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Hi All, First, let me thank you for stopping by to read this. Though my mother has been dealing with a diagnosis since January, this is the first time I have sought out a forum. My mother is a very strong and stoic and active 78 year old woman who up until the time of her diagnosis was still skiing regularly. She raised alone me after my fathers death when I was 5. She tends to be very private and though she shares with me her my chart, she prefers to see her doctor and deal with this largely between her and her housemate. Last January she was diagnosed with a progression of her previous lung cancer for which she had had surgery in 2017. On a routine mammogram they found a tumor, and subsequent scans she had Metastases to her brain, bone, breast and liver. She was given the triplet treatment of Alimta, carboplatin, and Keytruda — and now has had 3 maintenance cycles without carboplatin adding in Zometa. I seem to remember her doctor saying that if it progresses there is no treatment they can pursue — She has a very few tumor markers or whatever it is that allowed them to target mutation? her PDL1 is a small percentage and a KRASG12v mutatation. Up until now her disease has been stable but just recently they remarked a growing tumor in her liver. (It has grown a half centimeter since July). She sees her doctor today and I am just trying to prepare myself also knowing she might not share the bigger picture with me. If her brain mets and bone Mets are stable would they offer her radiation? Or surgery? Is there another line of therapy they can try? I appreciate amy wisdom you might offer! Pam in Minnesota
Journey sharing post. My 70+ year old asian mother was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2016 after coughing out blood. Initially detected tumor in one side of the lung. Was given some options, radiotherapy or targeted therapy (Iressa). We had hoped to remove the tumor, so we chose radiotherapy. It successfully removed the tumor, but after a few months, we detected the tumor in the other lung. So we started on Iressa. Iressa managed to control the tumor for many years, up till June 2020 when my mom started having very bad vertigo and vomiting, and progressively became very weak, had tremors, motor function and balance badly affected, brain fog etc. Many sessions with ENTs and neurologists, but they could not identify the cause. Steroids helped the symptoms significantly. We did a brain MRI, found a tumor there (cant remember the size, maybe around 5 cm). Biopsy showed that this was the tumor from the lung. Surgery was done to remove the tumor and things improved. However, after a while, the vertigo and vomiting returned. Another MRI showed some smaller tumors grew to 1cm, and did radiosurgery to remove them. The vomiting continued after the radiosurgery. The many doctors were trying to rule out other possible reasons ie bacterial/viral infection etc, but nothing conclusive was found. Oncologist suggested that there may still be very small tumor cells in the brain lining that cannot be detected by MRI and these tumor cells may be blocking the transfer of fluid between the brain lining, causing all sorts of problems. He suggested to change the Iressa prescription to Tagrisso as Iressa cannot cross the brain-blood barrier while Tagrisso has some ability to do so. We started with double dose (80mg x 2) of Tagrisso, and slowly my mother got better. She's still not her complete self, she gets tired much faster, has infrequent dizziness and vomiting, but at least she's functional now. We have reduced the Tagrisso dosage to 1.5 tablets daily, instead of 2 tablets, no difference noticed from the change. So for now, my mother is functional and does not have much of the previous symptoms anymore. She has been taking Tagrisso for 10 months now. The cost of Tagrisso is a burden but I will try to make it work. My country, Malaysia, has not authorized the use of the generic Osimertinib, and any attempts to order them online will result in warnings and potentially fines and imprisonment. I welcome questions or comments or insights. Note that my memory of this 5 year journey might be inaccurate and my understanding of the doctors' explanations may also not be perfect.
Hello, my name is Christine. My, 71 yr old, Mother was diagnosed in Nov 2016 w/ Stage IV metastatic adenocarcinoma NSCLC (primary: right lung, spread to both adrenal glands, brain & right proximal tibia). At diagnosis she was given an estimate of 6-12 months to live, which was quickly adjusted to 6 months after they discovered 13 brain mets opposed to the 3 they originally saw. She had surgery to remove the tumor in her right tibia, which they filled with bone cement to stabilize the bone. She has completed whole brain radiation, radiation to the right tibia & 2 rounds of chemo: Paraplatin (Carboplatin), Alimta (Pemetrexed) & Avastin (Bevacizumab). The chemo was unsuccessful. The cancer spread to multiple bones in her left leg, her pelvis & spine. They stopped chemo & started Opdivo last week. It is too soon after completing whole brain radiation to do another brain scan to know if it helped. I'm sorry for the information overload....I'm just trying to give as much info as possible to see if anyone here has a similar situation & could offer some words of wisdom, offer a glimpse of hope or suggest ways I can help her. Thank you in advance for your help.
Just looking for some coping skills on how to live with being dignosned with Stage 4 cancer that has also spread to my bones and brain. I thought I would have gotten beyond shock already and moved onto the fight or enjoying the gift of each day. Rather I just lay in bed in total fear of what is ahead for me as well as the sadness of leaving everyone behind. I can't live like this it in itself is literally killing me. I don't know how to handle this or get a better understanding of what lies ahead for my family and myself. Any advice would be appreciated thank you.