Maybe it's the power of suggestion, and maybe it's just the way things really are. I was told that the first few weeks of radiation treatment are almost like a "freebie" with regard to side effects. And certainly, I have been free from major side effects throughout this treatment process, which is something I'm so grateful for. However, I was also told that toward the end of the radiation treatment regimen I would start to really feel the effects. And I guess they are right.
I've been more head-achey lately, but some of that has been due to bad eating and lack of adequate sleep. And it has been rather mild; not even worth taking a pain reliever. Until yesterday. I found myself very sensitive to noise, and by the time I went to bed I felt pretty sore. I awakened at 3:00 this morning with terrible headache pain and nausea, like a really super bad migraine. I took some ibuprofen and my anti-nausea medication, then went back to sleep and felt better this morning. This afternoon I will definitely leave this keyboard and take a little nap, because I still feel a little sore.
As I understand it, this is an expected situation and not necessarily one that causes alarm. Even so, because I am ever on the watch for signs of the "R" word (recurrence), things like bad headaches are unwelcome. However, I keep telling myself that this is evidence that the radiation is finally starting to do it's real job, because I can feel its effects.
I remember seeing a quote from Lance Armstrong, where he talks about his own cancer experience, and he said something about how the better he got, the worse he felt. I hope that's the case with me. I'm feeling worse than I have in the past six weeks, so I'm hoping that it's because I'm getting better!
...and even though this is the worst I have felt, I still think I'm doing pretty darn well, compared to what I would have expected. As I have joked recently, I generally have more energy AND more hair than my husband!
Today is my last day of my initial round of chemotherapy. The effects have been amazingly tolerable. Because Temodar is so efficient in reaching the brain and crossing the blood-brain barrier, they did not have to saturate my body with chemicals. It was really easy to take.
Radiation has also been generally tolerable, but this is the part of the process that gets more difficult. As long as it's doing what it is supposed to be doing, I'll take it - headaches and all.