I am new to this site but desperate to learn more about brain cancer that has attacked my 29yr old female cousin.
We only have brothers therefore were like sisters growing up and only live a block apart now (so are still very close).
She was diagnosed in April 2012 after severe headaches and neck pain and operated on almost immediately. Shortly after this she started chemo and radiation that was proving effective however, was only given a 12-18 month period of survival.
In March 2013 an MRI showed the tumour not responding to treatment and growing agressively, she was again operated on and began on Avastin. This proved effective until October this year when she began having seizures. She was admitted to hospital where they operated to releive pressure on the brain and advised us that there was nothing more that could be done however, they would do their best to make her comfortable.
She is a FIGHTER and managed to get an appointment with Charlie Teo who said without surgery, she might have had 14 days.... He operated on her the following day, removing 25% of her brain.
2 months later, she is going ok.
She is not the same person, whilst I understand that she has been through HELL, I struggle to understand what is and isnt normal.
At different times, she reverts back to a baby like state, she doesnt recognise people, wont wake up until someone prompts her, has minimal interest in her 6yr old son, speaks in a slow monotone and stares straight through you.
I just wonder if there are any stimulation activities that she could be doing to keep her brain active or generate interest in different areas etc, should her local GP be seeing her more often or should she be seeing a counsellor...
Her Mother and Father are devestated (as expected) yet are not a great help... Her partner is there to support her but doesnt push for help outside his efforts or his parents (who moved in to help care for her).
Has anyone experienced similar and can offer advice?
I'm so sad to hear about your cousin. Brain cancer is terrible!
The emphasis for your cousin's care at this stage is to keep her as comfortable as possible. Her tumour and surgery has left her with a significant brain injury which is why she behaves as she does. Stimulation to improve brain function at this stage will not be helpful.
The most important thing you can do for your cousin is just to be there for you cousin and her family. Having said that, they may prefer to be alone. Just ask her what she wants from you.
All the best.
I know it's a month since your post, and I'm not sure if you are still questioning your cousins behaviour, but I just wanted to let you know that what your cousin has gone through is what my husband has, and he is actually the same.
It's very hard to accept, but once accepted you can move on and continue caring for her the same way. Always remember she is know longer the person you knew, and sadly brain damage can make them act extremely differently.
I long for the day where my husband says I love you & he looks & sounds like he means it- but now it just a blank face & an empty stare.
Brain cancer is truly terrible. I'm sorry you have to watch her go through this.
Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.