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Dad very poorly

Posted 14 Oct 2018 at 22:46

My dad was diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer two and a half years ago, he was 86 at the time.  Since then he has been under the care of the oncologist at the local hospital and has been having three monthly hormone injections.  We thought that he was doing ok, all things considered, but a couple of months ago he had a fall and hurt his back.  Whilst he was in hospital further scans revealed that the cancer had spread into his spine, he had two sessions of radiotherapy in hospital and is on steriods but is unable to walk.  I'm not sure whether this is a result of the fall or a spinal compression, perhaps a bit of both.  The doctors have said that he probably only has a few months, but it may be less than that.  He is currently at home after having spent a couple of weeks in a hospice, primarily to receive physio to help him walk.  He is comfortable and generally pain free and gets three visits a day from a care team.  Accepting that the outlook is pretty bleak, are there any further treatments for the cancer that we could ask for that might give him a bit longer, Abiraterone, Radium 223?  Not sure whether these are viable?  Or should we just accept the situation and concentrate on making life as comfortable as we can for him for however long he has left?

Any advice greatly appreciated.


Posted 15 Oct 2018 at 01:02
You should probably concentrate on keeping him comfortable and as active as possible, and creating happy memories that you can tuck away for later. But you can also attend his next appointment with him to oncology and ask about those alternative treatments. If oncology has closed his case and referred him to the palliative care team, you could ask the GP to explain to you why there is no more treatment - s/he may want consent from your dad to discuss it with you but should have copies of all correspondence from oncology setting out the situation.

It would help if you knew which hormone dad was on, whether he is still having it and whether anything else has been added in the time since diagnosis.

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

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