on this site. I think there should be a waiver you have to sign before you start chemo warning you of all the ways it affects your everyday life and that of your loved ones.
I am going through the same thing I started the care giving and after three chemotherapy sessions she has used words I never new could come out of her mouth . Married 27 years and she got so angry she asked for a devours but says she does not what to separate until she is better .this is crazy put she will not get rid of me that easy . Hanging in there is hard but I will see her through this .
Speaking as a breast cancer patient, and a care taker for both my patents who had cancer, i can tell you it is the treatment. For example, yesterday i was jovial, today i cried at a commercial and wanted to kill another driver for nothing. It is the hormones going haywire from chemo. When i feel down or mad, i just tell my support staff to leave me alone for the day. Know the swings are temporary. We love and need the support and dont mean to lash out. Good luck to everyone
Oh my God, I didn't expect this thread!
In January I went to live with my younger sister after the apartment building I lived in went to hell because of money hungry new owners. My sis told me that she was undergoing chemical chemo for breast cancer. I noticed that at first she had small mood swings, nothing major. After I moved in I discovered that my sister is taking care of her daughter's four year old child. Whew! Taking care of an active four year old is hard for a healthy person, but for a cancer patient?
Recently her chemo treatments were increased, and she's had several major melt-downs this past month. I mean rage, screaming fits that go on and on for hours at a time. Then I discovered that she stopped taking chemo for three weeks because her husband was in the hospital. My sister lied to me about going to chemo, too, and I admit I got angry at her for that. I help out as much as I can in the household by paying rent, cleaning up, you name it, but she has to take care of herself first. I listen to her and give her emotional support, but sometimes it's not enough. I used to feel guilty whenever I gave her space, now I don't. I'm considering going to my clinic and getting a referral to talk to a social worker, because sometimes the tension in our household is almost unbearable.
My sister has also begged me not to move out. Ever. I can't promise that. I never agreed to take care of someone else's child. I realize that the mood swings are not her fault, but all this high drama is wearing me down. Sometimes she's very bossy and very unreasonable.
I'm grateful there's a thread on this subject. Thanks!
Caretakers need support as well. Have any of you gone to any support groups for caretakers? They do exist and i have heard they are helpful. Its normal to get overwhelmed. Dont feel guilty about it but talk to others.
My fiance is going through chemo now. He is on his 4th treatment and the mood swings are insane. He will be happy one minute and screaming out of anger the next. I've thought about leaving numerous times, but I guess I will stick with him through this tough time. Its very hard because I feel like everything I do is for him, but its just never good enough. He yells at everyone in the house and never seems happy. This is tough.
Im on my second battle with breast cancer and I've noticed I get anger really fast for little things. Not like me at all. Now that I have noticed it it is easier for me to see when Im doing it. Not sure whatelse I can do to keep myself in ck. Any ideas??!? Please. :/ I don't like the person I am becoming and want to change that.
I'm quietly saving up as such money as I can so I can move out in the fall. I can't take this anymore. There is always one drama after another, and now I have my suspicions that my sister doesn't have cancer after all. It always seemed strange to me that she would mention being a cancer patient to everyone she meets. I realize now that might be a ploy to get sympathy and cooperation. The average person automatically becomes sympathetic when they hear that. Now I believe she does it to try to get cooperation and sympathy from her immediate family. The only problem is it's not working with them.
She's refused to let me go to chemo with her. I know she has other major health issues (heart, asthma, etc) but I'm seriously doubting the cancer one now. It was harder to figure out something was wrong when she had a car, but the car's in the shop and she's supposedly taking the bus to chemo on days when she takes her hubby and the grand-daughter to the doctor. Public transportation in this town is notoriously slow. She can't get around that fast. My sis used to be a nurse, so she does have a lot of medical knowledge she throws around. She says she has stage 2 breast cancer and before this she hasn't had treatment for over a month. When she found out I was researching online help for her she suddenly told me that everything was fine and dandy, despite the fact that she constantly complained that she couldn't afford the chemo co-pay. She's disabled and on Medicaid. As far as her having cancer goes, there's no way I can find out for sure, what with HIPPAA regulations and all. I have to let go and let God with this one.
I used to feel guilty thinking this way, like I was abandoning her. I don't feel that way anymore. I've talked to the social worker at my health clinic. I need to take care of myself now. I'll continue to pay rent and help out as much as I can, but the idea that I'll be leaving in the fall makes all this daily drama a lot easier to deal with.
Thank you for having this board and this site. And I apologize for coming on here in the first place. I feel like an all day sucker and a total fraud. You guys are dealing with the real thing, and I wish nothing but the best for you.
Thanks for this page. I can finally see that I am not alone.
Two months ago, my older sister found out that she had breast cancer at exactly the same time that I was made redundant. So I put my life and job search on hold and started to help her - doing 4 day long trade fairs away from home for her business, driving her to her specialist 5 hours away, basically anything and everything I could so to help.
Two weeks ago, she had the double mastectomy and reconstruction and her new boyfriend came along too. She had told me that she couldn't tell him that he couldn't come (I now think it was me that she couldn't tell). So I ended up cooking and cleaning and being their maid for the time that we were away (10days), but I was just 'sucking it up' because I believed that I doing the 'right thing' by being there to help.
