In September 2011 my mom was diagnosed with stage 3 NSCLC. There were a few lumps on her lungs and the lymph node.
They treated with three lots of chemo and lots of radiotherapy. The results of which were that it was gone from the lymph nodes and shrunk the cancer on the lungs. Something did show up on the adrenal gland but they were unsure what it was.
A few months later (March 2012) she started to get headaches. Scan showed that it had spread to the brain in four different places. The only option was radiotherapy to the brain which would not cure, only extend life. My mum decided not to do this - she saw how bad the therapy can be and decided against it. The oncologist gave her 3-6 months but this is of course the blanket time given in such situation and not an accurate indication. She accepted this and she was prescribed steroids for the brain swelling.
At first she was normal but over the course of a few months she started to get weak. It was hard to get up and she needed help to walk.
Often she would get up and do things herself and then just black out. The resulting falls would be pretty bad - she would basically be unconscious for a minute (pupils dilated) before coming around.
Even walking short lengths she would need to stop and often have to be fully held up while she had a 'wobble'. They would like to have her into the hospital for a few days to look into some anti-epilepsy medicine (difficult because she has a sister who is fully alternative medicine and disagreed even with the chemo).
She would have a fit (well, a blackout really) and not even remember it two minutes later despite me having to lower her to the floor.
A few questions:
- Are these wobbles and blackouts the fits I hear about or are these nothing in comparison to what is coming? I think I was expecting full on fits like epileptics would have.
- What's the name of the anti epilepsy medicine that is typically prescribed in this situation? Apparently it's hard to get the dosage right and can have some bad side effects. It also may be administered by injection to begin with (this is why they wanted her in for a few days of observation).
- I know it's a wide subject but what's the general consensus on alternative medicine? Her sister is always talking about going to mexico to do x, getting pills from country y, some kind of light therapy for $20k in country z.
- Her wobbles and blackouts mostly happen after long periods of sitting down. is there a reason for this such as blood pressure? Is there anything to reduce the impact of standing after sitting? i have her doing a few little exercises and test stand ups before trying to move.
Thanks for your input