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Ali

Falling a lot suddenly.

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My father in law has gone through radiation three times to the brain .  His tumors have metastasized and how he isn’t falling a lot.  They were originally in the bladder.  He has just been admitted to the hospital so that is good.  They did an MRI, and we are waiting on the results.  I understand that the falling is common after this much radiation.  His taste buds are extremely heightened, so he does not want to eat either.  The thing is that he does not want to cooperate with anyone.  He is terrified of going into the hospital and not coming out.  The burden on his wife is huge and it’s just so sad.  He is very weak and frail looking.  I guess what we fear is, is this nearing the end for him.  

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I finished radiation recently. I understand the loss of appetite. You might try having him sip Ensure. For some reason, I liked Top Ramen chicken. I would break up noodles so it is easier to eat. I also understand fighting going to the hospital. I am fighting pneumonia now. My fear was getting so ill, I would be in hospital.  Going in to the hospital old and feeling frail does not always bode well. I am on new medications and improving. I understand you feel better that he is under hospital care...but hear his fears too. Sending soft hugs and prayers.

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Ali,

Welcome here. I've not had brain radiation but am familiar with the treatment because is commonly used for small cell lung cancer that unfortunately commonly spreads to the brain. Moreover, my daughter had/has a meningioma (non cancerous tumor in the brain) and she received precision radiation to treat the tumor in the brain around the optic nerve.  There are two methods of brain radiation - whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT) and precision radiation (IMRT, SBRT, etc).  The former is given when many small tumors are present in the brain while the latter is used to treat one or several tumors.  I wouldn't think your FIL received WBRT three times for it is commonly only used once. Nevertheless, there are a host of side effects one encounters from radiation to the brain and balance and instability while standing or walking is one of them. Here is an interesting journal article published by the National Institute of Health that covers the history of WBRT and common side effects of the treatment. Here is a recent literature study that speaks WBRT and overall survival.

Brain mets are a very serious condition in any form of cancer. Hospitalization to treat end stage cancer is invasive and uncomfortable. He likely realizes this point, thus his fear of entering the hospital.  If it were me, I would want to spend this time of my life unburdened by the confines of hospital rules and procedures.  Has the family considered engaging a palliative care physician to treat symptoms of cancer without hospitalization?  Alternatively, when my treatments were not controlling my cancer, my wife and I investigated hospice care as an alternative to curative care.  While a new precision radiation method emerged from research just-in-time to stop my cancer, we chose in-home hospice as an alternative to hospital care for my, at the time, end state disease.  I hope this information proves helpful.

Stay the course.

Tom

 

 

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Hi, Ali,

Just wanted to check in and see how you and your family are doing. Please post an update when you can!

With gratitude,

Lauren
--
Digital Community Manager
LUNGevity Foundation

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Hello Everyone,  Thank you so much for writing to me and giving the support and knowledge that you all offer.  Sad to share that my father in law lost his battle on Monday evening.  He fought hard for 2 years, and is resting now.  the family got palliative care at home and it was excellent care for him.  I truly believe he was in peace and ready to go to the lord, his parents and siblings who have passed in the last 2 years. Again, thank you so much for reaching out.  This is a wonderful community!  xx, Ali

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Ali,

We are so sorry for your loss. Our hearts go out to you and your family. We’ll continue to be here as a source of support if you need it.

With gratitude,

Lauren

Digital Community Manager
LUNGevity Foundation

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