Then she blew up at me one night and spewed forth all this horrible stuff at me about how she was sick of me sponging off her and that I was only helping in order to be a martyr etc. I was amazed at how restrained I was, I never retaliated and just packed my bags and left and got a bus home. Yes, I expected her to pay for my meals whilst I was away from home helping her - she has a very lucrative business and I am unemployed! I have done nothing to warrant being called a martyr, I was just doing what I would want her to do for me if I was in her shoes.
I haven't seen her since and she has told my mother that I have remove the few pieces of furniture that I have stored in her garage. She has also started being really horrible to my mum now... she told her yesterday (Mother's day here) that she's looking for a now family because none of us care about her - completely untrue we all help as much as we can and only get criticism when we do help and are usually pushed away...
She is due to start 12 months of chemo in the next few weeks and, whilst I feel really guilty that I'm not there to support her ( I feel like a bad person for putting my own feeling first) but I just I don't feel like I'm in a happy enough position within myself to be her whipping boy to take her anger out on. What should I do?
I can't say I am sticking up for anyone that is being mean to friends and family. Its not an excuse but I can kind of relate with all the mixed emotions. I'll be as happy as can be one min and the next someone just talking pisses me off. I have gotten better with controlling myself now but it still comes out. I feel bad about it but there's all the steps of emotions that we go through. Nobody goes through them in the same order and we all have our own way of dealing. Ones that push their family and friends away will eventually realize what they have done. Just takes some a little longer to see it. I know you can only try so much but I think it would be good to stick your leg out a little and help them see you are only trying to help. Even if you just send a "Thinking of you" card. Im sure it couldn't hurt anyway. :)
This was the most comforting thing to find- most of the list of chemo side effects didn't really mention this, so I was worried I was making it up and being dramatic. My boyfriend has just gone through his final round of BEP; we haven't had a conversation since week one. It was one of those situations where he liked me and I just took awhile to catch up, but by then he was travelling back to Paris to receive treatment. We'd planned for me to visit once he was finished with his last cycle, but I just received my first word from him in a month: "No, I don't want to." A month ago he sent me a note saying that not only is he exhausted, but his feelings have all gone and everything and everyone annoys him; he hopes it's just the chemo and he'll go back to feeling like normal soon. After that I just decided to give him space, sending a letter every week and a half or so to show I'm still here for him without being overbearing. But after his latest message I don't know what to do with myself anymore. I'm so worried and miserable all the time. I feel completely empty and drained of everything I have; it's exhausting to care this deeply for someone and horrible not to get anything back. I thought he'd be here for me during this, but he isn't, and what's worse is that he won't let me be there for him. I feel like an idiot even calling him my boyfriend at this point. I want to wait for him, but I don't know what HE wants, and I don't know if what he wants now means anything since he's so sick and not himself. Or is this the new him? I feel so terrible; I'm just glad I know I'm not alone anymore.
I see that this demon we refer to as cancer, its' treatments and all that it encompasses is painful for everyone involved, on all levels. It is comforting to know that others affected by cancer, either as the patient or caretaker have sympathy for one another or can relate somehow. My husband of 27 years had cancer in the form of a large tumor at the base of his tongue (throat cancer) or squamous cell carcinoma caused by the HPV strain from oral sex. Whew! I never saw that train coming down the tracks...incidentally-I tested negative for HPV. This has been nothing less than hell to deal with. In the beginning it was the staggering news, the TYPE of cancer, the surgery to remove not one-but two tumors including a large tumor in the right lymph area of his neck as well as the base of tongue, MRSA contracted in the hospital, multiple antibiotics and medications-and now the radiation simultaneously with chemotherapy. Mood fluctuations? Yesterday, our dog decided to lay under MY CAR. Never before has he done this to my knowledge. I backed up over one of his paws. Hysterically I screamed for my husband to help me with our dog, only to have him aggressively pummel me with accusing words that I did it on purpose and I tried to kill our dog. Repeatedly he yelled at me those hurtful words. Remarkably, our dog had only abrasions and some swelling. I, however, never received an apology, kiss my ---, or any acknowledgement of any sort that his actions/words were extreme. I am hoping the unpredictable behavior goes away along with the poisonous drugs corsing through his body.
I have just finished the 6 chemo treatments after ovarian cancer surgery and I can say that the only mood swing I have is occasionally feeling depressed. I havent felt angry or aggressive toward anyone. I am glad I chose to NOT have caregivers around me all the time. Maybe its just too much because chemo makes you so sick probably the only person you can stand is yourself. It is truly emotionally "crazy making". Sorry for the caregivers but believe me chemotherapy is unlike anything else anyone would ever go thru
Recently my girlfriend had breast cancer surgery,now she is going through chemotherepy,lost of hair,nausea,memory,appetite,her response towards me,i was feeling like she is drifting away from me,but after reading a few of these letters i realised i just have to be there for,be patience,caring and give her space,two months into our relationship she found out that she had breast cancer,i take her to her treatment for the first two sessions,then the said that she didn't want to be a Burden to me,so she will take the train by herself for a while and see how it feels,i felt like she was just pushing me away,but i said she just want to be independent again,so i back off and allow her to go on her own,i will hang in there with her because i do love and care for her.,sheis going through a lot,this is something that came along without warning and instructions its a lot for a person to deal with,so if you are having someone in your family going through chemotherapy,be patience with them and not to crowed them,their mood swings changes daily.
