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Cause of Death - Oligodendroglioma

Posts: 3
Joined: May 2004

My dad might have terminal progression of his brain cancer. The tumor was removed from the right frontal lobe. If his new chemo doesn't work he might be gone in a few weeks. I've looked up lots of images of the functions in different regions of the brain. What exactly would be the critical failure to cause his death? My impression is that the cancer would have to reach the brain stem to shut down other organs, and I guess I don't understand how that could happen (considering the primary region) in a few weeks. Anyone have any ideas?

chiligrl's picture
Posts: 20
Joined: Mar 2004

I don't know either. It is an interesting question, though. I have an oligo as well, it has been resected and had chemo and rads...my reading leads me to believe that it most likely will come back. Mine is left frontal lobe. I may do some research on this and get back to you, OK? In the meantime...pray. And I will pray,too.

Posts: 18
Joined: Apr 2004

I'm so sorry your Dad is suffering with this. My Dad is as well. Actually, I don't know what type of tumor, all I know is that he has mets to the brain from his rectal cancer. First it went to his bone, in his shoulder, now the brain, and he has 3 tumors in the back part of his brain. I hate to sound so stupid, but we haven't been able to be with him during most of his appointments, so we don't know much. They are doing radiation, right to the area, not the whole brain, which I'm confused about that, for 3 weeks. He just started Monday. They are talking about doing some aggressive chemo. They did radiation on his arm a month ago, I guess it didn't get rid of it. They told us without chemo and radiation he has a month, but maybe a year with. He is taking Docodrone 4 x a day right now for swelling, and it has been a wonder drug. He has an appetite, can walk (with a walker) and seems to be almost himself, except he does get confused at times, but hardly at all, really. Are we expecting to much if takes chemo, that he could recover? He is 68, still young, very active, but I just don't know what to expect, and I didn't know where else to go. I was on the other boards before for his rectal cancer, and they were so helpful. My prayers go to all on this board for what you are going through.

Lee Ann

Posts: 3
Joined: May 2004

I'm sorry to hear about your dad. It sounds very frustrating that the cancer has spread. It doesn't sound stupid that you haven't been with him in his appointments. My mom didn't want my brother and I (20 and 22 at the time) do be in the appointments with my dad following his surgery at Mayo. I don't live in the same town as the rest of my family, so I haven't been to any of my dad's appointments. And to be honest I never really felt the need to do my own research until just now. I can tell you that the reason (from what I learned from my dad's radiation) they don't do radiation to the whole brain is because radiation can and probably will cause some damage to healthy brain tissue. That's just the way it is, the same way chemo kills healthy and unhealthy cells alike. My dad lost some of his memory and cognitive skills near the end of his radiation treatment. It's hard to endure having a dad who gets confused, because he's supposed to be the older one with experience, the one who takes care of you and gives you advice. I miss that very much. It's very difficult to have to correct my dad when he gets confused, or just try to understand what he's thinking. Sometimes we just don't correct him because it's not worth it - we don't want him to feel bad. I can tell you that I always thought my dad would recover. I thought his cancer was curable, because the surgeons removed the whole tumor and he had radiation plus five rounds of chemo. But it came back, frankly I think it was always there waiting for a break from the chemo. I think if the doctors have told you he has a year at best, then you should think that way. I personally will pray otherwise, but go with what you know is already true. Enjoy the time you have together because unfortunately with cancer in the brain the person might be gone before the body is. I don't want to be negative. Like I side, I have hope for my dad and yours because miracles are possible I believe. But I spent the last year thinking he would be cured, to find out in my research now that primary brain cancer (unlike your dad's being rectal) of my dad's kind isn't curable. No one ever said to me that they could only try to put the cancer to sleep for a while, that it was practically guaranteed to come back, and come back with force. I'm glad that the decadron is helping. Your dad deserves to enjoy himself and you and your family deserve to have good times together. I will pray for you, and please pray for my dad.

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