Husband diagnosed with stage 3 Astrocytomas

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Hi all 

My husband started having pins and needles in his face and one side of his arm about 12 months ago. He visited the DRs and was told it was migrains. He eventually went back to the DRs and got sent for a MRI scan.
While we were awaiting results he had a seizure at work and was taken to hospital. They had his MRI results and were told it was a benign brain tumour and was referred. After a second MRI we were told in Jan that it’s possibly a more aggressive tumour stage 3 or 4. 
He recently had an awake craniotomy and managed to remove it. The surgeon was happy with the surgery but said further treatment would be needed. We went to see an oncologist today and she confirmed that it was stage 3 but incurable (it will grow back) She explained that he would be having 6 wks of radiotherapy and chemo. Then 4 week break and chemo for another 12 months.

My husband is only 35 we have 2 young girls. How do people cope with this? I’m scared to ask for timelines. Has anyone in this situation? I feel helpless! 

Thanks for reading 

  • Hi Amroo63,

    I was recently diagnosed with a brain tumour as well, and I am just completing 6 weeks of radiotherapy. I have been very lucky to have almost no symptoms, although most of my hair has fallen by now. I’m 33 and even though my craneotomy went well, they didn’t manage to remove the whole tumour so I also need to have 12 sessions of chemo (oral and intravenous). It’s a lot to take in. But your husband is young and I am sure with your and your family’s support, he will get through this. 
    I have been looking also at how to help my body deal with all the drugs in the chemo, and it’s just amazing what the right food can do for someone. It does help enormously especially with just feeling better. I can recommend a brilliant book called Eat to beat disease from Dr William Li. It has already started to help me a lot, and I’m sure it’ll help your husband’s immune system greatly.

     The radiotherapy will make him tired, but regular light exercise really does help. Can’t say about the chemo yet, but stay strong! You can get through this together. Good luck

  • Hi MariaGA

    Thank you for sharing your experience so far. It’s comforting to hear peoples journeys. We will have a look at that book, eating the right food does make you feel better. 
    Good luck to you to. X

  • HI Amroo63

    a warm welcome to the online community. So sorry to hear about all that you and your husband have been through.

    My own husband (then 51) was diagnosed with a stage 4 tumour (glioblastoma) in Sept 2020. He too had an awake craniotomy to debulk the tumour followed by 6 weeks of oral chemo/radiotherapy. He coped really well with it all - all things considered but declined the offer of further chemo.

    He was given a prognosis initially that "expired" in Nov 2021 but he's still here. He's still a fitness freak and runs 6 days a week covering up to 70 miles a week. He's planning to run the Manchester marathon in April.  Running is his coping mechanism. It's about the only thing from his old life that he has left.

    Everyone is unique here so each tumour and each tumour type impacts everyone differently. I'm sharing his story though to highlight that just because a timeframe is quoted its not an exact science. 

    Personally I feel we are now living in limbo a bit as no one has given a fresh prognosis/timeframe and he doesn't want to know. He just wants to go on running, doing things and living etc as long as he can. I take each day as it comes and on the rougher days, take each hour as it comes.

    It's an emotional rollercoaster ride but there's no right or wrong way to cope with it. This group and (+) Carers only forum - Macmillan Online Community have been a great source of support for me. There's always someone around here who gets it. Friends and family are great but they don't always understand.

    It’s always good to talk so please remember you can also call the Macmillan Support Services on 0808 808 00 00 - most services are open 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week Clicking here to see what is available. This service provides lots of cancer information, emotional support, benefit and financial guidance or just a listening ear.

    For now I'm sending you a huge virtual hug. Stay strong. Stay positive.

    love n hugs

    Wee Me xx

    Macmillan Support Line - 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week between 8am-8pm

  • Hi wee mee

    Thanks for sharing. I’m sorry to hear about your husbands issues. 

    your right it’s only been 1 day and we are both up and down but trying to stay positive. 
    we have been to the hospital where they make his mask and his treatment doesn’t start for a couple of weeks. I know we can’t forget but put it to the backs of our minds. 
    I also do running to destress, helps me think more clearer. (If that makes sense)

    Sending hugs back 

    Amroo63 :) 

  • Hi and hope all is well with you both, I’m currently in the same boat and was wondering where your journey has taken you. And if you’re still on going with treatments etc

    • Hi 

    My husband did his 6 weeks of  radiotherapy  and and a year of chemo ,finished  April just gone. He was surprisingly not to bad on the chemo, he took anti sickness and he found the right balance. He has to have scans every 3 months but all has been fine. (Fingers crossed) I always get very anxious around that time. Also he had his tumour removed in Jan 22. If there’s anything specific you want to ask? 

    X