My father has been admitted to hospital with first appeared to be bronchitis but resulted to actually be Lung cancer.
Immediately he was scheduled to have an operation that removed the lower halve of his left lung and some glands. Test for the glands came back that showed some active cancer cells and was then scheduled to start with chemo.
He started his very first session a week ago (1 session every 3 weeks), came home and appeared to be very tired and first. Some days you would get home and have a plain normal conversation with him and everything would be as normal, then the next moment you have him so raging mad and blood shot red in the face "“ going around, screaming and fighting at all family members in the house.
Me and my husband had to move in with my parents due to some problems we had with trying to purchase a house that resulted in us cancelling the purchase. We would have moved out some time ago, but was asked to stay on for a little while longer due to my mother being retrenched and finishing work as of end October 2013.
Since then it has been hard, way harder than one would ever think is possible, dad going for chemo, then attitude and raging anger and mom without a job and trying hard, but in today's life it's difficult as age counts against a person trying to find something new.
My husband (27) and I (25) need to stay on in order to help paying the bond, living expenses "“ it is seriously knocking us down it is so hard to keep quiet and just keep a straight face and one ends us fighting and screaming back, I know it is wrong to do so, but one can't help being bad mouthed so bad and just accept it.
My father has a depression problem as well where he refuses to take any medication, and with the chemo therapy he is undergoing currently "“ let just put it that it doesn't help the situation any much than it was.
It is very hard to keep quiet and just to stand and take it "“ but one can try and give it your best this is the only way you can try and avoid any conflict, a soft answer and just to stay completely out of the way if you see the mood coming on. Good luck to everyone! And God Bless!
My mother is going through Chemo and from what I have researched and asked people who are supporting me, it is a normal reaction. I have received a letter from her saying that issues are who I am, she doesn't want me to talk to her, to stop calling her and contacting her in anyway. She said basically that I am the worst person she had ever met and said that I had an intent to hurt her. I have been trying to figure out what I could have possibly said that was so hurtful and I can't come to any conclusion. I love her and care for and she suddenly is saying that I don't love her. I am being told that it's not me, but I still feel like I did something wrong and I still am trying to figure it out. It's horrible and I just hope it gets better soon. I want my loving mother back, who was once grateful to have me in her life. It is almost Thanksgiving and while being so hurt by her words that she doesn't want anything to do with me right now, I am to be here alone, missing my family.
I am so thankful to hear that I am not the only caregiver that is taking an emotional beating. My mother has rectal cancer and just did 6 weeks on chemo pump along with radiation 5 days a week for 8 weeks. She has been VERY impossible to deal with. She is very negative all the time, won't take her anxiety meds (she acts ten times worse if she misses a dose), says the Drs don't care if she lives or dies, has even put a gun to her head. She starts wailing if she doesn't get enough attention, she wants to be babied all the time, and she blows everything way out of proportion. She has just about ruined the relationship between us. She is living with me, my husband and 10 yr old, and 1 yr old and it's starting to take a toll on all of us. To be honest, I'm sick of it!
With knowledge of how chemo causes mood swings I did not expect to be so bad. My daughter is in her fifth round and things get really bad. She screams, blames me for everything that in her mind is bad. I tried to stay out of her way to avoid some of the abuse. In addition, she made it very clear that she does not want me to her doctors visits and or treatment. As much as I understand that she does not have control in her responses, they do not stop from being so hurtful. Thank you for having this site it helps to know I am not alone
I am sorry yet glad to hear that I am not alone. Can someone post anything that can be given or done to the young patients to assist them in this difficult time or do we just accept this and try to bear through it all?
I understand caregivers deserve respect, but what I am reading on this page astounds me! Sisters no longer talking, a boyfriend saying "I guess I won't break up with her"...right now. They have CANCER! They are going through CHEMO! There's an abundance of side effects...and hello, dealing with the fact that you have cancer! What if it were you right now, could you sit here and say, "oh, I'd be so cool & great under chemo". NO! So, way to go people, maybe we're discovering another reason why cancer is such a "cancer", it's because people drop you once it gets "too hard" on them. You guys make it seem like the patient was asking for Cancer to destroy them. If you love them, just support.
im one of those patients who will undergo a chemo and im hoping that i can carry those side effects without hurting people who sorround me.. I hope my family and the one who will take care of me they can understand whatever the outcome of chemo and the possible changes of me.. Lord help us to get through this...
I too am both happy and sad to know that I am not alone.
NO one told us anything about 'chemo brain', except a woman who was getting her chemol next to my Dad, for her second cancer. She seemed to provide the most information. It wasn't long that my Dad was confused, and he's always been very alert and aware and extremely intelligent, after the chemo started, that all changed. He asked me one night, to my surprise, "How do you pee?". He had completely forgotten the process...not just how to get to the bathroom and there was a toilet there...no, he couldn't remember how to make it come out of his body. I even thought he was joking. He wasn't. After a few seconds, he remembered, but it was scary to both of us.
I moved from Hawaii, put my place up for rent, my belongings are strewn across the country. Four days after getting here, my service animal died. My emotions are right at the top of my skin, and it is heart-breaking when my Dad lashes out. And when I say lash out, I MEAN lash out. He has screamed with rage three separate times to get OUT...move. He knows I have no where to go since I moved here to be here for him. I sleep on a couch within arms distance in case he needs anything. I feel guilty for going to sleep. What if he needs something and I don't hear him?
