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Dad recently diagnosed but 300 miles away

Posted 12 Sep 2016 at 21:35
I recently found out my dad has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. He has been told they have caught it early abd its not spread to his other organs but he has an aneurysm on his kidney. They live in East Yorkshire and I live in Hampshire, i also suffer from mild to severe depression so at times find it hard to remain positive that the dr has said they can shrink the tumour and put it sleep then kill it with Radiotherapy, but part of me finds it hard to believe doctors when they operated on my grandad when he had bowel cancer, then had the all clear but 2 years later secondary cancer spread to his brain and lungs. I try and stay positive but its hard, is anyone else suffering from depression and dealing with a father or male relative with prostate cancer? His Aneurysm will need a stent to be inserted to the kidney area....but that could go anytime.
Posted 13 Sep 2016 at 06:30

Hello halfpint and welcome. Just a thought but are you a son or daughter?

We have both on here and when people reply it might help with their advice from their own perspective if they knew. For instance we advise sons to remember that they too should get a PSA at some stage since there is a possibility that Prostate cancer could follow from father to son, although you would be young to be tested at the moment.

Now firstly I know you've had a bad experience with grandad's cancer but that doesn't mean your dad will have the same experience. These are different cancers and different hospitals and different patients so there is no reason to suppose that your dad will end up the same as your grandad.

Secondly, dad has been told it was caught early. Please believe me when I say that should be music to your ears. The earlier the better and the more successful the treatment.

If they are shrinking his tumour then he has probably been given Hormone tablets? and the Radiotherapy will then zap what is left.

I am sure that there will be others along to help and advise you but please don't despair because it's too early for that.

There are many treatments for Prostate Cancer already in place and more are being tested all the time. Even if dad's current treatment fails there will be others that can be offered.

We do have members with depression and I am sure they will also try and lift your spirits.

It's very hard when you are a loved one in your situation and living so far from home but your job at the moment is to try and be as upbeat as you can, for your parents' sakes as much as your own. They will have the worry of the cancer but they will also have the worry of how you will cope with the knowledge.

We have a set of leaflets on here called The Toolkit and it can be downloaded from publications or ring one of the nurses on the above number and order a hard copy.

They have much information on the different treatments and it may help you cope better if you know what is on offer. You can also speak directly to a nurse during their available times if you need further reassurance.

If you know your dad's information regarding his PSA and scan results it will be helpful when members are speaking to you. Your dad (and mum too - we have quite a few wives and partners as members on here) may find it helpful to join the site.

Keep your spirits up. It's very early days for all of you and it will seem very hard at the moment but as treatment starts and you see the positives happening life will get easier.

All the best Halfpint.



Edited by member 13 Sep 2016 at 06:31  | Reason: Not specified

We can't control the winds - but we can adjust our sails
Posted 13 Sep 2016 at 09:31
Sorry I am a daughter, Thank you for the response. I have depression which is mild to severe, so I try and stay positive but my low moments it can be hard.

I told my mum i joined up on here last night, and she said it was a good idea to get support from other people.

Posted 13 Sep 2016 at 11:16

I have family members with depression so I know it isn't a case of "buck your ideas up" but a very real feeling.

Try not to Google for information as some of that is not relevant and out of context can be very scary.

Do you have support in your own home, a husband or partner, somebody you can talk to?


We can't control the winds - but we can adjust our sails
Posted 13 Sep 2016 at 14:20
No I live on my own, I have done since 2005. I have a great network of friends around me, and close ones who I can talk to. My brother lives local to me, but we dont see each other often enough. My dad is seeing someone today about is anureysm in his kidney which is important right now as it could rupture. Tomorrow he will get his hormonal injection, and he is already on tablets. The Radiotherapy will start in December,providing his bone scan results are ok.

I am getting counselling to help me deal with my depression etc.

Posted 13 Sep 2016 at 14:52

We always need to be careful, when looking at "all clear" announcements, and question exactly what they mean - doctors have been shown, in several research studies, to be over-optimistic, and not so good at facing what they perceive to be 'failure' - which is silly, as they can only do their best, and medicine, in all its forms, will never be perfect.

