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astrocytoma stage III (just found out)

pmchase's picture
pmchase
Posts: 6
Joined: Mar 2005

we just found out my husband has astrocytoma stage III. he has already had brain surgery to remove some, got the chemo waffers and will start the 6 week radiation in another week. we were given a life expectancy of 10 to 11 months. we have two children 11 and 7 and i am looking for advise on how to get over the bad and focus on the good time we have left. i would also like to hear from prople with this who started at stage III and beet the odds. My husband is 33 and has been in great heath until this. thanks for any support

nanc721's picture
nanc721
Posts: 29
Joined: Oct 2003

Dear pm...first of all, my husband was diagnosed with grade 4.....in May of 2003. He has had 2 surgeries, radiation, and 3 different chemos, along with the chemo wafers. His life expectancy is not very good now. He has had a stroke, although the remnants of the tumor that are left remain stable. I am so sorry to hear about your husband, especially with you and your family being so young. My husband is 52, I am 48, and our boys are 17 and 20. I went through a terrible time trying to come to terms with the prognosis. He handled it much better than I did. Have you heard about the steps of dying? I think we've been through all of them. But hitting that acceptance stage has helped us to live each day with more peace and joy. I know that sounds strange, but once you realize the reality that he probably won't be with you as long as you had always planned, the easier it is to enjoy the time that you have left. I hope for many good conversations for you and your husband. This is a time of real connection, like you have never connected before. My husband actually says that "It is all good. We are really the lucky ones," because we have had the time to understand just how special we are to each other, and we have had the time to enjoy this knowledge. We take NOTHING for granted, and that is a precious gift. I will keep you in my thoughts, pm, and feel free to write to me anytime. There are several of us who come in here and support each other. Take care.

mgb1768
Posts: 3
Joined: Oct 2003

I am 37 years old, diagnosed with AA grade III two years ago. I had surgery followed by radiation and chemo treatments (temador with accutane). My recent MRI scans are the cleanest they have been, with only very slight flare signal. My oncologist has now told me that after next month, she does not see a need to continue with the monthly chemo cycle. I am proof that you can beat this. I have been fortunate that I have been surrounded by many positive people who have helped and inspired me to fight the fight.

pmchase's picture
pmchase
Posts: 6
Joined: Mar 2005

thanks mgb1768. have you only had one surgery? do you have to take any other meds? it sounds like my husband is on the same treatment plan and i pray his results are just as good. he is doing great on temador and radiation he also has the chemo waffers in his head. we will have a new mri when radiation is over in june. how often do you have a mri to check for growth? i was so happy to read your story it gives me real hope :)

mgb1768
Posts: 3
Joined: Oct 2003

your welcome, pmchase. Yes, I have had only one surgery because I have been progression free since the initial surgery and radition/chemo treatments. During my chemo treatments, I had MRIs approximately every 8 weeks. I just had a new MRI done two days ago, and I will have one more in 8 weeks. After that, my oncologist is saying that I can move to quarterly scans. Other than the temador and accutane, I take Keppra to prevent seisures (I initially discovered I had a tumor because of a seisure) and I also take one over-the-counter multi-vitamin (Centrum A to Zinc) daily. Stay positive and your hope will be well placed. There will be some up days and some down days. During my radiation and chemo treatments I got really worn down, had very little energy, and I would get "cranky" sometimes. If something like that happens, realize that it is not personal. I am happy to hear that your husband is doing great so far. Just tell him to "hang tough" and you all will be able to put this behind you!

maryanneka
Posts: 4
Joined: Sep 2003

Yes you can beat this! I was just at my oncologist office for my 6 year check up. All is clear and expected to stau clear! Hang in there and keep hope alive! MaryAnneKA

pmchase's picture
pmchase
Posts: 6
Joined: Mar 2005

My husband just got done with his 40 radiation treatments and had his first mri and we received good news!! His tumor is shrinking :) Thank you for all of your prayers! I know he will be a long term survivor like all of you.

Jeneva's picture
Jeneva
Posts: 3
Joined: Sep 2003

I was diagnosed with the same thing in August, 2003. I had surgery to have it removed (no wafers) and then I had 6 1/2 weeks of radiation and I just finished 18 months of Temodar. I was originally having MRIs every other month but I've had them every 3 months for awhile now. I had a PET scan recently to see if treatment was successful. It was! There is no sign of any active cancer cells or tumor. I will have another MRI in three months. I have always been given a pretty good prognosis. They tell me that my age (29 when I was diagnosed), my gender, and my overall good health are helpful in beating this thing. Anyways, I hope my story helps you to focus on the positive and not the negative. I think my positive outlook since the day I was diagnosed has definitely played a role in how well I have fared. Good luck and let me know if you have any questions.

maryanneka
Posts: 4
Joined: Sep 2003

I'm a 6 year stage 3 survivor (was 49 yr old when diagnosed) Don't give up hope for your husband. Ask questions, learn all you can about new treatments, pray, and practice good nutrition. I was told I wouldn't live more than 3 - 6 months when first diagnosed, but God had a different plan for me. I'm doing well, no cancer and no problems from treatment or surgery.

Priash
Posts: 22
Joined: Apr 2009

Hello maryanne:

Please let us know how you are doing?

God Bless
Priash

lfrey911's picture
lfrey911
Posts: 6
Joined: Mar 2003

Hello. I will keep your husdband and family in my prayers. I was diagnosed with astrocytomia in 1991. I have had 4 brain surgeries, radiation and in 2002 had chemo waffers. Back in 1991, I was given a year to live. Well, it is now 2005 and the Lord has decided that he is not ready to take me home yet. I have memory problems along with hearing and site difficulties. Seizures are under control and excerise helps to keep me strong. Dont give up! GOD Bless ... Larry

cheyfedu
Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2005

I dont know anything about the cancer your husband has but I wanted to tell you what has helped me with dealing with my moms cancer. She has breast cancer that metastisized to the lungs and bone and now to the brain. After we found out about the lungs and bone 3 years ago, i took her for prayer at my church. When she went for her next scan a week later, the cancer was gone from the bones and one lung. Doc's said it was a miricle. I dont know why God chose not to heal the other lung, or why now (just found out monday) he has allowed it to go to the brain, but I do know that he is in control and everything happens for a reason. I guess what I am trying to say is that, trust and faith and knowing where she will be (in heaven)when this terrible sickness finnaly does take her is very comforting. I find that the more I pray and spend time with God reading the bible , the more Joy I have. I have tried it both ways and this way is deffinately better. So prayer brings Joy and Worry cancels out faith. God bless you and your husband. I pray for the best for you both! Chey

kellbell
Posts: 16
Joined: Jul 2009

My husband was diagnosed 10 years ago with asrtcytoma stage 4.. they couldn't operate. They gave him 1 year to live. He underwent radiation and was in remission up until 1 month ago. He just underwent a surgery 3 weeks ago and they removed 98% of the tumor. we have a two children also 16 and 13. My husband was 33 at the time of his first diagnosis. You cant look at it as the end. You keep living each day to it's fullest. Put it into the lords hands and he will guide you through it. good luck

MikeP
Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2010

WOW you guys have gave me so much faith in this...my brother is having a lot of pain, and suffers from seizures, but is still alive Thank GOD!!! It's been 5 years and 2 months since he was diagnosed with a stage 3 astrocytoma on his left temporal lobe.... Reading everyone's replies and comments has gave me hope because I am his caretaker... Thank You Guys...God Bless

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