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- Whatever It Takes
She suctions saline from the balloon. Alana tries to gather her groggy thoughts. A yank—and pain that rips her core. She screams. When she comes to, Alana is lying on her left side, and Dr. Valentine is pushing and pinching her flesh. Valentine struggles to bring the edges of the wound together. Also, your scar is more likely to be a dimple than a line. Alana blinks. That would make my husband very unhappy. Valentine turns quickly away. Valentine returns, Alana is thinking how much lighter she feels without all the paraphernalia hanging out of her body.
Valentine clears her throat. The electrical failure that locked the door also locked in place the wire delivering radiation. So today you had a total exposure of… But it will be bad. We can tell more by the symptoms you exhibit, their strength and order of occurrence. Valentine massages her forehead with thumb and ring finger. We just need to check you in. When all their efforts of persuasion and bullying fail, Dr. Valentine thrusts a clipboard toward Alana. At first he just sits, pale and mute, eyes on the TV, but not seeming to follow the football game.
Look here. David does not look. Not everybody dies. Alana sinks into her recliner. Her head hurts; she feels flushed and slightly nauseous. She glances at the sheaf of papers Dr. Valentine finally produced. Headache, fever, and nausea are three of the five immediate symptoms of radiation poisoning. Diarrhea and cognitive impairment may be in her near future. She draws a deep breath. If her case is typical, she can expect redness, blistering, sores, and sloughing skin, bruising and breast pain, anemia and fatigue, infection, breakdown of fat tissue, bone weakness and rib fractures, confusion.
She drags her body into the bathroom and strips to the waist. Her right breast is bigger than the left. The skin looks lightly tanned. High near her armpit is the old biopsy scar, a barely visible white line about an inch long. Under that, the remnants of her lymph node incision—an angry raised ridge twice as long, and hard—and the parallel incision from the initial surgery, longer still, dark brown, lumpy, and tender. The incision from the insertion of the radiation balloon is round as a cartoon kiss and weeping purple. Were rows of fat cells destroyed?
Already her skin is sloughing little white flakes. Breast dandruff. She applies a bandage, dons a stretchy, front-closing bra to hold it in place. If she dies, it will be in four to six weeks. The two injuries most likely to be fatal are loss of bone marrow and loss of microvilli in the walls of the intestines. Alana cries herself to sleep in her recliner.
She hears drawers opening and closing. Should she beg him to stay? Would he, if she did? I love you, David. When the sound of the car fades, she drops into her recliner. She thinks first of nutrition. A doctor in Houston, Texas, reported that wheat sprouts eaten regularly in the diet can decrease the formation of cancer in the breast.
Alana adds to her lists.
literarische beziehungsmuster in fontanes ladultera german edition Manual
The natural progression is to herbal healing. She learns that burdock is good for clearing skin and the lymph system, and that comfrey is good for healing bones and ligaments. She researches dry skin, sores, pain, blood building, muscle regeneration, bone repair, removal of toxins—every topic she can think of—adding herbs and spices to her diet accordingly. She calls friends, explains her situation, and asks for whatever help they can give. Her bridge and mahjongg friends create a schedule for shopping and cooking.
I was sending healing thoughts to you every day during your treatment time. Except that last morning, I was dealing with my diabetic son. Maybe I could have prevented some of this. Promise me: no guilt! But it might be channeled through our High Priestess. Just for good measure, Alana asks her traditionally religious family and friends to keep her in their prayers.
Some—her sister, especially—want her to return to the doctor, go into the hospital if necessary.
Whatever It Takes
She monitors her symptoms and wracks her brain for anything that might heal her. Layer after layer of skin peels off and sores erupt. She feels battered and bruised. Everything hurts, including her breastbone. Is it even possible for a bone to hurt? She turns her eyes from the ugliness. I need beauty in my life. Some people believe stones have power. Alana spends the next hours poring over the book, considering the stones she has accumulated over the years in jewelry, mineral eggs, and unworked crystals. The doctor estimated how long my grandmother had to live, but little did he know my grandmother was a very strong woman.
She was given 1 year to live without chemotherapy, with chemotherapy, she was given 5 years. My grandmother made the choice of losing her hair and feeling sick one day out of every week while taking chemotherapy. After a while my grandmother started to feel sick every day, no matter what. She called the doctor to see if he could figure out what was happening, and he told her to have a CAT scan done. When she had the CAT scan done, the doctor told her that the cancer had spread to her colon and spleen. After a great deal of thinking, my grandmother decided to have her spleen and half of her colon removed.
Finally the cancer had metastasized throughout her whole body, and she died on October 10, Andrea King Collier Although it has been 10 years since my mother died of ovarian cancer, the illness impacts me every day. I am ever fearful that genetics and heredity may bring ovarian cancer my way. I worry that there is no really accurate early detection out there for me and women like me. But I am grateful for and encouraged by the women who are living-yes living with ovarian cancer and defying the odds. They are heroes and champions and poster girls for those of us who are fearful.
