Husband diagnosed recently.

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Hello, I hope you don’t mind me coming on here I’m not the patient it’s my husband he was diagnosed with Bile Duct Cancer on my birthday in June. He has had a procedure to encourage his liver to grow more so they will be able to operate and hopefully remove all of the tumour and a few lymph nodes it has spread to.  What I’m wondering is it normal for the mood swings very emotional ? I’ve tried to get him to speak to someone but he won’t he’s a very quiet man doesn’t talk to strangers easily. Any advise how to help him ? I’m there with hugs and tissues but don’t know what to say. 

  • Hi and welcome to the online community

    I didn't have the same type of cancer as your husband but was passing and noticed you hadn't had any replies yet.

    It is common to have lots of different emotions when you've been diagnosed with cancer and you might find it helpful to have a look at this information from Macmillan on cancer and your emotions. Although it is written for the cancer patient I do think it's helpful in explaining to loved ones how the patient might be feeling especially if, like your husband, they're quiet and don't find expressing themselves easy. 

    Do you think your husband would find talking to one of the Macmillan Support Team helpful? Like the online community it is anonymous and lots of people find them very helpful. They will also support you so if either of you would like to speak to someone you can call free on 0808 808 0000 from 8am to 8pm every day of the week.

    I hope you don't mind me suggesting that you also join and post in the carers only group which is a safe and supportive place to discuss just the sort of issue that you're experiencing with your husband. If you'd like to do this then clicking on the link I've created will take you straight there where you can join and post in the same way as you did here.

    It would be great if you could pop something about your husband's diagnosis and treatment so far into your profile as it really helps others when answering or looking for someone with a similar pathway. It also means that you don't have to keep repeating yourself. To do this click on your username and then select 'Profile'. You can amend it at any time and if you're not sure what to write you can take a look at mine by clicking on my username.


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  • Thank you very much for your reply and the guidance of where to go. I have updated my profile and just writing that down helped 
    Thank you. 

  • You're very welcome Slight smile

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  • Hello Ockycook  I am so sorry to hear about your hubby’s diagnosis.  It is early days for you both.  The liver strengthening/growing sounds amazing.  Your September 6 consultation will bring a plan to latch on to as you go forward.

    my husband has his next consultation the same day as you..  We too are hopeful of a positive plan.  It is a long journey but to be offered surgery is the prize in bile duct cancer - a very positive option indeed.

    yes it is very common to have mood swings.  Facing one’s  own mortality is massive but you and your husband’s thoughts will ease over time.  We are a year into this whole horror show but without the surgical option so it is a bit of a countdown.  Happily we have found acceptance and despite the frustrations of a stretched nhs, respect and awe for the medicos  helping us.  

    my husband doesn’t talk about his cancer much either.  I am not sure if our children even fully understand the situation but we can’t see an upside to explaining it all to them .  Maybe your husband is the same or at present it is so overwhelming he doesn’t know where to start. 

    my helpful hints are:  start the day smiling, if my husband looks a bit ‘off’ I ask if he is sad or poorly as he can’t seem to respond to wider emotional language, eat as nutritiously as possible keeping your husbands weight up.  Keeping weight on is like money in the bank with regards to bile duct cancer as in the event of a hiccup en route eating just stops and weight falls off.  Get into the now as much as possible not what the future may bring.  Keep notes on what is said at the consultations and ask questions so your hubby feels some control.  Use this forum for support - I am on 3 different parts.

    thinking of you both and sending my very best wishes for good news on the surgery option.  Not long now til the appointment.