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Is depression related to oral cancer recovery ?

Hi! my name is Aren dibbin and its about my mother who is 60years old and just two months back she had oral cancer surgery which was very sucessful but right after the surgery the doctors did a stoma on her neck for suction and since this was her second surgery in one year so after the first surgery she went for 27 days ratiation and after six months she had very bad side effect of infection in her throat and another occurend in a different place,which was her second surgery.the doctors have been very helpful and took care of all the problems but,the one and only problem we all have now is that she has become very depentand on the tube that its becoming very difficult to take care of her .right now she is at home with a full time nurse and since there is no mucuse so every time she complains of breathing difficult and since there is no mucuse so the more we use suction there is only blood which is cause by the suction mom is depress and she is a very stressful person,we have tried removing the tube when she was in hospital but she could nt breath from her mouth and nose and complain of chest pain .doctors have tested everything and there is no signe of any other problem.even her byopic test is clear.24 hrs a day she keeps on checking her suction tube because she things that she cannot breath from her nose and mouth.when we remove the tube for few days in the hospital,she use to complain of shortness of breath and her face use to turn purple,which really scares us and thats the reason why the doc put it back inside and told us to take her home and let her feel comnfortable and well remove it slowly.right now,by the look of it she dosent listen to us and we are all getting tired.Thank God for reading my problem and i am hoping you will give me a solution,i really need your help.
Asked On : Wed, 13 Apr 2011
Answers:  1 Views:  182
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  User's Response
Hello Aren,

This is clearly a very stressful situation for you and particularly for your mother.

Your mother has been through a lot and all this stress may have led to her feeling depressed. When you have written that 'my mom is depress', can you confirm that her current behavior is very different from what it was before she was diagnosed with cancer?
Also, breathlessness can be quite scary, and I can understand why your mother is scared of it.

These are some things you could do -

1. Consult a psychiatrist and, if indicated, start her on medications and/or psychotherapy for her depression.
2. Reassure your mother that the tube will be removed only after she is completely ok with removing it.
3. Try to take the focus away from the tube. I know you are worried regarding the tube, but consciously make an effort to try and speak with your mother about other things. Discuss with her how she is feeling. She will feel better once she feels understood by her loved ones.

If you follow this advice and your mother feels more relaxed, you may check again if the tube can be removed. Remember though, that the problem regarding the tube may not be entirely psychological. She did turn purple in the hospital and that is pretty serious. But at least you will know for sure whether it is her fear/anxiety that is causing the trouble, or if there is something else.

Hope this helps, and all the best.

Dr. Saif

Answered: Wed, 13 Apr 2011
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