I have met so many wonderful women who are fighting and making a difference since I wrote my book, Still With Me, on my mother's battle with ovarian cancer. I think I am doing what I do now because I need to be my mother's voice in this fight that we are all in. I just hope that all of the dear women who are living and thriving and fighting know that they give are the standard bearers for the rest of us, who hope and pray and advocate and believe.
I see my mother's eyes in yours. Thank you. My husband, two children and I were so excited. We couldn't wait until we held our new baby in our arms and looked forward to sharing our lives together. As a family, we enjoyed many walking trips, but one will always remain in my mind It was a beautiful summer day. I was 7 weeks pregnant.
We had decided to go on a walking trip and as we were having so much fun, the day passed by quickly. After arriving home and trying to wind down for the day, I felt a little discomfort and realized I was spotting. Of course I panicked as you can only imagine the thoughts I was having. I began to pray for my baby. My intuition told me something was wrong.
Upon contacting the hospital, they requested I wait until the morning and to keep watch over how I felt through the night. For some reason, one that I cannot explain, I continued to have a bad feeling about what was happening. Most of the night was spent worrying about my baby, and as the spotting continued, I headed to the hospital. Once arriving at the hospital, I had an ultrasound performed. The doctor said the spotting was due to a little clot underneath my uterus and that I shouldn't worry as it would soon dissolve.
He then sat down, and told me that there was another problem. As he cleared his throat, he asked me if I was aware that I had a large cyst in my left ovary. The shock was devastating. I wasn't sure what he was telling me exactly. All I know is that I had the longest drive home. On the following day, I visited my doctor. She didn't exactly know what to say to me, but the look on her face told me she too was worried.
Before finding out from him what I was so afraid to hear, I explained to the doctor all my fears. I told him that I loved my baby. I told him that I didn't want to lose my baby. I cried and cried. I needed him to understand that I was so very afraid of what I expected he was going to tell me. He touched my hand and said that he thought I had ovarian cancer. The room began to spin. He had to have been wrong! I am a young and healthy mother. My uncontollable tears flowed. How could this happen to me? How did this happen to me? The doctor then told me something that no pregnant mother would want to hear.
He said that I would need to have surgery to have the tumour removed. The surgery would have to be performed on my 20th week of pregnancy, as this was the safest time for the baby to successfully recover from any trauma. I prayed to God for his guidance, support and to help me make the right decision.
The world so often felt like it wasn't there. All that mattered to me was my family. I wanted to have a healthy baby. I wanted to be here for a long time. I couldn't imagine my children without me. I wanted to see them grow up, get married and have their own families. I wanted to fulfill all my dreams. I was too young to die. My baby needed a chance to live. I prayed every moment I was awake. My faith in God became stronger each day. I knew in my heart that no matter what happened, God would take care of me.
My husband held me and explained to me that he wanted me to have the surgery as our other two children needed a mommy. I knew the ultimate decision was mine. The decision to have my ovary removed while pregnant would risk my baby's life. If I remained pregnant after the surgery, my child could have ended up with many serious problems. The love for my unborn child was stronger than I could ever explain, as I knew my baby's fate was in my hands. The confusion was overwhelming. From weeks of crying, I looked awful and many around me were worried for my health. The time had come to make my decision.
In my heart I knew that God was right by my side. He said to me, that if I was his wife and we already had two children, that he would want me to have the surgery. He said that God gave me two healthy children to take care of and it was my responsibility to be there for them. As he did not know how quickly the tumor was progressing, the cancer could be at its worst stage at time of delivery of my baby. If I waited until my third baby was born to have the surgery, my husband may be taking care of 3 children on his own. God gave me the strength that day, for I decided that this silent killer, which is what ovarian cancer is really called, was not going to beat me.
I decided to have the surgery. While recovering from the devastating experience, my baby's heart beat dropped very low. I cried and prayed. I couldn't lose her, not now, not ever. My faith in God and my many prayers is what got me throughout the next several months. My beautiful angel was born by C-section at full term.
She is now 5 years old, healthy, happy and so very special to me. My dear daughter and I have a bond that I could never explain to anyone. I risked her life to save mine and I must always remember how much I prayed for her. I believe in my heart she was and still is my guardian angel. If I wasn't pregnant with her, I would never have known about having cancer and maybe it would have been too late. My daughter is a gift from God and each day I thank Him for my beautiful child and for my treasured life.
Each day is a gift, a true gift from God. I am 13 years old. I have a sister who is 16 and my dad. My mother just passed away of ovarian cancer. She survived for two years. They say it is the best cancer care anywhere. Well I think it was because the doctors at the hospital gave her two more years to live. And I am very grateful for that. It was very hard leaving school to go to the hospital every so often. All I tried to do in life was to please her but it was pretty hard when she was on antibiotics and all these medicines that made her drowsy. The last few days of her life I did not go to school.
