Sunday, 1 April 2012


Whole brain radiation is not entirely predictable - which why it was a last resort for me. Some people end up with severe deficits like near senility, deafness, blindness. Some people. The minority. But most of us, as I understand it, will have losses. Slower cognition, memory problems, fatigue.

I've told you how confident I am in The Dave and the nurses and technicians. And I'm pretty damned determined not to go down the fuzzy-brain trail any farther or faster than I have to. And I do believe that attitude counts for far more than we can imagine. I know that some symptoms will be tied to the period around treatment - and then get better. Some may come back as far away as a year from now. (Note how optimistically I say, "a year from now)

I've been checking out ways to help myself. There are good B1/B12/herb supplements (tested ones) to help with the neuropathy. A study of the results of giving Blue-green algae to the children of Chernobyl showed good improvement in radiation symptoms. Right now, I can't take anti-oxidants because they could interfere with treatment by beating the radiation to lock onto cancer cells, but afterwards, I'll start immediately.

Meantime, my OCD got the best of me today and I did the following self-check. A day in the life of a person having brain radiation. Yah know - a chart like this is my idea of fun. And besides...I figured out the left brain is still able to classify and organize. Gimme five Brothers and Sisters!



Upset stomach unless taken with food
Much less vertigo
Spells of normal speed thought processing when rested enough
Mostly cheerful…quite  calm unless the steroid dose is high
A lot less anxious, and glass half-empty than before cancer
Energetic mornings until about 2:00 or 3:00 p.m. when I suddenly collapse like a deflated balloon
Increased jitteriness
Rare or mild or no headaches now.

Energy levels will drop very suddenly & I have to lay down
When tired, too much noise or stimulation feels like a hornet attack
-Cross talk freaks me out.
Extreme agitation when over stimulated. Very unpleasant but only seconds long.
Not as compulsively busy.
Don’t always have to be doing something but still remain active most days.
-Writing the blog
-Helping rearrange & decorate the house
-Set up expense tracking sheet
Sleeplessness, restlessness..
Sleep in 2 -4 hour stretches.
Constant white noise in ears.

Today, increased difficulty with hearing
Responses sometimes lag – a few seconds between thought & response
Positive & optimistic most of the time. Grateful & glad to be here.
Not sweating the small stuff, which is 99% of stuff.
-Some shopping
-Laundry & other
-Routine tasks
Emotions at surface
Perpetual buzzing in head
Sometimes just dozy as hell – but I’m a whiz at Bejeweled
Dreams of illness and restriction…but not nightmares
Sense of humor still hanging in.
-Daily treatments
-Sunday drive type things
Weight gain
(Is that CAKE?)
Neuropathy – feet and ankles, fingertips – walking on bubble wrap
Tend to have to make myself focus on one thing at a time

Sense of wonder at things I would have overlooked before.
Still not doing any art but plan to start after treatment...sort of scared I'll be a bit clumsy & slow
Muscle loss
Have to pay close attention when walking or turning
Still can work with numbers, budgets, etc.

Extreme (loathed)
Double vision has stopped
Reading speed & cognition normal

Pain in knee joints
Lost sense of taste for one day – but temporary
Memory not much worse than my former crappy memory

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