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Update and ? about radiation


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Hello everyone,

I have been absent for a bit due to a deadline at work and some much needed quiet time with my son & husband after lots of traveling the past few months to visit Dad. Also, my husband is a baseball coach so I had to take advantage of these weeks, he tends to disappear for a few months about this time every year! :D

My dad has taken a month off to let his esophogus heal and when I talked to him last night my step mom told me that his radiologist said she had never had anyone take a break from radiation ever and that once he finishes his scheduled treatment he will not return for radiation. Step mom felt like Doc was giving up on him since maybe they feel he has given up himself.

(Dad has ignored many of us and baically taken the meds that he feels like taking and drinks what he wants to/or doesn't want to regardless of the outcome)

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? I thought people took breaks from radiation, but maybe I am thinking Chemo.

Thanks, Shannon

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Regarding the radiation.. that sounds about right.

People do take chemo breaks, but only when it is recommended by onc., I think.

Your Dad has had a tough time with aggressive treatment. It is not easy for any, but some seem to have a tougher time than others.

Your Dad has lost a lot of wieght. Glad to see the scale is going in the other direction. He may have needed to stop the radiation in order to eat, yes?

Glad to see you post again and update on your Dad.

Cindi o'h

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Thanks Cindi, Yes, I am hoping this break will get him back on track. Dad had dug his heels in and refused to budge as far as eating and trying different things. I just worry that some of the benefits of the radiation will be lost because of the long break in the middle. We were seeing such great results before he stopped. I need to stop thinking "what if" but it's so hard not to.

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With my radiation, once my treatments were done, I had received the max amount of radiation I can get in my lifetime, in that area. Treatment is finished. They successfully turned my right lung into a 'crispy critter' Oh, and they slapped the heck out of the tumor while they were at it. It wasn't fun, I grew to love macaroni and cheese and other soft foods while I was going through it, but it did what it was supposed to do; I've been stable for the year since my treatment ended.

Hopefully, your dad's treatment will be successful.


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Hi Shannon,

Alan did have "breaks" in his radiation, never as long as a month, but he did have breaks.

Once they have treated an area with radiation that is usually it for that area. No more radiation.

Alan, like your Dad lost a lot of weight. He went from 218 down to 155 by mid Aug. He is just now back up to 166.

I let him eat what he wants and right now he is on a doughnut diet.

I accuse him of being pregnant beacuse he has the strangest craving for certain foods,

then will eat that food for about a month then go on to another. I will pray for your family.

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I did have a break in radiation treatment while it was being determined if I was a candidate for surgery. Before the break, eating was almost impossible for me. My esophagus got much better during the break and I was eating quite well. When it was determined that I could not have surgery, I started radiation (received lifetime max) again and started having trouble eating again. Its been about a month and a half since I stopped the second round of radiation and my appetite is just now coming back. Good luck to your dad; I hope things go well for him.


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Hi Shannon,

Regarding your Dad’s weight loss. See if he might like some of the supplement drinks. I gained weight during chemotherapy drinking the “milk shake” flavored drinks.

I’ve just completed a two-week break from radiation. I was having symptoms like constipation, low energy, queasy stomach, etc. The radiation was hitting my intestines getting at a stubborn adrenal area met. The doctor surprised me by telling me to take a break – the symptoms were not so bad that I couldn’t handle them. Actually, thinking about it, I completed the original 20 IMRT treatments and he gave me a break before giving me a 5 treatment “boost.” After completing treatment I am going to ask how many additional rads I’ve received. He knows I’m going to a land surveyor’s convention in Vancouver, WA next week, so I’ll get another break before completing the boost.

Some of the comments above make me wonder about the so-called “maximum” or “lifetime” rads. When I first received radiation to the lung and adrenal area, I thought I had received the maximum (7020 rads to lung and 6600 rads to adrenal from May through July of 2004). I have continued going to my Radiation Oncologist because the guy has impressed me (and everyone else – including other doctors – I’ve talked to) with his knowledge and skills. He decided I needed some more radiation and chemo (Xeloda) and acted like there was no such thing as maximum rads when I asked him.

Hope you Dad hangs in there. As you can see from all of the posters on this board, we can make it!

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