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Old 05-15-2007, 07:39 AM   #1
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Brain cancer

We thought my dad's main problem was copd and lower lumbar stenosis. Now we find out he has a brain tumor. We are supposed to see the neurosurgeon this week for his diagnosis and treatment plan. The PA said from the way it looks, it's cancer. They did a ct scan. They call this a Primary Brain Tumor. They did a ct scan below his stomach and didn't find any others so at this point it doesn't look like it metastisized. Although this past Saturday they did another ct scan of his lungs. Haven't heard about those yet. The tumor is 4.6 cm. Not sure how large they get. The neurosurgeon said it was 'aggressive.'

Dad says 'do what you have to.' I told him 'one day at a time, right pop?!' he said 'Yup.' His favorite word. So now we say "ODAT."

For those of you who have asked, what are the symptoms you experienced. My dad is totally immobile now. We thought is was his back problem as stenosis can cause immobility. We thought that with his copd and back problem, his muscles deteriorated due to lack of use. It hurt him to move and he lost his breath - even being on oxygen 24/7.

There is no memory loss, I've read that it occurs once radiation therapy begins. I am going up every day (I've only missed two since he's been in the hospital starting on 4/4) to communicate while we can. He's never complained of a headache of loss of vision or double vision. He has been slow to answer questions, seems to daydream, and sleeps a lot.

Besides the copd and stenosis, he also has high blood pressure and diabetes.

I will post after our talk with the neurosurgeon.
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Old 05-16-2007, 01:16 PM   #2
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Re: Brain cancer

Thursday, 5/17 the neurosurgeon will explain to my dad about the biopsy, now scheduled for Monday (was going to be tomorrow). They had to postpone due to a blood thinning med my dad was on. Had to stop it for a few days.

The doc said that if it was attached to healthy cells he would stop at the biopsy and not try to remove the tumor. Radiation would be the treatment. If he can remove it, he will. So many questions. I'll let you know as soon as I find out what kind of tumor it is so I guess that will be next week.
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Last edited by sawbuck44; 05-16-2007 at 01:17 PM.

 
Old 05-16-2007, 02:25 PM   #3
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Re: Brain cancer

^^^Really hope all comes out well..keep us posted..im sure it will though

 
Old 05-16-2007, 02:33 PM   #4
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Re: Brain cancer

Hi Sawbuck44
Just wanted to say I hope your dad's tumor is operable and they can get it out of there. I know brain surgery sounds scary and believe me it was! I had a 2 cm tumor removed in December. The surgery was easier than the cyberknife "surgery" (basically pinpointed radiation) they did a month later. I had the surgery on a Wed. morning and was dischraged that Friday morning. I didn't even need anything stronger than acetameniphen.
I 'll keep your dad in my prayers for good results on Monday. He sounds like a strong man, with a great supportive family.
Hellas

 
Old 05-17-2007, 11:02 AM   #5
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Re: Brain cancer

The neurosurgeon talked to dad and my sister this morning. Surgery is 7:30 am on Monday (5/21). Doc said that the tumor is not in an area that controls memory so that should not be an issue. Dad asked if he'd be able to walk again and the doc said if we can remove it, yes. Too many what if's still to know how things are going to turn out. Doc did say that his stenosis was not the reason he wasn't walking and that it wasn't too serious.

The scan the doc compared the new one to was from June 2006. So within that timeframe this tumor grew. We always thought it was his shortness of breath and his back pain that kept him from walking. Boy, were we wrong. Just wish we could have discovered it sooner before it completely disabled him. Now he will have an uphill battle to regain strength and muscle.

The doc said because of his copd, he will be in ICU longer than most people. He will have a breathing tube so he won't, of course, be able to talk for a few days.

I'll keep you all posted and thanks for being there.
Kim
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Last edited by sawbuck44; 05-17-2007 at 12:07 PM.

 
Old 05-19-2007, 07:22 PM   #6
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Re: Brain cancer

i will be praying for him on monday morning especially.

do you mind if i ask what hospital he's being treated at? i noticed you live in NY.

my dad had a similar situation where we thought his symptoms were the result of other health issues, not his cancer. i completely understand the shock and worry that you could have found it earlier.

at least they're able to do surgery. you're definitely in my prayers.

 
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Old 05-20-2007, 06:21 AM   #7
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Re: Brain cancer

Thank you for your prayers. They are appreciated more than you know. He is in the hospital on Long Pond. Not sure if I can say the name or not.

Looking back you see they symptoms fit a brain tumor, but who really thinks of that? I was talking to my dad the other night, just me and him for a change in the room, about this and he said he thought it was a result of the stroke or his back too. It's almost like you are between a rock and a hard place. If you go to the doctor, he will most certainly write it off to the same issues we thought. I almost want to blame the doctor for missing it. Does he really listen? Hindsight is 20/20. Someone said that to me yesterday (my Aunt) and I wanted to floor her. I guess unless you are right next to the situation it's easy to say passive things to try and make sense of it.

How is your dad doing Jen?
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Old 05-20-2007, 12:01 PM   #8
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Re: Brain cancer

i also keep telling my dad that "hindsight is 20/20". haha

he's doing pretty well right now. he had an off week today with only 1 drug being given. next week will be rough b/c he has a procedure to put a stint in his intestine (so he can pass food) on tuesday, then full chemo round wednesday-friday. at least we got to enjoy the weekend

 
Old 06-10-2007, 04:00 PM   #9
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Re: Brain cancer

You and your families are both in my Prayers. I'm a Rochester/Webster/Buffalo man and moved to the south in 2003.

