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Whole Brain Radiation, Melanoma - HELP!

lovingwifedeb's picture
Posts: 183
Joined: Aug 2010

Cancer Sucks

What else do you tell yourself when naked fear once again seeps inside your bones and curls around your heart to hang on for dear life, Cancer Sucks. Driving home Bob and I become lost in our own thoughts, each trying to catch our breath with the news given at his doctor’s appointment. I notice tears falling slowly against my husband’s cheek as he tries to compose himself, my heart is breaking. We are both in shock once more and losing control in our life has become familiar ground. Talk of summer vacation this week has slowly disappeared in the background as we come to grips as our reality swiftly changes not knowing what our future may bring us.

In only 30 days 2 new lesions have appeared by Bob’s left eye. The melanoma cells have traveled from the tumor bed site that he recently had surgery on in January and gamma knife in February. The cells left there and have traveled in the lining of his brain (meninges) and have settled around his left eye becoming large enough for the MRI to detect. The doctor has recommended Whole Brain Radiation, 5 minutes per day/15 days. It’s the only way to treat the whole lining of the brain and for any melanoma cells that could be located anywhere else in his brain.

Radiation kills the bad cells and good cells... some memory loss, loss of his white hair and it will make him tired. He will start by Thursday end of day. Bob is getting headaches more often now and has difficulty sometimes with speaking.

Please keep Bob close to your hearts in the following weeks.

Peace to all.
lovingwife to Bob, stage 4 melanoma

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Posts: 3
Joined: Feb 2011

Hi Deb,

I hope you were able to get a decent night's rest to help you face yet another new reality. I kept you in my prayers yesterday, and will continue to do so.

Have you spoken to anyone who has had whole brain radiation? It seems to me that I have see a couple upbeat posts on the subject. Hopefully, Bob will tolerate the treatments well and see successful results.

You mentioned hair loss. I understand. Although we would both probably counsel anyone else that hair is only hair, it is an undeniable change. After 3 weeks of chemo, my blond surfer husband is bald. It was difficult to watch the transformation, but one look at his blue eyes and beautiful smile, and the man that I have loved for 36 years is all I see. We have had fun with our two sons and daughter-in-law, picking out hats for him to wear. Do I long to run my fingers through his hair just one more time....of couse I do. However, do I notice his lack of hair a little less each day......yes, fortunately, I do.

A very wise friend of mine, whose husband is in a tough battle with esophageal cancer has given me so much strength with a little something she says each time we hug goodbye. "It's a beautiful day out there. Go look!" So simple.......so honest....so hard to remember when everything is crazy. Deb, I hope you and Bob can both find lightness, even when everything out there seems so dark. Big hugs to you both.

Take care,


lovingwifedeb's picture
Posts: 183
Joined: Aug 2010

It's hard to find the lightness when I see the tears falling down on my loved ones face and the naked fear is lying on his face with unknown worry. He's been strong up til now. I don't even know how to comfort him because I don't have the answers he's looking for right now.

It's not the hair I worry about... but when my husband can't seem to find his words or speak them the frustration sets in for him. He is scared and worried and neither of us knows if it's ever coming back to him. His head hurts continually now and the tiredness never leaves his eyes. He's trying to be so in control and brave... wants to keep working. How long can his guys keep covering for him? He's looking tired and we are 3 days of radiation only. I spent the weekend organizing our legal papers so we can set up a meeting with a lawyer, my head is spinning.

Time is my enemy.

I'm not ready for this.

lovingwife to Bob, stage 4 melanoma

Posts: 26
Joined: Jan 2011

I have been off the net for a bit and I am so sorry to see this development for you and Bob. I have been keeping you in my prayers as always but send up a special one for Bob and ask my friends to include him and you as well. My husband and I will find out at end of this month if his cancer is growing again. He was able to go back to work on light duty for a short time, but now has a staff infection we are battling. Will keep praying and keep you in our hearts.

lovingwifedeb's picture
Posts: 183
Joined: Aug 2010

It's Sunday and we had a full day of family visits this afternoon... Bob did good with the constant comings and goings and everyone's, "hey how ya feeling"... he looks to me to fill in the blanks when he can't think of the right word but from where we started on March 7th so much has happened.

Radiation has taken it's toll on his short term memory and there is confusion when I try to explain things to him. The difficulty with speech and reading may be another story... He gets very frustrated and impatient sometimes trying to explain things to me but it's like trying to play guessing games all day, very tiring sometimes to figure out what he is trying to say at times. His hair is just starting to thin out a bit. We are hoping his speaking symptoms improve by the end of the 3 weeks or so.

Bob has tried to hang in there and work since being diagnosed last summer and having surgery but this has gotten to be too much with the speaking and writing issues, although the guys at work did their best to cover for him. Short term disability will help us for a little while to get by, it was difficult for him to accept it but necessary.

As for now I put the "honey do" list back on the wall for him to keep him busy as long as he feels like working. I know it makes him feel more like things are back to "normal" ... whatever that means now.

So on to week 3 of radiation...

lovingwife of Bob, stage 4 melanoma

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