My father, John, was incapacitated by what he thought was sciatica in September. With increasing pain on standing and normal painkillers doing little, he was admitted to the Ulster hospital in mid-October and, after an X-ray and MRI scan, was diagnosed with early stage metastasized (secondary) cancer - in the bones of his lower spine and pelvis. The associated swelling was pressing on his spinal chord was causing nerve pain. Dad had been diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2016 and received hormone treatment which seemed to halt the growth successfully, however once metastasized into bone there is no effective treatment.
In October he was immediately given radiotherapy to reduce swelling/pain, but there is no treatment. After a stay of 5 weeks in the Ulster due to difficulty in balancing pain medication, Dad was discharged to home care on 24th November. He is extremely sensitive to morphine, and there had been a significant deterioration in his condition since the plan for home care was made, therefore we faced a challenge to keep him pain free without side-effects. He was taken back to hospital on 30th November as side effects and dehydration were unmanageable at home. It took a few more days before he became stable again.
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