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Stage IV with brain metastases

ecrowley2
Posts: 6
Joined: Jun 2006

My mom was diagnosed this past week with Stage IV NSCLC that has spread to her brain. My family is devastated - it happened so fast. She has about 5 small lesions but only one located in the cerebellum is causing symptoms of dizziness, nausea, and vertigo. She had 1 whole brain radiation treatment so far this week which really set her back physically. She was eating and talking so well before, but now she's more nauseous, tired and any motion around her makes it worse. We think it's the effects of the radiation and are hoping these symptoms will pass and that she will be able to at least sit up or turn over onto her other side. Has anyone had a similar experience - will the effects of radiation pass and if so, when??? Will these tumors really shrink after radiation??? Please help - we want to give her stories of hope - all she wants to be able to do again is go home, read her books, sit up, walk and listen to her radio - non of which she can do right now. Any words of hope would be greatly aprreciated!!!

reinstones1's picture
reinstones1
Posts: 92
Joined: Feb 2006

Your poor Mom. I can't offer any helpful information about radiation treatment or recovery, as my Mom has not undergone radiation (you can read her story in my reply to papersau above).

I just wanted to say that I'm thinking of you, and your Mom, and hoping that she can get back to her normal life soon. I can't imagine suffering from regular vertigo and dizziness. . . OR watching someone I love go through it. I pray every day that this will not happen to MY Mom.

Hang in there. The months immediately following a lung cancer diagnosis ARE devastating. My Mom was diagnosed in December and I was a wreck until February. Come here for support-- we will all help you through it.

cd3bs
Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2006

My father was just diagnosed with almost the exact thing, stage four lung cancer that has spread into his brain. He started his radiation treatments 3 days ago. He does not have the symptoms that your mother does, well he is very tired but we are not sure if it's an emotional tired or from the radiation. My father's vision is what is really suffering right now, the swelling of the brain is pushing on his optic nerve. His doctors say once the swelling goes down the symptoms WILL go away. I assume the same goes for your mother, it does take time for the swelling to go down nothing is over night. From what I have read & from what the doctors have said the radiation therapy is the best, it does shrink the leasions.
Everything has happened so fast for us to, my father had no symptoms, he just woke up last Thursday & could not see. The best thing, the ONLY THING to do is be positive. I know its hard but you have to keep her spirit up, that is what will keep her going. As crazy as this sounds so much of it is mental. Be positive around her & then go scream into your pillow. Keep telling her that she is on the road to recovery, I have you & your family in my prayers.

gdpawel's picture
gdpawel
Posts: 537
Joined: May 2001

Some three years ago, an individual posted on this site, his experience with this stage disease. He submitted a sample biopsy of his tumor from surgery for screening prior to beginning chemotherapy for advanced NSCLC (diagnosed stage IIIB or IV, with a brain met).

In the lab, his tumor didn't respond to standard drugs, and instead, the test showed a combination of five different drugs had the biggest impact.

As a result of his pre-testing, he commenced a regimen of Gemzar, carboplatin, navelbine, high dose Tamoxifen and Iressa. He completed 6 x 3 week cycles incorporating 2 doses per cycle with the exception of carboplatin which was administered only once per cycle.

After two cycles the main mass in his lung had reduced 85% and lymph nodes were virtually undetectable. After 4 cycles the CT of his lung showed only a small residual mass which was not detected by PET.

A small contrast in the MRI of his brain had remained unchanged throughout his treatment. His first scan since completing the IV chemotherapy in October 2003, appeared unchanged and considered a Complete Response by his oncologist.

The drugs eliminated cancer from his body and he had gamma-knife treatment for his brain met.

Now, this regimen may not be good for everyone, but he would not have known unless he pre-tested his cancer.

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