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  • Unknown diagnosis no time

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    Old 05-31-2020, 09:22 PM   #1
    Spenny1988's Avatar
    Join Date: May 2020
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    Spenny1988 HB User
    Unknown diagnosis no time

    Wanting some input on my mother. She’s 66 and has started losing weight for over a year with little appetite and slight lapses in memory but not super debilitating. She was able to live independently and did not affect her day to day really just couldn’t remember some words every now and then. This was noticeably getting worse but still not so problematic that she had to stop driving etc. we thought this was the beginning of Alzheimer’s disease which her own mother suffered.

    We took her to see a memory clinic two months ago whereby she had a brain CT scan which returned with normal looking brain for her age and no signs of Alzheimer’s. she was here prescribed a antidepressant Mirtazapine. She took this for two weeks and then stops on her own will as it didn’t make her feel nice.

    Fast forward 3 weeks and her ankles begun swelling incredibly. She took herself to the GP who ordered CT scan, X ray and bloods. CT scan showed some free fluid in abdomen and blood tests came back with lower levels of haemoglobin. She was sent to the ER as her confusion increased rapidly and had a fall overnight.

    Since admission to hospital 3 weeks ago, she has a major decrease in red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. She has lost a further 10kg. She’s had to have a blood transfusion to keep her in the safe range but the haemoglobin levels dropped from 10 to 6 in two weeks.

    They found blood in the stool and due to this as well as her weight loss and eating changes they originally thought it could be bowel cancer so a scope was requested but due to her state of health, weakness and low levels of electrolytes they deemed this not safe at this time.

    Further CT scans and X rays were conducted as well as ultrasound all coming back with nothing. No mass, no organ damage, no noticeable lesions, nothing. Just the free fluid in abdomen. Meanwhile in hospital she is completely confused now and suffering delirium for unknown cause. She will not eat or drink much. She’s come in and out of awareness every few days she might come to clarity in the mind for a few hours but then back to confusion. She’s very tired and sleepy all day and night.

    Then she begins to get fevers every night at the same time .
    Doctors search for infection in the body taking blood cultures etc and nothing is to be found. A week passes and no infection found. So they order a PET scan which she has and shows a few lymph nodes in the armpit, around the heart and aorta to be highlighted moderately. Nothing highlighted in the bowel or anywhere else. They think now because they cannot find infection in the body, that it is a blood cancer. They need to do a biopsy of the lymph node to know further details but this is taking a while because my mums mental state and our laws regarding consent.

    Any thoughts on what this could be. The scans do not show up anything super obvious. But my mum is acting and feeling like she is in end state cancer. She does not have too much weight to lose at this point and not enough time.

    Why is her mind going crazy as well? Could it be caused by low blood cell count. Why the low blood count and could it be a blood cancer that has spread deep into her bone marrow without showing this on the PET scan?

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    Old 06-01-2020, 02:05 PM   #2
    Join Date: Dec 2019
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    Re: Unknown diagnosis no time


    Sorry to read about your mum's distressing symptoms. I do not have a medical degree, but I believe the severe anemia and bloodcount imbalance can account for the fatigue, sleepiness and confusion. Has the nature of the abdominal fluid been identified? Could she be for some reason bleeding into her abdomen?

    I hope she is hospitalized at a teaching hospital, as that may help in solving this conundrum.

    If the medical team are now thinking it may be a blood cancer, have they put a hematologist in the loop?

    Among the imaging that was performed, have they included a brain MRI?

    I wish you great courage seeing your mum through this, whatever it is.
    Primary bone fNHL - dx at 52, Feb. 2016
    Ttt 6xR-CHOP21 03-06/16 + Maint 12xRitux -end 04/18
    Currently in remission

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