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Dad's sudden deterioration - Carers UK Forum

Dad's sudden deterioration

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Not sure where was the best place to post this. Only a few weeks since I joined - and only a couple of months since I thought of myself as dad's carer. He was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in January. After falling out of bed over a week ago, he was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection and admitted to hospital. The change in him in this time is unbelievable. 3 months ago he was getting the bus into town to do the last of his xmas shopping. Now he needs help to get washed and dressed, The simplest things are too much for him. The consultant called me in to see him today to explain that dad's improvements will be limited due to the advanced stage of the cancer. I just don't know what to think, or how I'm meant to feel. Everything seems to be happening too quickly Image
Hi Tillymint

I know just how you feel, the shock at the suddenness of deterioration, what do you do about it, the helplessness you feel. How a simple thing can put you're caree at death's door that would only be minor to you or me. It's all so bloody confusing, and frightening too.
Mum has dementia, and bad arthritis. She plummeted overnight about 2 weeks ago,or was it a month? I've lost track of time. She's now in hospital with fluid on the lungs; her condition changes daily. one day she's acting like she's on speed, the next a zombie, the next incredibly depressed, crying, and just wanting to come home.
I've just realized I haven't been of much use to you, but others will come along with more practical advice.
My thoughts are with you and your dad.

Sajehar xxx
Thanks Sajehar - just knowing that other people feel how I feel helps - maybe I'm more normal than I thought, lol.
PS just notied you in Merseyside area - I grew up in Livepool Image
Me too.
I'd now give anything for mum to be at the position were I was whinging about her. She could walk (not very well) she could make herself a cup of tea and marmalade and toast. Her decline was so gentle and slow.
Then WHOMMPH! It literally happened overnight; that took me so by surprise. I think I'm still coming to terms with it. In fact, I know I still haven't come to terms with it; it happened too quickly.
Dear Tillymint

Sorry to hear about your dad's deterioration. Cancer is a very unpredictable disease. People can 'keep going' with hardly any 'impact' on their lives (sometimes), or they can be very 'ill' from the moment of diagnosis, and small changes can have big effects on their state of health (ie, irrespective of the cancer).

When my husband was first diagnosed with terminal cancer it was beyond belief - he seemed totally 'well' apart from a few very minor symptoms (eg, a slight cough). He continued with a quite quite normal life for several months, and was exercising in the gym nearly up to the end. Then he just 'went over a cliff' and died in under a month. The best explanation I ever got was from our GP, who said that with cancer, the body can often cope and cope and cope, carrying a larger and larger burden of cancer, and then suddenly wham, the cancer (or a morbidity/associated illness caused by the cancer) can just 'overwhelm' the body.And then the patient can be swept into acute illness, and even death.

I would say it's a little like those sink holes we hear about now that swallow up houses - the sink hole (ie, the cancer) is eating away at the earth underneath the house, but no one knows, until the final layer of earth beneath the house is simply too weak to hold up the house, and the house falls into the sink hole that's now vast beneath it....

So, frightening though it is, to see your father's sudden major deterioration, sadly it isn't always unusual for that to happen when someone has advanced cancer. As your dad's consultant has said, sometimes the patient, with treatment, can rally for a while, but will probably never get back to where they were, and the eventual outcome will be the same - BUT, that isn't to say that death can't be held off for quite some time, and the key thing is to maximise your dad's quality of life, as well as his longevity. New drugs and treatments come onstream constantly (IF the NHS will pay for them - another problem!), and sometimes situations that seem hopeless, can be turned around, at least giving your dad more time, and better time.

It is a constant balance, as a cancer carer like yourself, between hope and fear, and I wish you and your dad all the best possible that can yet be done.

Kind regards, Jenny