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Old 01-09-2011, 11:28 AM   #1
floridascgirl
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Just found out my dad has cancer

I'm in need of advice and guidance if anyone can help. We found out on 12/22 that my 72-year-old dad has prostate cancer. I was originally optimistic because he is in otherwise good health and I knew that it is considered to be a slow-growing cancer. Unfortunately, after further testing, we just learned that it has metastisized to his bones (ribs, back and leg).

My concern is that my parents aren't being forthcoming with this information. I am having to get the details (the truth) from my mom's sister. They told me that the doctor said it is treatable and that I don't need to worry; however, I learned yesterday that it is considered to be in Stage IV with a Gleason score of 8 (aggressive).

I am an only child and I live in 2 states away, so I realize that they are trying to protect me, but I don't feel that this is sensible. I am fine with the fact that my dad is seemingly positive and telling me that this is "just a bump in the road". It is probably helping him cope to think this way. But, I feel that my mom needs to then go behind him and tell me the "real story".

Does anyone have any advice for me? Is it possible for me to have access to his medical information? Will I need them to sign a waiver? Has anyone been through prostate cancer with a family member and able to help me understand what lies ahead?

We have never had an illness in our family...even my grandparents are in their 90's and healthy...so this is all new to me.

Thanks so much.
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:00 PM   #2
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I am sorry to hear about your dad! I don't think you can get the medical records unless your parents agree by signing a wavier. If they agree you can talk to the doctor you may set up a code word at the doctors office so you can call and talk to the nurse/doctor, again they will have to sign a waiver. I think that it is important to research the cancer as much as possible and keep a notebook of questions and answers, also important that someone that will ask these questions go with them to their appointments. This is really hard being so far away. Someone needs to be VERY pro active and research everything....even asking here is good because people that have been through it will tell you "signs" to watch for and what to do. If it were my father, I would find the best program/hospital in postrate/bone cancer and insist he go there NOW. My father went to MD Andserson in Texas and those doctors will run all the test and work with the doctors in your parents area, my dad just waited to late to go. If I were you I would talk to my parents and tell them you know and that you want to help, you have to be aggressive because it sounds like this cancer is!
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:40 PM   #3
floridascgirl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyGolferGirl View Post
I am sorry to hear about your dad! I don't think you can get the medical records unless your parents agree by signing a wavier. If they agree you can talk to the doctor you may set up a code word at the doctors office so you can call and talk to the nurse/doctor, again they will have to sign a waiver. I think that it is important to research the cancer as much as possible and keep a notebook of questions and answers, also important that someone that will ask these questions go with them to their appointments. This is really hard being so far away. Someone needs to be VERY pro active and research everything....even asking here is good because people that have been through it will tell you "signs" to watch for and what to do. If it were my father, I would find the best program/hospital in postrate/bone cancer and insist he go there NOW. My father went to MD Andserson in Texas and those doctors will run all the test and work with the doctors in your parents area, my dad just waited to late to go. If I were you I would talk to my parents and tell them you know and that you want to help, you have to be aggressive because it sounds like this cancer is!

Thank you for your advice. Thankfully, he lives where he has access to excellent medical care. I have looked up his doctor online and I am thrilled with all of his credentials. I have also already instructed my mother to get herself a notebook and to take copious notes on everything.
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:17 PM   #4
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I am sorry to hear this.

If I were you, I think I would try to take a little long weekend trip to my parents. Sit down with them, and perhaps face to face it might be easier for them to see you are 'able' to handle everything.


I wish nothing but the best. I am thinking of your family and praying.
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:48 PM   #5
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Sorry to hear about your dad.

Sometimes people need to come to terms with a difficult medical diagnosis before they can even begin to talk about it with family and friends. Perhaps they are still in shock themselves and may need a little time to let it all sink in (if that makes sense).

Parents spend a lifetime trying to protect their children but this is probably a time when you need to be honest and tell them that you would like to know the truth so that you can be supportive.

There are no easy answers when a family is faced with these situations but it might be helpful if you were able to do a quick visit, it is much more difficult to have conversations long distance.

Thinking of your family
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Old 01-10-2011, 07:10 PM   #6
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First let me say that I am so sorry you're all going through this. I have lost both of my parents to cancer. My mother was diagnosed (pancreatic cancer) and kept it from me for a while, to protect me. I have 3 sisters and I am the youngest - they all knew before me. I wish I had known from the start though (although I understand why they did it) - so I think the previous posters have all given good advice in saying you need to let them know that you know. I also think its good advice to go and see them. Be with them. I don't know a lot about prostate cancer but I do know stage 4 of any cancer, especially an aggressive one, is not good.

Goofygolfergirl also had good advice too in saying to research as much as you can so you know what may lie ahead.

A parent or loved one being diagnosed with this horrific disease is very frightening, please know my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Many hugs to you!
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Old 01-10-2011, 09:19 PM   #7
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So sorry to hear about your dad. As pp has said unless parents agree to share medical info there isn't much you can do. Perhaps you can go and visit to talk. You and your dad are in my prayers.
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Old 01-16-2011, 09:31 PM   #8
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I am sorry you and your family are having to fight this. My Dad prostate cancer and leukemia. My Dad was remarried and his new wife did not like that I had moved my Mom in with me to care for her.She would not share information with me. My Dad got his sister to be the one to give me information when he was not up to telling me himself. You may just need to have your Mom's sister be your information person. My Mom is in treatment for Multiable Myaloma and she signed a form letting all the family she listed get information about her.I post a journal to the family with her day to health.It you have questions I will try to answer what I can.
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Old 01-16-2011, 09:49 PM   #9
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I too am going through this with my 82 year old dad. My mom passed away unexpectedly Oct 26, 2010 so most of this is falling on my shoulders. My older brother lives in CA and my little sister is busy with her 4 kids. My dad's gleason score was an 8 also. He goes this week for the bone scan to see if it has metastisized. He is too old for surgery so now he has to decide if he wants to do radiation or just hormone therapy. Of course if the bone scan comes back positive then that's a whole different ball game.

I'll keep you and your family in my prayers. I guess we can go through this process together. Best of luck.
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Old 01-16-2011, 09:58 PM   #10
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I too am going through this with my 82 year old dad. My mom passed away unexpectedly Oct 26, 2010 so most of this is falling on my shoulders. My older brother lives in CA and my little sister is busy with her 4 kids. My dad's gleason score was an 8 also. He goes this week for the bone scan to see if it has metastisized. He is too old for surgery so now he has to decide if he wants to do radiation or just hormone therapy. Of course if the bone scan comes back positive then that's a whole different ball game.

I'll keep you and your family in my prayers. I guess we can go through this process together. Best of luck.

Sorry for the double post!!!
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Old 01-16-2011, 10:55 PM   #11
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Hi Naenae,

I am sorry for the loss of your mum and it must be very difficult for your family to now be dealing with this medical problem.

Shall be thinking of you this week as you await the results of the bone scan.
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Old 01-17-2011, 12:53 AM   #12
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I am so sorry about your Dad. My husband has just gone through with his radiation for prostate cancer and is doing well. Your parents sound like they don't want you to know what is going on so please read all that you can. The American cancer association has a wonderful web site and you can also call and talk with them.
If you need further info please contact me and I will let you know the web sites and phone numbers.

Please talk with your parents and let them know how you feel and that you want to know everything. My prayers will be with you and your family. You will not be able to get any info from thier Dr without your parents permission.
God Bless you
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