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To ask what it's like for a relative to have radiation treatment?

(7 Posts)
user1491572121 Mon 24-Apr-17 01:35:41

FIL's cancer has come back. sad

He's very stressed about it. He was dxd with prostate cancer about 12 years ago and has had it managed since with drugs.

Then his bones got very, very brittle because of the combo of drugs...so they took him off one of them and now he has a tumour somwhere at the botttom of his spine (he hasn't gone into detail about that)

he has to start radiation....is it terrible? How will he feel? DH is seemingly unconcerned and I think, might have his head in the sand a bit.

Give it to me straight...is my lovely FIL going to die? He's 72. sad

steff13 Mon 24-Apr-17 01:48:21

My dad had it. His tumors were in his brain, so the radiation was pointed at his head. He lost all his hair. His head was covered in red freckles. smile

It didn't help, but his cancer was very advanced when they found it. He only lived 30 days after his diagnosis. Plus, it was 18 years ago, I'm sure treatment has advanced since then. Good luck to your FIL. I'll say a prayer for him.

FairytalesAreBullshit Mon 24-Apr-17 01:54:24

No one can tell you my lovely if he's going to die, personally I would be more worried about metastasis where it's in multiple locations. But only really an oncologist could really say.

It's strange how it plays out, I knew a woman riddled with cancer, you wouldn't have though anything was wrong, even though it was terminal. Another person who had quite an innocuous and prevalent cancer, (protrate) who ended up somehow having it spread to another sole organ, we thought it was just random pain but the decline was quick.

How much pain is your FIL in? Is he on palliative care? One thing to maybe prepare for is that a family member will need to be there, they have good pain meds that can be delivered by a syringe driver, then the relative gives PRN doses.

Radiation is a bit like sunburn, but you can also get nausea/vomiting and other symptoms. It's pretty much an individual thing, but I'd say you need to mitigate for the fact he won't want to sit 'on' where the radiation has been applied. So not knowing about the specifics, I'm thinking maybe a rubber ring cushion like they have for people with bowel issues, plus a bolster high up his back aimed at the thoracic spine (ribs) to push pressure away from the bottom.

With that area of the spine you're possibly looking at continence issues, so bear that in mind, it can be sudden, unlike the other woman who made her Mum clean up her wee, there's continence aids, but guessing you'll have to adapt them so they avoid where the radiation is going. I say this as a possibility, but if it does start happening, don't make a big deal, just try and help how you can.

I wouldn't like to say oh it sounds like he's ok and could beat this, when I don't know the full picture. I sincerely hope he does.

I'm just sorry your family is in this situation. flowersflowers

shadowfax07 Mon 24-Apr-17 02:01:47

I've had radiation therapy for breast cancer, it wasn't terrible, but it wasn't particularly dignified either. I had to lie on a not particularly comfortable bed, in an air conditioned room, bare from the waist up. To be honest, it was the 'easiest' part of my treatment, and the radiographers were absolutely bloody fantastic​. I could have done without the very attractive male one who wore the most fabulous aftershave though! wink

I experienced fatigue a few weeks afterwards, and obviously going every week day for three weeks was a PITA and tiring, but it wasn't terrible. There were tears, yes, but there were also plenty of laughs. Especially when the machine broke down at the same part of the treatment, and finally the engineer was there when it happened. The one radiographer ran in frantically to cover me up. I would get into the treatment room with a hospital gown on my top, and put on a hat, gloves and clutching a fleece blanket - it was the only way I could stop shivering on the treatment table and you do need to remain still. I couldn't even scratch my nose! There were a few things I wasn't told; when they removed the cancer, the surgeon left clips in my boob so that I could be marked up for rads, and that being marked up for rads involves a CAT scan and tattooed dots in various places. My skin got very dry, like sunburned skin, so he'll need to be prepared for that, plenty of fluids and ask what the radiographers recommend for that, different hospitals have different guidelines.

I hope I've helped you, and that your FIL finds rads as 'easy' as I did.

junebirthdaygirl Mon 24-Apr-17 06:40:30

My dm had radiation treatment for breast cancer recently. The worst part was going every day for 3 weeks. It was a 90 min journey each way. We had to set up a family rota to accompany her. Aside from tiredness but not extreme she got through it fine. She was 80 at the time. And is fine now around that illness.
I hope it helps your fil.

monkeysox Mon 24-Apr-17 06:45:55

My mum was v fair skinned and the radiotherapy burned her. It wasn't nice.
Some people sail through it. Hope it's successful for him flowers

stopfuckingshoutingatme Mon 24-Apr-17 06:58:39

I don't know darling / he needs to have a straight conversation with his doctor and write down and ask key questions , or maybe you go along for hand holding

Radio is tiring and can burn . It's BT as bad as chemo but not a walk in the park either

Good luck - the more
You know and the less scared you are the better x

Hear this gently but if it is not looking great calm acceptance , making Memories and quality time will help flowers

I know that's a rank phrase but when it comes to terminally ill people It's so apt !

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