Cobalt Radiation Therapy

MKeeffe Member Posts: 2
My Dad received Cobalt Radiation Therapy when he was 12 years old. This was to treat a brain tumour which developed after a bicycle accident. My Dad will be 61 years old in March 2012.

He lived a normal life, he was a very hard working man. He ran his own transport business, he enjoyed playing sport and he was full of life. He raised my brother and I on his own from my age of 12 and my brother at 9 after our mum left. (I am now 30, my brother 27)

A few years ago my Dad suffered from a minor stroke (seizure) so I moved him to my place to live with me, my partner and our 3 children so we could keep a close eye on him and take care of him for a while. He still lives with us now and probably will forever.

One night eating dinner Dad had another seizure right in front of our eyes. This was in 2010. There have been no seizures since then but many other side effects/symptoms.

We visited many doctors and specialists and Dad had MRI scans etc... They have told us there is nothing they can do to help him. The effects will just take their course. How do you accept this as an answer!?

Fatigue is huge. He sleeps for hours at a time and is happy to stay in his room for most of a day in his bed. In the first few months of him staying with us I seeked as much help as I could get. This was a very stressful time not understanding what was happening to my Dad and feeling like he had just given up on life while I was tryig to help him to be better.

I managed to organise home care as a help and he now attends social outings a few times a week. I want him to have as much quality of life as he can but due to his age (being under 65) we aren't entitled to some services/help as he isn't classed as elderly/senior until then.

My Dad has lost most of the coordination in his legs, he walks just as slow as a baby does when learning to walk and in turn his balance is severely affected.

His speech is very slurred and his incontinence has increased largely. He is confused at times and most of the time looks sad.

I do not know what to do to help him and/or if there is anything that can slow the progression of this evil sickness.

In the past month my Dad's health has decreased rapidly.

This week we will try to purchase a walker for him and also a hand held shower head so he can sit in a shower chair to shower.

Once upon a time you couldn't wipe a smile off my Dad's face. He was such a happy man. He is the most friendly person you will ever meet. It is so painful to see how sad his eyes are now. It breaks my heart watching him suffering and him not understanding why or what is happening to him. I just wish there was something we could do to make him better.


  • Whisgar
    Whisgar Member Posts: 1
    Survivor for 41 years

    I had radiation in my neck for sinus cancer when I was 21.  I had a thyroid ectomy for precancer cells    I lost all my teeth because of gum damage   I now have problems with swallowing and choking and food and mostly liquids going down my windpipe 

     I lost most of my saliva and taste  and because of neck surgery a little paralysis in my face  in my case the alternative was a radical neck dissection it because it was cobalt for this was kind of an experiment which turned out well and the older man in my area started receiving it and not the radical neck dissection and surgery in the sinuses   I was very lucky to have doctors that were so caring I was treated at Wilford Hall which was a military hospital in San Antonio.  Like all of you I am a survivor and very thankful for it I just wonder what are actually the effects of the cancer I'm 65 and getting older and I just don't know   I am so glad to have found this site and to hear what you all are experiencing   I am trying to figure out why only and always stocked up in my sinuses and it doesn't matter where I am or what season it is, it just always  is there and I don't want to keep using nasal spray the rest of my life they say it's not a good thing to do  my doctor recommended peg tube for not being able to swallow and food going down my windpipe but I opted out from that and I'm going to speech therapist to build up the muscles in my throat  Since I don't have  saliva  I don't swallow all the time and the muscles  in my throat are starting to atrophy  anyone else with this problem  I have enjoyed reading everyone's comments some of them are the same problems I have a lot if you had cobalt for brainstem problems and Hodgkins  which is what they thought for a long time until the second tumor and they did specialized test and found thank God it wasn't  happy living to all of you