Hi I'm Rich, my mum (64 and healthy) was diagnosed with (probably lung) cancer with brain mets last week. It came completely out of the blue, she was having a routine check for blood clots when they found a shadow on her lung on the 2nd Jan. She had a biopsy the following week, and we were waiting for the hopefully good news when she had stroke like symptoms, double vision, loss of balance and she became very confused.
So a nightmare trip to A&E, 24 hours waiting in a corridor just like you've seen in the news! And they did a scan on the brain and found there are lots of small tumours. We've gone from not knowing and everything seemingly being fine over Christmas and new years, to 3 weeks later realising she has stage 4b cancer with brain mets.
She saw the oncologist at North Staffs yesterday, I wasn't with her but my sister (a Doctor) was, apparently he scared the life out of her and she is refusing treatment. She was offered whole brain radiotherapy, the oncologist went through the side effects and stand outs are, permanent short term memory loss, hair-loss. These were enough to convince mum she didn't want it.
I was under the impression the memory loss wouldn't be permanent anybody here know better?
I've been reading lots of posts on this site and others and became enthused at the prospect of some of the new treatment options. I asked my sister to ask about ALK and EGFR tests but apparently the original biopsy didn't recover enough material for these tests, and also the oncologist was rather negative about the chances of these working on the brain tumours. I've read it can be difficult but not impossible for chemo to work through the brain barrier. Mum doesn't want to go through another bronchial biopsy procedure.
We're also thinking of trying to get her referred to the Christie in Manchester which happens to be close to where I live and from what I can gather I think she will get better treatment there.
If anyone has any advice or even a kind word I'd be glad to hear. I think I'd like to get some idea of whether I should be pushing her to get the biopsy and see what treatment options there are or whether to let her try an live out her last days in relative peace.
Apologies for the long post, haven't had anyone to talk to about this stuff so it's all come out here!