Brain tumours

For people affected by brain tumours or brain cancer to get together, ask questions, share experiences and support each other

Mum Deteriorating so fast - can anything be done?

TomsMum
Posted by

Two weeks ago my Mum was normal and healthy, a week ago she was forgetting words and seemed a bit confused. On Sunday she collapsed and was rushed to hospital, they did a CT of head and found tumours, they think they are secondary. Yesterday she had a CT body scan and no primary was found. We are waiting for an MRI which should be tomorrow. She has been put on steroids four times a day. We have not seen any kind of specialist because they can't transfer her until MRI is done. She is on the Gastro ward, I'm guessing because there are no beds. I checked how much/often she had been given the steroids as they don't seem to be having any effect and she has deteriorated so quickly. They had missed two of the four Yesterday as she was unresponsive and couldn't take them, so only had 6mls, today they gave her 6.6mls IV. They don't seem to be in any hurry to give the steroids to reduce the swelling in the brain tissue. I feel she is being moved round the hospital until she dies as she's been in several wards.

Can anyone give any advice? Once she is given the right amount of steroids will she at least become conscious for a while, is there anything else the hospital should be doing. It's all happened so fast. To add to it by Dad has stage 4 bowel with liver mets, she was his primary carer. It's heartbreaking 

eliza24
Posted by

Hi Tomsmum, I am so sorry to hear the news about your mum (and dad).  I lost my father to an aggressive brain tumour just over a year ago. My dad had Glioblastoma, also know as GBM4 and usually a primary tumour, its a devastating illness as the prognosis is nearly always bad, though there are some long term survivors. As you don't know what your mums tumour is yet, it would be the unwise to compare to my dads situation, a MRI will tell the doctors more and then a plan will be put in place for your dear mum.

My dad was good on the steroids for a while, I believe he was on a high dose too, they relive the swelling and pressure in the skull and this often helps with the confusion people have and makes them more alert.

I would complain to the head of the ward if they are not administering the medication properly, that is not good enough. If possible, ask for your mum to be on the oncology ward (if there are any beds), if she has to stay in hospital for a while, my dad had much better care and was treated with dignity for the short time he was in there, he had a private room which was nice for him and his family too. 

My advice is write down the questions you want to ask the doctors, as in my experience everything moves so quickly it was like a whirlwind.

I hope I have not upset you in any way, hopefully your mums is treatable and she will feel better again soon.

Thinking of you. Look after yourself xxx

TomsMum
Posted by

Thanks so much for replying, you haven't upset me at all.  I don't know if I should get my Mums family to see her, the way she has deteriorated in just a few days makes me think she may not even make it to the end of the week. I know there is probably little hope for a long term plan. I hope the steroids kick in and give us a few more days. Although I'm not sure I want anyone to se her like this, she can't speak and her eyes are just rolling. 

I'm so sorry to hear about your fathers passing, it is indeed an evil illness. Xx

eliza24
Posted by

My dad didn't want anyone to see him either, I think even in the first few weeks after diagnosis , he had already changed into someone we didn't recognise. It's definitely  an evil and degrading illness.

My thoughts are with you and your family. I really hope your mum picks up, it must be such a shock, happening out of the blue like that.

Xxx