External radiation - hilary

Radiation Associated with Pancreatic Cancer. Posted on October 26, 2011 View this journey (17 Experiences)

Dad begins 28 Radiation Treatments on Monday, Nov 14. I managed to convince the dr to delay till after the holiday weekend so he has a little more time to build himself up! The 28 rad treatments take us over the Thanksgiving Holiday and up to Christmas. We have plenty of distractions during this time to keep spirits UP. Dad's radiation is in conjunction with a 5FU pump... constant infusion.
I've heard 5FU won't affect his WBC count as badly as Gemzar, however there is a much greater chance of nausea. Nurses have been pushing the "nutrition, nutrition, nutrition..." So, not unlike after Dad's Whipple, i'll be a calorie counting queen for these 6 weeks!
Dad's feeling good and ready to get on with this and done with it! More details as it begins.

Painless Experience: Agree
Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
3 Comments
  • hilary's Avatar
    hilary

    9 days of Radiation with a 5FU pump is behind us... 19 more to go. Dad has waves of nausea and beginning today - 2 weeks into it - has his first mouth sore. We were told last week that whatever symptoms he experienced the first week would continue (the waves of nausea and minor tiredness) but we wouldn't see anything new. The 5FU is administered via a constant IV/Pump at a crazy low rate... the purpose is to help the radiation work more effectively. Either the building up of the radiation (or there is some buildup of 5FU even though we were told differently), is creating additional side effects. Week 3 begins tomorrow. Dad is eating well and drinking nutrition drinks like Muscle Milk and Myoplex. Don't bring a Glucerna near him... he had enough of those after the Whipple! Oh, and he's 11 weeks post surgery. How UNIMPORTANT that surgery now seems... we are so far beyond it.

    over 8 years ago
  • hilary's Avatar
    hilary

    21 down... 7 more days of Radiation to GO... Just after the half way point, we began seeing a significant decline in Dad's condition. Now, with 7 more - wow. how is he going to survive these last 7 treatments? Yes = literally... SURVIVE the treatments that are supposed to be HELPING?!?! The Radiation is building up significantly... since they are radiating his abdomen, his stomach/intestines are significantly affected. Liquids are about all he can ingest... he has no energy... and is getting depressed. The whole house responds to Dad's state... mom, me, my husband and 2 children. I am positive there is a good end to all this - however, it's getting harder and harder to sound convincing me to my children. Whipple Worry? Was there once a day? Whipple is nothing compared to this...

    over 8 years ago
  • hilary's Avatar
    hilary

    Well, the last week of radiation was the worst...and that level of living continued for about 2 weeks AFTER Dad's last radiation treatment. Dad hardly ate or drank...thank heavens Mayo scheduled "hydration" treatments daily for about 10 days. For the first time ever, Dad and I weighed the same...approx 125 lbs. He is 5'11". Yes, skinny. But, he made it through all 28 treatments without a pause... We saw Dad for 2 hours Christmas morning... Dec 22 was his last treatment. Those 2 hours were wonderful and miraculous. After that, he stayed in bed. They headed back to SC on Dec 30th - their 44th wedding anniversary. They come back Tuesday - Jan 17th - to setup CHemotherapy and to do follow-up appoints w/ the surgeon (from 9/9/11 Whipple) and radiation. In the last week, he's getting back to normal energy and has gained 5 lbs!!

    over 8 years ago

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