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Searching for advice for father with prostate cancer

jay13
Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2010

Good morning. My father, age 88, was diagnosed with prostate cancer 15 years ago. He went through radiation, but the past few years his psa levels have increased to around 100. The doctor put him on Lupron, and it is not working. His level is at 185, and the doctor told him yesterday to "get his affairs in order". I live 1400 miles away from Mom and Dad. Mom just had a stroke last month. Dad will not give me exact details, know that the cancer has spread to his bones (only found that out because he let it slip). There are only the three of us, no siblings or other relatives. My question(s), hopefully someone will have advice. How do I ask the man who has been so dear to me, to tell me what needs to be done, as far as their bills, their home, where their papers are (Mom has no clue and won't ask). Will his doctors talk to me? We have always discussed and Dad knows that I will be there in a heartbeat and then have Mom move in with me. He is a Veteran, do they have any nurses who could come in to help? We knew that Dad was ill, but he has hidden the medical details from us in order to spare us pain. Am sorry if I am rambling, my head is just all over the place, am so very sad, and just don't know what to do. Thank you for listening. Jay.

acslife
Posts: 12
Joined: Dec 2008

That is a tough call since I am not a counselor. I would suggest talking to his doctor and his spiritual advisor, if possible. We had the same issues with our Dad 20 years ago and it's difficult.

My Best wishes

JLM
Posts: 15
Joined: Dec 2009

Jay13,

You need to be very upfront with your dad! be open and tell him you need to know all and ask if his affairs are in order.Don't hold back and don't back off. I'm a pastor and had to work with family's on this type of issue. You can go to my website and email me for a more private chat.

Go to: www.jmmotw.com
email: jmm@jmmotw.com

God Bless Jerry

randy_in_indy's picture
randy_in_indy
Posts: 495
Joined: Oct 2009

That is perfect advice. You really need to have a heart to heart conversation. The true fact of the matter is many things need to be worked out in order to make life easier for those left behind...Your father would be doing all his loved ones a favor if he disclosed all the needed information to at least one person...his wife or yourself. He should have a Last Will and Testament, A financial Power of attorney for his wife if she is not listed on any of his banking or financial matters. If your mothers name is not on the House mortage she needs to have a quick claim deed drawn up and executed up to the final point except recording it with the county...that way once the person who's on the house passes it can be recorded then the house reverts to your mother as owner. An estate planning attorney could help do all the things to make the aftermath much easier to deal with in the event of a death. My 2 cents...I did a Last Will and Testament, Healthcare power of Attorney, and financial power of Attorney just prior to my Da Vinci surgery. Sure did make me feel good about going into surgery knowing that everyone would be able to pick up all the pieces if something unforseen would have happened. Now I plan to go back and do even more estate planning to make it virtually a non-event for those dealing with my death....when that day finally arrives.

Randy in Indy

marc1957
Posts: 79
Joined: Oct 2009

I think that one other thing to consider is the new HIPPA laws, you need to get forms signed so that you can be included on the information.........

something to discuss with your father.

cmdyer
Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2010

So much has been said about the financial side of things, which is very important. Certainly, you need to get the answers to these questions and help him to literally get his things in order, however one important thing is a medical power of attorney. The Dr's are bound by HIPPA to not give you information unless you have a POA. This is so important as it allows you to make difficult decisions when he can no longer do so. Know what his wishes are regarding life sustaining circumstance, ie, does he want on a ventilator, does he want drastic measures taken to prolong his life, or comfort care to make his eventual passing as peaceful as possible. At his age maybe a DNR is the best way to go, no rib breaking CPR. I have been through this with loved ones and it's not easy but we need to know what their wishes are and be trusted to follow through. The VA has so many people that can help you but you really have to do the research and stay on top of things. Will he stay home or is there a VA care center close to you? Ask if they have a CNA program that can come out your home to help. Hospice is an incredible organization. Call and talk with them, you may not need them now but they will be there when you do. As far as asking your Dad, put it just like you did here, "Dad tell me what needs to be done". You need this information to help your Mom through this time. Let him know your here to do what needs to be done and you can handle it. I hope this helps just a little and I wish the very best for you.

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