My Dad, His Prostate Cancer and Me.

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Why is that the sun always seems to shine when we get the worst news?

Dad had been suffering from horrendous back pain for a few months. His GP had initially diagnosed a frozen shoulder and prescribed painkillers. The pain got worse and the painkillers weren’t touching it. I can count on one hand how many times I’ve seen my dad cry but I saw him crying with the pain in his back. His GP then thought it might be a slipped disc and Dad was sent to a specialist who ran some tests and on a beautiful summers day  – we got the results.

I will never forget that day because it was also my 26th birthday.

I drove Mum and Dad to the hospital for the results. We were laughing and joking in the waiting room but in a short time it would all change and our family would never be the same again..

Cancer.

The word that we all dread.

“Some bad news I’m afraid.. it’s cancer!”

With the consultant’s words echoing in our ears we walked out into the corridor in a state of shock and disbelief.

Dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer and was referred to the relative consultant who decided to treat his cancer with hormones.

Unfortunately it was a case of ‘too little too late’ as the cancer was already spreading into his bones, which explained the back pain. And it was aggressive.

So aggressive that from diagnosis to death took just 6 months.

My dad was old school. He didn’t talk about illness. If he was aware of a problem with his waterworks in the early stages…he didn’t talk about it but I do remember him becoming extremely agitated one day when we were out in the car because he suddenly needed to wee. This was in the previous summer. In hindsight, the signs were there.

Prostate Cancer – The Facts

  • Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK with over 40.000 men being diagnosed each year.
  • It usually develops slowly.
  • Symptoms often only become apparent when the prostate is large enough to affect the Urethra…at this point symptoms like an increased need to wee, straining while urinating and a feeling that the bladder hasn’t emptied properly.

These symptoms don’t necessarily mean it’s cancer – it can be due to other things like an enlarged prostate.

Prostate Cancer – The Causes

  • Age – most cases are in men 50+.
  • It’s more common in men of African descent.
  • Men who have father’s or brothers with prostate cancer have a slightly higher risk.
  • Men who exercise are at lower risk of developing it…not to mention other health problems!
  • Diet – There is evidence to suggest that foods rich in calcium, burnt food, red meat, excessive alcohol and saturated fat may increase the risk of prostate cancer.

Dad was one of the unlucky ones. A combination of pissing about (no pun intended) with diagnosis’s and his old fashioned attitude towards his own health cut his life short at 58 years of age. By today’s standards…that’s not old.

Today is his birthday and he would have been 76 years old.

I often wonder what he would look like now..

Scan 22-06-14

The cancer aged him in the way that sickness ages people but he was destined never to reach old age and even now – 17 years later, it makes me feel incredibly sad to be without him.

He faced this bastard of a disease with the same outlook that he’d had all his life – “It’ll be OK”.

But it wasn’t going to be OK.

My dad was one of the nicest blokes you could hope to meet.

His eyes twinkled and he’d a full on belly laugh – it was infectious!

I loved his laugh…

I loved him.

C was reminiscing about his grandad the other day and said that he could remember his wonderful laugh. That’s a great thing to be remembered for isn’t it?

And my dad laughed a lot..

Even with cancer rampaging through his body.

It was his way of coping. It was his way of saying, “Sod you, Cancer!”

He took the disease on but he was never going to win the battle.

But cancer could only take his body because the spark, which was my Dad, remained until the end.

Sadly, my story is one of loss but yours doesn’t have to be.

I have written this post in the hope that it will help to spread awareness of this type of cancer.

Be cancer aware because it may save your life or the life of someone you love.

Thank you for reading.

Some Useful Links

http://prostatecanceruk.org/

http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Cancerinformation/Cancertypes/Prostate/Prostatecancer.aspx

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“Some days there won’t be a song in your heart. Sing anyway.” – Emory Austin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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24 thoughts on “My Dad, His Prostate Cancer and Me.

  1. Aww sweetheart what a lovely blog….I was 26 when my dad died of stomach cancer so I feel your loss.So well written+informative without being scare mongering.Well done love+kisses xxx Franca.

  2. What a lovely tribute to your Dad whilst tinged with sadness. Men are rubbish at sorting themselves out aren’t they? There is quite a good campaign at the moment fronted by Samuel L Jackson getting men to check themselves called One For The Boys, that he hopes will make men do what women are so much better at.
    Your Dad was too young to go, that’s for sure.

  3. Oh my lovely girlie, what a tribute to your Dad….a blog that might just help somebody, probably a wife who will then nag their hubby to go to the Dr’s. My Dad was a year younger and I was about your age, fucking cancer ribbed him if his life, 6 weeks from 1st symptoms to death.
    What I don’t understand is us women go usually every 5 years for a smear test…..why the fuck do they check men at a younger age for prostrate cancer. Yes, men are bad at going to GP’s but if they had a letter to go and make an appointment, perhaps more mens lives would be saved. It is not just a disease of the old.
    CANCER not only robs us of parents, what’s hurts me more that it has robbed my children of the best Grandad in the world. Xxxxx

    • Thanks Sheerie..
      I think it’s rare for a man to get prostate cancer younger than 50…it does seem to be a cancer that affects older men. My brother is in his 50’s now so he should be getting his checked because of dad.
      Cancer robs us of so much but nothing so important as time with our loved ones…I had to tell S, in terms that he could understand, that his ‘other grandad’ is dead. My dad would have gone nuts over him – he adored his grandchildren. 😦
      xXxXx

  4. Beautifully written as always. I wish I had known your dad too, he sounds like a gem. He would be very proud of you and your family I’m sure. I agree with Sheerie. There should be tests like us women have to go through. Thinking of you as always xxx

  5. Sorry, just re-read above reply, lots of typo’s…….put it down to medication!!! 💊💊💊💊💊💊

  6. What a beautiful post Sis and I think its lovely that you and C remember his laugh the most. Big huge hugs for you. Love you lots xxxx

  7. What a moving and really informative post 🙂 I was at britmumslive where a chap call Ben Dutton Smith sooke about acquird memory in kids and the importance of not letting memories fade and being afraid to talk about that have passes on

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