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Psychotic episode

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Well, that is how I am now officially defining the situation. As of today, mom found out that my brother is going to the poker party with my stepdad and so now she is saying that she is not coming to my house so they are forced to stay at home with her. She told me "If I must suffer, so must he" (my brother). I told her I would just come to her house for the day and she said "No, absolutely not. You are putting up your tree". Stepdad is ready to walk I think.

Mom said that she will not be here much longer to bug them bc she is wiiling herself to die.

We need help. I could call my uncle and have him come try to counsel her, but then she will feel like I am betraying her. I really don't care at this point except for the fact that she feels betrayed by everyone else.

Last night, she fell while trying to stand from her bed by herself. She does not seem to be in too much pain from it. She also had chest pains for about 5 minutes last night and stepdad told me he almost called the ambulance, but it subsided.

What if something happened to her right now? This is terrible for everyone involved. I feel so helpless. What can i do?

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While I have read your posts in the last weeks and followed them, I am at a loss for advise.

I wish you the best in getting the "game playing" to come to a stop. None of you have time for it and most of all your mother needs to understand that too.

She needs to be focusing on what is going to help her feel as good as she can for as long as she can. Wasting energy on petty issues is not going to do her any good, nor is it doing any of you any good.

You are in my prayers.


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I'm so sorry that you have to go through this. Your mom is probably just plain raging mad and doesn't know who to take it out on. She may also feel like she's burdening you. My mom was much more comfortable asking and demanding my Dad for things than she was asking her "daughter". She may feel alone having to deal with the disease...all the feelings that come with the disease. Someone going through it might be better able to give you advice than me but I saw your distress and wanted to write to you to let you know that I know that feeling. You are terribly worried, you don't know the right things to do, etc. Cancer is a huge stress on a family and makes people react in ways that aren't their normal way of acting. My mom would have vulnerable moments and I realized that most of it was after not having a good nights sleep, after taking a good dose of pills and after being frustrated from not being able to tie her own shoes. If I were you, I'd show up anyway...and make a reason for showing up, like you had something you had to bring her or you are just stopping by to have dinner, or you missed her and wanted to say hello. You can play the games too...by that time, things might have cooled off and it will be an easy transition for them to go to their poker game. Things change from hour to hour...haven't you been furiously mad and then about two hours later you realize how ridiculous it was but then you are too embarrassed to admit it to that person you might have been mad at?

I'm so sorry. I know how draining and emotional it is. We are here for you. Let us know how it goes.

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Everyone, please remember Lori's mom is taking Decadron. This alters one's personality and is so very hard to control. We are not seeing the real person while she is taking this medication. I know from experience. It is either black or white, no grey area. Also once she starts to say something you have to let her finish. Otherwise it is very frustrating for her. Decadron is a wicked medicine and is not very friendly for anyone. I pray she can be taken off of it soon. I hated being on it which was 6 months. I am back on it, but a very very low dose. (.05mg per day) virtually no side effects.

Natalie, you are such a strong support and can be a great help to Lori. Thank you for responding, you can relate. Glad to see you here...

God Bless, prayers and hugs,


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Sounds like what you have is a really bad combination...stepdad and brother who have problems with emotions, and decadron which is wreaking havoc with your mom's emotions.

Go to your mom. Put her first. Think of what you might think of these times 10 years from now. Will you think "Why on earth did I disrupt my kids' plans" or "I'm glad I did what I could, even if it wasn't perfect". Explain to your kids that love means giving first to those who need the most. Could they come with you (even if they only stay part of the time) to make a special day with Grandma? Could you bring your mom to your house to decorate the tree? You can still hope for many years with your mom, but consider "What if this is her last Christmas?" Maybe you could give your kids the "gift" of a late night up to do your tree, after you spend the day with your mom.

You can't "fix" the problems your stepdad and brother have with dealing with your mom's illness. You can't change how medication, illness and fear affect your mom. But you CAN try to make the best day possible for your mom, and in the end, it may be enough for you both.