The anger and rage are killing me.
As his daughter, it's crushing to my soul. The things said are sometimes so personal and filled with name-calling and hard cursing. I mean...MAD! I've been here for three months, and it's the loneliest three months, and my self-esteem is in the garbage.
At least after reading the other posts, I don't feel like it's "me". It's the disease and the treatments.
When I first did an engine search my title was "Are people on chemo mean". I thought I'd get back nothing. So glad I ended up here.
SO GLAD THIS THREAD EXISTS! Thank you!!
It seems to me as if the cases here described are also a description of my current situation.
As a carer, I have the feeling that because cancer is somewhat invisible to the patient, they need someone to be blamed for their physical pain, and it is easy to associate the person that feeds you and cares for you with this evil entity trying to poison you and making sure you get your chemo/radio sessions.
I too find it unbearable at times. Then this patient chases me whilst telling me how horrible I am. Particularly on the day the next session is due.
But within limits, I am happy to know that it is not me being a bad caretaker given the number of responses to this thread, and if my theory is right, then I guess I must be a good one indeed.
Would love to hear your thoughts on this.
I am so glad I stumbled on this site. It has given me some form of encouragement and to know that I am not the only one who has it 'bad'.My husband has cancer and liver metastases. It has been two years and he has gone for 3 bouts of chemotherapy. Lately, he is constantly angry and mean towards me & children. He just snaps at me and disagrees with me on everything. I feel very alone in this marriage...I don't know this man anymore...cancer has robbed me of my husband & my best friend. I just pray for patience to help me get through this trying times.
My 14 year old son was diagnosed with a very rare sarcoma last month.The Dr's started chemo immediately. So far he has only had the first set. He goes back in the hospital on the 15th for the next set. His dad and I are divorced and he lives with his dad. He is having HORRIBLE mood swings.He said some really nasty things to me tonight and it just crushed me. I had no idea that chemo would cause this. I feel so bad now because I just snapped and got angry with him. The things he was saying were just awful! He told me I didnt deserve his love and that I am trash. He said he was so glad me and his dad divorced because I wasnt good enough for his dad. Now this is coming from a child that is known for his loving, caring attitude. Before this he wouldnt say a cross word to anyone. How do you deal with this? If I would have just sat there and said "ok i'm sorry" that would have been wrong too. Everything I have tried to do for him in the last few weeks has been wrong in his eyes. I love him un conditionally but my goodness his words were like a knife.
I am 20 and in jan/feb (I try not to focus on dates) I was diagnosed with a gioblastomic (think that's how its spelt) terminal brain tumour all the doctors are constantly saying is that I'm doing so well ...blah...blah... Yeah .... So why am I,getting feelings allmost 247 of resent, thinking my family don't want me here ect, makes one feel,pathetic
So, I googled "chemo rage" and ended up here. My wife has finished 2 of her 4 chemo sessions for breast cancer and it is extremely tense around here. She has asked me to move out during on rageful session and will not allow me to participate in any level of caregiving, only her mom and sister. Currently not speaking to me at all. I'm far from perfect but am a loving and caring husband and did not want to end a marriage like this. I'm somewhat relieved to see that this could be a symptom of the treatment and that I am not loosing my mind.
My mom is going through the same thing. She was just diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. All of these comments sound just like her. She just had her 3rd chemo treatment yesterday. She goes once a week. Next week is her week off. She goes once a week for three weeks and has a week off. I lost my sister 5 years ago and bear the brunt of this myself. It is incredibly difficult and I often feel so alone. She has always been so independent and I know it's difficult for her to be so dependent on everyone else. I feel better and understand a little more since reading this. I guess all I can do is continue to pray for understanding for me and comfort and peace for her! God Bless you all as I know what you are going through!
I have a girlfriend we had a baby and after the pregnancy she had cancer. My life turned to be miserable, she creating issues for any small things, her family has not identified that the reason for stress is her chemio... so everyone in her family is shouting with me. I almost moved out to start a new life, but after seeing the experiences here, I might given another couple of months.
I was just recently diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma (which is still difficult to admit to myself) May of 2014 and began treatment the same day I was diagnosed. Sometimes I cry without any reason and am overly sensitive. I am grateful that my boyfriend has dealt with my emotions as patiently as he has because I know I have put a lot of unnecessary pressure on him. Luckily I haven't expressed any of the rage that many of the caretakers have experienced here. It surely is a daily struggle.
I must add that as a caregiver, I have never seen anything like this. I truly believe the hateful words and actions are something we will never recover from. I didn't find a support group and I'm certain I should have. If you are a caregiver, please help yourself and find someone to share your own emotions with. The way we are treated is nothing less than abusive. If you are someone going through this, please remind yourself of that little thing we learned in kindergarten, "If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all."
