radiortherapy to the brain

I was diagnosed with a brain tumour in May 2008 (secondary to breast cancer in 2006), I have had surgery and completed 10 sessions of radiotherapy which finished end of June. I am still feeling sicky and lightheaded and was just wondering if there was anyone who has experienced the same side effects. Four weeks on and I am feeling like I will never get back to my ‘normal’ self…HELP!!!

I was diagnosed with 3 brain mets in February, had steroids to reduce the oedema (swelling) and the 5 sessions of whole brain radiation. No surgery - I asked why, the onc said “You wouldn’t have survived it.” Fair enough!
I’m still on steroids as there is still some oedema, and put down most of my side effects that. These include balance problems (every so often it feels like the floor just tilts), tiredness, weakness and (until the steroids were recently reduced to just 1mg per day) stomach problems.
Are you on steroids or any other medication?
I have found that my GP is really good at helping me understand and control these ‘minor’ (compared to the cancer) problems which can drive you crazy. He’s very good at the ‘quality of life’ stuff, whereas the oncs are more concerned with life & death issues.
It’s now nearly 6 months down the line I’m feeling a lot better, although I’ve pretty much given up on being ‘normal’ again, and I’m just going for enjoying life.
Love, Lynn

I had a week of radiotherapy 3 weeks ago and I still feel strange symptoms. I’m still quite weak although a lot better than I was. I still have very poor vision in my right eye which I’m finding really irritable as my head is often a bit achy. Today i’ve also got an ache at the back of my head. I mentioned it to the onc on Thursday and she said it’s most likely because my hair is coming out. But it feels worse than that and I’m a little worried about that to be honest. I will call my nurse tomorrow about that.

On the plus side, my nurse did say that things will slowly improve, it will just take a bit of time due what I’ve had done. I am also decreasing my steroids as of Monday which I’m really pleased about as I hate steroids, people keep saying my face is fat and I am eating so much so my tummy sticks out a lot too! On the plus side, because I didn’t eat or move much initially I lost a lot of weight especially on my legs so it shouldn’t take much effort to lose the steroid weight!

Hi again,

Many thanks for both your comments (always re-assuring to be able to discuss things with people in the know)! I was on steroids when I was admitted to hospital and continued to take them for 2 weeks. I re-started them again when my radiotherapy began as I was getting bad headaches again but stopped them some 3 weeks ago. I also suffered with digestive problems and became very spotty and yes, piled on weight and feel like a pot-bellied pig at the moment. This is getting me down as much as anything as none of my clothes fit me, trouble is I feel that lethargic and light-headed for much of the time, exercise is the last thing I want to do.

I too have also been experiencing an ache at the bottom of my neck but put this down to the recent surgery, I can’t claim this to be linked to hair loss as that went after the 9th session of rads (well saying it has all gone is not strictly true as I have been left with this ridiculous tuft on the crown of my head and a bit down the back for some strange reason)! However, the worst side effect I think is the continuing nausea, is this common?? I have gone from eating like a horse to having virtually no appetite, (still at least I’m not putting anymore weight on)!!