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A million question and no answers because it's the weekend!


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Hello everyone. I am a member here since around 2001 when my Dad was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. He passed away in March 2004. I feel like I am just somewhat getting back to the new normal and now my Aunt, who is like my second Mother and a second Grandmother to my daughter was just admitted to the hospital today. She is 70 years old and a long time smoker. She quit in February because she was having trouble breathing. She saw a pulmonologist yesterday and he said all her breathing functions came back normal but he saw a mass on her lung. Today she went to the ER because for the past 2 days she has been unable to articulate her thoughts. They did a CT scan and saw the mass and did a CT scan of the brain and said they saw fluid on the brain. Now I wasn't there when this was going on and I never did get to speak to a dr. because I wasn't informed of all of this until 8:00 tonight. Her oxygen was at 95. The ER dr. actually told her that it doesn't look good looks like cancer that spread to the brain. But they can't diagnose without a biopsy. I am just wondering how a dr. can say this to someone without knowing for sure. Also, my Dad never had brain mets, so I don't know how they present themselves. Does it show up on CT scan as fluid and not a mass? Or is the fluid from the tumor? I am sick to my stomach over this. I don't think I am strong enough to deal with it again. I have 4 people in my entire family, I can't lose another! Not this way again! My sweet Aunt. Please pray for her and any answers or experience you may have with fluid on the brain that effect speech is greatly appreciated. She understands everything that is said to her, and she knows what she wants to say, just has trouble getting the words out. She also told me that the past couple of days she started not being able to let go of things that were in her hand. Obviously her brain isn't sending the proper signals. I just wondering why they didn't see a mass on the brain and only fluid. Sorry for the rambling. Also her feet are swollen. I am numb and in shock and that knot in my entire body is back. I know you all know what knot I am speaking of. Thank you so much.

I just re-read my post and don't think I was clear. My Aunt went to the hospital because she thought maybe she was having mini strokes (which I still think might be possible). She has no pain, headaches or cough or mucous. She was told last year that she had pleurisy in the lung. Would that show up as a mass on a CT sca?. I'm just hoping for the best here that the "mass" as inflammation or the pleurisy and the fluid was actually from mini strokes (not that that is great news either). I also failed to mention that the mass on the CT scan was seen on her lung.

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KC (((HUGS)))

I am so sorry that you are having to face this with another close family member.

I can't answer your questions, I only wish I could, but what I will ask is has your Aunt had a Bronchoscopy yet to determine that the mass on her lung is in fact Cancer and which type and stage it is?

Another thing I would like to say is that I don't know exactly how LC metastasises to the brain but I do remember once being absolutely petrified for my dad b/c he lost his thoughts and memories and started 'wondering' in his mind and it turned out to be a Urine Infection causing this. I do also know that if your Aunt is Hypoxic (Low Oxygen Levels) this can also cause confusion.

I hope this helps somewhat and I'm sure that there will be someone coming along very soon who may be able to help you further.

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KC if you see this one first try out our resident Oncologist , Dr. West at..


He is our resident Oncologist who specializes in Lung Cancer. He might be able to give you the answers you are looking for. We are members there as well as here so in time you will see familiar names there!!!

Hugs and prayers !!!!

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Hi KC I remember you and I am so sorry that you are going through this again. I don't have any info for you but I do send a lot of prayers for you and your aunt.

Sometimes those ER doctors can be very callous and often misleading. I am sure they are overworked and do try but I really think they speak out of turn about things they really don't know. I have my own personal reasons for knowing this.

I do know that as Caren said a Urinary Track Infection in a person who is elderly or has any illness can lead to mental problems that you just can't imagine. I saw that many times working as a caregiver in an assisted living facility.

In the mean time as hard as it is try to not let that doctors words or your own imagination get the best of you. Wait for the facts on Monday. As for you being able to go through it again just remember how you felt last time. Some how God always provides the strength we think we don't have. Please keep us updated.

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KC--It is soooo frustrating to need answers and have to wait to get them. It sounds like the ER doctor was an idiot for scaring you before he has solid information. Unfortunately it taked a while, even in the best of circumstances, to get all the answers. That doesn't make it any easier, I know.

I don't know about brain mets, but I'm sure someone will be along soon who does. And Randy's advice to go over to www.cancergrace.org is excellent.

Let us know what you find out. We'll be here for you.


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Hello KC,

You have so much to think about over a weekend.

I think that you will be able to obtain some very good advice over at "Grace," as Randy has suggested.

Just being able to ask questions from a professional may calm the anxiety a bit.

As for brain mets, they can present themselves in various ways, depending upon where they are located.

For example, my husband's, (dx 2 years ago with met to midbrain) showed as a "twitch" in a back muscle. He was never confused.

There are many reasons for a person being unable to express themselves - other than brain mets.

I hope you find the answers you need, and know that we are here. You are not alone.


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Thank you everyone for your caring and support. Well from what the dr. told my Aunt today she has a mass in her lung the size of a golf ball and I believe, some other little ones, but I'm not sure. And they did an MRI of her brain today and said they found a tumor in her left lobe, I believe left frontal. So they will be doing a biopsy on the lung on Monday and I think the plan is to radiate the brain tumor. Right now they are giving her steriods to try and reduce the swelling in the brain so that she is able to communicate better. NOt sure how long we should see results from the medication. I am sick to my stomach and praying hard that the treatments she receives work for her. I just don't know. I can't imagine life here without her, she is a HUGE part of our family. Please pray for her. Thank you all so much. If anyone has any other knowledge on treatement to eradicate a brain tumor they would be greatly appreciated. I heard of gamma knife but not sure about the difference between that and radiation. I will try to look up some information. Also, I am wondering if benign tumors spread? I don't think so, but I'm just grasping here.

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KC, so sorry you had to come back. I can hear your love for your Aunt fueling your fear. I don't have any information to offer relative to her specific issues. All I know about is hope. It's what I get here on this site. Please keep posting because we already care about you and your dear Aunt. Let us know how treatments progress.

Judy in Key West

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