Chemo Brain?

wodkaAugust 18, 2008

My sister, who has stage 4 lung cancer that has spread to her spine and shoulder, was admitted to the hospital yesterday. She was totally "out of it" - starting late Saturday night. When her sons called the nurse, she said to just keep an eye on her and call back in the morning. Well, it was worse yesterday, so they took her to the hospital.

She was very fitful, didn't know where she was, to the point that they were discussing putting her in restraints. They did a CAT scan, which ruled out brain cancer and stroke, but said they would do an MRI this morning, because sometimes the fluids don't show up on a CAT, and there could be cancerous fluid going to her brain.

I live 3 hours away, so was getting things in order so I could head up there this morning, when I got a call from my other sister, who said that my she had just talked to our sick sister, who was as lucid as could be, and wondered what in the world happened yesterday.

So, now they are saying that the reason for her being that way was "chemo brain" and that it will happen in spurts. She is on very strong medication and also going through chemo once a week and radiation 5 times a week. I had read about chemo brain when our dad was dying of cancer several years ago, but I never thought it would be this severe?!

If any of you have experienced this first hand or with a relative, any advice would be extremely appreciated. Thank you.

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When things are as far along as they apparently are in this case, there's no way to predict. Sometimes stuff happens, sometimes it doesn't. The range of possibilities is vast. Don't trouble yourself with it. And don't become annoyed because every bad thing that happens wasn't "foreseen". No way to do that. All anyone can do -- including the Dr.'s -- is deal with what comes as it comes.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 12:46PM
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I know nothing about this but I did find some info for you if you want to learn a little more.
Linda J

Here is a link that might be useful: Mayo Clinic

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 1:21PM
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They said my mother who had lung cancer had chemo brain, it turned out to be a brain bleed.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 9:29PM
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darzie, I'm so sorry about your mom. I went to see my sister this past weekend and the latest is that they think she might have had one of those mini-strokes (tia's?) But the cat scan ruled out stroke or brain cancer. I guess only God knows.

She looked terrible, very swollen in her face and hands, has blood clots in her arms. She called yesterday and said she was better, that they had put her on a blood thinner. They held off on that until the port was installed on Friday. (They thought she could handle her treatment without the port, but changed their minds.)

asolo, I appreciate and agree with what you are saying. The hardest part is knowing that she is dying, but listening to her saying she is going to go back to work, that she is going to beat her cancer. We don't want her to die, and we don't want to dampen her spirits, but we do want to help her get her affairs in order, or have her have someone get her affairs in order, and those conversations aren't happening yet.

lindaj, thanks, as always, for your input. I know you have enough trauma in your life. I hope things are getting better for you.

Sorry for the rambling.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 9:28AM
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