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Thread: Husband has changed after chemo......

  1. #1

    Husband has changed after chemo......

    About two years ago my husband had testicular cancer which then spread to his lymph nodes, and so started chemo. He has always been a successful, smart, tough guy, after getting his orchiectomy (testical removed) he walked right out of the hospital and was back to work in less then a week. During chemo he was driving himself back and forth from treatment and dirt biking on the weekends.

    Although he is a very stand up guy, he has always had a bit of an ego. After chemo it got so much worse, he has a God complex and thinks he is invincible now. He takes risk that he usually would not do before and expects people to do whatever he says and if not your out of his life. He is also very moody,angry, controlling and being insensitive towards me and other. To be honest he has turned into an a**hole. It seems to have progressed over the years and has gotten to the point that i can no longer be with him. I feel as if chemo killed the good in him and he is now an empty shell. He cares about his money and is losing his entire family, I think its called a mid-life crisis but at 28 yrs old!

    Has anyone else had this problem with someone they know? Does chemo affect the chemistry in peoples brain or is it the experience ?


  2. #2
    Administrator Top User brainman's Avatar
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    Hi jackpass, I am so sorry about your husband's cancer and change in personality. Many things can cause those changes in patients. Depression, anxiety, fear, hopelessness, and many other mental changes happen after a person finds out that they have cancer. Often, after they adjust to that fact, they return to almost normal (thing will never be "normal" again).

    Cancer can also speed up something that happens to all men at some point... midlife crisis. This is especially true for someone who has always thought of himself and independent, self-sufficient... in other words, someone like your husband seems to be. They start earlier than normal to reevaluate their lives, the direction their life is taking them, and whether or not they want to stay the course. Even someone as young as 28 can go through this phase. This change may be permanently life changing.

    If there is an underlying mental issue, chemo and cancer can aggravate these. It is very hard for us men to accept such drastic changes. I know this is true for women as well. But most women do not have the same independence (and isolation) issues that men have so they are better able to cope. I know this is an over generalization and stereotyping, but...

    Chemo can do some damage to the brain, that is true. But the change in personality is often due to the above things.

    What no one can tell you is how much is too much for you. If you are already at your breaking point, you need to do what is best for you. Obviously, you need to talk with your husband and make sure he knows how his behavior is affecting you. You might also suggest couple's therapy. If he will not go, you might find help in coping or making whatever decision you choose by going to counseling alone.

    Your instincts are sound. Do what you think is best for you. Take care of yourself and maybe you can find out what you and he need.

    You and your husband are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Jim
    Long-term cancer survivor
    1992 Astrocytoma grade 2, left motor strip
    2005 Recurrence this time said to be an Oligodendroglioma grade 3, same location.
    http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=2405
    My Story Part 1: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=2528
    My Story Part 2: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?p=7350
    My Story Part 3: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=8029

  3. #3

    Hi jackpass

    Hi jackpass.
    I was just reading your story.
    you say that you think he is going through a mid-life crisis.
    having had an op to remove his testis.
    I think you should get him to have his blood tested for the leval of testosterone.
    I say this because i have had both of mine removed and i no longer produce any testosterone.
    and i got all the same symptoms as your husband, moody.bad temper
    etc.
    this can be treated with TRT.
    this could be what he has because the remaining testical might be faulty.
    it's just a simple blood test. and worth trying
    he will thank you for it if it is that because it will change his life.

  4. #4
    Hi,
    Cancer can also speed up something that happens to all men at some point.
    If there is an underlying mental issue, chemo and cancer can aggravate these. It is very hard for us men to accept such drastic changes.
    Thanks.

  5. #5
    I'm very new at this cancer stuff, my mom has only had one week of chemo so far.... but she's been very irritable the whole week. I spoke with her oncologist about it and she suggested that the steroids can cause irritability.

    I googled "chemotherapy personality changes" and there appears to be alot of information on it. Perhaps chemo can cause chemical imbalances as well?

    Sorry for what you're going through...hopefully you all can talk to your husband about it. Maybe if he's aware, he can do something to change his behavior.

  6. #6
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    Things won't "go back" as they were before and it normally takes a couple of years to get to know your new self after your first round of chemo. I'm sorry that you think your husband has hubris. He might make others feel like underachievers but he doesn't necessary have to be a psychopath. I'm sure that there's someone who can evaluate his mental health and check his testosterone levels. It's common for people with terminal deceases to be self absorbed with less sympathy for people with "normal problems" and that makes us assholes.

    I hope there's an easy fix to your problems. I think the comments you already got are really good! Check it all! Good luck! I hope you can love each other again like you once did!

