HealthBoards — Stage 4 Lung Cancer…

HealthBoards — Stage 4 Lung Cancer…

HealthBoards - Stage 4 Lung Cancer...

02-04-2010 01:41 PM

Stage 4 Lung Cancer with Spinal, Bone and Brain Mets

My husband has stage 4 lung cancers with known mets to spine and other bones, he has been in hospice now for 2 1/2 weeks.

Last Friday he complained of severe headaches in the morning, been vomiting a lot, the nurse said possible brain metasis.

By Sunday the entire right side of his eye and upper cheek area are swollen and enlarged so much he can barely open his eye. Some days he never gets out of bed, then all of a sudden he’s up and around as if nothing is wrong.

Because of pain meds, his pain is minimal. Also because of he’s on hospice, they will not have him undergo testing, so I have to take their word it’s brain mets. (what else could it be?)

Question? Is this normal (for cancer mets to brain),

also "average" life expectancy given now the brain mets? He was diagnosed Nov. 09 with stage 4 lung cancer with mets to spine and bone.

02-09-2010 04:20 PM

Re: Stage 4 Lung Cancer with Spinal, Bone and Brain Mets

It sounds very typical. I’m sorry you all are going through this, but so happy that hospice is involved.

I worked in hospice years ago and have some experience with those with brain mets. The "life expectancy" varies of course by which area of the brain is affected. You may continue to see physical manifestations, such as the vision changes, etc, or mental ones, with cognition being affected, excessive sleepiness, etc. If the area which controls breathing becomes affected, of course the situation quickly becomes dire.

That being said, since your husband is on hospice and is so very affected by the cancer, anything could happen at any time—or not. The one thing we can’t predict is how one is able to adapt to the monster within; it is so variable from person to person.

I wish you well on the remainder of your husband’s journey. I hope you are able to make some good memories in the time you have left. Don’t forget to take care of yourself, too!

02-15-2010 09:00 AM

Re: Stage 4 Lung Cancer with Spinal, Bone and Brain Mets

Hi, so sorry you are both going through this. Cancer sucks.

My brother-in-law has lung cancer and had his left lung removed along with part of his aorta. This was March of last year. About 6 months ago, it had metastisized to his brain. He had a 5 cm tumor above his right eye and two smaller ones in the back of his head. They removed the 5 cm tumor and did radiation to shrink the other two.

Today he will get results of an MRI he had done last Thursday. They think it may have mets to his spine. He has been in a lot of pain and weak from waist down. We won’t hear anything from them until tonight (they live in another state as well so we can’t even be there to support them).

He has also dealt with swollen eyes and severe headaches in the morning. He also threw up this weekend. My sister found him yesterday morning laying on the floor trying to find relief from the pain. He takes Loratab, but it is not helping. Sis is hoping that the pain he is experiencing is from one med he started two months ago — a side affect is muscle pain.

When he was told of the brain cancer, they told him one year, two at the most. Now if it has mets again, who knows. All’s we can do is keep fighting and praying.

Everyone is different. He’s had two major surgeries to try and get rid of this, but sadly it is not a winning battle. I’ll let you know how things go. God Bless.

Re: Stage 4 Lung Cancer with Spinal, Bone and Brain Mets

Yes, he had radiation and it did shrink the two tumors that they couldn’t operate on. A few days ago he had a seizure. The first one but they told him he’d have more. I’m with them now and he’s doing ok. Finally keeping some food down.

Re: Stage 4 Lung Cancer with Spinal, Bone and Brain Mets

[QUOTE=goldyfm;4192848]Did the patient have radiation therapy to the brain by any chance? I know my husband had a horrible reaction to the radiation that caused swelling. It was not immediately after the radiation, and the Radiologist concurred that it was a reaction to the radiation therapy as did the Oncologist.[/QUOTE]

My husband did not any radiation to the brain but he did have a short course of pallative radiation to his spine that they dicontinued in early Jan.

Now his swelling is all over his right side of his body (head to toe), the hospice nurse, although concerned, said sadly this is normal in some patients and made sure his meds were increased and included lasix to relieve swelling, he is still quite swollen, but thanks be to God his pain in much less today.

Re: Stage 4 Lung Cancer with Spinal, Bone and Brain Mets

Marty, I am glad your husband is resting better and his pain has lessened. I know how difficult these days can be. I agree that the swelling is the natural course of events and now is just the time to try to keep your husband as comfortable as possible. I will keep you both in my thoughts and prayers.


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