Very worried daughter

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Hi everyone, I’m not sure I’m in the right place but I don’t really know where else do go or who to speak to. My dad found a rock hard lump (thumb sized) on his lower back at the beginning of January. After seeing the GP he was advised to wait a month to see if it went away. GP didn’t seem overly concerned as he didn’t think it was attached to the bone. After a month was over my dad asked for a scan and was eventually sent for a CT scan a few weeks back. The first scan couldn’t find anything so they marked the area with a pen and repeated the CT scan and they were happy. Within a week of the CT scan he was sent for some blood tests. He was called into the GP yesterday and said the tests were suggestive of cancer. He is now in line for a bone density scan and an MRI in the next few weeks. I feel like my whole world has collapsed. He has no other symptoms except this lump and the pain caused by it. I have read online that primary bone cancer is extremely rare and so it’s likely secondary and has spread from elsewhere in the body which is usually incurable. I don’t understand how this could have happened when he had no other symptoms previous to this. I’m terrified and I don’t know how to support him or my family as I’m so worried. The waiting list for the further testing seems so long and I’m terrified of it getting worse between now and then. I was just hoping for some advise on the situation as I’m really struggling to come to terms with the fact I may lose my dad. I know nothing is set in stone yet and we have to wait for further testing to determine exactly what the cancer is and where it is but I just can’t help but imagine the worst. Is it possible that this could have just been caught early and is only a small tumour in his hip or is it more than likely secondary and very hard to cure? I realise these are questions that are very hard to answer I just don’t know who else to ask right now without worrying the rest of my family. I’m upset that the GP didn’t send him straight away after his first appointment. If anyone has any similar experiences and can help with how to deal with this I’d be really appreciative. I want to be there for my family but I’m just in such shock as he seemed so healthy.

  • Hello Cinderella, I can't comment on the specifics of your father's condition or treatment although I can, perhaps, give you some more positive things to think about. I was diagnosed in 2020 with a rare and currently incurable form of blood cancer and by then it was at Stage 4; however, as you can see, I'm still here! Since that diagnosis I've come through treatment, moved house, redecorated another house and found a lot of new interests. Life is good and I enjoy every day.

    Inevitably, you will have many questions and many concerns and, in the absence of definitive answers, it's easy to imagine the worst. So, how do you support your father and your family through this? One of the things you can do is NOT spend your time locked in worry about things that might happen or even haven't happened, because there's every chance you will pass those feelings on to the people you want to protect from worry. Put that energy into concern for what you CAN do. Keep talking to your father; allow him to talk about how he feels and express his emotions and just listen. Sometimes listening is as important as talking! Reassure him that whatever the diagnosis he has your support.

    Find a support network for yourself. Perhaps there is a support group in your area where you may be able to talk to people who have been through difficult times like this. As you say, nothing is set in stone yet and just deal with each result as it comes through. It may be better than you expect or it may be something that requires treatment; whatever it is you WILL deal with it and you'll be able to help your father deal with it.

    After the initial shock of my diagnosis. my wife and family realised we just had to get our practical heads on handle eah day as it came along. You may be surprised to learn there was a lot of laughter as well as the darker days; maintaing a sense of humour is absolutely essential if you have to go through hospital treatment! 

    So, just be there for your father when he needs support. Seriously, it's important to find something to enjoy in every day (been there, done that, know what I'm talking about)!

    Keep strong,


    P.S. Avoid the internet!

  • Hi!

    I'm so sorry for my slow reply, things have been a little bit crazy recently. Dad has had his CT, MRI and bone scan now (still no answers though, nobody has told us anything!). He's also had an Xray on his chest but no answers on that either yet. He is due to go in tomorrow for a prostate test and blood test to check his prostate levels. I'm not yet sure if this is because they are suspecting mets from prostate to bone or whether they are just covering all bases. No symptoms to suggest prostate as a primary but obviously the worry is that that is why the prostate checks have been arranged. Just hoping to find out some answers soon :/

  • Hi

    This is very frustrating for you all. Has your dad spoken with his GP? He should have access to all his recent scans etc, with results . Even some sort of clue would be helpful. It's all taking a long time .I hope he hears something soon . 

    Keep us posted.

    Yvonne  x

  • Hi Yvonne, 

    Unfortunately we found out today that it's prostate (presuming it's that that has spread to the bone). No symptoms whatsoever to suggest it would have been prostate so that has come as quick the shock. PSA level 20. He has started hormone tablets to prevent / lower testosterone production and is due to have a biopsy next week. Apparently these should help the bone tumour too. After this I believe we wait for the interdisciplinary meeting to work out what the next steps / treatment options will be (I imagine chemo / radiation). The urologist today seems to think his prognosis is good given his age (63) and general health. Dad is in good spirits as Dad always is, despite all of this. 

    Of course, throughout all of this I've seen the statistics for advanced prostate cancer and they're very scary but I'm trying to put this out of my mind as much as possible. The doctor seems to think prognosis is good but I can't help but worry. It's all such a huge shock as there was no reason at all to suspect prostate. Scary to think it's been there long enough to spread elsewhere with no symptoms whatsoever. 

    I'm very up and down at the moment, trying to stay positive but of course the reality does keep hitting. Thank you all for the support throughout all of this, it's been amazing to have people to talk to on here Slight smile

  • Sorry to hear this news but kind of good now that you know what is going on and a treatment plan can now be put into place. Although the torture of waiting is now over, it sounds like they have not left any stones unturned.  

    I was reflecting on what you said about it being scary that the cancer had been there long enough to spread to your dad's bones. My initial breast cancer was picked up via a routine mammogram.  I had no symptoms either at that time. If it hadn't have been picked up at that time, I would have been like your dad, dealing with a secondary, unaware of the primary  

    It does take time to process all of this, but it will get easier. Of course, it's always going to be at the back of your mind, but as you see your dad progress, you will gain more confidence.  Your Dad sounds like a positive chap, and this will also aid his journey. ( I am just 1year older than your dad)

    I was amused the other day when the press announced that King Charles had been seen smiling and waving to the crowds over Easter. Just because we have cancer, doesn't mean we loose the ability to smile and wave!!!

    Anyway, the next few weeks/ months are going to be busy with initial treatments, but I'm sure he will be offered loads of support and it's possible that his local oncology unit could offer you some help coming to terms with it all. Thinking of you all. 

    Yvonne. X

  • Gosh my Mum was the same. Diagnosed aged 50, caught via routine mammogram. She had a full mastectomy and luckily, alongside hormonal treatment that was all the treatment she needed. That was also a huge shock but caught so early! Can't believe it's been both my mum and dad now but I guess my mum will be a good person on hand for my dad as she has kind of been through something like it before. It's going to be a long road but I'm just hoping it can be treated and kept at bay for a good amount of time.