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My father went into hospital 4 weeks ago and we have just been told that he has invasive aggressive T3 bladder cancer. My poor father is distraught as this has come from nowhere. He has been treated in the hospital at the moment and it is all very clinical and words like it is not curable, it will be his demise and he can expect to live from anywhere from from 18 months to 5 years. I am disgusted with what this has done to him and he is now scared and thinking that that is it, his life is done. He is a very proud man and after being in hospital for 4 weeks is now bed bound and so confused after the amount of morphine he has been on that his spirit has been broken. I don't know what to do for the best, it is almost like we are grieving and he is still alive. He is due to go to the Royal Marsden next Tuesday and is going to be an out patient then, my concern is that after being bed bound for 4 weeks and after hearing this news, he is losing the fight, without even starting it. He is worried about not seeing his grandchild again, never driving his car again or paying his utility bills. I know I have to let him get his head around this however I want him to fight so bad and give himself a chance. Any suggestions or people who have gone through this would welcomed. Sorry if I have not bad any sense. My father is 68 and prior to this was in really good health, mobile active and now he is the complete opposite, how do I get him back on track ?
Hi Darren - sorry to hear your news about your dad. My cancer is not T3, so I don't feel I can comment with much authority. There will be others on here who can and also if you are a facebook member there is a group called Bladder Cancer Support you can join and you will receive a lot of support and info on there too.
What I can say is that T3 means the cancer is in the fat layer of the bladder, but hasnt spread outside, which is good news. Look at the following site for a bit more info:- www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-help/type/bladder-cancer/treatment/bladder-cancer-stage-and-grade You will see there is treatment he can have. There is also a lovely guy on here called 'Engineer' who was T3 and was treated on a trial programme called Tuxedo in Birmingham and is now clear. So there is hope and you need to make your dad realise that. Positivity is half the battle. Good luck Darren and let us know how it goes. Deb x x
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I can imagine how devastated your father must be with a diagnosis like that coming out of the blue, because I got a lung cancer diagnosis at the age of 67 (over 2 years ago) when the medics were looking for something completely different.
However, "incurable" doesn't mean he's going to die tomorrow, far from it. It means it can be managed, treated, and he can learn to live with it. I'm still 3 years away from being pronounced "cured" so I have a choice - roll over and give up, or carry on as normal. I've chosen the latter, because I have grandchildren I love, a wonderful daughter and a supportive partner. It doesn't mean the worry isn't there, it's more that I won't let it dominate my life. This is something that, once he gets over the trauma, your father will gradually learn. Once treatment starts, I think his attitude will begin to improve.
It's the not being in control of things that whips the rug from under your feet when you first get the news. Being in hospital, too, can be very demoralising. Everything is different, from the food to the routines, the ghastly tea, the people you have on your ward, the long stretches of boredom, sleeping, anxiety .... I was only in for 4 days after surgery but was already getting "stir-crazy", even after I came off the morphine. I do believe that once he gets home he will feel calmer and more able to assess things rationally.
What you could emphasise to him is the distinct advantage he has of having been in very good health, active and mobile, before the news. If he hadn't been told, he would still be doing the things he always used to. So it's his mind ( and the morphine) that's holding him back right now. His former good health will help him cope with treatment far better than if he'd been in indifferent health.
When his treatment as an outpatient (presumably chemo or radiotherapy, or both) begins, I think he'll feel that he's better able to cope. Does he have a specialist nurse at the current hospital, who could have a chat with him? If not, I'm certain there will be at the Royal Marsden, it's a wonderful place.
There are people in this Community who even after stage 4 diagnoses for various cancers are still kicking cancer's backside years later. Your father isn't a statistic, he's an individual with lots to live for, so do stress to him that this is not the end, but as Churchill said, "it's the end of the beginning". He's got years yet. Tell him I said so!
With love and hugs,
Thanks your kind words are appreciated. Luckily we are only 5 minutes away from the Marsden.
Thanks Deb. I have friend requested Engineer and his symptoms are exactly the same as my dads which hopefully I can I will keep you posted.
Hi Darren, I think when you're first diagnosed with cancer you think the worse, when treatment starts I think your dad will feel something is been done, start believing in himself and fighting it. Engineer gives good advice and I hope he can help your dad. Thinking of you both ~Sue x
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