Having said that, prostate cancer is a very different disease to bowel cancer, much slower to metastasize, and with many more options available to the oncologists. You do need to be sure what they mean by 'no spread'; do they simply mean 'no metastases (distant spread) or that the cancer is entirely contained withing the prostate?

Also, is the aneurism thought to be related, or was that a coincidenatl finding (aneurisms often are found when they're looking for something else!).

The aneurism is the immediate issue - but finding it before it caused any problems could mean that it's a long way from being a real threat.

If you can, try to be with him when he sees the doctors: knowing exactly what's happening is the best way to put your mind at rest.


-- Andrew --

"I intend to live forever, or die trying" - Groucho Marx

Posted 13 Sep 2016 at 15:02
Andrew, its kind of hard when we love 300 miles apart. We have been told the cancer has not spread to other parts of the body and is contained in the prostate. The Radiotherapy will kill it and injections will make it sleepy. Aneurysm my dad will have a specially made stent to dispel it.
Posted 13 Sep 2016 at 16:45

Hello Half pint
I know it's horrible at diagnosis stage and for the first few months the unknown keeps you awake at nights. It does get better as time goes on.

The processes your Dad is going through are pretty standard.
The Hormone Therapy shrinks the cancer and then the Radio Therapy burns out the rest (or as much as possible) after the RT your Dad will most likely carry on with HT with measurement of his psa every 3 months or so to check whether any of the cancer has been missed. If there's some left then it could be zapped again.
Prostate Cancer is very slow.
I was diagnosed in December 2014 with a psa of 234 and just been on tablets since then. My last psa was .04. I'm in good health and enjoying life. My daughters like you worried about me and I just kept them advised. Now when I have a psa test and tell them the result they just respond "great" and Get back to what they were doing.

If your Dad is handling it all well and getting the right advice and medications then don't worry about the worst case just give him your support like I'm sure you are doing.

Posted 13 Sep 2016 at 17:21
Thank you, its good to hear that from another dad. I will try and carry on with life and keep supporting my dad as he goes through treatment. X Good luck to you and your family too x
Posted 13 Sep 2016 at 21:28

May I ask how old is dad .. also does he live with anyone else. It also depends how much he knows or wants to know. My father in law deceased (not cancer) kept very private and didn't engage with gp's nor kept. Wife. Ie my mum in law updated he just plodded on. He would need to name you if you wanted to talk direct to gp.. Again there will a support group nearby .. All volunteers. . Which he could benefit greatly if he wants to engage face to face .. often with partners. etc who have been touched by PCA. Again as someone has posted, everyone is unique. His prostate cancer with early diagnosis and management is so different from a few years back. See my profile. I lost my dad in 1976. Yes I was fortunate to be at home and drive him for his RT. However looking back I and him didn't know what the prostate was. You can only do your best. Maybe he doesn't want to worry you either. As we know everyone deals with life changing events in very differing ways. Despite being very close to my father the 'C' word was never mentioned, Obviously that was 40 years ago and I was just a kid ..... Hope this helps.

Edited by member 13 Sep 2016 at 21:29  | Reason: Not specified

Posted 13 Sep 2016 at 22:09
Thank you, my dad is 74 going on 75 in November. He has my mum and she retired last year as a nurse. So my mum is pretty much clued up on most medical points but not always in the know on some areas of the medical proffesion.

I will be seeing my dad in November for his Birthday to spend time with both parents x

Posted 14 Sep 2016 at 21:20

Thanks for update. Reading your post initially I was concerned your dad was isolated and possibly not as informed about his options.

All the best

Posted 19 Oct 2016 at 10:15
Ok so my dad had his bone scan, and its spread to his pelvis and hip bones. So Radiotherapy is out of the question except one hit and thats it. He is having an injection every 3 months, nothing else. Its now his anuerysm that needs to be operated on and removed before it bursts and its too late. Life sucks, he is 75 next month, I just hope he lives another 10 + years.
Posted 19 Oct 2016 at 11:02

Sorry you (he) have had such poor news Halfpint.

Perhaps after the anuerism is treated there may be other options open to him ?


We can't control the winds - but we can adjust our sails
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