I know it's tough. My mother spent the last two Christmases in the hospital (once for a bad chemo reaction, once for an infection which nearly killed her). Now, she will probably not live to see Christmas. So my dad, my family and I have to do the best we can to love Mom, include her in our Christmas, and leave ourselves a way to be able to celebrate next year without feeling we should have done something differently.

Prayers for you all.

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Dear Lori,

I too have been reading your posts about your poor mom. I feel for you and your family. I know how hard it really is. I really do, I've been in your shoes. But, I have to agree with Karen in that your mother is NOT herself and CAN NOT HELP herself.

She is heavily medicated.

My honest opinion for what it's worth, is you all need some outside help. Be it a Social worker, or Hospice person, someone that can help you ALL COPE!

Someone to get you ALL off the roller-coaster ride your all on. Someone that can break this painful cycle you are all going through.

I'm sure your mother wouldn't appreciate someone else stepping in, but look at all your past posts. I'm sorry Lori, but what your all doing isn't working, and I can just see so much pain and suffering from all of you through your messages. There's NO right or wrong here, but sometimes we just have to go outside the relm, and get someone in that can help the situation. You are all suffering to much to make thing better at this time.

I wish you all the best, and I'm very sorry you are all having to deal with all this. But, your mother is NOT in her right mind at this time. And I KNOW that's hard to understand. ((((LORI)))))

You are all in my prayers.

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The high dose steroids make monsters of most of us when we have to take the drugs. My heart is breaking for you right now, and also for your Mother. The only thing I can suggest is that you gently remind your Mother about how the drug affects people (the anger, fear, paranoia) and hope it helps her to control those feelings, at least at the time.

I've had long talks with my family and friends about exactly how it feels to be on these drugs, my known "triggers" for setting off the "Steroid Rages". And because we have talked in advance and often they are all comfortable with saying to me "Mom/Fay, It's the steroids. You aren't really this upset over___________." And it helps more often than not.

I'm supposed to start chemo on Tuesday. If it works out then I start the high dose steroids on Monday Night. I am not looking forward to what this is going to do to me or those I love. I thank you, Lori, for bringing up this topic. I'm just so very sorry you are caught in the middle of it all.

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Is your mom on the steroid Decadron??

If so I know that can alter a person's personality big time!!My hubby is currently on this drug and his personality has changed from being mild mannered to being at times violent!! :? I have been with him for 18 years and have never seen him like this before!!

The Dr will start is not willing to discontinue this med because of all the swelling in my hubbys brain from the WBR.

They will wean himoff this after the WBRs completed,only eight to go hurray!!!

So just remember that it could be the drug talking and take things with a grain of salt!!

God Bless


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Hi Lori,

Just want to say hey, I have been thinking of you and hoping things were getting better at home. But I see from you post that is not the case.

Do they have any idea when she will be off the steroids or at least lesson the dosage. I have a feeling her personality will change for the better once that happens.

I feel so bad for her as she is so scared. I am sure she really does not want to act like that. Perhaps if you explain to her about the side effects with steroids that it is not her fault.

Just know that you and your mom are in my prayers. I pray for things to turn around for her for the better.

Hugs to you.



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Will keep you and your mother in my prayers.

The mood swings from steroids are very hard

to understand.

The good the drug brings is fine but

all those in contact with your mother should

know that for the period she is on it, she

will be subjected to changes.

Like Fay suggested, let those near your mother

know that for the length of the treatment she

will be in a steroid phase.


to you and your mother.


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I can't speak from experience. But I do know what it's like to have a parent behave differently because of medication. You can understand it intellectually, but emotionally it's very scary and very upsetting. It's the mom you have known all your life, but it's not her at the same time. You love your mom; you don't like the person the drug presents.

I hope the experiences of those who've experienced Decadron (either as patient or loved one) are helpful to you. I can only offer my caring thoughts and strength.


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Lori; I know your family has been suffering with this situation for some time now. I think you should consider Connie's suggestion. If outside help, even for a few weeks , came in, it could help improve the situation. You might find that your mom will become more at ease. Often time, people who need care, won't lash out at a home nurse. It would give eveyone a break. Maybe the home nurse or a hospice person could discuss the effects of decadron with your mom.

You and your family have my prayers.

Don M

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