My sister, a 55 yr old, smoked for 35+ years was diagnosed with lung cancer last May. Surgery to remove the lower left lobe was done in early August. At that time she was 'labeled' Stage 1B. Chemo followed as a precaution.
In October same year, she randomly feel, broke humerus on right arm.
In late December, had symptoms of a stroke, her husband took her to the ER, scans were done, fast growing tumor found on left side of the brain. Surgery was performed, tumor was removed. Recovered fast. Up, walking and talking and home in three days.
She had pin-point radiation done in January, surgery to repair the humerus in March.
All seemed to be going well, until.....early May she fainted on the toilet. At first, we thought she had a seizure, common side effect of brain surgery. Anti-seizure meds were given. Unfortunately, she broke her right wrist and clavicle on this fall.
About 4-5 weeks after the second fall, same symptoms of a stroke appeared. Scan revealed the same tumor had returned. Surgery again to remove the tumor was done a few weeks ago. Recovery not as good as the first time. Speech is impaired, no mobility with right arm. Able to walk using a cane after two weeks of intense physical, occupational and speech therapy. Going home Saturday!
We are assuming that every time she has fallen or passed out, the tumor 'sparks'.
After all this, I am just trying to find any good info on what to expect, treatments, anything. She obviously cannot have surgery in that area any more. Doctor felt he got all the tumor with the first surgery. Said that same thing after the second surgery. I want to make sure that everything is being done to help combat this disease. It's not good that it metastasized to the brain, but it is good that there are no other signs of cancer (so far).
Any info that can be provided is greatly appreciated.
Fri, 06/24/2016 - 06:37
Welcome to Grace. We're happy to have you here and hope we can provide information that will make this an easier journey.
It's a bit unusual for someone to have recurrence only in the brain though it's also important to understand that most to all cases of cancer have a degree of rarity about them. For the moment it sounds like the surgeon got all the cancer so a wait and see period is the most direct way to find if that's the case. Without any other signs of cancer no other treatment at this time is called for. All of that is good news so that your sister can work at healing. As for the healing I neurologist is probably the best equipped to help with recovery from surgery and other symptoms from the brain.
As for what's next, IF that time comes a consultation/2nd opinion would be in order. We have an excellent library of info that a site search can help with. Let me leave you with a discussion on 2nd opinions. http://cancergrace.org/cancer-101/2011/11/13/an-insider%E2%80%99s-guide…
I hope your sister is done with this journey it does happen that a solitary met to the brain can be locally treated without ever having other recurrence issues. If you'd like to read about this idea/phenomenon a search here for "oligometastatic" will bring up lots to read.