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My mother- Anaplastic astrocytoma

Posts: 5
Joined: Jun 2012

Hello to anyone who reads this. This may end up being long, so i apologize in advance.

Around this same time in 2004, my mother found out she had a brain tumor. Of all the ways to find out, it all started during an eye exam. She was having severe headaches and made an appointment to hae her eyes checked to see if that could be the cause. She said the doctor doing the eye exam jumped back in his seat. He saw something that most definitely was NOT supposed to be there. What she has is a grade 3 anaplastic astrocytoma. In June 04 she had a craniatomy done to remove as much of the tumor as they possibly could, which was about 60%. After that she went through radiation and the pill form of chemo. I believe it was the Temador, back when it will still in the trial stages and not approved by the FDA yet. Her therapies were hell on her but the outcome was amazing. What was left of the tumor did shrink tremendously and she went on to live completely normal besides a bit of a vision problem and not being able to drive. Her MRIs have been reading "no change", which is the beat we could have expected. She was given 18 months to live when this all began.

Fast forward 8 WHOLE YEARS.. Just after her 8th anniversary of her diagnosis she started feeling a little "different". She noticed that she wasnt really able to work her crossword puzzles like she does EVERY morning. She knew what she wanted to write down, but for some reason she just couldn't get it down on paper. Her balance also started to be affected and she fell twice in one week just doing simple things around the house. She called her doctor and they scheduled an MRI. Just in the span of a week she lost feeling to the right side of her body and was unable to use her arm or leg, so of course was not able to walk. Also her speech started going down hill as she hasnt been able to get the words out of her mouth that she wants to say. The MRI came back showing some new growth of the tumor as well as quite a bit of scar tissue surrounding it. She had her second craniatomy yesterday morning (the 26th) and it went as well as it could. They removed more of the tumor and cleaned the area up as best as they could. They took her for an MRI and CT scan this morning to determine how much of the tumor is still left. We are lookin at more chemo to follow and quite possibly more radiation if she is eligible. She received ALOT of it the first time around so haven't quite decided if she can take on any more. They also sent some biopsies of the tumor off to check if it has progressed to a grade 4. We should have those results back in about 4 days, so hopefully Saturday.

I joined this group to get any support i can possibly get during this and to maybe even give hope to any of you who may be new to this kind of diagnosis. My mother obviously went WELL above the statistics and is continuing to fight. We had a good 7 years without any issues and it was almost as if we forgot she was sick in the first place, so all of this is hitting me just as hard as it did the first time around. I am 26 years old and my mother and i are about as close as a mother and daughter could possibly be. I am so afraid of losing her. I do not want just 8 years. I want 8 MORE, and 8 more after that.

Posts: 17
Joined: Jan 2012

When I got it for the second time they said that if it happens a second time its going to keep reoccurring. But the time depends on the patient case by case. I survived the second round but I had so much radiation the first time they couldn't do it again. Anyway I was almost the same as I was after the first one. However I did find out I have it again about a week ago so I have to see my neurosurgeon tomorrow to see what we are going to do this time. I wish you two, as well as the rest of your family the best! *Jackie

Posts: 5
Joined: Jun 2012

Thank you so much for the reply Jackie. When you say that "you got it a second time", are you referring to new growth on your previous tumor, or a completely new tumor altogether? Sorry if the way i worded that is confusing! I wish you all the best in whatever treatment you will be going through this time around. Keep me updated if you do not mind.

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