Oh my goodness. I am in the same boat. I love my girlfriend to death and she forgets anything that I am trying to do and how much I try and be there for her. I drive the distance, an hour and half away just so she can treat me like I just don't care. She gets so mean that it is unreal. One day she loves me to pieces the next day it is like the demon from the pit but I know it is not her but how can you go on without feeling tore down some kind of way. I just hope that this will not go on too much longer...she always wants to break up with me at the same time and I just tell her to hang in here. Three sets of chemo treatments since we been together and it has almost been three years being together. I just don't want her to hurt anymore but she is so cruel to me...I just pray I can keep my thick skin and endure. Thanks so much for this page...I really thought that I was losing my mind literally or second guessing was she saying to me true and I did not know it??!! Thanks for letting me rant. And yes I remember my kindergarten lesson very well. And no matter how cut throat she gets ....I keep my lips zipped.
I just googled irritability with chemotherapy and found this thread. My husband has only had one treatment a week ago and he has been snapping at me the past few days. He knows he's more irritable and doesn't like it. I'm glad to see he is not alone. He's usually the most easy going guys ever. The one to diffuse stress in our household so he's feeling horrible for feeling so irritable.
It's almost midnight here and I am shocked and speechless of my bf of 6 years that has just had his 4th chemo and also started radiation last week. Stage 4 bone cancer with lots of complications . I feel like I'm going to end up in a mental institute . He is so mean, rude, unappreciative and disrespectful . I do so much for him, from bringing food to the hospital , before and after work, feed him, bath him , hold the bucket to throw up, lay next to him at the hospital for hours ..this is so exhausting , I feel like loosing it ..and lately, for the past couple of weeks he's been telling me I'm suffocating him ! and doesn't want me in his life anymore . I am the only one in his life, his family doesn't care for him . He insults me, calls me names, threatens me , screams , hangs up the phone when I call to check on him, and then he calls me back and starts screaming and expects me to just listen ! I can't say anything anymore , he says he wants to die alone and be left alone . We just had another episode , left him alone for the past 3 days , I don't even call him , I just text him once today to see how's feeling and he calls me back saying I'm suffocating him and don't allow him to live his life, that he's terrified of me and wants to be alone . And here I am google-ing to see if this is a side effect , I was about to go talk to his oncologist tomorrow . I don't know if he's getting better or worse , I don't know what to expect anymore . I don't want to turn my back on him , but he's pushing me away ...I don't know how much time he has left and I don't want to leave him alone . If I was to die, I would want to have the loved one by me, but he's pushing his friends and family away. One min he says he loves me and the next he says he can't stand me . I am so hurt , and emotionally exhausted .
I am a cancer caregiver for my husband. He has had depression in the form of anger and agitation for years before this but was finally kept under control with psych meds. Yes, it is the horrible chemo and cancer. But I found he gets TONS worse when he is taking antacids in the form of prevacid, rantitidine, pepcid, zantac, tagemet, etc. When he is not on them, his mood is okay,even on active chemo. When he gets heartburn and I have to put him back on them, he is plain evil. Research H2 blockers, proton pump inhibitors and just plain antacids like tums. You will see that many cancer patients are put on them to protect their stomachs. I am looking for an alternative but there doesn't seem to be one. He cannot eat or drink via mouth and is stomach tube fed. Do the research and you will see that every single one of them mention mood changes, some worse than others. If anyone figures out a non mood changing antacid, please, please emai me. We are suffering here. He is being so mean. One half week off them and he is fine but he cannot live with the heartburn.
MORE...everyone cross check their med lists regardless of what the med is and look for mental or mood changes, agitation, anxiety and depression. It can be these antacids, pain meds of course, and many other things on top of the cancer and treatment and depression itself. Depression can present itelf as anger. I am sorry for all of our/their suffering. I cannot find a way to help the stress in our house tonight. So sorry for everyone's sorrow including my own. XO
My 24 year old daughter after a number of migraines and 2 seizures,scans showed she had a growing mass in her brain....that's all i knew, after that she has never allowed me back to her doctor visits....and now she is really sick and all she said "mom..I am going to get really sick...well she is. I am at her bedside, but no matter how many times I ask her what meds are they giving you she responds.."I don't know". Her mood swings are like something I have never seen before. Is it chemo? Do I have a right to know or ask the Dr's to tell me? She also talks and does not make sense...I am worried without any rights.
I am battling anger, despair, and hopelessness after 6th round of chemo. I beg caregivers- don't give up on us! All is lost without you. This "crazy" feeling is devastating. Alone is the end.
I have stage 3 rectal ca. Been through radiation, surgery and now on my 3rd round of chemo. Yes I'm mean I wake up every morning feeling nauseated, I have sores on my feet, I think ca will kill me, im afraid to go out that I will say something inappropriate. I apologize to my husband constantly. Pls understand that this is not the loving mom and wife you know. This is poison talking. Help me
Chemo induced rage or anger, mood swings, they are very real. My loving Husband changed over the coarse of his chemo. He lost his patience frequently. He would scream at me and our son. He would take off in the middle of the night and go for a drive. He would get mad at me for stupid things. He could never tell me what was going on inside. He didn't know why he was feeling or acting that way. He wouldn't recognize the bad behavior until the next day. He never apologized. I know this is not him. I know this is the drugs. I know I will get my Husband back one day. So the best advice I can give anyone going through this is to just be patient. I know that is hard, trust me I have left him a million times in my head when he gets moody. Help him discuss his feelings when he is back to normal. Talk about coping techniques that he can do when he is angry. My Husband is going to go outside and have a smoke and stay there until the feelings go away. Yes, I said smoke. He has cancer and still smokes. This frustrates me but its his life. I know I would probably be angry if I had cancer. I cant imagine having toxic substance in my body messing with my mind too. But if it works and destroys the cancer or helps you live longer then it is worth it.
