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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!

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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.

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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

  11. #11
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    Chemo Sucks

    Well Im going thru Chemo and it is A RIDE TO MENTAL HELL.

    I can understand how he feels,
    Chemo is like a SHORT CIRCUT in the brain.
    It can make the brain go from extremes at least in my case, It makes the
    body WEAK and FRAGILE and Im 22yrs old. It makes relationships with my family very difficult, because my mind is going THRU SOOOO many things, SOOOO FAST.
    When Im going thru CHEMO and shortly afterwards my brain FEELS TRAPPED
    IN MY BODY and it can anger me, so I can see why he would get angry, what sucks is I slash at people that are the CLOSEST TO ME.
    People can look at us differently even the strongest of men sometimes can't bear this fight its a lonely road, because it's the mind against the chemicals that attack the brain, and I try not to give in but their WAR INFANTRY IS TO HEAVY and it can break me, SO it changes the survivors.

    Think about it as a person that wen't to war and was FORTUNATE TO COME BACK. The things the soldier saw at the battle Field, will haunt him, and have changed him forever. I mean if you wen't to war and KILLED AND SAW KILLINGS and HORIBBLE things would you be the same?

    So thats my experience and IM AT THE BATTLE FRONT OF CHEMO<+>

    The best thing for people to do for me AND US is support, understand, and help us recover, I think helping him is best for you not trying to give advice but
    FROM THE BATTLE FRONT I CAN TELL YOU:
    I THINK WE CAN ALMOST LOSE OURSELVES IN THIS BATTLE, and IF WE LOOSE THE ONES WE LOVE IN THE PROCESS WE ARE SURE TO HAVE LOSS
    so for the sake of him do not GIVE UP you gone this far, I SAY talk to him and let him know how you feel THAT2GETHER YOU MIGHT GROW STRONGER and you can look back one day and be thankfull for what has brought you together and stronger than before.
    Sorry to write so much, God Bless



    Live, Give, Love to the MAX

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    Re: Chemo Sucks

    Hi Felipe, I had to cry while reading your post. My husband passed 2 month ago. I was with him during all the Chemo treatments he got before he died. The reason I cry reading your post is because he was 79 years old, and you are 22 and feel that way, I can imagine how my poor husband was feeling being so much older than you. Yet my husband was so good during all that time, he had 14 Chemo treatments, he never became nasty, nor cranky, he remained the lovely husband he was during 39 years. The only unusual thing he did was that he made a comment about me probably being looking for a boyfriend. When he said that I knew that the Chemo was the one doing that for him, but as soon as I made him realize that he was wrong, and after so many years of knowing me so well he was being disrespecful, he stopped. When he died I was sorry I told him that, now I feel guilty, I should had kept my mouth shut. But he knew that I was suffering perhaps more than him during all the time he was sick, to the point that a few times when they were injecting him I told the nurse that I would prefered if it was me, and not him taking the Chemo, the nurse used to give me that look like if I was crazy, but I was not crazy, I really meant it, and now that he is gone, I am more convinced that I was right. I now know that I cannot live without him, every day without him becomes much harder.

    Well, my honest, and sincere advice to people who has a loved one taking Chemo treatments is that they should put themselves in those taking Chemo shoes for a minute. If they really loved them sincerilly, to really give them love at this time, this is a very difficult time for everyone involved in this kind of situation. This is a very difficult, and sad situation.

    Felipe, may ask why are you taking Chemo? My husband had pancriatic cancer.

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    Sure,
    I am on Chemo because I was unfortunate to have Testicular Cancer.

    But it was a good thing on the other hand because it made me a man.
    I am sorry for your loss, and I know there is NO words or actions that can bring him back. Its a difficult circumstance for cancer patients and loved ones.
    Well I don't know if you and him believes in GOD but if you do then let me tell you he is in a better place. I rather be there with GOD then here in earth.
    My opinion is death is REST for the body and soul, he has gone to be with loved ones and one day we can all reunite. But anyways thats another story.
    Good-bye
    Live, Give, Love to the MAX

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    Thank you for your kind words Felipe. Yes, I do believe in God, and my husband did too, but I never acepted death, and I was always very afraid about death, and also afraid of dead people. Now that my husband passed I am not afraid of dead people, and I am starting to understand that one day we have to go, all of us have to go. I am not totally convinced, but I am working on it, and talking with people like you helps me a lot.

    Felipe says: "My opinion is death is REST for the body and soul, he has gone to be with loved ones and one day we can all reunite."

    The problem why it is so difficult for me, and my children to accept that he is gone is because we knew that he loved life, this man could worked 24 hours and did not complain, he never complained about him having to work. The only people he loved and are not here anymore are his parents, he loved his parents, but one day he left his parents to go to leave with a wife, and have children. The love of his life was me, and his 3 boys, and he didn't want to leave. We all were very close, all of us loved ourselves very much, and loved life. Now this family without him will never be the same. We are alive. but in a way we are dead too, specially me, my sons are young, they are not even married, and I have faith that because they are young, they will overcome one day the death of their father better than me.

