How did I get to Stage 4 Cancer, while under my Doctor’s Care?

Posted: July 12, 2013 in A thought for a day, Advance Prostate Cancer, Life

Gerard's PictureI have gone through the 11th July and met my Dr Donnell at Galway Cancer Hospital. I took Sharron my sister in law into the interview with me and what a difference it made. Two heads are better than one in situations like this. I now have stage 4 cancer. I am still capable of work as is a 65-year-old man, yet he is not expected to work and taking that I have six months to ten years of which my life will have detracted into bedridden, it sounds very cruel to be classified like this. I am a single man having worked all my life paying higher tax as do all single couples with little for it at the end of the day. I will not see my state pension I have paid into all my life; all I need now to put me at ease is some form of help. My pension would suit me fine; however, that is not on with this red tape country I live in. Going down this disability and other direction is the only step now open to me and it looks like I do not qualify for this if I am able for work with Stage 4 terminal cancer. This is red tape gone mad. It is putting a tremendous strain on me I do not need now. The country is so small and full of red tape that a simple one straight answer is not suffice to explain all the reasons I a stage 4 cancer person am not able for work. I do not have time for all this pressure and I feel let down with everything the way it has been towards Daniel and I. My family, my State and now it appears my aftercare from my own Doctors clinic was not to the standard I would have thought a advanced prostate cancer person is required to have, which I did not received.

When the fact of my case on file were read by Dr. Donnelly, he appeared shocked that I had to pay €250 for an IC scan in Castlebar Hospital on the 20th June 2013, as I was a very high-risk patient, when my PSA had started to rise in 7th June 2012 that was the time to take action. I mention about the pain I had on my right leg to my doctor on the 25th March 2013. This was where I was receiving my three monthly steroid injections for the past three years. He said that was sufficient warning that things were not right and surely complaining about a lot of back pain on the 14th June 2013, at 11am,  in itself was more than enough warning that it should have been picked up on. Regardless of what I thought, it was. I should not have had to wait one whole week and then pay for my own scan. I also should have not had to follow up this request. I was register as a high-risk advance prostate cancer patient whose first PSA was a reading of 47.9 on the 25th January 2010 with 95% cancer on all my samples taking with the transrectal needle biopsy procedure on the 26th February 2010. He said I am now under his treatment and we are arrange my new procedures I now have to go under because of this new setback in my life into bone cancer I find myself now in. When will this asshole country understand that aftercare is part of a persons health plan to recovery and without it this is what happens.

This fact was known by everyone, including my family, work mate, as I was open to all. It is now in my bones, it was not in my bones when I had had my bone scan on 16th April 2010.

He also said it would have been wise to had had chemotherapy alongside my radiation cancer treatment on the 28th July 2010, particular if there had been concern that it had gone into my lymph glands as was mention at the time. I did ask Professor Sullivan about this on the 2nd July 2013, and his reply was that at that time he did not advise it; however, Professor Eamonn Roggers, who diagnosed me with my cancer in 7th April 2010 at that time, did advise triple radiation. That consists of Radiation, Chemotherapy and Bracketing, which ran alongside with steroids drug injection treatment to halt the spread of the cancer at this early stage. Drug treatment is not classified as one of the triple radiation treatments as it was hinted at by one of the Professor to me when I mention this later.

As you can make out from the mansion above Blogs; I did not get this, neither did I get the bones scans I should have had each year under good medical practice, which I should have because I was a high-risk patient. I now carry the price for this. I know I only had a 15% percent chance any way; from the start according to Professor Ted McDermott on the 7th April 2010 when I called for a second opinion on my recently diagnosed cancer. This is the only thing now from stopping me taking legal action against my doctor and hospital for not giving me the aftercare I should have had, I am not a doctor and I depend on them to look after my interest and you can see from the above mansion details I did not get this. It would have at least slowly down the cancer giving me more time.