I was in the hospital with my mother. She had her eyes rolled in the back of her head, Breathing heavily, and she looked very scary. It was hard to believe that she was actually my mother. That's not a lot but if that's all I get that's good enough. We learned about her dying two days before she did go.
At the age of 21 I had to have a hysterectomy in In they had to go and get both ovaries. Well in I started having pain againg so my husband rushed me to emergency room because I could not walk. They did xrays and an ultrasound to find out my right ovary had grown back this can't be we thought the doctor just didn't take it out. So I had to have surgery to remove that one and I was feeling fine for about a year. In I started having the very same pains would not go to the doctor this time until I was unable to walk again.
We went to the doctor and was told my right ovary was back I was sent to a specialist where I had to have another surgery that year. Well it's been two years today since my last surgery but I've always been in pain and I know the ovary was removed I was in surgery 8 hours.
But I'm very upset because my left ovary is back now and all doctor are refusing to help me every doctor is trying to put me off on the next. No one is thinking about the pain I'm in how I'm unable to have a normal life with my family because the doctors keep me on strong meds that keep me sleepy.
I'm looking for someone who has or had this same problem. The doctors say that it is normal but they can never tell me of another case that they have treated. I just would like some information on how we can keep this from coming back again if it's removed this year. Please anyone that can help email me at angeb34 hotmail. I am thanking you in advance. Angela and Felicia's Mom Hi my name is Angela. And I would like to share my story. My mom was diagnosed with OVCA last year It just all happend at once. We were preparing to go to our family reunion and my mom became very ill.
She was vomiting and she had a bad case of diarrhea so she was taken to the doctor. The doctor stated that her uterus wall had fallen and he need to pull it up. Upon going to the hopital, she was still nauseated and feeling extremely bad. Then the doctor said she had the signs of gallstones. A test was ran and sure enough she did need the gallstone surgery. The surgery was done and very successful. They removed gallstones and the gall bladder.
Upon removing the stones and bladder the doctor notice a lot of water. They removed about 2 pints of water from her adominal. The doctor then had the water tested, which showed positive for OVCA. My mom was 72 years old at the time. As I write this now, my mom is in the hospital and has been there for almost 3 weeks. The chemo that she was on for the first year her body started rejecting it.
She was later put on Doxil. This chemo was too strong for her and her body was not able to handle it. While doing Doxil my mom became very dehydrated and nauseated. She could not hold anything down. Her doctor recommend that she be put in the hopital so he can run test to find out what was going on. Several test have been ran and he still cannot find out what is causing this.
Right now my mom is hooked up to alot of iv's, she has swollen feet, and she is still continuing her chemo treatments. My mom is a strong woman and she is fighting hard. But through all of this I can truly say God is good. Prayer also changes things. About 2 days ago my mom start back eating just a little at a time but the food is now staying down!!!!
She lost a tremendous amount of weight. Her feet are still swollen. She also has to do physical therapy while she is in the hospital. I hope one day they find a cure for this silent killer. This does not only affect the person with the disease but family members as well. I just want to say to everyone who is dealing with this or any other type of cancer. They found cancer cells around her lungs in the fluid, and she looks like she is about 9 months pregnant. The doctors all have a positive attitude, but I'm still not sure how she's going to do.
She just had a bypass surgery on her heart October of last year 05 because of shortness of breath She is 49 years old and has been through chemotherapy once in for breast cancer. She's a survivor of 11 years for that. A very strong and religious mother of four wonderful children and four grandchildren, newest is now 10 months old. With her first treatment being last week she's very, very tired and suffering from depression and anxiety.
I'm really worried about her and I know all there is to do is to be very supportive and to pray very hard. They are going to give her 6 chemo treatments first one every three weeks , then check the tumor s and then if necessary debulk or resume 6 more treatments. She's had so much abdominal ascites; they say surgery would be nearly impossible at this point anyhow. Chemotherapy should dry some of it up.
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If anyone has had similiar stories I really want to hear about them. I would like to know things to expect and also someone to relate to. Please E-mail me at angie yahoo. Thank You, Angela B. Anita Choudhary My wife Anita initially diagnosed a case of ovarian cyst and further investigation clarified it ovarian tumor in Sep First six cycles of chemotherapy shown a lot of improvement. But it re-occurred after three months. Again six cycles of chemotherapy were administered and transplantation of chemo pot was also done as the nerves of my wife grew weaker. This time again lot of improvement seen.
But the decease re-appeared again and this time with metastasis stage. Doctors again recommeded six cycles of chemotherapy. First 12 cycles of chemotherapy were tolerated by her well and thereafter she suffered lot post chemotherapy problems like sever body pain, vomiting, fever, loose motion etc. However, this bold lady faced all the troubles with great courage and bravery. She died after two days of 18th cycle of chemotherapy. One day before her death, two very big boils with untolerable sever pain appear on her buttock and one boil appeared on her forehead a couple of hours before she died.
