CSN Login
Members Online: 19

symptoms

fammem
Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2009

Any early signs/symptoms and if you could in detail? Trying to see if my mom symptoms were just passed off and were missed. Thanks.

sue Siwek
Posts: 281
Joined: Jun 2009

most brain tumor patients suffer a seizer, my husband did not. he could not explain what he was feeling and eventually in desperation the doctor ordered an mri and that is the best way to find out.

PBJ Austin
Posts: 347
Joined: Mar 2009

My sister felt dizzy and just had a general feeling something wasn't right. She was aslo exhibiting some odd behavior. It was eventually discovered she has Anaplastic Astrocytoma.

Years ago I had a benign tumor and I also had a lot of dizziness, especially when I tried to work out.

Both my sister and I were dismissed as silly females when we first saw the doctor. These symptoms may seem minor, that's why brain tumors can sometimes be misdiagnosed.

OCMenno's picture
OCMenno
Posts: 26
Joined: Mar 2009

My wife had a few symptoms. Severe headaches, dizziness, problems with hand/eye coordination, etc. Went to the doctors a couple times only to be told she had migraines. Understandable in a way, because some people with severe migraine problems have those same symptoms. It wasn't until she was rushed to the hospital via ambulance after a grand mal seizure that we discovered she had a brain tumor. I would recommend anyone that has strong suspicions to really push for an MRI. I sometimes wonder what would be found if we were all given the opportunity to have a full body MRI done. What and how many big medical conditions would be caught early and thus treated more effectively? It is unfortunate that it is so difficult to get one done. Unless the doctor sees something of significant concern, just to have a scan done as a general check up, would mean going on a long waiting list at best. Not all people diagnosed with brain tumors have these warning signs. My 13 year old nephew just had a seizure out of the blue due to a brain tumor as well. He did not have any other symptoms. He is now expected to live less than a year.

patriciam
Posts: 39
Joined: May 2009

My daughter had numbness on her right leg, headaches, titled her head to the right, never had seizures. She also felt pressure in her eye. Ask for a CAT Scan.

sue Siwek
Posts: 281
Joined: Jun 2009

one reason that full body scans are not done or discouraged is not only cost but, that often false positives result. if that happens your doctor will have to put you through many often painful test for often no reason. i guess we have to weight the advantages one way or the other.

Mannie
Posts: 51
Joined: Oct 2008

Fammem,

I had many early symptoms, I had vision changes-I actually went to my eye doctor, my personality changed-I would become extremely anxious and then depressed which was completely unlike me, I had excruciating headaches (much worse than labor pains) mostly in the morning and they would lessen in the afternoon, I would be nauseated with the headaches then as the tumor grew I would throw up all morning from around 2AM til 10 or 11AM, I was exhausted, and since my tumor was in my frontal lobe, it became so swollen and compromised that I could no longer figure out how to do simple things like pack my son's diaper bag-simple tasks became impossible to ration out but hey, I never had a seizure prior to diagnosis and I was driving while this was going on.

I had a seizure after I was diagnosed and under doctor supervision but not before. That seems pretty funny to me.

I know my diagnosis was glossed over because my doc didn't listen to me and connect the dots when I spoke and DEFINITELY didn't read my chart or review my medical history.
My symptoms all had rational explanations like I could have become bipolar (I was diagnosed and medicated for that but I never took the meds), my vision could have changed and the "ghosts" I saw could have been cataracts or a detached retina, the vomiting could have been morning sickness, the headache was diagnosed as a sinus infection numerous times and I took anti-biotic too often and migraines, tension headaches, and cluster headaches, the exhaustion was just normal post partum but my son was a year old so I thought that was odd but it could be because I am a single mom.

sue Siwek
Posts: 281
Joined: Jun 2009

doctors are human. it took time for my husbands tumor to be found. it looked at first like a sinus infection and when it didn't get better i pressed and the doctor ordered an mri. this wonderful doctor had to lie to get in for a an emergency mri, still thinking that it was not anything. he as well as we were shocked to find that it indeed was an anaplastic astrocytoma grade 3 ! here is another, my doctor (not the same one) thought my problems was coping with my husbands illness and years went by and with pressure from family members i sought help from my husbands neurologist and i was found to have water on the brain requiring brain surgery for a placement of a shunt! should i blame my doctor? can't do that, she was treating me for depression, hypertension all caused by my husbands illness. she was doing her best. give doctors a break! they are smarter than most but not perfect. it is our responsibility to press for answers we can not leave it completely in their hands, that is old school.

