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mood swings and aggressive behaviour

Posted by

hello all

my husband has had a very tough ride through CLL, lung cancer and lymph node treatments over the last 3 years, he is about to start immunotherapy to help slow down the cancer and to hopefully ease the symptoms. He is now having dreadful mood swings, is angry and aggressive and its understandable but so difficult to deal with.He gets very angry with me and his family I suppose we are the closest, I think we are all wondering if its spread maybe to brain cells. I am now feeling very closed off from him and its difficult to help him as he is just rejecting it and finds it (and me) irritating. he hasnt eaten in 2 days and is weak and tired but cant sleep. so difficult!

Granny Sue
Posted by

Its you that needs support Kitty.I have great sympathy with your husband and all he has had to endure but its also you and the family that have endured it as well .Do you have a specialist nurse involved in his treatment or the oncologist treating him ? Maybe you could ring them and discuss your concerns with them also ring the Macmillian helpline there is support out there but its about assessing it. I can sense you are probably at the end of your tether and no wonder but you can get through this .My husband has been on this highway to hell for 3 years just had treatment for 2nd. brain met still in pain from first op .We are waiting for scans in April to see if lastest treatment has worked .Its not easy .Also some meds can cause side effects when Bill was on steroids he went a bit loopy . I just wanted to let you know you are not alone I hope you get the support you need and lots of hugs keep posting it really helps xx

Granny Sue

Posted by

thank you for replying, Granny Sue, you are right I need to get some specialist support for us both. I will ring today. Its all the stress of every appointment and every blood test and hospital visit. the symptoms he has are hard to cope with now so its coming out in this manner. but you are right I need help too as I am distancing myself as I feel like I cant take the anger directed at me any more. first immunotherapy this week, so I hoping it helps soon. thank you,


Posted by

Hi kitty can I add my welcome to the Mac Community and although we are sorry that your journey led you to us we are glad that you've reached out to us and I hope we can be of some support to you.

Having to live daily with everything you have to do puts a lot of strain on people and often people forget that the carer or someone close to the patient goes through all the same stress and anxiety as the patient and needs support.

 has given you some wonderful advice and if I may I'd like to add to it.

Sue mentioned the telephone support line and this can be accessed every day of the week between 8am and 8 pm it's a free phone number

0808 808 0000

and the friendly team are there for you if you want to have a chat

Macmillan Support Line

You may find that there is some Macmillans support in your area if you have a look at the green text below

Macmillans Support in your local area

You may also have a Maggie's centre near you where you could pop into for a chat, details below

Maggies Centre

If you have a medical question you can also do this by contacting our Ask a nurse and asking your question or if you prefer you can use the number above to speak to a nurse personally

I note that you have joined some groups and would suggest that you dip your toes into them and introduce yourself to the others members who are very friendly and supportive to each other and will be pleased to welcome you and answer any questions you have.

Now that you have found us you are not alone in this journey as we are all here to help you in your journey.


By clicking on any of the green text above will open up a new page for you.

With 2 Certificates in Stoma Care and Management.

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Macmillan Support Team 0808 808 0000 Monday to Sunday 8 am to 8 pm, a delay in answering might be experienced.

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Posted by

Hi Kitty, I understand your situation completely, I thought that I was been awful with my feelings as I don’t have cancer so can’t identify with how it must feel. However after 4 yrs of ups and downs with his anger, mood swings & rejection, stress & worry about my husband I can say that I too have been shut out and it’s really hard, I try to be a good wife but feel that he now sees me as his carer who prepares meals and keeps him going. I’ve finally accepted help as trying to do this alone is challenging. Please don’t feel guilty for looking after yourself too as this cancer thing has a habit of affecting all of us. Take care x

Posted by

thanks to everyone, for the support and information, I will be following up and now I am feeling a bit better. good wishes to all

Posted by

Hello Kitty,

Just wait till I tell my granddaughter I've been talking to Hello Kitty - she'll be thrilled. LOL

I feel for you sweetie as I've been in a similar place to what you've described.

I tried to shelter my wife from how I was feeling as I thought she had enough on her plate without me bitching about my woes. I was doing everything - cooking, cleaning, laundry, shopping, all the financials, driving her to all her appointments, co-ordinating her meds, liaising with God knows how many doctors, nurses, clinicians, janitors, etc. and doing it all on about 3-4 hours sleep a night for pushing on 7 years.

Eventually it caught up with me and I had to accept a simple truth that applies to all carers;

If you don't look after yourself (physically, mentally and emotionally), you will end up in no fit state to look after anyone else.

I imagine that most on here have done the same and for the same reasons - protect the patient at all costs. My mum calls it being dumb for all the right reasons.

Talk to your other half.

If you're like most couples, pre-cancer, you didn't hide things from each other (mostly - some things are best left going through to the keeper ;-) ). You supported each other and made a life together.

Don't let cancer change that.

You may have the worlds best team of doctors, nurses and specialists - but the two of you are the most important people in this fight. 

Cancer is an insidious bastard that demands to be the centre of attention. Don't let it become the wall between the two of you.

The man you fell in love with is still there, but cancer insists on trying to put a layer of fear and uncertainty over everything it touches. There will undoubtedly be times that all you see is the aggression and the only thing you feel is the isolation. This is not your husband, this is the cancer making him do this.

Get angry, but get angry at cancer.

The man you love is still in there.

Talk to him.

The day after your journey ends, the sun will still rise.
As will you.
Posted by

thank you Panic for this wonderful reply. I am very touched by it for your understanding and passing it on. I know you are right. I have also sort of been here before as I cared for my mother with dementia, sometimes I wonder if I am actually being similar to then, as I really was alone with that, there were no support services at all. and I am taking on that role again.In that situation I couldnt talk to her. she could get it and didnt know me most of the time.  I think whats happening now is we have hit a new stage and its another thing to adjust to, his cancer is now incurable but theres hope for time and relief with the immunotherapy. but its very scary and up to this we have been really together and got through. I realise we need emotional support as well as medical. I cant thank you enough really for this post which I am going to print out and put on my notice board.