Again six cycles of chemotherapy were administered on her with radiotherapy for 21 days and the result was the same This time again chemotherapy was given for six times which again brought down the AFP level below After 18th cycle of chemotherapy between 23 Sep 07 to 25 Sep 07, she died on 01 Oct I appreciate the way she fought the disease for almost two years. Despite knowing the fact of her end, she always motivated the inmates while in hospital. Ann Cassidy My mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer on September 17, after going to the hospital with severe abdominal pain.
We were told by her physician that her condition was serious and that we should consider treatment at a different facility. My mom had an extremely high tolerance for pain she had 7 kids without any type of pain medication. She was always afraid of being over medicated and not lucid. I want people to know that it is so important to be at a facility whose sole purpose is treatment of cancer patients. After arriving at Sloan Kettering we felt a glimmer of hope that she would be with us for a few years at the very least. On September 25, we were told that her cancer was inoperable at this time and that chemotherapy was her best bet.
My mom was a slender woman except for her mid-section which she blamed on having so many kids and we believed her. I believe that you can will your mind to do certain things and my mom wanted to see her baby get married in July After a few days at Sloan her condition seemed to improve and then just like that she was declining rapidly. She was never alone and time seemed to be moving slowly; I never knew what day it was I just wanted to be there. We all did. On October 15, we received the news that she would not be able to handle any type of chemo treatment and that she could go home or to a hospice.
She came home on October 20, and amazingly we were able to take care of her. All our lives were on hold nothing seemed to matter except to be with her and comfort her to the best of our abilities. On the night she died her children, grandchildren, her sister and my dad were at the house. The grandchildren she adored came in to see her; they loved her so much. My mom died on October 25, at home with her family.
Thirty-nine days 39 and she was gone. My mom did go to regular checkups with all kinds of doctors except she had not gone for a gynecologist visit since Pawelski, husband Introduction: This is an account of my wife's treatment for recurring ovarian cancer. Her cancer treatment varied tremendously depending on which hospital she attended and the type of treatments given at our local hospital were responsible for her final tumor recurrences and her depressed quality of life in her last years.
When she first got ovarian cancer in , it was treated in San Diego, post-operatively with Chlorambucil. This is one of the slowest acting and least toxic of the oral drugs, which allows the immune system to regenerate during the process. The cancer recurred in on her diaphragm and was removed at the Fox Chase Cancer Center. It is commonplace to give the same treatment to a recurrence as was given for the original tumor s. However, our hometown hospital in Pennsylvania gave her a 'hard and fast' drug combination of Taxol and Carboplatin. This suppresses the immune system, which can allow tumors to grow and can weaken the blood-brain barrier, potentially inviting cancer cells into the central nervous system.
Sure enough, the cancer turned up in her cerebellum in , and was removed at the Hershey Medical Center. Our local home town hospital then treated her with Whole Brain Radiation. My wife was Hershey suggested treatment with focal radiation to the local tumor bed. Scans to check for a possible spinal tumor were also suggested but never fully carried out. In , three tumors were found on her spine and were eradicated. In the end, my wife died of the effects of Taxol and Carboplatin, which may have caused the cerebellum tumors, and the terrible effects of Whole Brain Radiation, which further scans revealed had caused extensive damage to her brain.
Ann's Medical History: In , my wife had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, when she presented with a left DVT deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism at a hospital in San Diego, CA. DVT is not uncommon in patients with ovarian cancer it may be a presenting sign.
Workup which was triggered by this presentation revealed that she did have an ovarian carcinoma for which she was cured with total abdominal hysterectomy and Chlorambucil Leukeren treatment. This postoperative chemotherapy drug was among the slowest acting and least toxic of the alkylating agents well tolerated oral-dose drugs. By giving chemotherapy more often, at lower doses, it can prevent the regrowth of blood vessels that feed tumors. Depression of the immune system is slow and reversible, allowing it to regenerate and contribute to healing.
A malfunctioning immune system can fail to stop the growth of cancer cells. When caught at this earliest stage, ovarian cancer has a good prognosis. She went twenty-four years before experiencing any recurrent ovarian cancer. During the early 90's in Reading, Pa. This is supposed to be the most certain way of diagnosing ovarian cancer and assessing the extent of cancer spread metastasis. For the most part, her group of oncologists relied almost entirely on the CA tumor marker a blood test done to assess the amount of an antibody that recognizes an antigen in ovarian tumor cells.
The rate of "false positives" makes it inadequate for use "by itself" for screening of high-risk patients. It should be supplemented with transvaginal ultrasonography and a rectovaginal pelvic exam all done at the same time. Metastatic Recurrence and Treatment: It was our family doctor that found her first metastatic recurrence to her diaphragm in not the medical oncologists at our local home town hospital. She was having dry coughing spells at first but then she began having a mucus discharge, which eventually was bloody.
