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MIL newly diagnosed

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I'm new here and looking for help for our family in dealing with my mother-in-laws new diagnosis. She is 66 years old and smoked since she was 14. Otherwise she's been in good health til recently.

She went to the hospital because she was forgetting what she was going to say, had problems coordinating her right hand into doing what she wanted, etc. MRI showed three lesions on the brain. More tests found two more plus cancer in the right lung (primary site) and stomach area. Thursday one of her daughters questioned the doctors and they finally told her she has cancer in the blood and lymph nodes too.

They said she has 6-8 mos. with treatment, maybe 12 if she responds well.

Currently she is having 14 days of whole brain radiation which will be done in two days. They are doing biopsy of lung on Monday to find out the type of cancer.

I have done quite a bit of reading - this site is one of the best because its real experienced people talking in real language. I know WBR is not a real good therapy and the possible side affects are scary. I don't know what they'll decide to do after the biopsy. So far the doctors haven't been very forthcoming in providing information. You all know how scary this situation is whether as a patient or caregiver.

We know that miracles happen, but are unlikely. It is very difficult to know she has so little time left when she is doing so well now. How do you deal wlith that? My husband is very upset about this, of course, and I would like to help him, but I don't know how.

Can any help?

Thanks for any advice you can provide.

Caroline :?

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I am very sorry about your MIL. My husband had WBR over a year ago. Lost his hair and was fatigued.

He had only had 1 tumor and that had been removed surgically. The WBR was to make sure if there were micro tumors - we would shoot them dead.

He had some memory problems and has quite a problem with balance. Also, gets dizzy sometimes. The memory and dizzy have improved quite a bit. His neurosurgeon says that the problems are because 1. he had a brain tumor, 2. he had a seizure, 3. he had surgery, 4. he had WBR and 5. he has had chemo. Said his nerve endings are damaged.

Good news - no tumors had come back in his brain. Definitely worth the problems.

Go for it and good luck.


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Welcome to a nice group of friends. My father is having WBR right now. I asked the radiation oncologist if it had to be this way, could he just have stereotactic radiosurgery and she said no, it must be done this way. He had 3 lesions; 1 is 1.2cm and the other two are small. She feels the WBR will eliminate the two small ones and they will do stereotactic radiosurgery if anything is left. What Ginny said is what I think too, the WBR eliminates anything else that might have been beginning to grow. He has had no side effects so far.

He also has a mediastinal node affected along with his lung tumor. He is undergoing IMRT (intense modulated radiation therapy) for these. (On hold now till WBR is complete). This is high dose radiation concentrated in one area so surrounding tissue isnt affected, so side effects are less. If you want more info on this, just let me know and I'll send you some links.

We are in the process now of seeing a doctor that also deals with nutrition and vitamin supplements (alternative therapy), we are going in January.

Also, we pray, pray, pray.

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