Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Radiation take 2

Well today I finished my last brain radiation treatment. The doctors initially decided on a one day treatment, switched to a three day treatment and finally decided on a five day treatment because of size and location of the tumor. They also hope the longer treatment with less daily radiation dosage would minimize damage to my brain.

This treatment presented a few more challenges as compared to breast radiation. First of all I had to wear this scary mask to hold my head still.

I did not like it. The doctor gave me some Valium to get through the whole ordeal. I didn't complain. Secondly I had to take steroids to avoid brain swelling. It was a weird feeling to have my body go from seriously tired to seriously wired and not being able to rest. I'm normally an excellent napper but I could not get myself to chill! It was frustrating!

At the end of my breast radiation I was so excited to be done. I had dreams of walking out of that building triumphant and leaving the horrible 10 months right behind me. Today I was happy and relieved to be finished but I also feel melancholy and a little resolute about the future. I will have a follow up MRI in December and follow ups every 3 months thereafter. I am also getting shots in my stomach to stop estrogen production every 28 days. So maybe the melancholy feelings are because this is far from over and I'm learning to accept my new normal.

Now I will be positive. I'm reading some great books that are helping my mental state. The first one is anti cancer a new way of life. I think everyone should read this book regardless of a cancer diagnosis. It has a lot of science behind prevention and future prevention of cancer. Basically it says eat well (cut sugar, meats and processed foods) exercise and relax.

The other book I recommend is peace is every step. It's a book written by a monk who teaches how to deal with emotions and change thoughts to the present instead of focusing on the past and the future. He also gives suggestions on breathing exercises for times when you feel fear, anxiety and general negative emotions.

With the help of these books and working to get back into my normal routine I can say that mentally and physically I'm doing better than I was in my last post. My hope is that as time passes I will continue to improve.

So that is where I am now. I was talking to Joe the other night about how awful 2012 has been for me. Joe pointed our that even though things haven't been ideal maybe 2012 has been a total loss. Maybe this is the year I can say I beat cancer.


  1. i'm so impressed with you dale. i can't believe all this has happened to you! i love your bravery and your positive attitude-- you are such an incredible example. i'll continue to pray for you, but i agree with joe. maybe 2012 is the year you can say you beat cancer.

    jenna (robbins) vela

    1. Thanks Jenna! Prayers and positive thoughts are welcome any time.

  2. These do look like great books for anyone to read! Thanks for sharing

  3. A lot of great things did happen in 2012 - you beat cancer, Lauren's baptism was awesome, the election (oh wait....)