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update on Joel's condition/ off the patch


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Hi everybody,

First and formost, I want to thank you all for all your encouragement and responses to my previous posting about taking him off the Fentnayl patch.

Just call me Dr. Maryanne, as Joel is doing so good since I took the patch off of him. :mrgreen:

He has now joined the living. It took a couple of days to get the effects to leave his body. Had a little mini withdrawl there. But made it through.

Last night he actually ate my baked Ziti'sand then had a milkshake. All stayed down. He is no longer vomiting and is no longer nauseous

Today, he is not on any pain medicine at all!! Just a xanax which he takes maybe once a day.

But he still is somewhat depressed. Does anyone know why that is? Could it just be everything that he has been through. Will this pass? He just wants to cry to get everything out but he can't.

We also have a good friend who is fighting brain cancer who is losing the battle. Stage 1V.. she has been through an operation, chemo and rediation. That was when Joel was disgnoised back in Oct. Now the tumor grew back to the orginal size and she is getting opereated on Tues. Joel was actually taking her back and forth for her treatments when he was diagnoised with LC. That is how he actually met his Onchologist at the cancer center where she was having her treatments.

We feel so bad for her and we were just told tonight that she has maybe a year to a year and a half. She is my hero as her attitude is so wonderful. I know she will beat the odds, at least for more than the time they are giving her. Her son age 34 also is battling chest cancer in Calif. And they both cannot travel to see one another. That is the only thing that makes her cry. She just wants to see him and give him hugs. That's when I broke down.

Back to Joel, he is just very very weak, and still nods off. I know that is from not eating for almost a week. Also the thyroid condition that hopefully will be taken care of on Tuesday.

Anyway, I feel good that I know he is back on the road to recovery.

Why didn't the doctors catch this instead of me? I mean saying he needed a brain MRI. That is a no brainer.... :roll:

Take care.... any feedback about the depression would be appreciated.


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I am extremely glad to hear that his horrible sickness is gone. That is always so miserable and just drains a person (no pun intended)! :roll:

I'm sorry that I can't help with the depression, but there are many on here that will follow and help you with that.

Go Dr. Maryanne!!!



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I am so glad that Joel is feeling better!

Now that he is eating, he should get stronger and start to feel a bit better.

I'm still on anti-depressants as are several people. It's so hard to come to terms with this dx! Then to battle through treatment and feeling like crap and being in pain and worrying about the cancer and worrying about family, work, bills.....wondering if you'll ever be yourself again......and on and on and on. It's very depressing! Since I am a few months out from treatment and feeling better......the depression is still there but not as bad. Everyone on the board was right, it does get better (and I say again, I didn't believe them at first!).

Speak to a counselor, it helped me, and I continue to see her around "test" time, since I seem to become hysterical about them. Helps to have an impartial person to listen!

Keep us posted!

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Hi Maryann,

So glad that you got the med figured out. It sounds as if Joel was pretty miserable.

It sounds as if depression is new to Joel. Is this the first time he has ever been depressed. I think I remember something about situational depression....being diagnosed with a serious illness can certainly bring that on. It is all brain chemicals and some feelings mixed up in there. The are different medications that can help to straighten out the brain chemicals. They are not mood altering drugs, but rather mood leveling drugs.

I don't know what your cancer center may offer in the way of advice on how to cope with the new norm. Many cancer centers will address the whole person as this disease affects such a huge portion of our lives.

Have you checked with the onco or your primary and let them know what you have observed in Joel's behavior changes?

Good luck with this.

Cindi o'h

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I believe Xanax is an anti-anxiety medication. Have Joel see his primary care physician (PCP) to take a test and figure out his degree of depression. From there, his doctor can decide if Joel needs to take a daily pill like Wellbutrin, Lexapro, Zoloft, etc.

I would also strongly suggest counseling. I see a counselor about every other week...odd thing about cancer, it's not the last bad news or bad feelings a person will have to deal with, it's just an added one. I was diagnosed with cancer and my loved ones continued to die, people continued to lose their jobs due to "right sizing", terrorists still struck, natural disasters, etc., etc. Counseling can't HURT. (Hey, no needles!)

Take care, I wish you well.


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I'm with the others who have recommended counseling and medication. I saw a therapist for a year after my diagnosis and would go again in a minute if I had the need again. I also took a daily anti-anxiety drug, tranxene, and a daily anti-depressant, effexor for the better part of that year.

Once treatment ended and I started feeling better, I got permission from my therapist to wean off the drugs gradually. I now take nothing for depression or anxiety, but I am so happy that I did that at the time. It got me through.


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Hi guys,

Thanks so much for your imput. I will watch him closely to watch his moods.

He really seems to do better at night. The morinings are tough for him. He always tries to schedule his appointments in the afternoon. Late afternoon if possible. Which is actually good for me as I can leave early from work to take him. Shaving is an effort and not to forget showering

About anti-pressants : I really do not want to go the route if possible. The reason being, its takes awhile to find the right one, and now you can get side affects from the wrong ones. I don't want him to go through that again, if I can help it. But I don't have blinders on either.

He is getting his CT for chest, abdomen and pelvis on Monday, so that may be on his mind also. But maybe not, he doesn't really talk about it.

Which is a good thing, if he truly is not thinking about it. Therefore, he won't worry. On the other hand, I want to share his anxieties to comfort him and give him suport. I also report to him the things you guys tell me on here. Just to let him know that, what he is going through is normal.

Also to Becky: you are so right about how life goes on and other people you know pass on, and companies downsize. Which ironically my company Gillettte did not downsize but was bought by P&G. So hey, who knows what is in store for us now ... You never know what tomorrow may bring. I may wind up without health insurance, you never know. :shock:

Let's get off this negative stuff.

I am really glad that my honey is better, and I know once he sees the endocrinologist and he gets meds, then he will be more on the road to a full recovery.

Hi again, I just came back from talking to Joel, and we got into a conversation. He said he has come to terms with the Cancer. The problem is he is just very weak and fatigued. He was never that kind of person, so that is what scares him.

So, I gave him a pep talk and I am starting to get him to believe that the Endo. doctor will get his thyroid straightened out and his strength and weight will return.

I have him eating fruit and drinking alot, so he will not get dehydrated. He is back to having his milkshakes at night. :lol:

You know, that's enough with me talking. Hope I didn't hurt your ears. But it actually feels good to talk to you guys. Darn, it is so great that you are here. You all really make a difference. And I want to give back. I want to " pass it foward "

I have to go. But thanks again, as usual


Oh I almost forgot....GO EAGLES.....SUPERBOWL #39


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I am so happy Joel is feeling better since you weaned him off the patch. I always feel us caregivers are so much more "in tune" to whats causing problems with our loved ones. As far as his mood, I think he is just a typical man who is use to being strong, healthy and being the one who takes care of you and not vice-versa. I think once he rebounds, as it sounds like he is doing daily, you will see a major change in his moods. I agree with you as I would not start anti-depressents, not yet anyway. I would wait a few weeks and I bet you see a drastic change in his personality and feelings. Good Luck and I am praying for you. Sharon

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