Anxiety and depression

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My husband David was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer in 2018 and was given a prognosis of 2 years, he has survived that, however in March of this year he fell and broke his wrist.  Following x-rays it was found the the fracture was pathological, and following more scans, he was told that the cancer had spread to his bones, back, neck and pancreas. He also has multiple fractures in his back and neck.  He was given a new prognosis of 6 months.  My question is how can I support David with his extremely low moods.  He is anxious all the time, particularly at night time, when he wakes up and is so scared, sometimes not knowing where he is.  He reaches out in the night to make sure I am still there.  He is unable to get down the stairs anymore, so our world is now upstairs only.  The low moods normally start around lunch time, and you can physically see him go down, becoming anxious and scared at the smallest thing, but to him that feeling is real.  He has lost so much weight he is unrecognisable, he does not eat, only plain yogurt and fresh fruit first thing on a morning, then that is it for the rest of the day.  He keeps asking me to help him, but I don’t know what I can do, other than be constantly by his side, and keeping reaching out to him so he knows I am there.  We don’t have any family, our family is David and myself, so we are on our own in this nightmare.  Any advice you could give would be very welcome.  

  • Hello YKcub and thank you for reaching out to the online community.

    I’m so sorry to hear what you and David are going through just now, it’s hard to imagine how difficult it must be seeing him struggling the way he is. I can hear how helpless you feel.

    Has David reached out to his GP/hospital team to see if there’s any psychological support such as counselling that can be offered YKcub? Medication to help with his anxiety and depression might also be an option to consider.

    Bupa is working in partnership with Macmillan to offer up to 6 free one-to-one counselling sessions for people living with cancer. These sessions are led by a qualified therapist, and can help David understand, manage and overcome difficult feelings he may have right now. He can find out more and refer himself here or call our support line.

    Below are some resources/links that you both might find helpful as well YKcub;

    Anxiety UK

    How Are You Feeling? The Emotional Effects of Cancer

    Cancer and Relationships

    Talking With Someone Who Has Cancer

    Have you or David joined any of our online forums? We have a family and friends forum as well as one for people supporting someone with incurable cancer and one for patients with incurable cancer. It can be helpful sometimes to speak to others who are going through something similar.

    We’re here to support you both during this very difficult time YKcub so please stay in touch if it helps to talk or if you have any further questions. You can call in on 0808 808 00 00 (7 days a week, 8am – 8pm), web chat or email if you’d prefer.

    Take care.

    Alex, Information and Support Adviser

    Remember you can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or by email.

  • Thank you for your reply.  David is on a lot of medication, including Lorazepam and Mirtazapine.  Thank you also for the BUPA suggestion.  Our palliative nurse comes once a week and is on the end of the phone if needed.  I have joined the carers forum, but will also look out for the others you suggest.  Thank you again xx

  • You’re welcome  . Please do stay in touch with us if you need any further guidance and support.

    David, Information and Support Adviser

    Remember you can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or by email.