Radiation Therapy Side Effects range from mild to severe. If you haven't already read about my mom's experience with radiation therapy, click here.
Mom's radiation therapy also included the continuous chemo, 5-fu , so to be honest, the side effects she experienced arose from the combination of therapies.
In consultations with her doctor, we surmised that the main radiation therapy side effects were fatigue and nausea . Both were manageable for the majority of the treatment. It was the last 3 days of intense radiation that really knocked her down and out. But the results were worth it. Her tumor marker took an amazing nose dive, so yes, the results were nothing short of a miracle. She can say that now! But I'm afraid I can't repeat what she said when her head was buried in the toilet...
And the really funny part. Well, ok, she didn't think it was funny at the time. But it was funny/sweet. Her radiation team, the doctor, technicians and receptionist, bought her a cake and balloons for her last treatment. She took one look at the cake with that sweet cream icing and ran for the bathroom. We know they meant well, but mom said later that maybe they could come up with a better congratulatory send-off. Like a trophy that said,
CANCER IS NOT FOR WIMPS!
I SURVIVED RADIATION!
Radiation-therapy side effects need to be taken seriously, but the effectiveness of this treatment is well worth the temporary pain and suffering. It is not my intention to minimize that suffering. If you are facing this road, I can imagine the dread and fear you may be feeling. But, mom made it. You can too. And the side effects are telling the story - if you feel this bad, just imagine what the cancer cells are feeling!
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