Is silence really golden? I think in some cases it is. To allow ourselves to find a quiet place and still our hearts can be a very healing experience. I've always embraced silence and most times prefer it to a very noisy environment.

That was until Mr. B became ill with multiple myeloma. Our home has become very silent. Mr. B moves so quietly from room to room that he often startles me because I don't hear him come in. When he would watch TV I always knew how his basketball team was doing by his verbal responses to the game. Our home had life. We spoke to each other a lot and laughed. But now Mr. B hardly speaks unless I speak first. I try to pull him into conversations and sometimes I'm successful, but most times I'm not. I've heard from other caregivers that they have experienced the same thing with their MM patients. Perhaps it's just part of what this cancer does to a person. It brings such horrible fatigue that sometimes it's just too much effort for the patient to respond. 

Or maybe the silence comes from depression. I know that Mr. B is really struggling emotionally. He has not been feeling well and even though he has been off all chemo for 5 weeks, he still is struggling with nausea & vomiting. We were sure that it would improve if the chemo treatments were stopped for a few weeks. Now I worry that there could be something else wrong that is causing the nausea. I'm afraid that Mr. B will stop eating if it doesn't improve soon. The last few nights he has gone to bed crying. I feel so totally helpless because I don't know what to do to make it better. The doctor has tried every anti-nausea drug on the market and nothing seems to work. Next Tuesday we have an appointment with Mr. B's doctor. We will learn what the plan is for his treatment. The doctor had talked about starting Mr. B on Revlimid instead of going back to the Velcad/Dex/Cyclophosphamide treatments. Now I'm worried that the Revlimid might be even harder on his system and there are no other options available for him here in Canada.

So silence is not golden anymore in my life. I yearn for the joy and laughter to return to our home. I pray for Mr. B to have good days ahead. Days that he can enjoy some of the simple things in life. Days where he will be free from pain and nausea and vomiting. Days that don't include medications and doctor appointments and chemo treatments. I'm not asking for much, just one day where he feels good enough to smile and laugh again. 

11/6/2012 05:37:22 pm


11/12/2012 01:09:00 pm

dear shelley,

this post resonated with me, and made me remember all the feelings of helplessness and lonliness after hugh's diagnosis. the quite was so painful. it took a doctor we had never seen before, a urologist we were referred to by hugh's myeloma specialist, in order to assure hugh was cleared for treatment with testosterone to help him regain muscle mass, to observe hugh, then speak frankly to him. about depression. though hugh never admitted to being depressed to me, he did to this doctor; i think he felt relieved, and was just ready to face it. perhaps reading about depression is a 1st step, shelley. if you then feel that daryl is depressed, maybe you can talk to him pointing out that he deserves to have relief, that there are good reasons for his feelings, and that one cannot simply will themselves to not be depressed, that depression can affect such a huge scope of just living day to day, and that it is not weakness on his part - it is a real illness that can respond to real treatment. i know this means another medication, but if daryl's outlook on his life can be improved upon, indeed, his quality of life, then perhaps it's worth it. also, it may be helpful to explore a possible connection between one's gastro/intestinal reactions, like intractable nausea/vommiting to high levels of mental/emotional stress and depression. another thought - many people respond much better to lorazepam (common name, ativan in the US) which is mainly an anti-anxiety med - but now has been used as an anti-nausea medication as well. both hugh and i were treated with it prior to chemo and it worked perfectly. and in my work as a hospice nurse, we found it much easier for patients to swallow and tolerate. please know i am thinking of you both, and that you are not alone.

warm hugs,

karen sutherland

11/17/2012 03:57:02 am


We met with a new doctor at the pain clinic. He prescribed two new meds that was supposed to help the nausea/dry heaves. After I researched them when we got home, I found out that one was actually a drug to treat mental patients (olanzapine). That really freaked me out. I've noticed that it has made Daryl more agitated, less patient, etc., sort of the way he used to be before he got sick. :-( The other med was for his stomach (omeprazole). Either both or one of these meds has helped his dry heaves/nausea. Daryl has only had one bout since he started these meds.

Monday he starts his treatment with Revlimid. We are keeping our fingers crossed that he doesn't have a bad reaction to it since that is his only other treatment option available in Canada. :-(

11/16/2012 08:26:19 pm

Oh gosh, Shelley, I have to agree with Karen that depression by itself can cause a lot of ailments.. and the silence may be just one of the symptoms of that. My MM relative takes medical marijuana/hemp for depression and nausea and it works pretty well. Intending you are getting relief for both of you soon!

11/17/2012 03:58:53 am


Daryl did try marijuana in pill form for the nausea but he said he didn't like the way it made him feel. He called it loopy. LOL

10/12/2013 03:31:54 pm

A leader has the vision and conviction that a dream can be achieved. He inspires the power and energy to get it done.

10/25/2013 02:38:35 pm

Good reading


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