A chest xray and Cat Scan had shown a lesion inside her diaphragm. That recurrent ovarian cancer was surgically excised at Fox Chase Cancer Center. It was a metastatic transdiaphragmatic tumor from the original ovarian cancer , with attachment to the lung and other midline structures of the chest. Parts of those structures were surgically resected the diaphragm is a common site for ovarian metastatic recurrence.
It is very rare for ovarian cancer cells to metastisize to the CNS. In fact, up until there have been only 67 well documented cases in medical literature. A multi-institutional study of ovarian cancer patients over 30 years identified only 32 cases while an autopsy study of ovarian cancer reported an incidence of 0. The surgeon at Fox Chase did not feel that further treatment with chemotherapy was indicated. However, the ideas of our local home town Medical Oncologists were different from the Thoracic Surgical Oncologist who excised the tumor from her diaphragm.
My wife received postoperative chemotherapy by these medical oncologists, seven months after having that metastatic tumor surgically excised. She did not have any cancer tumor markers indicate any cancer within her system. Some tumors send out microscopic outposts while most do not.
However, medical oncologists cannot tell which ones do, so they want to give chemotherapy in nearly every case. The type of chemotherapy she received was the hit fast, hit hard type combination chemotherapy of Taxol with Carboplatin second-line chemotherapy. It is usually given in big doses, with breaks of several weeks between doses to let the body try to recover or else it can kill a patient.
Patients who develop recurrent ovarian cancer more than 6 months after first-line chemotherapy in my wife's case, 24 years , can experience another remission following treatment with the identical first-line chemotherapy that was previously used in her case, Chlorambucil. It has not been shown that platinum-based combination therapy is superior to single agent alkylator therapy. No substantial benefit has been found in giving ovarian cancer patients second-line chemotherapy. Clinicians have found that the toxic effects of this treatment can cause a lower quality of life for these patients.
In recent years the incidence of central nervous system CNS metastasis has increased. A NCI observational study in reported experience in their clinic where recurrent systemic disease occurred in all patients for which they received dose intense paclitaxel Taxol therapy. Brain metastasis was the only site of disease recurrence, presenting with headache, dizziness, unsteady gait, nausea and vomiting. It was our family doctor that found her second metastatic recurrence to her cerebellum in not the medical oncologists at our local home town hospital. She was presenting with headache, dizziness, unsteady gait, nausea and vomiting.
A large 3. The tumor was excised from her brain by a Neurosurgeon at Hershey Medical Center. Histologic features were consistent with metastatic papillary adenocarcinoma with extensive necrosis from the ovary. The treatment protocol recommended for brain metastases of large solitary tumors exceeding 2cm in diameter is surgical resection followed by 5 fractions of local radiation to the tumor bed. At the same time, she should receive an MRI of the spine because of suspicions of either another tumor, on her spine or a herniated disc, causing her leg problems. However, the ideas of our local home town Radiation Oncologist were different from the Neurosurgeon who excised the tumor from her brain.
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The Radiation Oncologist took it upon himself to give my wife 5 fractions of focal radiation to the local tumor bed, plus 20 fractions of Whole Brain Radiation over a 35 day period. The risk of neurotoxicity from Whole Brain Radiation is not insignificant and this approach is not indicated in all patients with a solitary brain metastases, particularly when platinum drugs lower the tolerance of the CNS to radiation.
Whole Brain Radiation Therapy has been recognized to cause considerable permanent side effects in patients over 60 years of age. My wife was 66 years of age while receiving Whole Brain Radiation Therapy. During radiation treatment, my wife received an Unenhanced MRI to the spine that showed a 1cm lesion. However, a Regular Bone Scan cannot distinguish what a lesion represents and cannot differentiate between a tumor, an infection or a fracture a Triple Phase Bone Scan may occasionally be helpful in determining benign from malignant lesions.
Enhanced contrast agents increase the sensitivity, conspicuity and accuracy of an exam. The agent most commonly used is Gadolinium. An Enhanced MRI was not performed and the Radiation Oncologist told us the lesion was nothing and not to worry about it. He also ignored my complaints about her having seizures during radiation therapy.
Nine months later, my wife was admitted to our local home town hospital during the Memorial Day Weekend of , for a week of testing and evaluation for unexplained falls and light-headiness. After two weeks of failing to find out what was wrong with her, I took her by ambulance to Hershey Medical Center for proper medical treatment. At Hershey Medical Center, we found out by a medical onocologist and a neurologist that she had Leptomeningeal Carcinomatous remember the undiagnose tumor of nine months prior, not further evaluated? An Enhanced MRI showed now three 3 metastatic tumors on her spine.
Spinal metastases can grow into adjacent structures, such as into the meninges from the spine. The largest of these tumors grew into the meninges on the spine into the spinal fluid, hence Leptomeningeal Carcinomatous. This was confirmed by a spinal tap. With the damage already done to her by our local home town hospital, the doctors at Hershey Medical in order to save her life or at least give her some time had to administer Intrathecal Methotrexate along with systemic radiation to the spine Admitted June 19, When both therapies are performed at the same time it doubles the theraputic dosages of each therapy increasing the neuro-toxic effects on the brain.
