Hello... I am so very sorry to hear of the spread of your Dad's cancer. It is a very difficult disease to treat when it is Stage 3/4 but that is no reason not to seek a second opinion if you don't believe he is getting the best care at Vanderbilt. I don't believe the 4 treatments over two months caused the mets to his bones but that it most likely was already in progress. I know your family is devastated by this news.
See what Vanderbilt recommends when his CT results come back. Sara Anne listed some excellent hospitals for second opinions if your parents are able to travel, or sometimes they can just send the biopsies/slides to another pathology lab for a review.
I am a patient of Vanderbilt and was sent there by my local urologist because my tumor was in the "rare" category of bladder cancers. I had surgery three years ago and was very pleased with the care I received, but everyone's situations are different.
Long distances definitely make the situation even more complicated. I feel for your Mom in being away from her home and dealing with this along with your Dad. I live 300 miles from Nashville and have gone back many times now for followup checks and scans so I know how difficult just the trip can be. My heart goes out to all of you. If you have questions after you get the CT report, please post them here and we will help in any way we can.
Best wishes... Catherine
Forum Moderator Team
TURBT 1/21/10 at age 55
Dx: T2aN0M0 Primary Bladder Adenocarcinoma
Partial Cystectomy 2/25/10
Vanderbilt Medical Center
I am so sorry to hear your news. This is, indeed, a very difficult time for you and your parents.
You mentioned that your father is being treated at Vanderbilt. He is very fortunate; this is one of the better places for bladder cancer in the country. I am sure that others familiar with it will also reply to your post. Cancer Centers of America is a for-profit chain that specializes in cancer patients. They are not known to have any superior expertise in bladder cancer. If you feel that you need a second opinion on his condition, you should consider other top centers such as Johns Hopkins, Memorial Sloan Kettering, in NYC., or MD Anderson. The University of Chicago is another good place.
If, indeed, your father's diagnosis is correct, please consider enrolling him in a Hospice program. If he makes progress against this disease, he can always be "unenrolled.." These programs are absolutely wonderful and would provide all types of help for your mother and for you. Both my mother and my father benefited tremendously from Hospice and I knew that they were there to provide the support I couldn't from a distance. Most people wait until too late to consider this help.
Best wishes to you and your parents...
Diagnosis 2-08 Small papillary TCC; CIS
BCG; BCG maintenance
Vice-President, American Bladder Cancer Society
My father was diagnosed with stage 3 bladder cancer on Aug. 30, 2012. He did 4 chemo treatments of the cisplatin/Gemzar combo. While on chemo, his cancer metastasized to his pelvis and spine and the tumors in his bladder actually grew! We were told this on November 15th and we were also told there is nothing else that the doctors can do. So, he now is in stage 4. We were also told in November that he had at best 6 months to live. He had another CT scan this past Sunday, but we are still waiting on those results. He is being treated at Vanderbilt University in TN. My parents live in KY and I am in IL. This has been so hard. I want to do more for them, but the distance hurts us. Also, my Mom has no support to help her through this. I also want my Dad around as long as possible. I am not sure what else we should be doing. We are thinking of looking into one of the Cancer Center of America treatment facilities. Any advice anyone has would be wonderful! Than you.