Worried For My Dad


Hello everyone! To start, I’d like to say to those who have beat cancer, congratulations, and for those fighting, keep fighting and I hope for the best for you.

I’m writing because I’m extremely worried about my Dad. My Dad has had cancer twice (Osteo Sarcoma in the late 90’s and Stage IV Squamous Cell Carcinoma two years ago) and has thankfully beaten it both times. In the past year or so, he’s had problems with constant pain in his head and neck area, as well as falling. These falls have resulted in numerous trips to the emergency room. Luckily, his falls haven’t been in bad situations, like driving or down stairs, but they’re falls none the less. He’s been on pain medication (not sure which ones specifically), and has also tried seeing a chiropractor and doing acupuncture. He claims it has helped, but he fell again tonight and his pain was bad enough that he had to take another trip to the ER. My Dad is the kind of guy who will try to spare my sister (20) and I (31) any horrible news, and I don’t think that he’s not being honest; he just tries to make everything positive (“it can always be worse” is probably his favorite line). He lives in South Dakota and I live in Colorado, so I feel helpless and useless when things happen and I’m not able to help. His doctor thinks that the cause of the falls is due to scar tissue and damage to the cerebellum from his chemo and radiation. I’ve suggested possibly seeing a doctor out of state for a second opinion (not saying South Dakota doctor’s aren’t good, but maybe someone else could help).

my question is has anyone else out there experienced these same after effects of chemo and radiation, and if so, what have you done in this situation? Like I said, I’m worried for my Dad and don’t want anything worse to happen to him. Any answers would be appreciated.

Thank you,



  • CivilMatt
    CivilMatt Member Posts: 4,722 Member


    Welcome to the H&N forum, your Dad is a two times winner and with great daughters, three times and four times a winner.

    I think it is pretty straight forward. A MRI (bang, bang, bang) and they know if it is a side effect from cancer treatment.  If it is radiation caused there is much less that they can do.  Other reasons may give hope.

    Carry on,


  • Tonita
    Tonita Member Posts: 197 Member
    How old is your dad? 

    How old is your dad? 

    Do you know if they've done an MRI or CAT scan?  I don't know how they can guess like this.  Does your father live alone?  Family nearby?

    Maybe you can get your father to allow his Doctors to share information with you.

  • Curlyn
    Curlyn Member Posts: 189
    You didn't say how old he was

    You didn't say how old he was, however, (you can look it up) common causes of falls in older folks are medications ( like blood pressure meds, narcotics, psychotropic meds? antidepressants for example), poor vision, poor gait? unsteady for example, wet floors, poor fitting footwear - these are just a few. As Tonita says above, if you could speak c the physician and specify your concerns, you might get somewhere. Sometimes patients don't tell the whole story, and the physician might indeed be concerned ( or you could stir the physician into action, have tests done). If your dad downplays things, the physician might only be getting half of the story. Good luck. If I had known how noncompliant my own parents would be when I offered good advice, as they grew older, I would have told them to take a hike when I was a teenager! Ha ha.