Vicky Tiller | CaringBridge

Vicky Tiller

First post: Nov 12, 2017 Latest post: Dec 3, 2017
On November 3, 2017 an orange size mass was found on Vicky's frontal lobe. There was a lot of swelling and pressure on the brain, so Kirksville transported her to Columbia University Hospital where they scheduled immediate neurosurgery. 


Hi, I'm Kellie, Vicky's youngest, and I wanted to start this CaringBridge page to let her friends know what happened and how she is doing.  Some of us had noticed slight changes to Mom, like not wanting to chat on the phone, not wanting to go to Bingo, not drinking coffee.  Not drinking coffee??? How did that change in behavior not send her immediately to the ER? ;)  These slight changes where just that, slight and it took a bit for everyone to start comparing notes and putting it all together. 


On Friday, 11/3, two of her daughters were trying to get a hold of her and couldn't get through. We started getting worried since that really wasn't like her. Once we got a hold of Angie, the daughter who lives with her, Mom called and said everything was fine and that she forgot to charge her phone.  About a half and hour later, Angie called me back and told me that Mom had been messing up her words and was signing loud and wouldn't stop when asked. She was singing just "da da da" like words and it got loud and continuous. I asked Angie to call the doc right away and doc agreed that Mom needed to get to the ER. They did a few scans and Tom (we named the tumor) was found. 


We aren't sure how long Tom was there, but it wasn't there in Feb 2017, so it moved in and grew fast. As the tumor grew, it started causing swelling and pressure and as it grew her behavior started changing. 


Vicky had Neurosurgery on November 6, 2017 and it last about 3 hours. Tom was Evicted! The surgeon removed the mass which was made up of blood, a cyst and a walnut size malignant tumor and is very hopeful that once everything heals, there won't be any frontal lobe damage.  They had her breathing on her own in post-op and went up to Neuro-ICU without a breathing tube which made everyone very happy. She did great in recovery...she was responding and answering questions. The next 24 hours WOW'ed everyone. She was remembering things pre-surgery, answering questions correctly and was singing a lot less. As the brain heals and the swelling goes down, her singing and verbal recall will get better.  She is aware of her signing and she knows when she says the wrong word which is a very good sign.


Mom was diagnosed with Small Cell Lung Carcinoma (SCLC) in the brain and they found another spot on the right upper lung. She started Chemo on November 9, 2017 and will have 6 rounds to start. Radiation will also be part of the treatment. Her next PET scan is in 2 weeks to see how she is responding to treatment and to make sure the tumor bed is clear of malignant cells. She has a long road ahead of her, but as we all know Vicky...she is tough, stubborn and will fight this. 


Our hearts go out to all her friends who support her and Angie in Kirksville.  A special THANK YOU to Marilyn and Verlene. There aren't enough words of thanks and enough hugs to give to tell you how much we all love and appreciate all you do for our mom. She is so lucky to have you in her life and we are so thankful for the friendship. 

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