Don't really know how to start this as my head is all still a bit mush!
My Dad who is 84 was diagnosed with prostate cancer 8 years ago. He had radiotherapy at the start and regular zoladex injections since and it had mostly kept its head down until a couple of months ago. Dad's PSA levels have been rising and following a CT scan they have re-staged him and it has shown ascitis with omental stranding and a peritoneal nodule abutting the liver. We had noticed that he was struggling to fasten his trousers up.
Dad didn't want to know anymore after his Oncologist in November said that they were discharging him and would now place him in the 'gold standard framework for palliative care and make a referral to the Community Macmillan team'. She took me quietly to one side and said that she doesn't feel that Dad really understood what she meant and wanted to ensure that I did ...........she then said that Dad needed to start thinking about making certain decisions with regard to his preferred place of care as we were talking a prognosis of 6 months!!! Dad doesn't know this and has said the last thing he ever wants is to be told 'how long he has left'.
I was and still am in shock. His GP rang him yesterday to talk to him and Dad got so upset he hung up on him. Dad said he felt that people were underestimating him as he would 'shake this'. He doesn't want anyone else ringing or visiting him and told me he will ring THEM when he feels he is at that stage.
I am feeling really scared. Mum passed away from lung cancer 4 years ago and towards the end it was so quick that she didn't get any chance to let her 'wishes' be known. I have tried explaining this to Dad but he got really mad so I know I can't broach it again and have to wait for him if/when he is ready to.
In the last 2 weeks Dad has been sleeping a lot during the day and has started saying to me his chest hurts (I think it is the ascitis pushing on everything?) I suggested he let me contact the macmillan team or the GP but he says he 'is fine' and he will ring if he needs to.
He lives alone now but only 100 yards down the road from me and I go in several times a day as he is wheelchair bound and had his leg amputated 6 months ago due to critical limb ischaemia following a stroke in February last year ........ it has been a nightmare of a year for him. He refuses carers and will only allow me to come in to help him, at the moment he is still able to get himself up, dressed and into his wheelchair on his own which is good but I know that will change. Feeling a bit scared at the moment.
Could you explain what omental stranding and a peritoneal nodule is? I understand that the cancer has spread (not in his bones though) ..........but should I ask for a second opinion on his prognosis? My Dad has been with the same oncologist for the last 8 years and she is a honorary senior lecturer aswell as a consultant clinical oncologist and knows my Dad .............but just wonder if I am clutching at straws asking for a second opinion?
Is there any advice you could give me to help him?
Thank you for reading this .........there is no-one else to talk to