hello all, my father who is 71 was diagnosed with non small cell in november 2004. it was confined to the lung, but couldnt operate because it was too risky, located in difficult place. so he has been having chemo for the past few months. last night he had a seizure and is now in the hospital and they found out it has spread to his brain. it sounds liek it spread to a part of the brain that controls movement since he had the seizure, and it has not as of yet anyway affected his speech or mental abilities or anything like that. i have understood that when it metastasizes like this, its in its final stages, but i am looking for any info on brain mets: basically what should i expect next, do they cause pain, what treatments are useful. if someone would like to share there experience, i would be very greatful. i'm 22 and this has all happened so fast, im just starting a Master's program and i guess i always knew id lose a parent but i didnt expect it to be when i was this "young"...
Alexandra i'm so sorry you have to go through this and you're so young. Your story sounds very similar to mine. I'm 32, my mom passed away in Jan. 2003 from lung cancer. On Christmas Eve 2001 my mom had a seizure...in the ER and a few hours later they told her she had a lung tumour and a brain tumour. A month later she had surgery to remove the brain tumour. She was "lucky" enough that it was operable. They started her on various chemo treatments after that, which were successful for a while. However, she had a stroke in Nov. 2002, paralyzing her right arm and simply got worse over the next couple of months until she passed away.
Brain mets are unique to each individual due to their size and exact location. There are chemos designed for this but I don't know how effective they are. Have the doctors considered surgery or radiation? Brain mets are usually not painful...if there is pain or discomfort it is related to the way it affects the part of the body that is controlled by the location of the tumour...ie movement, speech, sight, etc. I wish i could give you more info. I hope at the hospital you will be able to speak to a neurologist/neurosurgeon who will be able to give you more information but i would by no means say that this is the final stages. If they are able to do something for his brain mets then he certainly can continue his fight against this disease. Each case is different.
A woman who was in the bed next to my mom had struggled with recurrent metastatic lung cancer for 6 yrs! The doctors initially gave her a few months and 6 yrs later she was still there! I certainly understand where you're coming from and I will keep you and your dad in my prayers. Love him, hold him, kiss him, hug him as much as you can.
My mom currently has NSCLC stage 4 diagnosed in Sep of 2004 it had metasized to her brain, she was on seizure medicine so she did not have any seizures. She received brain radiation for 14 days straight (i forget the dosage i apologize) after the 2nd set of tests came back in April her brain was completely clear of any white spots so that was great news...however we are currently dealing with the cancer spreading to her liver....she has not responded well to any chemo so far, currently on Tarceva The brain metastasis was a piece of cake compared to this......just be sure and check all the side effects from the brain radiation because the side effects were severe for about a week (memory loss,dizziness,severe fatigue,loss of appetite..she was just a complete space case) however looking back now that week was worth it to rid the cancer from her brain....my thoughts and prayers are with you and your dad
Ivana and Sportz -thank you both for your replies and kind words! this board is a great place, not just for info but also for support. they have not yet decided on the excat treatment they will follow now but radiation seems to be the way they want to go. there is only one tumor but unfortunately it is quite large -size of a cherry. we will find out more today when we all meet with my father's team of doctors (and not just the docs who admitted him at the ER who we have been talking with so far). but in "good" news, they already are sending him home from the hospital today, his seizures are under control with meds and this way he doesnt have to be stuck in a hospital bed! thanks again, i will keep both of you in my prayers and hope that you will find strength during your struggles.