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is it normal to sleep all day after whole brain radiation?

Posts: 2
Joined: Nov 2009

My dearly loved 28 years old boyfriend has recently diagonosed with brain mets (5 tumor, the largest one has been surgically taken out), the primary is colon cancer. He has just finished 10 treatments of whole brain radiation (WBR) and he feels tired all the time, he slept most time during the day and only comes out for lunch and dinner. He couldn't sleep during night because he is worried/depressed/or other reasons, has anyone else experienced this sort of reaction from WBR?

PBJ Austin
Posts: 347
Joined: Mar 2009

I don't think I'm qualified to say what is normal but I will be happy to share with you my sister's experience.

Before the cancer was diagnosed she was sleeping a lot and this is what prompted her to see a doctor. She was then 25 years old (now 26) and we knew it's just not normal for such a young person to sleep as much as she did. Once they found the cancer she had surgery and radiation, although I don't think it was WBR. During the radiation treatments she said it "sucked the life out of her." She was so tired she slept most of the time. She is now in chemo and she says that's not so bad. She's still tired but not as much as when she was in radiation.

I am hesitant to say this is normal for your boyfriend but tiredness does seem to be common among posters to this board.

Wishing you and your boyfriend the very best in this fight.

sue Siwek
Posts: 280
Joined: Jun 2009

i am a caregiver to a person who has survived brain cancer for 10 years. your boy friend has and is having his butt kicked(to put it mildly). in our experience radiation and chemo took a lot out the patient. he will probably be tired for some time to come. he is young so maybe he will spring back more quickly. also, his lack of sleep, depression and possibly agitation(you did not mention this but may be happening) may be caused by steroids that he may be taking. also, he can be put on a mild anti-depressant and/or a sleeping pill. please don't wonder. discuss this with him, his family and most of all the dr. treating him. be his advocate, speak up. good luck to you both.

stayingcalm's picture
Posts: 654
Joined: Feb 2007

Radiation fatigue, oh yeah, I know it well :) I had brain mets, one tumor was surgically removed followed by 20 WBR treatments. The steroids yanked all my strength out from under me to begin with, and when I cut back on them the exhaustion caught up with me. I didn't have the energy for anything. It took a couple of months before I felt closer to "normal" (whatever that is), but I did get there, and he will too.

I still sometimes wish I could nap in the middle of the day!

Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2018

Hi. Does anybody have cervical cancer that has spread to the brain like me please let me know I'm in currently in keytruda and I just did whole brain radiation 10 treatments and I'm completely wiped out if anyone can share their experience please tell me

csn_jeff's picture
Posts: 22
Joined: Aug 2014


I would suggest going to the discussion boards and chosing Gynecological Cancers (other than ovarian and uterine). Then start a new forum topic. This should get more responses. This thread is very old.


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