Current assessment

My Dad has run into some trouble in the last couple of days. He was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in early 2020. He recovered quite well after chemotherapy which lasted eleven months. Initially, the outlook was grim for his general well being and the social workers expected the worst. He eventually got his walking function back and was independent. Now the outlook is grim again. The myeloma has spread into his spine which is quite common for this condition. He has limited use of his legs currently and is most likely to be wheelchair-bound. I had to make some difficult decisions on his behalf as he was deemed incapable of making a decision about surgery. I was being pressured to make a decision quickly and asked for a few hours to be able to talk to some people close to my Dad. In the end, I said yes to surgery and then in the last moments, the surgeons took a closer look at the scans and deemed surgery could do more harm than good.

They went into more detail in their final assessments about why and I was glad the decision was reversed. I was given information initially although it wasn’t in as much detail. They are looking at other options to decompress his spine and realistically he will be wheelchair-bound. If my Dad was younger they would do surgery but there are a lot of complex issues that wouldn’t affect a younger person in the same position as badly. I will have to take care of my Dad’s general affairs as I did when he was first hospitalised in 2020. I have limited access to his funds but hopefully, nothing too pressing comes up in the next few weeks. Personally, I felt my Dad’s decisions weren’t that incompetent but the gravity of the situation was probably beyond him in some regard. He is lucky though that he won’t have to deal with very invasive surgery and he told me he understood the risks around his situation.

The first surgeon was adamant that he needed the surgery but he couldn’t guarantee a successful outcome. The last head surgeon wasn’t so sure as he had regained some minor movement in his legs from other procedures and felt that my Dad was most likely too weak from his cancer battle to gain many benefits. The risks outweighed the benefits by a long shot. I hope Dad can still have some quality of life. He may need full-time care although there is time to see what decisions need to be made going forward. Let us hope for the best outcome.

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