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My dad is 87 years old, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer recently. I went into the dr with him the first couple of visits, and the dr told me what was going on. The third dr apt., I started to go in with him but he loudly told me no, in front of a waiting room full of people. He cannot hear well, and if he doesn't hear something he won't ask anyone to repeat what they said and he will not ask questions.


From what I understood, he was going to get a shot every 4 months for the cancer and they were going to watch it closely. He did have a cat scan done, I was not allowed to take him, he went by himself, and he got confused on where to go in the building, but blamed it on the people working there did not tell him the right way to go


The other morning he received a call, my mom does not have a clue who called and he said that he was getting radiation treatments but it was not a big deal and getting these treatments are nothing.


We do not know why all of a sudden this has happened, don't know when or where, his response was I will let you know. He has a dr apt Tuesday morning, my mom wants me to take him but she doesn't know what doctor, time or place and he isn't talking.


My mom has her own issues, she has copd, and is on oxygen, her legs are swelled up and she can't hardly walk. There are also mental issues with her also, she was so mad at me one night when I called the paramedics for my dad, she was in the kitchen slamming the cupboard doors and yelling, I knew you were going to do this, I should never have called you, plus she threatened to call the cops on me and kicked me out of the house. My dad was in the hospital for a week and the er dr took 2 liters of urine out of him, but he felt fine.


It is pretty much me taking care of them, my 2 kids help as much as they can, my sister lives out of state, she said she is hoping to get up here in a couple of weeks


I am at the end of my rope, I don't know what to do.

Yes, call the doctor and let her/him know what is going on with your dad.

While it sounds as though both of your parents have some mental issues, this change in your dad sounds like a "change in mental status" that could signal a TIA, stroke, UTI or something else that needs to be investigated.

Frankly, if dad does not want you involved, you may need to wait until he fails spectacularly (falls, becomes seriously ill, etc., ) before you can get some help from a hospital discharge team. Very said when parents don't trust their children.

Don't feel bad if you step back for a breather.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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Can you ask your Dad how he plans to get to the doctor appointment on Tuesday? Maybe you could fib and tell him the doctor says he needs a driver for these appointments. If he’s receiving radiation, it’s probably not a fib. When/if you get to the office, ask the receptionist to give him a Hippa form “so they have another contact.” It may be more convincing if it’s presented to him in a direct manner by the office, not you.
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Cindy1123 Jun 30, 2019
Good idea. I had not thought of that
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You know how young ladies nowadays say: "you need men for three things: high up things, heavy things, and hugs"?

I'm wondering if we might need to add "accompanying elderly gentlemen to appointments about delicate subjects."

Any male relatives at all? Any peers of your father - friends, neighbours of roughly the same generation?

It's hard to tell - because evidently your parents don't care to be "interfered" with in general - whether your father has veered into this way of behaving because of the nature of his new diagnosis or because he's feeling overwhelmed about everything. But if you can think of a suitable male person to sit down with him and talk about what's going on and how he wants it handled, it might just be a start.

If there really isn't anyone, try going onto a prostate cancer website and consulting their forums.

How is your mother being about it now?

I'm sorry that you've got such a lot on your plate.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Your parents sound like very proud and independent people who don’t want help from anyone. It seems like every time you try to help they react with anger and you are verbally abused by them. There may be some dementia involved with both of them. Does anyone have Durable Power of Attorney for them? This means that when and if they are unable to make decisions for themselves, financial or health-wise, the POA can step in and make those decisions. There is also a form called “HIPPA” which, if your father and mother listed you and/or your sister on this form, the doctor can tell you what is going on with them medically. But, based on what you wrote, they probably haven’t listed you on the forms which is a shame. You can write a letter or call the doctor and explain what you’re going through with them and without asking for any privileged information, as them for help.

Because you are becoming burned out, you need to contact your sister immediately and have a very honest discussion with her. Don’t let her put you off, make excuses. and tell you she “hopes” she can come up in a “few weeks”. You need help NOW. Since you are constantly being shut down by your parents, you need her help with then. Good luck. Come back and let us know how it’s going.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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CIndy, I would wonder if that's what the nurse actually said, or if that is what your parents "think" she said. I would tread very carefully.
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Jannner Jul 3, 2019
Yes, according to my mother, the dr. said my stepfather ( moderate to severe Alzheimer’s, could not remember how to raise his window in the car or fasten his seat belt) was “Fine to drive, just not on the freeway”. And he only had” a little memory loss” not full blown dementia.🙄🙄🙄
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Cindy, backing away is a very wise move on your part.

