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confused after radiation therapy

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  • confused after radiation therapy

    Hi everyone,
    Im new here, but have been reading these posts for awhile now. I thought it might be helpful to have some people to talk to who understand what I'm going through right now. although I'm not really sure what it is, either. We were given what the doctors called "good news", it's the easy cancer, noone dies of this, etc. etc., but still I feel very worried and I know my husband has spent many long hours thinking about all of this. The trouble is he doesn
    't open up with his feelings very easily. He finished radiation about 2 weeks ago, felt very weak and sick to his stomach, but better and stronger now, just more withdrawn and quieter than ever. During treatment I was with him every day, trying to be helpful, but now I'm not sure how to help him, and don't know what to do to help myself either. Is this normal, part of the healing process? We have 2 children, they are aware of what we've been going through (surgery, radiation etc.) most of our friends and of course our family have been involved and helpful, but now that it's "over" the support seems to have fallen off, too.
    husband diagnosed 8/06, r/o, seminoma stage 1, radiation completed 10/27/06

  • #2
    Hes probly more withdrawn cause hes physically rundown from the treatment, if not he could be grieving wich is usually done alone. Everyone is diffrent though in my case I was physically run down from surgery and one of my doctors has put me on a vitamin regime wich is helping me a lot.
    Aged 23 ;; 09/06 left I/O ;; Markers normal ;; 100% Seminoma Stage 1. ;; 10x8x16mm & 7x7x8mm ;; rete testis invasion. ;; no vascular invasion. ;; surveillance. ;; HRT.


    • #3
      Thanks, I guess you're right, esp. about the grieving part. I hadn't given that much thought before. also, could lower testosterone levels be playing a part it this? He seems very distracted and not interested in me at all. Not that it's about me, it's just very lonely being on this side of the whole thing. I want to help him, I want him to feel confident again,. He was always so sure of his strength before.
      husband diagnosed 8/06, r/o, seminoma stage 1, radiation completed 10/27/06


      • #4
        I think that you should give your husband time. He definitely loves you and appreciates your help and being next to him but he probably just need more time. He is probably depressed. If that’s the case I would ask him to take some light antidepressant herb like St John Wort.
        Usually low testosterone makes people more aggressive and moody.

        Michael – what vitamins are you taking? My coworker also suggested vitamins but without iron. He told me it give more energy.


        • #5
          At two weeks post RT, if he is anything like I was, he is still fatigued. I was feeling much better, but it was probably 4 weeks when I said to myself "I feel good", and 6 weeks when I said "I feel great". He also could be a little depressed, grieving, or just starting to deal with the fact that he is a TC survivor.

          Speaking for myself, I think there is something hard about having the "easy cancer". Because it is relatively easy, I think you go through the surgery and treatment and never really have to deal with the fact that you have cancer. It hit me later, probably about 6 or so weeks after finishing RT. I was feeling physically great for the first time in a long while - yet when I should have been happy to have it behind me, I was actually emotionally down, and thoughts like "what if it comes back" were stuck in my head. It took me a few weeks to work through all of that, and I still have my moments, but think I just needed to feel sorry for myself for a while - part of my survivorship process.

          So, be understanding, but keep trying to get him to talk about it with you. Hopefully he comes out if it soon and is ready to get on with his life.
          Right I/O 4/17/06, Seminoma Stage Ib
          RT (15 days) completed 6/1/06
          All clear as of 5/8/09


          • #6
            Everthing posted here is right on target. Its been almost 18 months since I started my journey and i followed the same path of your husband. The post from Sans describes almost exactly what I went through and how I feel. It actually made me feel better to see someone else had the same feelings and thoughts. You seem like you have been a strong partner for your husband. Continue to be there for him, understand that there is a new normal in your life, and be patient. Maybe we had the "easy cancer", maybe we are the "lucky ones", but the feelings are real and the journey doesn't necessarily end when treatment stops.

            Diagnosed 5-5-05 (Stage 1 - Seminoma) / Oriechtomy 5-9-05 / Adjuvant Radiation July 2005


            • #7
              Depression is a sign of low T. Most men with only one testical removed don't need HRT but some do. It could be normal grief and his way of deeling with all you have been through. Even though WE were diagnosed with the "good" cancer, mentally and emotionally I would say it doesn't matter "good" or "bad"! Just give him some room if he needs it. Ask him what's wrong but in a way of wanting to help and not "nagging". He might open up and need to talk but doesn't feel the need to drag you down with him. I said little to keep my wife from worrying as much...but deep down I was scared. Now I know she needed it as much as I did at the time. She was my rock! I hope and pray things will get better for you and your family. If things don't improve you can always get the T levels checked!
              All the best,
              diagnosed 01/15/2005 bi-lateral seminoma stage IIa,4cm lymph node, right I/O & partial left I/O mar/2005, 18 days of radiation, remaining left I/O- aug/2005, surveillance, Wife did IVF oct/2005, DAD OF BABY GIRL born 08-02-2006!!! testosterone implants May 2008


              • #8
                Wow! Thank you so much. I am so grateful for all your kind words. They helped me a lot. My hubby and I did do some talking last night, he feels just like you guys. I've suggested to him that it might take awhile, and that talking to someone who's been through it as well might help him feel more reasurred about everything, but I don't think he's ready for that yet. You're definitely right about the fatigue remaining. He's just not his normal go-get-em self. I don't expect it from him, but he does and it depresses him. Also, he's been having these bad nightmares lately, I think all this will pass with time, but it sure helps (well, helps me, anyway) to share this with someone who's been there. Thank you again!
                husband diagnosed 8/06, r/o, seminoma stage 1, radiation completed 10/27/06