I lost my father the most wonderful man to prostate cancer a few weeks ago.
He was diagnosed 6 years ago and had exhausted all options. One day he woke up and was finding it difficult to walk and had pins and needles in his arms and both legs so we attended A&E.
We asked Specifically is this spinal cord compression, and were turned away and told no it’s just a urinary tract infection. We felt relief and were given antibiotics. Even reassured it was not spinal cord compression.
So we left and my dad was still walking but a little unsteady.
Two days later tried a different A&E just in case as the difficulty walking was getting worse. Again asked specifically is this spinal cord compression? Only to be told unlikely! Even by the senior oncologist!
My dad is severely claustrophobic and we were told have a CT instead. It showed no spinal cord compression. We asked shall we go private and pay for open MRI if it helps, even insisted on it, to be told it’s just progression of cancer and only 3 months of life left.
So my poor dad sent home, only to become completely paralysed and no feeling at all in the legs a week later.
We thought we would try the private route had an open MRI and spent thousands to be informed that it was not stenosis, but spinal cord compression.
So we went to a third A&E to get the treatment of steroids (this was one month later) ....... some sensation returned within 3 hours, with some occasional shock like movements in the legs. My dad was given 5 doses of radiation to the area of spinal cord compression. But the treatment was too late and my dad was unable to walk at all.
My dad was given full spinal precautions and we were informed of risk of autonomic dysreflexia, given bowel management advice etc.....
Sent home and my dad lived for 7 weeks, The care was 24 hours and he had to be sedated in the last few days.
His suffering is over, but mine continues. I want answers and cannot understand how spinal cord compression can be missed.
What are the alternatives if two A&E’s and a senior oncologist say unlikely spinal cord compression. What are the alternatives if someone cannot have MRI??
I hope no one else suffers like we did.