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my father thinks he is dying and has given up
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my father thinks he is dying and has given up

Hello all.  I am a usual poster in the prostate cancer forum as I am a caregiver for my dad who was diagnosed last November.  Let me provide brief overview.  Diagnosed with local prostate cancer in November 2013.  Did radiation through Feb and March of 2014.  Once radiation finished, he kept worrying that it has still spread and treatment didn't work.  he hated radiation because he always had a full bladder and was told to hold it in a lot.  towards the end of radiation he got a bladder infection, but never told anyone about the pain or got it treated.  must have had it two weeks before end of radiation and before got any anti-biotics.  we were told by doctors this could cause dilusion.  four days after radiation finished dad was not himself.  Very distant.  at times asking what day it was and if he had eaten breakfast or taken his pills.  so not like him.  He drives and goes grocery shopping and cooks/cleans.  very independent.  In and out of the hospital twice in 2 weeks.  This past Thursday went to see his rad/onc who noticed a changed and had him admitted asap.  hes been in the hospital since Thursday night.  Every kind of test has been run, (CT, MRI, Xray, blood, urine, etc...).  The only thing that is noticed is the infection and they started him on an antibiotic last night.  Hopefully this starts to help.  However the problem now is he refuses to eat, refuses to talk, refuses to get out of bed.  When he does talk he tells us he is dying and its his fault and its too late.  To leave him alone and let him die.  All test results show otherwise.  I don't know how to deal with this.  He is week because he won't eat.  He thinks he is weak because he is dying.  Also, he says someone is killing him.  Someone in the hospital is putting something in his IV to kill him.
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Avatar_f_tn

Hello Needadvice1911,

I just finished reading your comments. Your dad has been through a lot
battling the prostate cancer. I'm sure the radiation treatments were extremely
hard on him. How old is your dad ? You say he's normally very independent.
Does you dad live alone, with you or somewhere else?   Does your dad
suffer from depression?  Does he take an antidepressant ? If so, what anti
depressant does he take right now?  Has his antidepressant medication
been changed recently?  As I'm sure you're aware of, paranoia is part of
the depression. This may explain why your dad thinks someone in the
hospital is trying to kill him. What antibiotic did the hospital give your dad?
It sounds to me like your dad is very tired of being sick and maybe he feels
like he's lost all hope of getting better.  After the radiation treatments were
finished did the hospital tell your dad that he no longer had the prostate
cancer and that he was in remission or that it had gone.
I think all you can do is offer support and continue to assure him that he
is not dying, that all the test results show otherwise and that he needs
to know your family loves and cares about him and that all of you will not
give up hope. I know hospital food is often not wonderful. If this is the
case, when one of my family members was in the hospital, we brought
her fresh fruit and other yummy healthy food to encourage her to eat.
Depression is an awful illness to have. I know what I'm talking about.
I had a very bad depression more than 10 years ago. In my case my
depression is hereditary, but I have it under control with a daily antidepressant,supplements like vitamin D, omega 3 fish oil capsules
and other supplements and most importantly a positive attitude.
People who are normally independent find it particularly hard when
that independence is taken away from them and they feel like there's
no hope to get better. Find ways to cheer up your dad and whatever
you do, don't leave him alone. The mind is a powerful thing.
Tell your dad he will get better, reassure him that he is an important
person in your life and to have patience that the antibiotic will help
him get better.  I wish you luck in helping your dad regain his will to
live and get better.   Eve
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Avatar_m_tn
Eve, I will do my best to answer your questions.  See below.  I want to thank you for responding.  

My dad is 73 years old.  He lives with my mother.  they have their own home. My father has never had depression but he is a huge hpyocondriac (poor spelling). his brother and I are the same as well.  Small things scare us and we think the worst from it.  He as never suffered from depression and never taken anything for it.  He started the antibiotic cipro 500mg for one week starting on Tuesday, april 1, 2014.  he took it all, but when we admitted him to the hospital again on Thursday, April 10, 2014 he still had an infection.  They took him off all meds at the new hospital starting april 10, 2014.  Only this past Monday night (april 14) did they start him on a new IV antibiotic.  He is now taking piperacillin/tazobactam.  They add it to his IV and just drips in.  They ordered a weeks worth of this.

I went and saw him this morning on my way to work.  He was in bed and didn't talk.  that is sadly usual these past few days.  He's alert.  he follows me around the room.  listens to what i'm saying.  he responds with nodding his head or shrugging his shoulders and he gives me the thumbs up sign when the answer is supposed to be ok.  

Thank you eve.
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Avatar_f_tn

Hello Needadvice1911,

You are very welcome. Thank you for answering my questions. I'm glad to
hear that your mom and dad are living together in their own home.
So you say your day is 73. In my way of thinking, your dad is not old.
Some things you've said that I consider positive. The fact that your dad
is alert. That he follows you around the room and listens to what you say.
These are all positive things. I hope you don't mind me saying this, but
perhaps you could ask your dad if there is something he feels like eating,
like such fresh fruit or something equally healthy. I know you can't get
fresh fruit in a hospital. When a family member of mine was in the hospital two years ago recovering from a broken ankle and other issues, she would tell us what she wanted to eat and we would bring it to her. If she had a
craving for fresh fruit, we brought it to her. I also made her fresh sandwiches.  The food at the hospital where she was staying to recover was questionable at best.  I'm glad your dad is not suffering from depression on top of everything else he's dealing with. How is your mom
dealing with your dad's illness ? You don't have to tell me. It's just something I was wondering about. I had these new meds clear up his
infection and that your dad feels better soon. Maybe you could reassure him that this infection is just a temporary set back. That once he gets
better, he can go back home to your mom. I think it's really important
to be positive and to give him the idea that he will get better by painting
so to speak a positive image in his mind.  I will share something with
you that is true.  Someone in my own family had a a relative that was
sick in the hospital. The doctors had virtually given up on her so they
told her she could eat anything she wanted. This woman took this news
to mean that she was getting better and you know what she did get
better.  This is a true incident. It really happened and it goes to show
that the mind is a powerful healer.  I wish you and you dad well.  Eve
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i have heard of people having similar behavior on cipro.  i am assuming the change of behavior occurred before the cipro though.  
radiation is not easy, especially for someone his age.  he may have not shared all his fears with you since being diagnosed.  i am sure it scared the heck out of him and then the radiation and the bladder infection.  shame on the doctors for making him hold it like that.   then he suffered with that pain.  it is VERY painful to have to hold your urine when you have a bladder infection.  
i think when all that is cleared up and he gets to feeling better he will snap out of it.  it may take some time, but he will. hang in there and sending prayers
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Being in the situation you are in right now is quite devastating. Seeing the person you adore the most giving up on his life is a really challenging feeling. I could not imagine how you manage to go on with life while dealing with this kind of problem.
You should stay strong and find things, or people that could convince and make your Dad realize that life is worth living and he shouldn’t give up on his life because you are not giving up either. Be with him and show him greater support right now. If it means that you need to move him in together with your family or you move in with him for such a certain period, so be it. It’s hard to be old and alone and then deal with a disease that hurts you physically. It is quite easy for someone to give up on life when they start to feel that there is no more reason for them left to continue in life. Give him reasons for living and let that reason be you, your siblings and his extended family. Show him that his presence and his affection is still needed among your siblings as well as with the people surrounding him. The more he feels needed and love, the more interested he will be in living and in continuing with life.
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