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Side effects of Dexamethasone or from the radiation?


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I'm new here. My dad was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer about 1 1/2 years ago. Things were going pretty well until recently.

The tumor in his lung has been shrinking while on chemo (two different rounds) but several mets were discovered in his brain. He just finished whole brain radiation but because he didn't want to eat they increased the steriod (Dexamethasone) to 4mg 4 times a day. He's still not eating.

His last CT showed no swelling in the brain so they are weaning him off the Dexa. He'll take 3 pill each day for the next 3 days, then go to 2 pills for 3 days and then 1 pill for 3 days and then be done.

His behavior is very strange lately. He shows no emotion at all. It's almost like he's on Morephine or something similar. You can talk about him right in front of him and he has no idea what you're saying. He gets something stuck in his head (like he wants to go to the store) and when you tell him it's late and the store closed, he will argue with you. He also making up stories. He told my sister that I did something earlier in the day that I didn't. Then, he'll tell me that my sister did something that she did not.

We're getting scared. The CT showed that all of the mets except one were going away but.....

Could this behavior be a side effect of the drug or from the whole brain radiation?

We've got a call into the doctor but I thought that I'd check here also.


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Different parts of the brain are responsible for different activities. One of them is emotion. Another is memory. What part of the brain was affected by the tumor? Parietal, frontal, occipital, temporal, etc???

What you describe is not anything that I know of relating to the dexamethazone. Probably due to WBR or the tumor itself destroying brain tissue.

So sorry that your Dad is going through all of this and that you are challenged in the patience department.

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