I can so relate to the mood swings. I've been my husbands caregiver until two week ago. We had gone for chemo treatment, the next morning he just got up to go work and he tells me that he is leaving me. Just like that. He has told me that he doesn't love me anymore and he has moved out. It hurts so much because I know that he is going to need someone around him when he gets sick. He has 9 more treatments to go. He just told our kids (grower ups) that he is going to get worse and doesn't want to be around us. I feel so helpless.
My boyfriend gets treatments every three weeks and they are very low. The take about ten to fifteen minutes each time. He is also taking meds for high blood pressure, for breathing, and a steroid. He has been acting very different towards me on a couple occasions. At times he thinks we are perfect and other times he feels like we shouldnt be together and that he needs to just be with friends. Can someone help me out and tell me if that is normal? We are currently not together (not my choice) but I had to make him happy. Can someone please tell me if this is normal or if he will snap out of this soon? Thank you ahead of time.
Been going thru this with my husband. Things have been by him to me that I am not sure I will recover from like I will never succeed I am no a part of his family if you don't change I want a divorce these all can out if the blue he got mad cause I asked what his plans were he said I am always on his back. I am hurting too I take care of bills cleaning working 12 he days and sleep 3 to 5 hours he says why are you stressed? Hmmmm I wonder!!! I leave the room most days when his chemo attitude comes to be with me
Wow. I was diagnosed with stage IV ovarian cancer about 2 months ago and have so far had 3 chemos. Surgery is in 3 weeks, then back to the chemo. I've been aware of the chemo brain I've had but now my mood is changing as well. I have to say that it is utterly terrifying. I live with my boyfriend and love him, and I am so scared that I am turning into this horrible monster. I've only had one outburst, but am aware I possibly am just beginning. I made an appt with a therapist and hope I can get some help. I can deal with physical problems, but the thought of becoming someone else, of alienating and treating badly those I love is the scariest thing imaginable. I would rather lose my life than my family and friends. I understand that, as a caregiver, you must firstly take care of yourself, but please understand that this evil person you are trying so hard to support has absolutely no control over what is happening. Even if you have to ultimately leave, just remember who you cared for before the chemo. God bless you all.
I, like everyone above, am so thankful for this string of comments. It's encouraging not to feel so alone and crazy (and ashamed).
My mom has been diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time. I was in 3rd grade the last time she was diagnosed. I don't really remember what my mother's personality was like before I was in 3rd grade, but I remember her being more tender and gentle in general. Since cancer the first time, her mom (my grandma) has even told me she is a different person now. She has been disagreeable, unexpectedly angry, OCD about help, and hard to understand since I can remember in middle school. I've learned (whether it is wrong or right) to run and hide when I see a trigger for her anger and pretty much have walked on eggshells the last 13 years of my life, telling myself this was normal, eventhough deep down I knew it was not normal, and I was ashamed on the arguments, rage and fights,
She has now started chemo for the second time with this new round of cancer, and I have been both terrified of what this new round of chemo could do, and hopeful that maybe chemo would reverse the affects of the chemo from the first cancer.....but as of the last 2-3 weeks of chemo once a week, there is consistently 2 days that I come home from work and walk directly to my room and shut my door in hopes to avoid getting verbal acid poured in my ears. I know that the way she talks to my dad makes him feel like a failure, and I know that his angry responses are out of his defense because it hurts him and he is beaten so low.
I understand when people encourage me to love my mom well, but it literally feels like a lost cause. She doesn't accept my love, believe my love, and it doesn't feel like she even wants it. It feels like she just wants me to try so she can criticize every aspect of my life. It is dang HARD not to want to just give up, when every time you try, it doesn't do anything but cause more problems and fights. This treatment isn't supposed to be about the caretakers, but many of us sure are taking emotional tolls.
Has anyone experienced chemo having long term effect on their loved one? Is that common? I want to know if I can realistically hope for my mother's own enjoyment of life again, and thus my own. I am praying to the Lord for a biological miracle either way.
YES - Normal. This happened after the major chemobrain wore off. And it wasn't just because I'm angry at what happened, or feel sorry for myself (at least not that I'm aware of). The slightest thing majorly pissed me off. And I'm not talking just aggravated, I'm talking pissed. It was a hormonal thing - had to have been. It was awful. It's been 15 months since my last radiation treatment and I recognize I've gotten better. I've heard this from other survivors as well. One as young as 2 who started throwing toys around the room. It's something to do with the poison they are putting in your body.
WOW I just want to cry right now. My husband was so mean this weekend I just left him to himself. And basically only spoke when spoken to. Now I read this and I feel like the mean one. He was even lashing out at the dog and I thought he could control it. I am so glad I found this. I pray for all of us caregivers and patients alike. FYI My husband is receiving his treatment at CTCA in Tulsa. I crochet hats for the patients there (Donated). If you would like one email me
you poor thangs! Wanna trade???