My young niece went through a brain cancer operation about 2 year's ago and is working, teaching, while getting her scheduled examinations, meds, and therapy. It is such a sad situation when your loved ones are in peril.

My brother and sister both went through brain operations about 4 year's ago, but theirs wasn't cancer. My brother now has to be cared for, for the rest of his life, whereas my sister is about 95% back to her old self.

God Bless both of you and your families.

Jim

 
Old 06-10-2007, 07:49 PM   #10
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Re: Brain cancer

My father passed away at 3:00 am on Wednesday, June 6. I had been there for three nights and my brother told me to go home the night he died. My brother and youngest sister were with him. Looking back he certainly was sicker for a lot longer than we even realized. I just wish that the pcp could have had a clue with my father's symptoms to possibly look for a brain tumor sooner. The doctor, like the rest of us, was probably passing off the symptoms to muscle weakness due to the stroke and that physical therapy would make him stronger. Coincedence is that my oldest brother passed away three years ago at 3am. Also, my sister from Florida came in both times in the afternoon of the day before they died. The only difference there was she didn't have her grand-daughter with her for this visit.

We started comfort care on the Saturday before he passed. That stopped all the antibiotics and steroids. He was on 100% oxygen by then and there was no hope of doing surgery. They started him on low dose morphin.

My dad had a DNR, but on the day he found out he had to go to ICU and they asked him if your heart stops do you want us to do this (they showed hands pumping his chest) he said yes. The icu docs asked, if your breathing is failing do you want a breathing tube? Dad said yes. They did explain that he wouldn't be able to talk, or eat. That night he went to icu they started with the bipap mask then three hours later had to do the tube. The next day, my dad, through our questions, adamently wanted the tube out. Then we had to tell him that it would never go in again and that he would not have much time left.

Since that was the case, the surgery was no longer a possibility due to the no tube. There was no way they could do surgery without putting the tube in. My older sister asked dad if he had enough and he said 'pretty much' though barely a whisper because he could not talk anymore due to the tumor and the swelling.

There are always unanswered questions and the what if's. All's we need to realize now is that dad is no longer suffering. He was very anxious even with the morphine so they increased it by one mg and gave him ativan. It was very hard to see him raising his good arm and thrashing his head slowly and opening his mouth and furrowing his brow. It took a few doses of ativan to really calm him down. I get this graphic because I want to help others who are watching their loved ones die to know how to interpret things that may happen. I called the nurse in to watch him because I don't know and I didn't want to say give him more if he didn't need it.

Now we are trying to accept it and it's hard because it happened so fast. We had no clue that when he went into the hospital he'd only be around another two months. Please, watch for signs and symptoms closely and don't be afraid to ask for tests. I pray for everyone here and thank you for your prayers. take care
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Last edited by sawbuck44; 06-10-2007 at 07:53 PM.

 
Old 06-15-2007, 01:57 PM   #11
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Re: Brain cancer

Quote:
Originally Posted by sawbuck44 View Post
My father passed away at 3:00 am on Wednesday, June 6.
Im really sorry to hear that. I was following your story in another thread.."one weel to live" I think thats what you named it, Im sure their are other in that thread hopin to hear from you. Again, Im very sorry, my prayers remain with you and your family. He is in the Lords hands now

 
Old 06-16-2007, 05:07 AM   #12
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Re: Brain cancer

I am so very sorry for your loss Sawbuck. I am sorry also, that I never saw this post until now.
You have my deepest symathies and heartfelt prayers. May the Lord surround you with comfort and peace, today and in the hard days ahead.
Faith

 
Old 06-17-2007, 08:24 PM   #13
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Re: Brain cancer


Hello, I am new to this board- I found it hoping to find others that share the unfortunate bond of grief. I ran across your posting. I am so sorry for your loss, as it is the same as believe as mine. My father passed away in March from brain cancer. Glyoma. I will keep you in my prayers tonight and hope that you are finding peace. Best Wishes, tam01

 
Old 06-25-2007, 07:02 PM   #14
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Re: Brain cancer

I'm sorry to the people on here that are experiencing the loss of a loved one to brain cancer or the recent diagnosis of a loved one with brain cancer. I am here looking for support as well. I lost my father four months ago. Three months before that, he thought he was having a stroke. That's when we found out about the two glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) stage IV tumors in his head. Only one could be removed by a craniotomy. He had two surgeries in one day after he hemorrhaged. The other tumor was inoperable because of its location in the brain. He was given a year to live, though he didn't seem to understand what they were saying. It started to sink in near the end, and he got very depressed. He took his own life one day. I am thankful he did not have to deal with months of pain and suffering, but I REALLY miss him!!! I think about him all the time, every single day. It's so sad to see so many people dealing with this and other types of cancer as well.

 
Old 06-26-2007, 09:26 AM   #15
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Re: Brain cancer

Thank you all for your prayers and support. We are doing the best we can. I have to move forward with my way of thinking though. I keep asking myself, why they didn't find it sooner. June 2006 he had a stroke and up until a month before he passed did the tumor show up on a head ct scan. I had asked the pcp doctor to see the xrays - in a letter because communication was kind of hard with him. Never did see them. Not that I didn't believe that he had a tumor, but it would have made it more real. Looking back at photos you can see the dramatic decline in my dad's health. When you see him every day I guess you don't notice it as much.

My oldest sister, the one in Florida, was supposed to quit smoking "after she finished the pack she had." I wonder how that's going. She promised my mother because my mother saw what copd did to my dad and my 49 yo brother died of lung and throat cancer.

take care
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