MinnieMN
Posts: 47
Joined: Aug 2009

I was having major headaches and dizziness. And I would get nauseated and vomit often. This is when I went to the doctor. I also have numbbness in my hands and feet. And, of course, they said that I had migraines and/or that it was my nerves! Come to find out...they were way wrong! I was told initially when diagnosed, that if I didn't do any treatment, I probably had about 10-12 months. I have started treatement, and they want to add another drug, which I'm not very happy about. And I have to have a needle once a week! But I have to do what I have to do. I have another mri scheduled for this Thursday to re-evaluate. I hope that they have good news. My team of doctors wants me to pre-admit myself to the hospital, but I am determined to not do that-hard decision. Sorry, rambling here-I have a lot of side effects from the medication that I am on too, but the earlier symptoms I described were from the tumor itself. I also have trouble concentrating (this could be stress from my diagnosis)!

sue Siwek
Posts: 281
Joined: Jun 2009

minniemn, i hope you have support, family, husband, children, lover...i also hope you are going to a teaching hospital it is your best chance for survival. this will be a hard time for you and a good team of support will be helpful. give up some control to someone you love and trust to advocate for you when you are to tired and weak to make decisions for yourself. if your mri shows a tumor you must let them explore further. if you are on a steroid(decadron) you will be confused as well as hard to live with. i remember when my husband was diagnosed with brain cancer it was hard to even say let alone accept! i urge you that if the worst diagnosis comes take yourself to the nearest teaching hospital for the best chance of survival. in the mean time i am hoping that it is something that is easily curable. thinking of you.

MinnieMN
Posts: 47
Joined: Aug 2009

HI Sue, thanks for your reply. I have been diagnosed, but we are having a follow up mri-I'm not really sure why-so quickly. I don't have really any support other than a few friends from work that I have only known real well for a few months. I've been going to doctor's appointments by myself, and I get so shocked and/or emotionally confused, that I know that I don't remember everything. I think that this mri is to see if anything has changed/gotten worse/better, etc. It's not easily curable, it's a mess, a mess that I am certainly not ready to deal with. I have been going to a good hospital. I have good doctors that are affiliated with the mayo clinic here. I know I am in the best of hands, but it still is hard to deal with. My hair is also thinning, and I think this is because of the medication, but this is very hard to deal with. I imagine, when we attempt surgery, that I won't have much hair left. Do you know if all of it is shaved or just a portion? It doesn't matter really, I know. It's just these things that float in my mind. I wish that I didn't have to deal with one part of this...I want my old life back.

sue Siwek
Posts: 281
Joined: Jun 2009

please find someone to help you. where is your family? please tell them they will help you. if not please ask your doctors to direct you for help. my husband felt some of same confusions that you are feeling and the hospital had support for him and for me. please do not try to do this on your own. i know you want things to be the same but it can't be. in some ways it will be better. that is hard to believe i know but let me tell you our history. my husband as i have said was diagnosed nearly 10 years ago with an anaplastic astrocytoma grade 3. before that eventful day he was a self absorbed person. he compartmentalized everything, when he worked that was his focus, when he played with his children that was all he focused on and when he played golf(very well) that was his focus. suddenly he was faced with the possible loss of his life. it is scary! you will learn how strong you are! and with the help of others you can fight this and become a better person for it. we have 4 sons and everyone of them has told their father that he is a better man for what he has gone through. mind you, this is a man who survived the vietnam war and went on to graduate from college and become as successful business man AND on top of being diagnosed with a grade 3 brain cancer was also slapped with an added diagnosis of parkinson's disease! you can do this dear, but please ask for help. ask and you shall receive! keep us posted we are thinking of you.

stayingcalm's picture
stayingcalm
Posts: 656
Joined: Feb 2007

Bring a notebook with you, write any questions you have in it and take notes at each visit :) Sounds like you have a good group of MDs, and most doctors are aware of how stressful & confusing their news can be and won't mind. My oncologist knows how fuzzy-brained I get, and waits at the door for me to ask the inevitable questions: "Wait, when did you say I should come back?", "When was it you want the MRI scheduled for?", etc...

My tumor was on my parietal lobe, and they just shaved a strip of hair, underneath, so the top layer of hair would cover the stitches (staples, really). It was the radiation that followed shortly after surgery that made my hair come out. It's growing back, more slowly than it did after I lost it to chemo, but it's there!

Best of luck, Debbie

whoaminow
Posts: 5
Joined: Aug 2009

I will be praying for you Thursday that all will be well and Gods peace will surround you. I lost my husband in June to brain and lung cancer so I just want to encourage you that God is with you at all times. Especially the difficult ones.

sue Siwek
Posts: 281
Joined: Jun 2009

oh, and the hair. from my personal experience, they shave only what they must. i had brain surgery 4 years ago because i developed adult onset hydroceplus (water on the brain). anyway they shaved up one side of my head i looked like some punk rocker. as soon as you get the go ahead from your surgeon meet with your stylist. mine evened it up and every few weeks she would trim it and in no time i looked as if i just had a nice short do which i have kept. don't worry about it that is just our womanly vanity! best of luck keep posting results.