  7. #7
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    Re: Husband has changed after chemo......

    Yes, Chemo affects the brain. My husband had some change, he did certain things that he never did before, such as being jelous of me, he at 79 being jelous of a 60 year old woman. In 37 seven years we were married I never went any place without him. When he was sick after the last Chemo treatments I had to go grocery shopping by myself, and he was suffering, but I made him understand that he had no reason to feel that way.

    jackpass, to make the story short, just put yourself in his shoes. Think for a minute how would you feel if you were told that you have cancer? CANCER is a very ugly word, we all know what that word means. So please, bear with him, if anything should happens to him you will never be able to forgive yourself. Just talk to him, and let him know that him having cancer should not be a reason for him to misbehave, the opposite, he should try to be a better person, so he can enjoy life more, he can be happier.

  8. #8
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    Sure cancer is an ugly word, but it's not a bad thing to be a cancer surviver now days. Celebrities use this to their advantage because it boosts their career.

    Another thing you should tell your hubbies is that they're allowed to go after their dreams. They are allowed to feel angry, love, and whatever they feel, but you should convince them that you want to fulfill their dreams together with them. So if someone of the wants to get a sports car or travel around the world, do it together.

    It's very lonely to go with these destructive thoughts all by yourself and we don't want to burden our partners anymore. That's understandable and you can't expect us to be able to comfort you because we are too focused on just living.

    It's sad that most of the people who "hang out" here are bystanders or people that are worried that they have cancer. I think you should have your own forum because I don't think it's relevant. Sorry.
    Non-Hogkins Lymphoma
    One round of chemo in 2007

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Linda Gavin
    Sure cancer is an ugly word, but it's not a bad thing to be a cancer surviver now days. Celebrities use this to their advantage because it boosts their career.

    Another thing you should tell your hubbies is that they're allowed to go after their dreams. They are allowed to feel angry, love, and whatever they feel, but you should convince them that you want to fulfill their dreams together with them. So if someone of the wants to get a sports car or travel around the world, do it together.

    It's very lonely to go with these destructive thoughts all by yourself and we don't want to burden our partners anymore. That's understandable and you can't expect us to be able to comfort you because we are too focused on just living.

    It's sad that most of the people who "hang out" here are bystanders or people that are worried that they have cancer. I think you should have your own forum because I don't think it's relevant. Sorry.
    __________________________________________________ ___________

    Linda Gavin, can I ask whom are you talking to?

    Linda Gavin says: Sure cancer is an ugly word, but it's not a bad thing to be a cancer surviver now days. Celebrities use this to their advantage because it boosts their career.
    __________________________________________________ ________

    May I ask you who says that it is a bad thing to be a cancer survivor?
    WHAT A TERRIBLE, AND INHUMANE THING TO SAY? Husband died from pancriatic cancer, and from the moment he was diagnosed we told everyone we knew the bad news. We were not embarrassed to say it, because this is something that can happen to anyone, and no one can decide to have it, or not to have it.

    I REALLY LIKE TO KNOW WHERE IS THAT DISGUSTING PERSON WHO SAYS THAT IT IS A BAD THING TO BE A CANCER SURVIVOR.

  10. #10
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    I'm so sorry for your loss. Loosing a husband is really one of the worst things that can happen to a person. I regret telling my clients that I got cancer because they replaced me because they assumed I was broken. It took me two years to build up my company again, and nobody wants to hear about it, because if I tell my story to a journalist, they just leave that part out. It's not even a sob story. It's really unfair because I had to pay the OP, chemo bills, all the tests and rehab. My husband had to work double as hard.

    You understand what it's about, but most people don't. My dad thought I brought this on myself for eating pizza on a regular basis (which I don't). There will always be people who don't know what they're talking about, but we are the ones who have to take the consequences. But it's about to change since the celebrities are using it to their advantage. It's good press that makes them human and more likable.

    Those who suffer from lack of empathy will understand when they have to deal with real problems. You have no idea of the kind of pressure my family put me though when I got sick. They were blaming me for being the cause of their insomnia and anxiety. It would have been easier not to tell anyone.

    But this topic is about a husband who changed after chemo. Things like this happens and that's scary and it's not easy to be the one with the personality change, not knowing if everyone will accept you and love you like before. If they don't, you will blame the cancer, that's for sure.

    But if we're strong, we might be able to convince the people we care about to bare with us, and see how far we can go with that. It's really up to OTHER people, not us. We just want to live.
    Non-Hogkins Lymphoma
    One round of chemo in 2007

 

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