I'll set the scene and would be really grateful of any feedback or experiences you've had so I can support my pal better......
My best Pal was diagnosed 5 years ago with an inoperable T3/T4 locally advanced prostate cancer. (Tumour has grown outside of the Prostate and close to anterior anal wall and seminal vesicles. (Gleeson 9). He had radio therapy for pain relief and in an attempt to reduce the size of the tumour and hormone therapy. All looked good considering the early prognosis. 12 - 18 months. PSA has always scored low and was floating around 1 but reduced to 0.5. It has never been above 1.6 Currently still 0.5.
His PSA had started to rise last spring so a quick decision was made to start chemo and he battled his way through that but did not escape the side effects.
By the end of last year, with a full head of hair, a spring holiday booked and little or no signs of the cancer symptoms he was in a good place. Some discomfort I think was occurring though over Christmas and New year although he is not always truthful about what he is feeling so I cannot be sure. He does have some water retention currently.
Recently though, he has mentioned that he is 'struggling' with the emotions of having cancer and having survived 5 years and knowing it's a 'one way journey' he has said that the 'waiting' is getting him..... it was a worrying sign as he appeared to be losing his zest for living I felt.
He has now had the most bizarre personality change and become angry with those closest to him, especially his wife and children. Once a mild mannered man with the upmost social etiquette has become a moody, agressive and depressed guy and has had several 'public' angry outbursts for no real reason. (Extremely unlike him.... his former self would have been horrified at one particular outburst). The smallest thing seems to triggger anger.
I feel as if he is suffering from depression and needs help but he has refused professional help. He has put the wall up so to speak and won't speak to anyone. He acts as if all is really ok and still jokes with me and tries to behave normally but I can see through it.... having known him for so long, you notice things.....
The personality change has led to severe matrimonial issues with an imminent separation on the cards if things don't change. His family is literally being torn apart and I have no idea of how I can help mend it. I'm worried about disease progression and heard that at a certain stage of the disease, personality can change, withdrawal from those around him can happen and that this could be an indication of him getting closer to a late stage of the disease.
I am ready for that and have been for 5 years but would rather know if this is the case so I can best look after him and support him and his family.
Have any of you witnessed or read of anything similar?
I would really welcome any feedback.