You cannot force anything on them. By the same token, if they don't cooperate, they cant expect you to accommodate their demands.

Let this all devolve upon their heads. As we used to say at work, YOUR lack of planning does not make this MY emergency.

Step back. Breathe deeply.
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Cindy1123 Jul 8, 2019
I will still take them to dr apts and go to the store, but I am not going to be available when my mom calls and wants me to go to the store or take her someplace right now. I can't cut them off completely, I am the only one to help them. It it is going to be on my terms
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Thank you for your help, I am calling the dr tomorrow. No there is no power of attorney, nothing. They don't trust anyone for that
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Cindy, I've got lots of ????????????? appearing over my head, too, about what the nurse actually said to your parents.

Cancer treatment big money racket, don't do this - well, it's a point of view, and it wouldn't be the first time I'd heard it. But it *would* be the first time I'd heard it from a nursing professional, in her place of work, giving advice outside her clinical remit, unsolicited, to her patient.

I should ask the nurse what discussions, if any, she had with your parents before you lodge any complaints.
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Cindy1123 Jul 3, 2019
Talked to the nurse this morning and she said in no way she ever said anything like this, yes it raised a lot of red flags for me to. My mom has made up stories like this before, so I have to learn when something doesn't sound right, it probably isn't. One time, my mom had severe pain in her shoulder, I could not take her to the dr that day. She told me her arm was out of socket, and I remember thinking that is odd. A couple of months later she was in the er, telling the dr she had calcium deposits on her shoulder. I asked her why she told me it was out of socket and she said that sounded like it hurt worse then calcium deposits. Really I have got to question her more about things
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Strictly my opinion but I would not put any 87 year old through radiation or any kind of cancer treatment.
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Cindy1123 Jul 4, 2019
the nurse told me the the other day that she didn't know where he got the idea he was getting radiation treatments. The apt for the cancer center was a consultation, that is it, and I agree, with a man of his age the treatment is worse then the disease. I think what a lot of the problem is, he can't hear well, and if he doesn't understand, he won't ask questions. Also he won't let anyone go into the dr with him to ask questions, he says he can handle it himself
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Cindy, hugs! What a rough situation, responsibility without authority, thankfully you are on the HIPPA release. Helpful.

Can you and your sister agree on getting your parents to get POAs in place, these are needed usually in an emergency and there is no way to obtain them at that point. I think that your parents don't understand what they are, can you possibly get an appointment with a certified elder law attorney (www.nelf.org) and have them explain exactly how they work and what the intention of them is. Reassuring them that you nor anyone can just take over their lives because of these documents.

I had to tell my dad that if he didn't sign, which was completely his choice, that the next time he ended up in the hospital I would walk away and he would be at the mercy of the doctors, because I couldn't fight the system again to ensure that he received the care he needed. It took years off my life and he doesn't get anymore. The hospitalist said he told him, in a room by themselves and my dad sick out of his head, that he didn't want to receive care and DNR. I fought like crazy to get him care, what kind of doctor does that? So, you can give me the ability to ensure your wishes are fulfilled or you can take your chances, but I will not go through that again because you don't trust me. I also said it doesn't have to be me, anyone that he trusts, it just had to be someone. No one knows how stressful that type of situation is, nor can you even imagine that would happen, but it does and when you need that POA it is usually to late to get it.

Do some research so you understand what it entails, because nothing you have posted would have been changed with a POA. It doesn't give you control over your parents, it allows you to do that they would do for themselves if they were able. That is the intention, can that be abused, yes, but it is a risky business that could land you in jail if that authority is abused. (Not saying you, just in general) that is the big concern with people, that the POA will get on a power trip and force them to do things they don't want. That's where a certified elder law attorney will be beneficial, they can write the POA in a way that helps minimize the potential of abuse.

Best luck, your parents sound like they have always been a bit challenging.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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Cindy1123 Jul 4, 2019
the nurse that comes in and checks his vitals told me she is going to try and talk them into giving me medical poa. Today my mom called me and said she is going to get an apt at the cancer center, and would I take them. I told her yes, this is just giving them options, they don't have to do anything. I would never do anything that would be against their wishes, the only thing is, I don't know what their wishes are. You really can't sit down and have a sensible conversation with them about this without them getting angry. Thank you for your advice. It does help a lot
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