Almost done with rads. Cyber Knife? What to expect next?

Hi all,

While I don't post often, I visit the site pretty much every day. I am so thankful for all the great info and encouragement I have received.

Dima has his last radiation session this Friday! Praise God we are almost there. The last 3 weeks have been hell on earth. No matter what narcotics he got, he is always in pain. He has a 75 mcg fentanil patch but is still taking 10ml liquid oxy every 4 hours or so. What has worked for pain management for you before?

Dima seems pretty down. He pretty much sleeps all day, doesn't want to see anyone and just doesn't have any desire to do anything. I don't know how much is the pain, the medication side effects and/or actual depression. This is what I am worried about, if it is depression, how can I help him get out of it? Would this just go away as he starts to feel better?

He has next week off and then 3 sessions of cyberknife. Did anyone get this? What should we expect?  The brochure says there are no side effects which sounds too good to be true!

What should I expect right after radiation? What should I be expecting/thinking about/doing?



  • MrsBD
    MrsBD Member Posts: 615 Member

    Radiation side effects are pretty brutal and your husband's symptoms are not unusual. For me, Fentanyl patches and Hydrocodone liquid took the edge off, but did not eliminate the pain. Sleep was a way I wouldn't have to deal with it.  The two weeks after treatment ended were just as crummy, but there is good news. It gets better! Today is my four months out of treatment anniversary and I really do feel almost back to normal. My energy, focus, and drive are coming back. I didn't need pain medication anymore around the two months' mark. There will be other symptoms that pop up later like excess mucus or a sore tongue. You can get advice here for managing just about any problem. You have a tough job right now. Caregivers go through so much stress worrying how to help. As the patient, I just wanted someone there if I needed something, to tell me it would get better, and to pray for me. If you are concerned about depression, check if your cancer center has a social worker. He or she can reassure your husband that what he feels is normal and direct you to further help like a support group. I think all of us have had our weepy, why me moments. It helps to talk to other people. Maybe he'd like to check out this site. We're pretty good at pep talks!


  • KTeacher
    KTeacher Member Posts: 1,103

    Cyberknife side effect is fatigue.  He is already tired and the weeks after radiation are difficult.  Let him rest and eat whatever he can.  It takes at least 6 weeks before you really begin to heal.  It is good that you are looking after him.

  • eulerphi
    eulerphi Member Posts: 17
    Had gamma knife

    I had gamma knife radiation to skull base. I think it is similar to cyberknife, but with the frame screwed in. What areas are they targeting cyber knife? Fatigue was the biggest side effect. I was definitely more tired after gamma knife to skull base than after neutron radiation to head and neck.

  • hwt
    hwt Member Posts: 2,328 Member
    eulerphi said:

    Had gamma knife

    I had gamma knife radiation to skull base. I think it is similar to cyberknife, but with the frame screwed in. What areas are they targeting cyber knife? Fatigue was the biggest side effect. I was definitely more tired after gamma knife to skull base than after neutron radiation to head and neck.


    Midway I recall sleeping all the time, forcing myself get up to eat and one very short walk a day then right back to bed. I mean I slept soundly all the time. The body will let him know what it needs just make sure to include hydration an nutrition. I turned the corner 5 weeks post rads and by week 6 had more energy than ever I had in years past. The meds take there toll I had to back off the patch 

    good luck


  • Sailor123
    Sailor123 Member Posts: 97
    Hi Avisemi:
    I'm so glad he is

    Hi Avisemi:

    I'm so glad he is almost finished with radiation.  That will be a big burden lifted off you both.

    I felt totally lousy for a good month or two after radiation ended.  I did almost nothing and laid around crying. The biggest question was how long is this going to go on?  I just wanted to feel better and didn't. Most of the time I was exhausted and i'm sure somewhat depressed.  

    It does seem that when the body begins to heal so to does the spirit.  I noticed as I started to feel better I started getting out little by little and resuming my life.  It is a very slow process and it took months for me following treatment.

    The good news is that it eventually happened and I feel almost normal 9 months post treatment.

    Hang in there.  It will happen.

    Love to you.


  • debbiejeanne
    debbiejeanne Member Posts: 3,102 Member
    Dima, is probably not up to

    Dima, is probably not up to visiting or anything else.  unfortunately, tx takes EVERYTHING out of you and you have nothing left for being social.  depression also plays a part in doing nothing.  if he is in that much pain, he is bound to be depressed.  let Dima sleep as much as wanted b/c then there is no pain.  I will be praying for you both.  Congrats to Dima for being able to see the light at the end of this awful tunnel.

    God bless you,


  • Hondo
    Hondo Member Posts: 6,636 Member
    Cyber Knife

    I never had it but was told it helps them in removing just the dead tumor and not the good flesh around it. On the part of not waiting to visit or see anyone, that was normal for me, I ran everyone away from me the first time I did treatment; I did not realize it till treatment was over. Also he needs to rest, his body is going through hell and if depression comes in at the same time it will only makes things worse. Stay with him and hold him when he needs and find something for him to keep focused on. If you want read some of my about me page it might help you to understand what he is going through, He will get better.



  • avisemi
    avisemi Member Posts: 172
    Thank you all for helping me

    Thank you all for helping me understand better what he is going through and what to expect.  It makes me feel better to hear it's normal to sleep so much.  Dima has his last rad tomorrow!!!!!! :):):).  I cannot believe it.  we saw his doc today. He said he expected him to need the pain medication for about 6 weeks or so.  

    We have an MRI on Tuesdsy for the cyber knife and the 3 sessions the week after. This is for the area by his eyes and brain.