However, the cancer cells were eradicated completely from her central nervous system by this protocol. Ever since the second spinal tap at Hershey when methotrexate was already being administered , all of her spinal taps were negative for 10 consecutive times up until January 14, Adverse Side Effects of Treatments: My first experience with the side effects of combination chemotherapy and whole brain radiation was when she was at Hershey Medical Center in The doctors showed me the Enhanced Brain MRI from her previous year's cerebellum excision and the one done in The scans showed the progressive deteriation of her white matter white matter disease.
These reactions are due to changes in the white matter and death of brain tissue caused by radiation-damaged blood vessels. This clinical syndrome generally occurs 6 months to 2 years after radiation therapy. Symptoms include decreased intellect, memory impairment, confusion, personality changes and alteration of the normal function of the area irradiated all symptoms my wife had over the past year.
Radiation Necrosis can be fatal! It causes pathological changes that impair vascular integrity. Delayed radiation injuries result in increased tissue pressure from edema, vascular injury leading to infarction stroke , damage to endothelial cells and fibrinoid necrosis of small arteries and arterioles. My wife suffered a stroke to the left basal ganlia area of the brain in January , confirmed by an enhanced MRI.
My wife had developed necrotizing leukoencephalopathy a form of diffuse white matter injury that can follow combination chemotherapy , confirmed by an enhanced MRI in July of at Hershey. The white matter is the covering of the nerves within the brain. Its function is to speed up the passage of impulses along the nerves. Necrosis is simply a cell dying, all of its coordinated activities going wrong and things shut down.
If a cell gets too much heat or is poisoned by a toxic substance or exposed to chemicals that damage its proteins and membraines or radiation that breaks its DNA molecules, that cell can just stop functioning. An EEG showed generalized diffuse slowing that was significant with global encephalopathy. It is most commonly seen in toxic metabolic and degenerative conditions. There appeared to be a real amount of focal right sided slowing which would indicate cortical dysfunction on that side. Her MRI's showed the ventricles overall were prominent and there was widening of the sulci consistent with cerebral atrophy wasting away of brain cells and tissues.
There was diffuse, abnormal signal intensity within the periventricular white matter, consistent with post radiation changes. The signal abnormality within the white matter appeared slightly increased compared to her prior studies. A Pet Scan showed globally decreased radiotracer uptake within the brain, bilaterally, consistent with involutional change and prior radiation therapy.
Because of the previous chemo-radiation treatments, a recurrence of the cerebral metastasis was very likely to happen in the future. Some long-term effects can include development of secondary maligancies the risk is 16 times greater. Resistance to standard chemotherapy regimens of Carboplatin with Taxol ultimately develops in nearly all adenocarcinoma cancer patients mainly because of the late stages of the cancer. It can actually spread the cancerous cells rather than the cancer itself spreading.
Since both radiation and chemotherapy suppress the immune system, it is possible that new tumors are allowed to grow because the patient has been rendered unable to resist them. A person who is cured of cancer by these drastic means may find himself struggling with a new, drug-induced tumor a few years later. Four, mm-sized metastatic tumors were found in and around the previously resected cerebeller tumor and because of my wife's weakened condition, Gamma-Knife would be the only best medical protocol. During the whole time of her admission at the hospital, the doctors kept referring to her continued diffuse white-matter injury brain necrosis , as if she may be too far advanced in that injury to survive much longer.
Minutes before she expired, her temperature was normal, her blood pressure was normal but her pulse was tachycardia. Her heart was racing to keep up with the lack of brain function and finally quit. Carboplatin lowered the tolerance of her Central Nervous System to any radiation treatment. The Whole Brain Radiation resulted in the death of tumor cells and associated reaction in surrounding normal brain. Such reactions tend to occur more frequently in larger metastatic lesions. Late delayed Radiation Necrosis also known as Radiation Encephalopathy is often irreversible and progressive, leading to severe disability or death all symptoms my wife experienced.
Cancer Treatments as Killers: Ann's life was greatly shortened and neurologically deteriorated by the chemo and radiation treatment received at our local home town hospital. Patients who develop recurrent ovarian cancer more than 6 months after first-line chemotherapy can experience another remission following treatment with the identical first-line chemotherapy that was previously used.
Aggressive treatment, like surgical excision of tumor and focal radiation to the local tumor bed, in patients with limited or no systemic disease can yield long-term survival. In such patients, delayed deleterious side effects of whole brain radiation therapy are particularly tragic and there is no survival benefit or prolonged independence.
My beautiful, talented, daughter had cancer. I never thought I would hear those words. She has been cancer-free and the baby is almost four years old but she has been verbally abusive through this whole ordeal and now she has left my life as in not speaking to me and keeping my grand daughter away from my husband and me.