My wife was always on a hair trigger even before this, and for the two years before her diagnosis, our marriage was failing. The cancer and this treatment has made it all worse. So many stressors have been added to our lives and our marriage is buckling under the pressure. We gave up our home ad moved in with her parents to save money and to help with our 3 year old daughter. Moving from a nice house to a 8x10 bedroom is driving me nuts. I'm not broke, I haven't lived with family in almost 20 years. My wife just sits around. There are times when yes, she is ill, but there are times (like now) where she could be doing things with our daughter, anything, but she chooses Facebook and her friends over her family. She lashes out at me and our daughter over anything and nothing at all. She's always been overbearing and codescending, but at least she kept a leash on it. Now, I have no idea what's going to set her off. We go out to lunch when her immune system is low and she bites my head off when I have to remind her to wear a mask and when I remind her of her neutropenic diet. I know it's frustrating, but really, is being able to dip your chicken in ranch more important than your LIFE? She apologizes sometimes, especially when she's really sick and I'm cleaning up after her, or sorting through her vomit to see what pills I need to give her again, but then she acts like she resents me for it when she feels better. She has told me that she has no emotional connection with me, and she wants me to leave numerous times. Her wedding ring sits on the table and hasn't been worn in a long time. I'm 36 and she's 30. I was ready for a divorce before she got sick, now I feel trapped. I wont leave her like this, but I am at the point where I can't stand her anymore. I'm no saint, I realize that, and there are times where I want respect from her for sacrificing everything that I have, but I kow I'll never get it and have resorted to going numb. I can't imagine going through this for years, and doubt I could endure that. I think I would put a pistol in my mouth. I have gone to counceling, gotten massages, talked to people, gotten drunk. None of that seems to help. She has an endless supply of painkillers so I've been taking those on occasion so I can sleep. I have taken anti depressants before and yes, they shut off my emotions, but Id rather die than be a drugged zombie all the time. I'm trying to get closer to God, to try and understand the message behind this, or the at least figure out why my little family has been chosen to suffer like this. I hate that my daughter's life is being interrupted like this. I hate that I'm giving up everything for such a miserable person. I just want it all to end.
My sister has cancer and has been receiving chemo for 18 months. Her behavior has been horrible toward family and friends. I tried to help but the abuse became so bad, I had to leave. She told me having cancer gave her the courage and license to right all the wrongs in her life and she was going to use it. I don't know if that is the chemo or her talking but it is beyond scary since she has threatened to shoot several families members and would have already been committed if not for the cancer. There is no cure for her cancer only holding it in check for a couple of years. She is miserable and the rest of us are guilt ridden but cannot handle the abuse. Any drug that affects not only the patient and caregiver but everyone they know, should not be on the market.
Hi all you care givers and cancer victims, I am also happy to find this site/string of people talking about their struggles on both sides of this vicious nightmare of cancer and related treatment. My wife and I have been fighting this for 14 YEARS. Yes everyone, 14 years. We've been through lumpectomy, then tried IVF when the "all clear" was given (didn't work--thanks to Stanford not thawing embryo's so no more kids!). Then cancer came back, then surgery (thought we got it) then it came back again 9 years ago stage 4 met to the bones. They gave her 18 months nine years ago. Herceptin every 3 weeks, additional chemo here and there, radiation blew away her stomach lining, and all the while we're raising an awesome daughter. This started when our daughter was 2. All I can say to the caregivers is do whatever you need to try and stay strong. Your victim needs you no matter how crappy they are to you. And BELIEVE ME, mine is crappy to me almost 24/7. Very, very hard and there is no other way to slice it. Try to count your blessings (such as: only so many treatments and we're clear, etc). I had to go to my doctor and get something for anxiety and depression. I'm still fighting those. No end in sight but how could I reflect on this time for the rest of my life knowing I did anything less than EVERYTHING I could do. And to you cancer victims- hang in there. I cannot imagine what physical and mental torment you put yourselves through even though I have lived with a victim for so long. When your feeling gracious and "yourselves", lay it on your caregiver thick :) We don't need much sunshine but we'll take it when its not cloudy. Cheers everyone
thank you thank you thank you. I thought I was doing all wrong. from a lovely ma to a grumpy impossible t even speak person, that is my husband I was at the verge of ending it all. I was feeling so useless and worthless. Smiles for everyone but me.
Now I feel I can carry on though we still have a long steep hill to climb.
I wish to thank all of you that have posted here. I wish each of you God's speed and comfort as you travel this difficult path.
June 20th was our 4oth anniversary. Last June Donna began to lose weight and became worried. She was never one to frequent a Doctor and not been to one in a couple of decades, yet one day last August she had our oldest daughter take her to the ER for exhaustion and weight loss. Our oldest called me in my office in tears and said that her mother, my wife, lung was collapsed and cancerous. Further, the cancer had spread to her left lung as well, and she was scheduled for a PET Scan in the morning.
The Scan revealed that the cancer had spread and mutated to her brain, breasts, back, stomach, abdomen and genitals. She as since undergone 18 high radiation treatments to her brain, Chemotherapy which had no effect, and has been on "Immunotherapy" every since. Her first Oncologist told her that she would be gone by Christmas, but she has soldiered on to this date. Incredibly, she has refused any and all painkillers, and will only take things like Aleve or Ibuprofen when things get unbearable. She suffers terribly sometimes, but will not relent and take something that might help her. Lately she has been constantly exhausted and tends to blow up over nothing at all. She insisted that she go live with her mother, bothers and sisters 600 miles away as she wanted to see them so badly. Taking her too the Mayo clinic twice or a month was my reason for existing and now I am at a loss. Judging from the expert advice here, she is approaching the end. I have no idea what I will do without her, and I feel like I am stepping into the ether.
