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So confused - brain tumor, help me navigate these first few days and surgery day opinion please

Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2017

Unfortunately a few days ago my best friend's husband called me to tell me my friend, Krissy, had backed out of her driveway and had a violent seizure.  A 2.7cm brain tumor was found and they transported her to Vanderbilt (we are in Nashville). PET scan showed no spread.  When I asked how the neurosurgeon appointment went yesterday, they seemed vague and her husband said "the doctor said based on MRI and CT it would appear aggressive and has 'fingers' and he doesn't know if he can remove the whole thing, and that it's likely a tumor that begins with the letter g or the letter m." I asked did those g & m words end with blastoma and he said yes.  I then asked if the g one was possibly glioblastoma and he said "yes that's the one!".  My heart sank. Yesterday Krissy was back in the ER with a (minor) seizure again.

Now this coming Monday will be the surgery for removal, after a "stealth" MRI on Friday. Their 12-year old and 16-year old daughters are going to be there the entire surgery day.  1) Do you think that is a good idea? I keep wondering what if after surgery the Dr. comes back with very poor news and how that will be handled around them. or what condition their dear mom will be in, etc.   2) that being said, I assume that after surgery the Dr. will be able to update us with just how bad/good everything is regardless of not having pathology results yet?  3) what can I be anticipating for Monday, i.e. what will we learn, not learn, etc?  

I'm completely clueless as to what to expect.  Her husband is such an emotional zombie right now and with their young daughters, I'm trying to understand the process of all this so that I can hopefully be useful for them in such a brutal time. 

This isn't my first cancer rodeo, my 33-year old sister had breast cancer last year so I know how these things go and I want to be the best support to them with as much comprehension/understanding as possible.  ANY input/advice is welcome, thank you. 

Sten's picture
Posts: 162
Joined: Apr 2013

Hi Rosesgirl,

It is hard to tell what to expect.

The only thing you can do is to be there for them.

Good luck!


Posts: 19
Joined: Feb 2017

In my experience, the surgeon will tell you how the operation went, maybe how much they removed, but won't tell you anything about prognosis or even a diagnosis. For that you must wait until the pathology comes in and then have a consultation with your cancer doctor.

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