    Again Felipe, it is a pleasure to me to talk with people who think like you, because I cannot support to see my husband underground. I am about 3 miles away from the cemetery where we buried him, and all I do at night time while I am in bed is look up at the ceeling, and think about him in that hole, and me on a comfortable bed. This kills me, and it is driving me crazy. I wonder if there are other people who their loved ones are under ground, and they think this way? Some times I think that I am crazy.

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    Thank you for your kind words Felipe. Yes, I do believe in God, and my husband did too, but I never acepted death, and I was always very afraid about death, and also afraid of dead people. Now that my husband passed I am not afraid of dead people, and I am starting to understand that one day we have to go, all of us have to go. I am not totally convinced, but I am working on it, and talking with people like you helps me a lot.

    Felipe says: "My opinion is death is REST for the body and soul, he has gone to be with loved ones and one day we can all reunite."

    The problem why it is so difficult for me, and my children to accept that he is gone is because we knew that he loved life, this man could worked 24 hours and did not complain, he never complained about him having to work. The only people he loved and are not here anymore are his parents, he loved his parents, but one day he left his parents to go to leave with a wife, and have children. The love of his life was me, and his 3 boys, and he didn't want to leave. We all were very close, all of us loved ourselves very much, and loved life. Now this family without him will never be the same. We are alive. but in a way we are dead too, specially me, my sons are young, they are not even married, and I have faith that because they are young, they will overcome one day the death of their father better than me.

    Again Felipe, it is a pleasure to me to talk with people who think like you, because I cannot support to see my husband underground. I am about 3 miles away from the cemetery where we buried him, and all I do at night time while I am in bed is look up at the ceeling, and think about him in that hole, and me on a comfortable bed. This kills me, and it is driving me crazy. I wonder if there are other people who their loved ones are under ground, and they think this way? Some times I think that I am crazy.

  16. #16
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    Well Cari,
    Belive it or Not there is over 6 trillion People in the world. AND let me tell you that DEATH will strike 100 out of 100. Understanding that, there is sooooo many people that will lose there lifes today and you know what: They to had Loved ones there wifes, husbands, Children, Parents, Friends, and rivals. So to say that you are alone, is a lie. You are not alone, its just the time has comed for him to reunite with his parents and his loved ones.
    By the end of today thousands if not millions of people will greeve a loss, due to a circumstance and will be in YOUR SHOES.

    So Death is not to be FEARED but to be LOVED For you see it has A PURPOSE.
    GOD put death that we may go back to are original state, and to a NEW WORLD WERE ITS JUST SO MIND BLOWING
    It lurks BEHIND a CURTAIN and its not bad at all. I Love death its just so peacefull. It can take you and there you are with others like us, were there is no bad things happening and issues.
    Well Cari,
    all I can say is I can't wait when I too can leave.
    When my Grandfather died I saw his lifeless body and I can feel that he was soo happy, anyways Everyone wants to go to heaven, but no one wants to die to get there. Don't Fear death its beutiful and he is in a better place.
    Good-Bye
    Live, Give, Love to the MAX

  17. #17

    personality change from chemo

    How do you know that chemo affects the brain and cause damage? Is there scientific proof that anyone can state categorically? thanks so much. snoutcafe

  18. #18
    Administrator Top User brainman's Avatar
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    snoutcafe, it is not so much that chemo damages the brain or that it changes personality. It is just how some people deal with all the personal and physical issues associated with cancer and chemotherapy. I do not have any studies that say how common this is just have seen it enough to know it does happen.
    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

  19. #19

    Personality change

    Hi again, I know that people's response to cancer and treatment can vary from person to person but I would like to know if anyone knows of concete evidence, studies, reports, etc. In which chemo treatments have been linked to changes in the brain ending up demonstrated as drastic behavioral changes in the patient. If so please let me know. One of my doctors (my husband had the chemo) told me that his dramatic personality change resulted from the chemo and that he will never revert back to the nice, loving and kind man he was prior to treatment. He had cancer for 5 years before needing treatment and as soon as the needle went into his arm he was a different person, emotionally abusive and filled with rage. The fact that he achieved partial remission instead of CR made it so much worse but the change began the first week of chemo. I hope I am posting this in the correct place as I am new to this forum and suffer from a brain injury so my comprehension is not all that great. Thanks so much.

  20. #20
    Administrator Top User brainman's Avatar
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    I understand. I have never seen a report like the one you are looking for. That does not mean that it does not exist just that I have never seen it and I have seen a lot. You know how extensively medication is researched before being used on humans. It is interesting that none of the chemotherapy agents that are normally used carry a warning of possible permanent brain damage and/or personality changes.
    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

 
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