We are very distraught over this and I thought I was doing everything right. The baby loves us and she loves Grandpa Tom. I believe this is so harmful to my grand daughter. I am going into a day program for my depression over this — I must have really goofed things up and failed at trying to help her. I am also extremely angry with her and my husband is also very, very hurt. I came from a very close family where everyone supported and loved each other. We would never give up on each other. It might not be possible. I am so thankful that you both wrote and that your perspectives continue to be available.
Thank you — it helped. I appreciate so much the information shared in this blog. My son of 27 has just recently been diagnosed with stage IV brain cancer and it is a constant struggle for me to cope. Thanks again for the thoughts shared as I was able to draw comfort from the information. I would appreciate more information on this subject. Thank you so much for accepting my e-mail.
Our son 42 yrs old had a complete ND laryndectomy on June 18th After a pet and cat scan which was clear, he had a problem in his stoma area. We went back to Jefferson in Phila, and learned his biopsy was positive for cancer. Today he had another surgery, and found they tried to remove all cancer, but they gave us a honest, but bleak outlook. My husband and I are devastated, all we have Is hope? Our son is a very independent person, He makes it hard to just love him, Our hearts are breaking.
We are really, in plain words really pissed off at what has happened. Please help. As I read your blog, It makes so much sense, but I cannot imagine life going on without my Jeff. It would be so so hard, and would never get over the loss. He is in Philadelphia right now, with his wife, who is a blessing, but we are so sad. It is 3oclock am and we cannot sleep, the news is just too much.
We will never be the family we were, never. Thank you all for sharing — it is tremendously helpful. There are few sites that address how a parent of an adult child with cancer is supposed to deal with our own emotions and interact with our child — who is now an adult. My 28 year old daughter, with a 4 month old child, was just diagnosed with breast cancer and begins chemo this week. I know at first I was being too pushy with my advice and she became withdrawn.
I apologized and she made it clear that she has to be in charge — not me. As her parent, I want to take action and help her. But helping for her may be for me to just listen and not do anything else. My 50 year old son has just been accidently diagnosed with stage 4 and a surprise to us all. His brother and I are scared. We will go to MA in the next few weeks. Son Chris was the major caregiver to my brother and did a wonderful job.
Just writing this has helped a bit. I really have nobody to share with. Thank you, Dane Lussier Huntington Beach. Rita, I am in the same boat. My 29 year old daughter has Stage IV breast cancer, with mets to her lung, liver, bones and brain. It has turned all our worlds upside down, and there this this undercurrent of breathless panic we try to keep down.
My daughter is an inspiration to us all, but the fear and grief is unspeakable. Thank you for being there, yourself and your daughter. There is great comfort in company along this horrible road. My 39 year old daughter was recently diagnosed with DCIS, Stage 0, but grade 3, which means it was a rapidly growing organism.
I share this so that people will know to ask their doctors about the stage as well as the grade of their cancer. My daughter decided to have a radical mastectomy and is now receiving radiation. I have found myself having a myriad of emotions during this difficult time. Thinking the worst, trying to stay positive, telling her what I thought she should do, not do.
I have found that this is a wave that we are all riding and none of us know how to swim. I do not want to make her more stressed by telling her my problems, my fears about cancer. I want to watch the children while she goes out with her husband and I just want to do all I can for her, but I know that is not possible. Thank you for this blog. I just found this blog on a google searc. My 35 year old son has just been diagnosed with advanced colon cancer and our family is devastated.
I hope this site helps me cope. I too live very far from him and feel at a loss as to help him. My 28 yr old daughter as stage 3, triple negative breast cancer. With a 8 month old daughter — their first. She just finished 12 weeks chemo and 8 weeks to go, then double surgery, then 6 weeks radiation. The horror of living this nightmare is always under my surface smile. I am positive with my daughter but I now also tell her occasionally about how angry I am.
The longer the process goes on the harder this is.
My husband and I feel like zombies sometimes. So hard for everyone. My prayers are with all of you going through this yourself or loved ones. May we all find our strength. This has been most helpful. My son will be 48 tomorrow. November 18, he was born. He was dignoised with stage IV lung cancer February 10, I thought my life had ended. I am trying to learn and listen to him.
He is on my mind every awaking moment. He is single and lives 5 miles away from me. I have to go now but so glad I found this web site. Thank you, so much!
Whatever It Takes
My prayers are with each and everyone of you! Thank you for sharing these feelings. We just learned three days ago that my daughter has an invasive form of breast cancer. The difficult journey has begun, but companions make the journey better. November my older dtr Kristen, now almost 33, was diagnosed with base of tongue lower tonsil cancer Stage She had trouble with speech and swallowing, now resolved.