However, I now must carry on with each day as it comes, because I am now in the club of cancer knowing as Stage 4, this will affect everything in my coming life from now on, my driving is one. I have to inform them and if I am not covered, I have no way of getting around. Having your own transport why living in the country is one of the most important things one must have. On top of this, my father will not be allowed to drive next year because of his age and eyesight. Therefore, we have no transport if that is taken away also. I am a professional driver; so I know my limits, and I will not drive if I am affected in anyway by my condition. At this moment, I do not have any problems in that field. I do worry; as I know I will in time, however, that depends on each person who is been treated for this, that why Dr. Donnell has gave such a wide open from six months to ten years. He will know better between bone scans and then let me know my predicted time. I need to know this, as I have to clean up my affairs.  Once cancer is in your bones it is in your blood and that means all your organs now are at risk. I am amazed at how I have accepted it now. I only hope God who I feel has abandonment me; does not let it get into my brain, as I want to be sane when my time comes.

Going into great detail like this can be off putting for people reading this; however, you will not get information like this from any website connected with advance Prostate cancer, I have searched. I also want to know and I want our health inspectors understand when a person is diagnosed with advanced cancer; this is the end result for the person on this side. That person should not have to be put through an exam from a standard GP in the health centre in Ballina to assess if this person should be taken off sick benefit. They are not qualified to make such a decision as I have demonstrated above.In my case, I had to be medically discharged by CIE, it is the only way you can go onto sick benefit and is the only benefit I could go onto while going throught two months of test and treatment. This payment only last for two years. After that, you go onto disability benefit if your condition gets worse, which it will with advance prostate cancer as there is no cure for it; and on that, I did not want to go in that direction as once on it, you are classified as disability and work becomes that harder to get.

You see I still thought I would get work in CIE in Ballina, as I was one of the longer serving part time drivers. I was there since 2007. There was work coming up to February 2012 as a driver was retiring and this was mansion to me by a Mr Fitzpatrick who worked there. At this time, I still had five months benefit to go through; however, I signed off. If this part time job came through it would have been my dream return to a normal working life again, to have pride in that I am making my own way, as I was before this cancer came into my life. Moreover; I did have good reason, as signs on my PSA front were still dropping at that time into the very low 0.27 on the 21st March 2012; everything was looking good for me.

Well time past and there was no sign of this work, Michael Fitzpatrick retired, and that was that. I concluded that I was not part of the click and I have wasted six years of my life trying to get a position there through the school bus route. I was told, first in prevails in CIE and I did not see this while there in Ballina under this new management. At least I was honest on my part in sticking to what I was told at the start by Mr. Michael Fitzpatrick of CIE a very good man.

I had to find another field and train myself again, as I did in professional driver when I closed down my plumbing business of twenty-one years back in 2006. I took on some education courses to improve my maths and PC Microsoft software skills, which were fine anyway. I am self-taught in everything in my life and I thought for once try the Irish education way. It did not work out for me. The only class I enjoyed was the maths and internet web design. I did a course a few years ago on this in Galway while working for Air Coach in Dublin and they made room for me on my shift work timetable. I also have all the Adobe software, which as anyone with this setup knows, is very expense. I still have an interest in web design as photography is my passion and the two go together. I have all the gear for both photography and web design and this was acquired throughout my life going back many years costing many thousands of euros.

Nikon, Sony and Samsung are the preferred gear I use. All my PC’s setup are custom build by me for digital editing and my entire home is wired, so that I can work from abroad on my setup. I was building a digital library of work I am capable of and wedding photography in the Gay field was my plan. I know in this field as a gay man, I was not happy with what I was seeing online and in the newspaper; too many stereotypes of what gay people are like according to the straight community.

That was my plan. Daniel and I had a course lined up in the UK to attend in July 2013. As you can see again, cancer now has put an end to this as it did in CIE. I have to hold back and see how my cancer is spreading. If I am one of the lucky one that looks like I might hit that lucky ten years, I will go in this direction. It gives me hope thinking about it.

Now you can see why a small income will help me, as it is a huge strain off my shoulders. To have to ask for money is not easy, particularly when I always had my own resources. I now live on selling of what I have and that is now ending.  Again, my Partner Daniel and family have been outstanding. It is moments like this that you thank God for the good things; I must get all this out, so that I can get on with life and not have hate for anyone. We are not Gods: however, there is a cost that I seem to be the only one to be carrying and that is not fair.


Gerard Mac Sharry.

12th July 2013.


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