I didn’t know what those words meant until I started doing research in January.
Those words mean a grim prognosis for a person who has already been fighting cancer.
In layman’s terms – my mom’s breast cancer has spread to the membrane (meninges) that covers her brain and spine. It was already in her skull, so it doesn’t come as a great surprise that the cancer made it further than that. We don’t have confirmation if it has also made it past the membrane and into the brain itself.
They attempted to confirm this in January, after a concerning MRI, with a lumbar puncture (spinal tap) but did not find cancer cells in the fluid. What I didn’t know until recently – they almost never find cancer cells on the first pull. If I had known this back in January I would have asked the oncologist back then what she would think of treating it.
Fast forward to April, and after another MRI – but not another lumbar puncture – they are certain my mom has LC. My gut tells me she had it back in January, but I don’t think it pays to even ask about that now. She doesn’t have all of the symptoms – thank goodness! But they have started palliative radiation on the brain and spine.
Stage IV breast cancer is frightening, but LC takes that fear up a notch.
I don’t want my mom to suffer. I would really like her cancer to go dormant, but that seems less and less likely.