Father diagnosed with cancer

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On May 20th, this year we found out that my father has prostate cancer. This was after having the TURP operation. Bone scans that he had done were all OK. He had a gleason score of 9 and they were starting hormone therapy straight away. He had the tablets and then was given the injection on 3rd June. 

He also had a CT scan on 3rd June for staging of the cancer. He had an appointment with Oncology on 18th June where we found out that it has spread to his left rib, right hip and back. They also said that they don't know if it is also in his stomach. 

Unfortunately,his kidneys arent functioning properly so they can not offer Chemo. They have mentioned the Macmillian nurses and being under palliative care.

We've never had anyone close to us have cancer. The Dr has now prescribed him liquid morphine and is referring to Macmillian. 

We have do many questions but I think the main one at the momebtnis how long does it take for a referral? My father is 81 and my mother is 81. They live in Stoke-on-trent and I live in Liverpool. Can we get any help?

Thank you so much

  • Hello Mandih999,

    Thanks for getting in touch with us and welcome to the online community. My name is Linda and  I’m one of the cancer information nurse specialists on the Macmillan Support Line

    It’s natural to be feeling a bit lost at this time, especially as this is all new to you. It can be a difficult and emotional time for you, your dad, and the family.

    Unfortunately, it’s not unusual that some people are unable to have chemotherapy due to poor kidney function. You mention that the doctor has prescribed liquid morphine, I hope this is helping.

    Our information on care and support includes some information about palliative care that you may find useful. Palliative care nurses can visit your dad at home and can help him to cope with his symptoms, as well as supporting him emotionally and supporting you and the family. The palliative care nurses may not always be Macmillan nurses, they may have a different title, some come from the local hospice.

    When a referral is made the form is normally triaged and the team would then make initial contact with your dad to arrange a visit. This can sometimes take a few weeks.

    I would encourage you to find out where he has been referred to and if you have not heard from them, you can call and ask about the progress of the referral.

    In the meantime, your dad’s GP would be the point of contact, so if you have any concerns about his symptoms, if you feel things are changing then please contact them. You may need to call NHS 111 if his symptoms worsen out with normal GP hours.

    You can also give us a call and talk things through if you are not sure what to do. You can also call 999 for an Ambulance if you feel it’s an emergency.

    I would encourage you, if you feel able to give us and call and we can talk through the other questions that you have.

    Once your dad has contact with Palliative care, they can give advice, guidance and answer any questions that you have but you can still call us, if you need some extra support.

    I hope this helps. Please get back in touch if you have any other questions.

    Take care & Best wishes

    Linda J. Cancer Information Nurse Specialist

    You can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or send us an email.

    Ref: LJ/AM