Matt, a YCS board member, submitted the following experience about his wife Kara:
Whole brain radiation starts with making a mask to fit the patient's head to immobilize it during the treatments. Our treatments were 15 treatments for 30 days of radiation. The treatments are fairly short, and the first week was uneventful. Toward the end of the second week, we noticed a little redness that intensified during the next week to resemble a bad sunburn. We used aloe vera gel (recommended by the nurses) and Noxema (recommended by a bald friend) to treat the radiation burns. We did not notice any hair falling out because it was already gone from the chemo. The burn quickly healed once the radiation treatments ended.
Karen, a YCS board member, submitted the following experience about her husband Mark:
Mark had twice-daily, intense radiation to his left-axilla area for approximately 5½ weeks, 5 days a week. Doctors had to be very careful to not include his heart or lungs within the radiation field as best they could. We would get to the hospital early in the day and be there all day, since he had one session first thing in the morning and one last thing in the afternoon, approximately 6 ½ to 8 hours apart. We read a lot of magazines, that's for sure. As it was spring, on nice days when Mark felt up to it, we would go for walks at lunchtime.
Mark got the expected serious radiation burns on the front of his chest, under his arm, and around his back shoulder blade. He effectively couldn't sweat in the armpit, so we didn't have to worry about deodorants. We were supposed to put Aquaphor on the area at least once a day but have it all cleaned off before he came for radiation in the morning. That required very gentle cleaning, since the skin started peeling and became somewhat painful the further into radiation we got. It hurt his mobility a bit, since the skin was tight around his arm. What little hair was still on his chest in the radiation field fell out and never grew back. The radiation seemed to help shrink the tumors somewhat but was far from the remission we were seeking.