Darkness and depression

Hello, this is Dena, JonLaco's wife and I just need to vent for a minute.  My love, Jon, is in the hospital and has been there for 8 days today.  He is currently experiencing more weakness in his legs (he is already in a wheel chair) and severe diaherrea (sp).  Today he had a complete meltdown, crying and stating he doesn't want to live any more.  When I arrived at the hospital we was in a very dark room, crying and I did not know what to do.  A physical therapist came in and seemed to turn around Jon's frame of mind by getting him comfortable in bed with pillows, leg massages, and some very encouraging chatting.  A little later another physical therapist came in and actually helped Jon into his wheel chair.  He even had a little more strength in his arms and was able to lift himself up a little higher today than yesterday.  I tried to celebrate this accomplishment.  We spent about 40 minutes in the garden and then when we returned back to his room he had a diaherra episode and as the day went on he became very irritated with me.  I keep asking him the same questions and this did not set well at all.  He became very angry with me and told me to get the "f" out.  I kept calm, gathered my things and left.  My heart is completely broken and it makes me so sad to see the love of my life suffering so much.  I did go back to the hospital this evening and stayed until 10:30pm.  Has anyone else had these depressed dark feelings?  I could use some encouragement here as well as knowing that other advanced prostate guys have melt downs like this as well.  Not that I wish this upon anybody, but today was a very emotional, rough day. 

27 Replies

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  • I think that all of us who have advanced prostate cancer get depressed at times, and it's normal to have these feelings; we can't all be brave 24/7.       And it sounds like your husband's case is very advanced.

    I've had a few meltdowns myself, recently twice during my radiation treatments, when the pain and illness got the best of me, and I'm ashamed of being a 67-year-old man with tears running down my face.      And I hate for others to see me during these times of weakness.

    Please don't take your husband's telling you to get out personally---it's the illness speaking, not him.       I'm crying for both of you and for myself as I write this, as I know what both of you are going through.

    I see a psychologist at the cancer center as part of my treatment, when I'm able to travel, and that's one time I almost always start tearing up---he tells me, "Go ahead, let it out," and I just instantly stop.     I can't let myself get completely out of control.

    As males, in our culture we're supposed to be strong and brave.      Most of the time I manage to be courageous and face what's happening to me square on, but I'm not made of stone.    

    You have every right to vent, and so does he.      We're all going through this damnable disease together.     

    You both have my prayers and best wishes,

    CERICWIN

  • Thank you so much Eric.  This hospital stay has been horrible and I feel so helpless for my husband, my best friend the love of my life. 

  • I can only suggest that you give him space when he needs it, and support when he doesn't ask for it, even if it means just sitting quietly in the room with him.       There are times when I need to be alone, and times when I wish that someone would hug me and tell me that everything's going to be all right.

    Eric

  • Thanks again Eric.

  • As I sat here trying to think what I could say that might provide you some consolation and understanding, I scrolled on and read Eric's response.  He said it all as one who has experienced what your husband is going through and possibly even more.  Eric and I have become like brothers in our email exchanges and I only wish I was younger and with the health that could take me to Chicago just to meet him in person.  We both can understand what you, as the loving wife and caregiver, are going through and can only wish it wasn't so difficult.  As Eric remarked, your husband is likely even embarrassed in front of you for experiencing diarrhea while in your presence and your being there during the cleanup.  You likely only wanted to be there for him with questions, and he was just embarrassed to want to talk to you or anyone at that time.  Be strong, Dena, as difficult as it may be.  We will pray that this will pass and there will be early recovery and return home.

  • I am so sorry for you and Jon.  He is scared and in pain and you are scared and upset seeing him in that way.  I would vent too if I were in your position.    The hardest part is there isn't much you can do to alleviate his pain but you can still be his advocate.  I recommend you talk to his dr and his nurse to let them know his state of mind.  When my husband was in the hospital after spinal surgery I had a serious talk with the head nurse.  They were not responding to him when he needed help.  He was in serious pain with an ileus and had gone off all pain killers in order to get it going.  There were times he had to get up to the toilet and they'd ignore his calls.  After I spoke to her they made a point of coming into his room more frequently and being there to assist.  Try not to take his anger personally.  He doesn't mean to direct it to you.   I wish you and Jon the very best.   

  • Thank you so much.  Did your husband have spinal surgery due to his prostate cancer?