We were so hopeful, then in July we found out she had mets to her lungs. More surgery was done. She is now in a trial and literally as they say in a race for the cure. I want to see her every day, but she lives 2 hrs away and of course I work. I will prayer for all of you and your children, give us strength, give us peace. Thank you very much for your wise words, both Mother and daughter. My thirty two year old daughter was diagnosed w a brain tumor on October 7, She has been in a fairly long term relationship with a women.
Since her diagnosis her partner and partners family have done much. Driving her to treatments and taking care of her. I am forever grateful to them all. I have done what I could but have to work in a pretty unforgiving workplace. I have offered everything and anything to help her partner, to no avail. Little by little things started changing between my dughter and me. She had also sought therapy through a cancer center. We had a very close relationship prior to her diagnosis.
We talked about everything. It is all different now. I have had many boundaries given to me. I understand some of them do my best to respect them. It is clear our relationship has changed dramatically. I have been denied. I saw issues of control with her partner before her diagnosis, nothing severe but concerning. We even talked about some of the issues. Now I am reminded of my mitakes I made as a single mother.
Anything that arrises seems to be my fault, and yes some of them were. Now almost two years post surgery while being on chemo for a year, her partner can do no wrong. I was unwelcomed from there home because it was believed I brought fleas to there home. Yes I have animals and I treat them, but it had to be me. It has gone downhill from there. I saw signs her partner was alienating me. I tryed to discuss it with my daughter. She said just leave it alone and do not bring it up with her partner.
I am now told her partner wants nothing to do with me, ever. Upon learning there will be no resolution possible I am also reminded by my daughter by asking how we could resolve our problems that I also crossed a boundary by even asking. I had no idea her partner had forever shunned me until I asked if it could be fixed. I had asked before while feeling something was off with her partner and me but never got a straight answer. Through many attempts after this conversation, in which my daughter hung up on me, for the very first time, to get back in touch with her I finally got a response.
She reminded be that I broke her boundary by asking that question. She also said she will talk to me as soon as I acknowledge that. She also said she loved me. I reread all are messages about boundaries, not asking about her partner was not there. I told her I thought that boudary was not clear. I acknowledged that I get it now and will never talk of her partner again. I am heartsick about my daughters illness but try and remain positive for her. I made mistakes as a mother and in life, I have no problem admitting that.
But I truly believe she in this most vulnerable state, is being controlled by her partner. I am saddened that my daughter is in this position. On top of her illness she does not need this! I welcome any words of wisdom as I am severly depressed. She has mets to her lungs , currently in a treatment study every wk to try to slow , stop this horrible disease I feel your pain.
Please seek help for yourself as you said you are very depressed. My daughter is 28 and was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer to the pleural lining of her lung. She was initially diagnosed when she was 23 and had double mastectomy. She is now on Ibrance and Femara and has been since August Overwhelming sadness and anger is how I feel a lot. She has 3 babies 6, 5 and 2 and I see them all everyday.
She is my best friend. For her. I hope for a miracle. May God be with us all. Thank you for your blog. My daughter, now 32, has been fighting cancer for 4 years. She was first diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer, then diagnosed with it moving to her spine inoperable ; and now a third diagnosis of cancer in her lymph nodes near her lungs.
She has undergone numerous chemo and radiation treatments, a double mastectomy, egg harvesting, and removal of her ovaries. These blogs remind me not to burden her with my worry and suffering, but to instead be there for hers and not visa versa. My 35 yr old daughter was diagnosed a year ago with colorectal cancer that had spread to her lungs and liver. The doctors have said she has probably had it for 5 years. She had no symptoms except constipation. She had surgery, a colonostomy,and was on chemo but was unable to take an important part of the regimen because it caused her to go into anaphylactic shock.
The chemo worked on her liver but nothing else. After two trips to M. Anderson, she only has one option-to do the strongest chemo. She has made the decision not to continue treatment. She has 2 boys, 13 and 17, and wants to be able to enjoy the time she has left with her husband and kids. This has been very hard on all of us but I am taking your advice to heart because a lot of the things you are going through are very familiar. I pray every day for peace and acceptance.
I, too, do not allow myself to consider my life without her in it. That is just too much to bear. I am very sorry for your terrible loss. Thank you for your honest, intelligent, insightful and helpful post. You are a compassionate mother and human being. Lisa and you were very lucky to have each other. Several lymph nodes involved. She did well with side effects during the first 12 weeks of chemo which were supposed to be the tough ones. But the second 12 became a nightmare. Doctor had to discontinue four weeks early. That brought on the bone pain.
I read about all you parents that are hours away from your offspring and I really feel for you. This is so much more difficult for me than I expected. The diagnosis was such a shock after the December doc visit. It took awhile to get my head around it. What a blessing to have a man that is so kind and caring. She was on strong steroids during each chemo session and I think part of her grumpiness now is due to the steriods wearing off. My story is similar. Son, 40 something, advanced grade 4 adenocarcinoma and mets to lymphatic system. Nothing I say is right and nothing I do is right.