Hi, I’m looking for some advice. Ours is a complicated situation. My mum (72) has recently been diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer and had started immunotherapy 8 days before suffering a hemorrhagic stroke a month ago.
She woke in the morning confused and repeating herself, my dad called me and I told him to ring the ambulance. By the time I got there the ambulance had arrived and she was having seizures. She spent 6 days in the acute stroke unit but was then discharged very hastily. I was told she had a left sided occipital stroke. She has made a reasonable recovery, her field of vision is affected, she is profoundly fatigued, she can’t walk very far and she struggles for words, her short term memory seems to have been affected too. We feel very fortunate but are left wondering how to proceed. I realise I’m on the wrong forum as far as cancer and immunotherapy are concerned but I’m trying to make sense of the stroke part of the issue.
The timing of the stroke so soon after starting treatment felt too coincidental and our initial thoughts were that the cancer had spread to her brain. They did an MRI scan the day after she was admitted but I was told she was shivering too much in the scanner and it would need to be done again. Two days later I was told a second radiologist had looked at the scan and they are confident there was no spread.
We were reassured but began questioning whether it was in fact the treatment that had caused the stroke as her blood pressure sky rocketed after she started it. Treatment has been paused for now while my mum recovers some but we are obviously on the clock.
Initially the hospital provided a stroke nurse to visit but she discharged mum after two weeks as she said she was too fatigued to benefit from rehabilitation and it was her feeling that it was more than just stroke.
Having now had the chance to read mum’s discharge notes, the MRI scan results read as inconclusive and that she had not one but two bleeds. I’m shocked this wasn’t mentioned to us previously. I’ve asked for another scan for her but the stroke department have said it’s pointless as the bleeds will obscure results. I wonder if anyone can tell me if this is true?
Mum is increasingly fatigued and feels the pressure to start treatment again ASAP. She is terrified about having another stroke and either shortening her life or curtailing her quality of life. I feel she cannot make an informed decision about treatment without having a better idea of what caused the stroke.
Her oncologist has down played the stroke and she has somewhat lost confidence in him. Sorry, I know this is a long and rambling post, the situation is complex. We’re trying to get a handle on the stroke side of things so she can move forward with decisions about further treatment. Any advice or info would be greatly appreciated, thanks and best wishes.