• Karen

First radiation treatment went well

Updated: Oct 25, 2019

David performing (right) in Evergreen Little Theater's production of the Broadway musical "Oklahoma" back in the late 1980s in Evergreen, Colorado. He sang, he danced, and had speaking lines, plus choreography to learn.

David's first radiation treatment went well, but it was a long day: five hours between the driving, the treatment, and meeting with the doctor. The remaining four radiation treatments will be on the next four weekdays: Thurs. 10/24 through Tues. 10/29. They will all occur around noon and be a bit shorter.

David handled it bravely and well. As expected, he didn't feel the radiation beams when they were directed at his brain, but lying on a cold metal table for two hours while being unable to move an inch (literally!) is not pleasant. The technicians made it clear that if he moved, they'd have to start over; most of the time is spent ensuring the patient is in the exact right position before the radiation is given, because they don't want the radiation to hit healthy cells.

We were told to expect David to be extremely fatigued. The fatigue will increase after each treatment and then after the last treatment, it will slowly decline over the next 6 to 12 weeks. Getting lots of sleep (8 to 12 hours per night plus daytime naps) is recommended. Being able to sleep will actually be a luxury after the insomnia the steroids have been causing.

There are numerous other possible short-term side effects from headaches and skin irritation to patchy hair loss. There are also some possible long-term side effects that are more serious, but we are hoping David doesn't experience those.