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My son is home from the hospital now for 5 days. He has stopped vomiting. I asked the Onc about RFA. He said it's not an option now nor ever! David will get his 2nd round of Chemo on the 21st. Then he will be scheduled for a CT Scan. Early on the Onc told us that the 1st sign the chemo might be working will be his symptoms will lessen. He hasn't needed Morphine for 3 days now, and the vomiting is under control.

The major problem to me now is, I don't know how to handle the depression he is having. He just stares at the ceiling. He doesn't want me in his room. He doesn't want company. He won't eat or drink. He only P's 1 time a day. His bowel's have finally moved for the first time since 18 Dec, 2003 today though. His voice is weaker by the minute. He was watching for hair loss on his pillow, but he stopped that too now. He has lost even more weight.

What can I do?

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Oh Dear,

Depression is something that I never have had to deal with therefore I am no good at giving any advise. I am sure they are giving him meds for that. If not, tell the dr to get on it. YOur son is just trying to find his way right now I believe. It all has gone so fast for him and when one is feeling so bad which I am sure he has been, it takes a while to get back. Give him some time, but keep telling him you are here for him which I am sure he knows.

Me, I would probably just plop myself in a chair, bring a book and pretend I am reading it and stay for the day.

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Do NOT read to him from "Chicken Soup" - I received two different books as gifts and could NOT read them without crying...

I found it depressing to be leaving a long hospital stay without a baby in my arms - go figure...

Your son needs to laugh. While I was recuperating, EVERYTHING hurt, sneezing, coughing, breathing, moving...yet one night, "America's Funniest Home Videos" came on and I LAUGHED...and it hurt...and I LAUGHED some more...and it still hurt - physically, but my heart felt a little less encased in ice... I cannot even remember what it was that hit my funny bone so hard, I think it may have been my brain deciding "enough of this sh*t, time to MOVE ON".

He made need a nudge - or he may need to feel his mom's foot firmly on his fanny to give him that push. Television was an easier medium than reading jokes as I didn't have to "work" by keeping my eyes open. My head was fogged by the after effects of anesthesia so anything taking concentration (short stories, even) just were not of interest...

So, I guess my advice would be, get him to laugh 'til it hurts...and then get him laughing again.

I wish you the best (and if you want, can send you the worst - I censor my jokes before posting here...) :wink:

Take care,


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There are a lot of things you could do yourself. And I can almost garuntee that if your son is dealing with a clinical depression NONE of them will work. Clinical depression, unlike the occasional "blues" we all get at times, is caused by a chemical change in the brain. What starts out as a simple "downer" starts to feed on itself. The thought processes change. There comes a time when a person can no longer "pull themselves out of it". Everything the person sees or hears is twisted into something negative by the brain. It becomes a downward spiral the person suffering from has no control over. They know something is wrong. They may desperately want to stop the slide they are on. But the CAN NOT do it by themselves.

If your son is dealing with that kind of depression (and it sounds like he may be) what he needs is professional help. And RIGHT NOW would be a real good time to start. Clinical depression can be bad in and of itself. For someone dealing with a life threatening illness it can be fatal. But it doen't have to be. There are quite a few good therapies that can help your son. Some involve "mood elevators" and other drugs to break the negative cycle in the brain. Other's are "drug free" types that may take longer but, in the long run, can be even more effective. A good psychologist or psychiatrist would be able to evaluate your son and come up with the proper treatment.

Please believe me, I KNOW how debilitating depression can be. I have both chronic deprssion and seasonal affective disorder. My wife is bi-polar. We have both learned to deal with depression in different ways. Mine through cognative therapy and her's through medication. Each has worked well for us.

Please, if at all possible, get your son the help he needs as soon as you can. It will make a HUGE difference in his fight with this disease.


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I think Dean is correct as well.

I was a social worker early in my career (for 6 years).... I saw alot of this type of behavior, and no amount of good humor or talking is really going to reach him now.

I do agree with being there with him, and letting him know you are there and won't leave him....talk to him and try to reach him, but don't expect him to just snap out of it.....

I think you should arrange an appointment for someone to come see him and assess him at this point.

He has good reason to be clinically depressed, his whole world has been rocked in very short order, and I am sure he feels great despair....

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I can echo Dean Carl's advice. I also suffer from depression and seasonal affective disorder, and the 14 hour surgery left me dealing with a post surgical depression that lasted 15 months.

Get professional help. Now. Sooner if possible. There are counselors that specialize in medical trauma related depression. There is also an arsenal of antidepressants, which work wonders, as I will personally attest to.

Couple times a week with a good counselor, and find a med that works for him. Then: I would advise:

Get him out of bed and into the living area of the house. The couch is fine.

Humor is indeed the best medicine. Rent movies, if the three stooges is his thing, then do a marathon of them. Distract the thoughts from that downward spiral!!! Funny movies are good -- I remember renting the Blues Brothers, and Grumpy Old Men, among others.

Have people in to see YOU, and try to keep him from retreating into the bedroom. He needs to not hide, it only makes things worse.

See if your church has a visiting ministry. I wasn't crazy about the idea, but it turned out to be a very good thing indeed.

If you do nothing, I am afraid your son will find himself unable to pull out of his funk. Truly, get radical and move mountains to break this cycle, with or without his active participation. His recovery is at stake.

I survived the massive depression, and it wasn't easy, and that was with the help I had the sense to reach out for.

There is no reason to be alone in this, not him , not you.

You're in our prayers,


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