My girlfriend has been in chemo for a few months and she's starting to drive me crazy. She accuses me of everything except loving her and thinks I'm about to leave her. That's the furthest thing from the truth. I get cussed out, she gets jealous of my daughter, and it seems like I can't do anything right. I'm being as patient as I possibly can but its tough. Can I do anything to help her
My friend has cancer. I have tried to help while working, going to school & teaching. After her last big chemo treatment, she was very angry. The drive home was about an hour and she closed her eyes to "rest." The next day I get hateful texts about how I betrayed her and I'm gossiping about her. None of it happened. I tried to reach out to family out of concern for her, but I became the "evil" friend. I am grateful for this site, but I will not continue to support her. Everyone is responsible for their actions cancer or no cancer. Having cancer is no excuse for bad, hurtful, mean behavior towards the ones you love. And what gives me the right to say this, I too am a survivor. I had wonderful caregivers and yes I was crabby. But I realize now that telling them everyday how much I appreciated them was what got us thru it. They also were good enough family and friends to tell me when I crossed the line and to inform my doctor so that I could be placed on meds that would help with the roller coaster of emotions along with the name of a good therapist. Please let's find support and solutions, lots of pain here.
I, too, am glad I found this site. My husband was diagnosed recently with extensive spread small cell carcinoma. After his 4th chemo, he became manic which escalated and he ended up spending 3 nights in a med psych ward. He is better but still does not see the consequences of any of his actions or how he treats his family; he is very self centered and irrational. This is not something I expected and it is hard. I've been told it may be a side effect of the IV steroids given to him during treatment. I'm just hoping it will resolve at some point.
So , I had a real rant at my absolutely fantastic husband. His fault. Being too helpful! I do not understand what it must feel like to be a carer , except that you want to care. Chemo , removes every last morsel of control a person has. As a self confessed control freak and planner , this was the last straw. No-one , absolutely no-one can give you what you want most which is a sense of control of your very self and the frustration is unbelievable. I am normally a patient person , but when you smell , look awful, hurt everywhere, feel nauseous, can't function or think, what on earth will help? I did not want to be jollied along or cajoled. I have now finished chemo but it does leave you weak. We have survived it as a couple. My husband was always there , just to hold me when the tears flowed and I love him for it. Carers, when the going gets tough , say nothing, just hug and pass the tissues. Cry too if you want , but know that you are appreciated for just being there.
Hi everyone, your comments have explained a lot and given me the hope that I am not alone. My husband has bone marrow cancer and has been on chemo for the last 3 years, he will never get off. His mood swings are impacting me and my son to a point where we can't even be in the same room without him nitpicking and yelling, the worse thing is knowing its not gonna get better -
Our 8yo grandson diagnosed with lymphoma about a month ago. My daughter has told me mood swings have started with him. Its a very hard thing for our family, we don't know, feel clueless. We watch him a few days a week, anyone can help sure would appreciate.
Am looking after my father who has lymphoma, who incidentally has a young girlfriend that takes all of his money and when he was very sick she phoned day and night demanding i tell him to send some even though he couldn't walk, at this time he agreed it was unfair on me whilst worrying about him, but as the chemos go on he resents me criticizing the fact that she never calls to ask him how he is but phones with one stupid drama after another (she lives very far away and is unable to care for him there so i offered to help) He has become more and more resentful, picking on my child's behaviour who is 13 instead of focusing on his young girlfriends behaviour and when i try to logically explain to him that he may not have a good perspective he attacks me, all i have done is try to protect him as I feel he is being abused yet feel guilty as am feeling so much anger towards him for bringing the unhappiness to our home, it's very hard to position yourself between compassion for a very sick person yet know you don't deserve the anger and behaviour it's underestimated the damage a sick person can do, I try to blame the steroids but feel deep down most of his criticism he means in all truth.
Till the end
When the mind is on chemo of a loved one,think of how you might be and do your very best to cope as ,you can not imagine what goes through the mind of a cancer brain. God help us all
Wow - I think I just read my life of the past 4 months on this blog. I am a caregiver to my boyfriend who was diagnosed with S3 Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. He is currently going through very extensive chemo treatment. We know that this is treatable, and in the beginning I have been very positive about him getting better, helping him in every possible way that I can. The past several weeks have been absolutely horrible. His moods are up and down - you don't know what your going to get from one moment to the next. I walk on egg shells daily, I am afraid to express any type of feelings that I have - good or bad - for fear of an outburst, the yelling, the name calling, taking it out on me, etc. After his treatments he takes a steroid for 7 days then is off of it until his next treatment. I have been keeping a journal and this is when it's at his worst. He eggs me on and in turn I do him as well - my defense mechanism. The depression is setting in and it's only getting worse. My instinct is to run and run fast - I love him, but he is pushing me away, something I feel very guilty about. I know in my heart it's the treatment and meds that go a long with it, I'm losing myself. I see that I am NOT the only person that is going through all of this - I am not by myself, which is somewhat of a comfort but at the same time so very sad that they ones that love them the most are the ones that take the beatdown in the end......... I am so lost.
Thank you all kindly for "listening"
Blessings to you all !
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