Beckymarie
Posts: 358
Joined: Aug 2009

My husband also never had a seizure. Considering his Lev. IV glio is the size of a golf ball, I found this surprising. His symptoms were moderate headaches, difficulty with word retreval and memory issues. He was diagnosed 6 mos ago, and thankfully no seizures. A friends 17 yr old son was diagnosed with the same tumor as my husbands. His symptoms were a feeling of pressure in his ears and double vision in one eye. I wish your family the best.

whoaminow
Posts: 5
Joined: Aug 2009

My husband was diagnosed with brain and lung cancer in Feb. this year. He had a seizure at work and passed out. He had been having some numbness in the right leg and foot and was having difficulty driving for a few days before. After his seizure he was told he had 4 spots on the brain and about 2 or 3 in the lung area. He had been having a few headaches and some trouble focusing and memory issues at work. This was said to have metastasized(spread) from a mole on his upper chest that was malignant stage 4 melanoma cancer 3 years earlier. However we were never told it was stage 4. These were some of his symptoms.I hope this helps. Get as many tests as you can and find out exactly what your dealing with. Just keep your faith up and stay in Gods word if you are a believer. He will help you through this. Whatever the outcome He is in charge.

lawslegal's picture
lawslegal
Posts: 39
Joined: Aug 2005

Hi, my son had absolutley no symptoms before his tumor ruptured in his sleep. We would have never known unless it ruptured. No headaches, nothing!

edslas's picture
edslas
Posts: 19
Joined: Dec 2010

I was just diagnosed with diffuse astrocytoma grade II. I had two minor seizures at work while talking to colleagues. I'm an engineer, and the conversations are quite involved. 45 minutes into the conversation, my mind went blank, I forgot what we were discussing, and was not sure where I was. I had awareness to say I was not feeling well, then noticed that I could not move my left arm. The loss of motor control lasted 1-2 minutes, but my mind did not come back for 20-30 minutes. This happened twice, about a month apart. I am not a fan of going to the doctor and just blew off these incidents. Then, every couple of days I would loose the ability to concentrate. These episodes would last 10-20 minutes. I would not be able to read my email and understand what people were trying to say. It was very confusing. During these spells, I kind of had to fight my eyes from going cross-eyed. This is what sent me to the doctor, I need to concentrate for long periods on my job. I also had a very hard time getting through the day. I usually work long hours with no problem, but then I would be totally exhausted at the end of the day. I have not had the motor control issues for two months now, but I am on Keppra (anti-seizure).

After the diagnosis I have a hard time sleeping, but I think this is from the stress of knowing about it. This is not helping with the daily exhaustion.

I found this article about dealing with exhaustion:

http://www.brainsciencefoundation.org/matriarch/documents/bt_and_fatigue.pdf

Mama G
Posts: 764
Joined: Nov 2009

from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet. At first they thought it was a side effect of the chemo from breast cancer. When it hit my hand I went to a neurologist and she ordered the mri. 2.2 cm tumor in the middle of my brain. I had cyberknife radiation and will find out how well it worked in about 2 weeks. I'm scared....

adnilorotrot
Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2011

please see my post entitled "symptoms" as a new discussion. I was on keppra and it was terrible. I was in serious depression after a week on it. I'm on topomax now and it's much better. I have many symptoms, seizures, headaches, abnormal tissue, but the ct scans and mri show no tumor, but the eeg shows something wrong in the left temple. ... the neuro will do a ct scan of the temple area really close up to look at the tissue which he says is some kind of "..plasia"?? tissue..... do you have any idea what he might be talking about?

teppy
Posts: 2
Joined: Jan 2011

my husband was diagonosed 3 weeks ago. He never had a headache. i took him to the er with what i thought was a stroke. the tumor was the size of a golf ball in the left front lobe. the meds so far are terrible dont know what one is causing it but he doesnt sleep now, he has gotten mean, the sleeping pills are not working.he has 2 more spots and start radiation on fri

Rory1987's picture
Rory1987
Posts: 122
Joined: Nov 2009

I have Extramedullary plasmacytoma in my left paranasal region that made an intracranial extension to my brain,.. The first symptom that I had was dizzy spells, I felt like everything was spinning then when the tumor grew I had a very painful headache that wouldn't go away with ordinary meds

Subscribe with RSS
About Cancer Society

The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions.

Copyright 2000-2014 © Cancer Survivors Network