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2 Posts
Hi everyone my husband has last stage liver cancer and is getting moody a lot and mad. Thinks I’m not doing enough etc which I’m doing everything. So my question is do liver cancer patients get very moody? Just seems like he’s either sleeping which I understand or complaining about how I don’t do enough or understand etc. feeling terrible as it’s like I’m the punching bag and again just wondering if th is is him or liver cancer patients in end stages just turn nasty.
Thank you so much everyone and wishing you a great day.
6 Replies
2678 Posts

@Mar2 Hello and welcome from ON. I am sorry to hear that your husband is in the last stage of liver cancer.

I am sorry to hear you are his “punching bag”……my humble thoughts; it is not liver or any other type of cancer…..it is the emotional turmoil, he faces (as do you). The old saying “we hurt the ones we love the most”….

I will tag @Brighty Kindly; could you share your thoughts on this; as you too, have walked down this road, to support @Mar2 (Caregiver/from ON/loved one has late stage cancer)

Let us support you both.

Welcome Mar2



2678 Posts

@Mar2 Hello (again)…..another new member from ON as well…..is giving care to her husband/late stage cancer….she too wishes to connect with others.

Please meet @Chloe2022

If you feel comfortable; reach out to each other @Chloe2022 @Mar2 (Both caregivers from ON…spouses having late stage cancer/life support)……

To reach a member; just type “@”screen name, no space after @, select name, turns blue, they will receive your message.

Warmest Regards



8709 Posts

@Mar2 so sorry you are going through this. I dont know of its particularly liver cancer patients who do this. I was also the punching bag my my fiance who had stage four esophageal cancer. And now my aunt is the punching bag of my uncle with late stage cancer . This issue seems to show up more on the site lately. The primary caregiver tends to take the brunt of this because we are around the most and they know we will alway be there no matter what. There can be so many reasons for what is happening. How was your relationship before the cancer diagnosis ? Did you have good communication? If you had a talk with him, a heart to heart discussion, would he be willing? Give him the chance to tell you how he is feeling, how it makes you feel when he behaves in that manner. It could be frustration from his situation, not being able to do the things he used to do, depression, or a side effect of treatment or one of the meds your husband is on. Best to inform his health care team so they can investigate further, and help find a solution….. tweak the meds, or give him something else, or have him speak with someone if the issue is mental or emotional. Whatever it is, it never does hurt to speak with the cancer center social worker. Mine was unwilling to talk to anyone. And silly me tried to force the issue and snuck the social worker into one if his chemo sessions to chat with him. I wanted so much for him to open up and share what he was going through. If not with me, with an impartial person. A no go. So I went myself to talk to the therapist . It was so helpful. I had a few therapists going on at once because I was a total mess. Each one taught me self care and that I was person too. I was to set limits on him. If he treated me poorly one day, I sent him right back up to his place. He lived in my building so it made things easier. If we got annoyed with each other, time outs were in order. You may want to go to another room to cool off , or go for a walk… just take a step back when he gets like that…show him you wont put up with this kind if treatment. I hope the health care team will help you find a solution to this issue and things wont continue to be so difficult moving forward. Always remember, you are a person too, and you matter too. Wishing you and your husband the very best.

187 Posts

@Mar2 - Hi there - my husband's primary cancer was colorectal but it had spread to his liver by the time he was diagnosed. Surgery removed the tumour on his colon but the cancer in his liver remained and grew until the end, despite everyone's best efforts. Throughout his two years with cancer, he made a concerted effort not to be a jerk to others. At times it was hard because he would get frustrated with the things people said or did but he always choose to say nothing rather than inflict his negative feelings on others. Some people aren't so good at that and like to over-share their feelings whether good or bad. In my husband's case, he made the choice to work hard at managing his feelings as best he could. It was a tough go. On a few occasions towards the very end, the pain he was often in made conversations harder because of the amount of extra energy it took to think and explain things to others. I would get snippy in those times and he would get exasperated and then we'd both stop and look at one another and remember that these aren't normal times. We'd each take a deep breath, apologize if needed and start again with greater compassion and patience. I think applying those last two things pertained to me more than him though because I didn't know what he was feeling physically and emotionally. As a result I tried harder to give him more time to talk instead of finishing his sentences and would be more understanding if some sentences didn't fully make sense the way they used to. Despite our ups and downs, my husband was never disrespectful to me unlike your situation and I didn't feel like a punching bag at any time. I agree with @Whitelilies' humble opinion that liver cancer & treatments may not be the culprit of the moodiness but rather the individual and the crummy emotional situation they're in.

133 Posts

So sorry to hear how your husband is reacting. Is he on steroids?

One of the side effects of steroids is anger. My father was verbally abusive to my step mom in the last weeks. Whether it was the steroid, pain meds or just his underlying nature coming out I am not sure but I did call him out on it and said it needed to stop and he could not treat people like that even if he was dying. At least hs demeanor improved when I was there. When my husband was on steroids during chemo we referred to them as the a$$h@le drugs. He also had personality changes.

The social worker at your cancer center can councel you and your husband (if he does not talk to them they can still help you).

No one should be a punching bag ever.

My husband will still sometimes snap at me but when I confront him with it he will admit that something about his health is worrying him. Men don't always talk about their feelings or worries and may need a nudge to spark a conversation.

There are alot of ears and shoulders here for you.

Always reach out as needed.


6 Posts

@Mar2 my husband has just returned home from the hospital (has stage 4 metastatic prostate) and I am now caring for him again. I noted that the hospital had signs posted everywhere that read “There Is No Excuse For Abuse”. I feel that applies all caregivers, wether they are a nurse, a spouse or any other person. I don't have any suggestions. I can only share my experience. As my husbands primary caregiver - exhausted and also caring for to young children - I have not always been the nicest person when caring for him. Likewise, in his pain and discomfort and despair, he has not always been at his best. We both have spent years in therapy working to repair our personal psychic wounds, and I feel that has enabled us to be honest and understanding of each other. And allowed for us to be forgiving of each other when we looses it. But there is no excuse for abuse. And when I feel my husband is crossing the line, I walk away and come back when I feel more composed. The tool that seems to work best for me is Nonviolent Communication. Its hard for me to remember, but it helps me stay in my heart. here's a video:

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