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MIL 13 years fighting stage IV glioblastoma. Is this the end?!

Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2013

13 years ago my mother in law was diagnosed with stage 4 glioblastoma - gave the woman 3 months to live.  Apparently she was the 10% That lived longer then expected.  What a gift!  She was able to see me and my husband marry... The births of my two boys and sow into our lives more than ever!  We are blessed!

HOWEVER - (this is where I need your help) in the last year she has rapidly declined!!  Started with her tripping and falling.  Then needed a walker, then couldn't walk.  Then couldn't move her right side all together!!! in the last month her speech has become gibberish and THIS WEEK?  She is quickly becoming a vegetable!!!!!  Our family is dumbfounded!  How for 13 years she seemed to have beaten it ... to turning into mush in a matter of a year!?  How can this have come on so quickly?

FYI - in the last year she has seen her doctor at least three times a month.  Had several MRI's and has been closely looked at.  They first told her that this was happening because she had brain nicroses from the radiation.  But three weeks ago they told her they saw the tumor again.  So is this thing just growing at such a fast pace its killing her faster?  We hardly have any answers!!

Has anyone experienced this?  If anyone can help, that would be awesome!  If she is dying.... Can someone tell me how long we have?!?! 


Posts: 24
Joined: Dec 2012

first off i would like to say i am 25 who got so lucky to marry my 29 year old husband/best friend, together we have an almost 3 year old daughter and i have a beautiful 9 year old step daughter, my husband got diagnosed with the same thing ur MIL has, almost 2 years ago we found out he had it. he has had 3 surgeries, radiation, chemo therapy, and lots of support and praying.

anyways long story short my husband was the same way christmas he was fine got to watch the girls open their gifts, then everyday after that he slowly got worse he couldnt walk would fall all the time, didnt make sense when he talked, had bad headaches and vomiting, so dec. 30th i brought him into the hospital and the MRI showed the tumor grew back, it grew fast and large and was now on the other side of the brain.

thats when they did his third and final operation, so anyhow i am still here in the hospital with my husband, he dont talk dont walk the only thing he really does is say yes or no when we ask him something, he know everyones names and knows who we r and where he is, he cant eat right he has to eat mushed up food.

the doctor said that this is it, its only a matter of time, so we take it one day at a time, no one can tell u how long u have with her, just cherish every moment u can, make her smile and laugh as much as u can show her u care and love her.

we r waiting now to see about bringing my husband to a hospice center, its the best place to be for him and i and our girls right now. i hope this helps u and im sry u have to watch her go through this.

Boombeen's picture
Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2012

After being DX with Lung cancer & a secondary brain tumor 2 1/2 yrs ago, I was doing pretty good after Cyberknife.  2 wks ago I landed in the ER with swelling on my brain.  Went home pumped up with Steroids.  Docs don't know what is causing the swelling.  Is it another tumor or radiation neucrosis?  Either way it's a death sentence.  I would just want to know what time I have.  Is it days, weeks, months? And what will I be like in the road ahead.  I really need to know so that I can make preperations & decisions MY WAY.  I'm not afraid of dying - just want to go fast.  I feel like I'm running a race with time.

Posts: 232
Joined: May 2011

Lyryn and Boombeen: first, I am so sorry that you all are dealing with this. Hugs and prayers go out to you. I wonder if you know about the web site "brain hospice". It is a very good site and gives timelines of symptoms and what to expect. We found it to be pretty much on target, but then everyone is different so it is a rough guideline. Just so you know,that the end does not have to be one of pain and suffering. Our son mainly just started slipping away...sleeping more and more. Amazingly, he had no seizures or headaches for which we are grateful. We think his ultimate demise was caused by aspiration pneumonia caused from difficulty swallowing The oxygen and morphine seemed to alleviate any discomfort due to the pneumonia. It was very peaceful.


mother of David


alutiiqmom's picture
Posts: 256
Joined: Jun 2011

Hi Connie:

I am still just really struggling with how Sarah passed away.  It seemed like she aspirated her nutrition from her NG tube, but we gave her oxygen and morphine and she still struggled so.  She sounded like she was drowning and in the early morning some of the nutrition was coming out of her mouth.  My friend said that she could not have aspirated or she would not have lasted the night.  I am confused and I just go over and over it in my head.  I have no idea why!  I am just at unrest with what happened to Sarah.  She was doing gradually slipping and sleeping a lot too and then boom in one and half days she was gone from us.  It all started after it seemed like she aspirated her nutrition.

I hope you have peace. I pray I find peace and let Sarah be at rest.  God Bless you Connie.


Posts: 58
Joined: Jan 2013

Thank you Connie for the reference to www.brainhospice.com.  GREAT INFORMATION!  Hospice specifically for the brain cancer patient.  Invaluable.  Symptom timeline is very helpful to have as a reference.

Lynn, Boombeen, and Bugs_Mommy, you are all in my prayers.  Connie and Edna -- you are truly angels to share your painful experience(s) in order to help those of us "at the end".  


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