Whole Brain Radiation

I’m done with the radiation treatments – the last one was the day before Thanksgiving. But I’m not happy with how I’m feeling. I feel frail and off balance. As if I’ve aged 20+ years in the last 3 weeks of treatment. My throat is sore – every time I swallow it feels like I’m trying to swallow razor blades. If you’ve ever had strep throat you know what that feels like. No matter what I eat, it hurts to swallow. Except for ice cream after the first few swallows. And crushed ice. It even hurts to drink water.

I’m still off balance and listing to port. I am very careful about walking, especially in the house as Peanut has to lie down in the middle of the hallway so nobody can get past her without her knowing. I suppose that’s part of her herding instincts to know where everyone is at all times. But it sure makes it hard to get past her without tripping!

And the fatigue is awful. It’s way worse than any I had from chemo. I hardly have the energy to get out of bed and spend most days in my PJs. Afternoon naps are essential – and sometimes morning naps, too. I hate feeling this lethargic, but I keep hoping it will get better. I know it will eventually, but not fast enough for me.

I know these effects might be transitory – at least I hope they are. And I know there might be more side effects to come as the tumors in my brain die (they’d better by dying!!) And my hand is still tingly, but not bad. And it seems to get better then worse.

The worst part for me is the lack of focus and the inability to come up with the right word for something. For a writer, that is awful. I can laugh about it most of the time, but it’s still frustrating. I suffer from what I call butterfly brain; flitting from one thing to another without knowing how I got there or even if that is where I wanted to be. I’m trying to be gentle with myself, because I know these effects aren’t me. I have to take care of me. And Steve is being a big help. I am so fortunate to have him here with me; taking care of me; and taking care of the dogs and our home. I’m not sure I could have gone through all this without him.

Onward and upward.

50 thoughts on “Whole Brain Radiation

  1. I’m so sorry to hear what you’re going through. I wish I could do something to help you. Try as best you can to occupy your mind with distractions, anything that might interest you: a movie, TV, the dogs, etc. Holding you in my heart and sending prayers this lightens up very fast. Love, Paulette

  2. I’m another from one of Paulette’s reblog. And as a cancer survivor, all I can say is, Best wishes to you. Lots of prayers, smiles, heart beats…all being sent to you. I am following your blog so I can keep up with you. I am glad you have someone who loves you and helps. Let yourself be wrapped in that love, take it easy, be good to yourself. ❤ ❤ ❤ 🙂 hugs to you.

  3. It hurts so much to see you hurting so much. You have been and continue to be such a beautiful woman, with your heart full of love that shines through even on your worst days. Your generosity of heart continuously takes my breath away, Ruth. I love you and am profoundly grateful to be in your life and you in mine. I grieve for your loss of energy and all of the things that this radiation and med-side-effects have stolen from you, hopefully temporarily. I’m grateful for your indomitable spirit that keeps you putting one step in front of the other (in between naps of course). You are rare and awesome. Wrap yourself in the warm blankets of the love and care and prayers of all of these amazing people who are stopping by to speak that love and light here. xoxoxoxoxox

  4. I’m over from Paulette. My husband’s a cancer survivor and what you describe sounds so similar to the way he felt…apart from the tiredness and wobbliness he was so frustrated at being unable to concentrate, to focus.
    Let’s hope it wears off earlier rather than later.

  5. I’ve come here from Paulette’s re-blog of your post, and am so sorry to hear what you are going through. I just wanted to wish you well and pray that you start to improve real soon.
    Sometimes it helps knowing that there are complete strangers out there who are thinking of you, and I hope it lifts your spirits knowing this. x

  6. I hopped over from Paulette’s page to say hello. I stumbled over a prayer for you, I’m so bad at asking for the right things. But I stumble along anyway. Please know someone else is thinking of you and sending you well wishes and comfort angels.

  7. First of all, we don’t know each other but your story is like many I have known at some time. I am so sorry you are experiencing this. I pray it does improve symptoms and disease. You say you are a writer but can’t find the words you need to express right now. I beg to differ my dear….you have expressed your words most vividly and powerfully. Your heart speaks and that makes it all so very clear.
    Be strong and of great courage.

  8. hi Ruth I read everything on Paulette’s blog..Sorry my English is not so well but I want to let you know that I hope you feel beter in a short time.I will follow you and wish you all the best

  9. carmens007 says:

    I’ve just read Paulette’s re-blog and here I am too. All the way up from Dracula’s country, Romania. Sending you all my positive thoughts and vibes. Keep hoping for the better and bring to your eye’s mind all nice, beautiful places you visited in your life, all good things that happened to you. I know it’s not easy. It never is. But never give up!
    Warm friendly hugs from overseas!

  10. Ah. Now I understand the need for ice cream, and etc. I was trying to imagine what you’re going through. I had vertigo for a week, and I’ve had strep throat. Seems to me that combining the two would come close to replicating your symptoms, and that really brings it all home. I hope things are improving by now.

  11. Dear Ruth congratulations on getting through the radiotherapy and I’m hoping for massive improvements for you soon. I’m so glad you have Steve looking after you, it must be so difficult for anyone going through this journey on their own. Sending love an hugs to you. Janette ❤

  12. Positive support is so important, which is why I popped over from Paulette’s site to offer it. Love and hugs from Sage and her Mom, who, as a kidney cancer survivor, knows a little about where you are coming from.

  13. My heart goes to you. My Dad is also receiving treatment (different kind of cancer but…) and I know well, even if it is by proxy, how you feel. Take it slowly. Every day is a victory.

  14. I read about you on The Persecution of Mildred’s site, and dropped by to lend my pitiful support, however minor it may be. I hope each day gets a little better. Sending healing thoughts your way.

  15. The worst part for me is the lack of focus and the inability to come up with the right word for something. For a writer, that is awful.

    I had this problem for several months after open heart surgery in 2006. I don’t think I will ever be back to 100% thinking quotient. Then 43 radiations 3 months ago for prostate cancer seems to have dulled me even more. Losing things and not remembering short term stuff has negative consequences many time . It absolutely enrages me. They say I should expect and accept these things as I am 65. They also saying it will get worse. Sheesh.

Ruth passed away from cancer. Please remove from list

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