Can anyone give me some details of their treatment for brain mets from Lung cancer. My father in law's lung cancer has now moved to the brain. He has underwent 15 whole brain radiation treatments. Originally he had 3 tumors from .3 cm to 1.8 cm. Now he only has 1 at 1.8cm and a new spot that is too small to determain what it is. We go Monday for evaluation to determain if he is a candidate for Gamma Knife radiation.
My main question is since starting the brain radiation and decadron he seems to have gotten so weak. He has lost almost all of his muscle mass and developed high blood sugar. We have started him on insulin and oral medication to get the blood sugar down, but he looks so frail. He also complains of not being able to see, which I believe is more than just the high blood sugar. His motor skills seem to be almost gone, and he has even suffered a fall from this decline.
Has anyone seen any of these symptoms associated with this type of cancer / treatment?
Thanks, and my God be with each one suffering from this dreaded disease.
Stacy..... it all depends on where the tumours are within the brain. Mom had lose of balance, mood swings and such to go along with the brain. We had decided that there was going to be no treatment unless it was to ease her symptoms. She did have radiation on the thyroid because it was cutting off the oxygen.
The blindness, may just be a new tumour that has grown since the radiation.
The high blood sugar, may be the organs beginning to shut down, or it may also be more tumours.
At some point, as I have said before, the hope changes, from hoping to a cure, to hoping for an easy passage. Please read the book Final Gifts. Also talk with the hospice and his doctor, they may better see what should or what may be necessary and maybe even what your FIL would like.
Stacy - My prayers are with you and your wife always. Mom's cancer had spread to her brain, in fact that was our first sign that something was wrong. Her loss of balance, memory, vision and cognitive skills. Mom underwent surgery to remove her tumor and it was as if a light switch had been flipped for her. She was 100% better an hour after surgery. She went home 5 days after surgery-- but the cancer in her lung was inoperable and that was what got her. The first dr. we consulted about her brain tumor said there was nothing we could do. We kept asking and Dr. Clarence Watridge was recommended by our Oncologist and he is the one that performed the surgery. Good Luck - My heart breaks for your wife it is so so hard - keep us informed when you have a chance.-- Hope
Update on my father in law. He went for the Gamma Knife procedure yesterday and the results were not what we had expected. He had three tumors on his brain. They were only able to "zap" one of them. The reason that they did not touch the others is that they had what appeared to be a band of cancer cells arround them. The doctor advised that we wait for another month or so to see if the whole brain radiation that he had already received would take care of the cells. He is also in alot of back pain, knee pain and elbo pain. He had taken metholtrexate for years for authoritis which they stopped to do the radiation. At this point we do not know if it is the authoritis or another cancer spread causing his pain.
When the cancer seems under control rest may need to be supplemented with aggressive physical therapy.
My mom had brain mets diagnosed in Sept of 2002. She is hanging in now with cancer in her liver as well. The mets were through her whole brain last year. After a month of whole head radiation (Sept. 2002) the cancer shrunk but she was so weak she was incapacitated for months. We bought a wheel chair but she was too weak to enjoy sitting up and doing anything. After aggressive rehabilitation she was strong enough to enjoy a few months that could include going to resturants and church and some visiting and video tape movie viewing. Now that the cancer is in her liver, just this weekend she became bedridden and she is too tired to do any of the things she was doing. But at least she had SOME time since the brain mets that she could somewhat enjoy. Naturally mom has not driven her car in over a year but we couldn't sell it and take away her hope.
Best wishes to you. Your loved one will need your support a lot at this time.
Thank you for the reply. My father in law has not done very well. Since going into the hospital last Thursday he has become non responsive. My wife was able to get an "I love you" from him Yesterday which was a sign of hope. He told my two girls the same "I love yall". That was the first in about two days.
The doc's say that if he does not make a turn arround within the next couple of days he would more than likely not make it another two weeks. We just keep praying and asking God to help him. He has done that by giving dad rest. He is not in any apparent pain and is just sleeping other than an occasional cough. My prayers go out to each of you that are dealing with this terrible disease.
you and your wife are in my prayers all the time right now. Your story definitely brings back the memories. It is so so hard - my heart breaks for your wife. I have 3 boys who were close to their grandparents - so they had to deal with loosing them both, plus watching their mom cry and cry over it. I tried not to cry in front of them but sometimes it still is so hard. I want to pick up the phone and call my mom and then realize that I will never hear her voice again. I was shopping for a birthday card this past weekend and just started bawling because I realized I will never get another card addressing me as "Daughter". No one loves you like your parents and when they are gone you are left with a loneliness and emptiness like you could never imagine. I could not ask for a better support system ( my wonderful husband, my sons, my brother and sister, in laws)but 4 months after loosing both my parents the pain is just as bad and I am still crying. I will continue to pray for yall and keep us posted i think of yall often. ---Darla (Hope)