  • Yes.  It spread to his T10 and wrapped around his spinal cord.  He couldn't walk and was in a wheelchair until his surgery.  They put in a titanium bar (about a foot long) and removed half the tumor.  Unfortunately they couldn't remove all for fear of paralyzing him.   This was two years ago.  Since then he sometimes has leg weakness but he typically walks daily.  

  • My Jon's tumor is on L3.  He had it operated on Sept. 30,2015.  A metal plate was placed between L2 and L4 and tumor removed.  By Dec. 2015 Jon could not walk.  Tumor has grown back and now invading L4.  He is not walking since December, in a wheelchair.  He is currently in the hospital in rehab unit again.  Still battling severe diahaerra and I am fearful that he is going to give up because of this diaherra situation.  I hate seeing my husband so miserable and ill. 

  • I am so sorry.  This disease is horrible.  Chuck's plate is far longer because they thought it would probably spread.  There are times he feels it has spread.  His spinal doc says he will give him an MRI at anytime he wants to see, but he doesn't want it.   Please know you and Jon are not alone.   There are many of us out here that are here for you.  Feel free to reach out to me at anytime.  Please take care of yourself too.  We often forget about ourselves during the most stressful of times.  

  • Char: Thank you so much for the invitation to reach out to you.  I am very very sad these last few days.  Jon cries every night and says he is scared to die and knows he is going to.  It is HEART BREAKING to say the least.  I try so hard to encourage him and get him out of the dark place, but he doesn't feel well and I think this doesn't help him at all.  Thanks , Dena

  • Dena, I am so sorry.  I read your posts and feel your sorrow.  Eric provided good advice about getting emotional support thru a psychologist.  Is it possible for someone to meet with him?   Would he be willing to talk to someone?  

  • Yes, Jon is seeing someone for emotional support.  Thank you for your reply. 

  • Hi Dena,

    I can see your pain. Eric knows what he's talking about more than I, but let me say my piece. From my perspective, everyone cares about the illness I/we have to deal with all the time. But, until people understand, it will be the same. 

    There is no way you, my wife, our families, and the families of every man here, can possibly comprehend what we have been through, and what we're going to have to go through in the future. I, for one, can say my family has no clue whatsoever.

    You've seen your love lose his manhood, and that in itself, is enough. If it just stopped there...

    I hope Jon pulls through this with no problems. I wish you, a strong heart, and a strong faith.

    I'm not a religious man, by any means. But, I pray for you and Jon.

    Joe

  • Thank you Joe.  FYI we are not the religious couple either.  Thanks for the prayers too.

  • Hi Dena,

    I have tears reading your post and Eric's reply......I'm so sorry for your pain and Jon's pain also.  I think we lash out at those closest. ... Not that it's right.  Heartfelt thoughts. 

    Jackie

  • Thank you Jackie.  Yes I do understand about hurting the ones closest.  I am just so so so sad.

  • I know. ...... I think it comes with the territory Dena. I'm so sorry for your pain :(

  • P. S. It was very very thoughtful and kind the gestures that the therapist did for your husband  to help him to feel better or at least to try and help him to feel better.

  • Yes, he does have a very good therapist for sure.  Jon really connects with him. 

  • Dena, please feel free to come here to vent anytime you need to, and as much as you need to.  It is very important that you have an avenue to vent.  Your providing support to your husband is very important to him whether he acknowledges it or not, please understand that.  In turn this is one place you can turn to unload and vent.  

    Though I am also not a religious man by any means, my thoughts and prayers are with both of you. 

  • GeoffS:  Thank you for the kind words and encouragement.  Yes, I will use this place to vent every now and again.

  • Hello Dena, I want to let you know there is also a ladies prostate forum who has some of the most fabulous helpful ladies only that you may want to join.  They have helped me and they are amazing! 

    Gentle hugs Dena

  • Jackie:  Thank you so much for your very kind and caring words.  How do I join the ladies prostate forum?

  • Ladiesprostateforum.com Dena.

    It should pop up if you Google it :)

    There should be a place to join on the page.  

    Gentle hugs.  

    Jackie

  • Thank you for sharing , we just do the best we can one day at a time, and we gain strength and courage from each other. peace be with you and Jon.

  • Thank you Mr. Jack.  Some days it is so hard to stay away from the dark place.  One day at a time and sometimes one minute at a time.  Thanks again for your response.

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