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sclc metatstatic to brain

dani hobbs

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My sister has experienced dizziness since New Year's. She thought it might be her new chemotherapy regimen (please see her profile, below). Her oncologist ordered a stat MRI to the brain & the cancer has spread to the brain. She's to consult with a radiologist re irradiating the brain but has started to wonder if it's worth it--says she'll have to receive a treatment every day, 5 days a week. She is so dizzy that she can't get to the bathroom alone, or take a shower standing up. Her oncologist is quite honest that her lifespan is now a matter or weeks or months. She is wondering how she will feel physically, what the quality of the remainder of her life will be, without radiation. Will she be in pain, will she be able to speak, to see, to take care of her own personal needs, to have any enjoyment with her family, to take a couple of last trips? I can't find any information on the internet on that topic, and I'm exhausted but I promised her I would try to find something. Could anyone help?

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My mom had WBR due to mets in her brain. That was in September and she is doing wonderful now. She wasn't experiencing the dizziness like your sister, but she did have a massive seizure and stroke like symptoms. If it sounds like their histories are similar and you want further information, feel free to email me. I will keep her in my prayers.

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I'm no doctor....but for your sis' onc to say she's only got weeks or months because of brain mets...sounds to me like the doc is giving up on her....and I'd be looking for a new onc!!

There are many people here who have been treated for brain mets, who've seen the symptoms go away following radiation, and who are doing fine.....are stable. I would think that having the WBR will ease - if not get rid of - all the dizziness your sis is experiencing and will actually improve the quality of her life.

I hope others who've actually had the radiation for mets, will come along to give you benefit of their experience. I had PCI to prevent mets from showing up...and the radiation experience wasn't bad at all.

I hope your sis can proceed with the radiation. I sure wouldn't accept any doctor putting a time line on MY life, if he hadn't offered me any and all treatment options. If your sis is willing....I would say, go for the WBR.

Let us know what she decides and how she does....but tell her not to give up on the basis of what that onc said to her. If she's willing to fight....then she needs to go forward....even if that means finding a new onc who will encourage and support her in that!

Best wishes to her.....

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I completely agree with Addie

I know of two people who had brain mets with SCLC and are far enough out of their treatments to be considerd "cured"....over 5 years.

Don't give up hope, but find an ocologist who has hope and action for her. She may prove to be another who can beat all odds. You will never know unless you try.

All my best .

Cindi o'h

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RUN to another oncologist. This one does not have your sisters interest at heart.

my mom had 7 brain mets and all were treated and destroyed by WBR. She had dizziness, loss of hand use and confusion and a massive grand mal seizure and the WBR took it all away.

the steroids that they can put her on to reduce swelling work very quickly to reduce symptoms too.

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I am sorry to hear about this. Make it clear to her medical Onc and Radiation Onc. that giving up is not an option and tell them you want aggressive treatment. Like others have said this can be overcome, but not if the docs are going to give up--and if they are then get new docs. Hang in there. My prayers are deffinitely with you and your family.

David C

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if I brought anyone down, I'm sorry. My husband just had major surgery on Tuesday, same day my sister gave me her news. So, I'm just down. When it rains, it pours, as they say

No apologies necessary, Dani. Sounds like you've really got your emotional plate full these days. Sending my best to your hubby and hoping he recovers soon.

As for your sis, well I'll say it again...there are things that can be done to relieve her symptoms and/or rid her of those brain mets. Shelley mentioned that steroids help...and they do! Your sis could be started on them NOW to help relieve some of her dizziness. I'd have her get ahold of her rad onc immediately to inquire about this and yes, having the radiation is worth it. She'll feel better after radiation zaps the mets.

I'm sorry she's going thru all this Dani...and hope that your support for her will help her decide what is best for her to do.

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Your sister's life span could be a matter of weeks or months, and then again it might be months or years. We don't like it much here when doctors tell our loved ones how much time they've got because they really don't know.

My husband was diagnosed with 8 brain mets and an excruciating constant headache. Decadron (steroids) got rid of the headache and WBR & stereotactic radiosurgery got rid of 4 of the mets.

At 12 mos. post-diagnosis my husband's onc said to me in the hall that "he has already far surpassed our expectations" (and that would have been less than 6 mos.). Today, my husband told the same onc that he is going to be the record-breaker long-term survivor, and the onc said, "You're about there now." He is now 15 mos. post-diagnosis, working every day (10 hr. days) and doing great.

I know there are no guarantees for anyone, and I also know that SCLC is difference from NSCLC, but doggone it, your precious sister could have a lot of time still ahead of her - and that could be good quality time.

If she is up to it, I sure hope she will go for the steroids and WBR and give it a try. You just never know!!

Love and hugs,


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I am sorry. But I strongly suggest to have the whole brain radiation or some other treatments such as gamma knife or surgery etc to handle the brain mets.....at least should try......please ask the oncologist or the neurosurgeon the possibility of these treatments....it will make her life more easier and don't give up so soon.....

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