My Cancer Story

Done with Radiation!

Posted 5 April 2016

Today I had my last radiation treatment. This is quite a milestone, because it may well be my last treatment of any kind. Other than a clinical trial, there isn’t anything left (today) to try that is very appealing.

My hope and expectation is that the radiation will have significantly reduced the size of the tumor, and that this will allow me to have a wonderful spring and summer! Beyond that, who knows. I’m just not looking that far ahead.

The radiation takes weeks after the end of treatment to complete its work, and it can correspondingly take weeks after the end of treatment for side effects to show up. So it will be a while before things settle down and I have better sense of how I’m going to feel for whatever this remission period turns out to be.

The last few days I’ve felt great! I’ve been working in the yard, organizing the garage, hanging pictures, sorting books — I can’t seem to sit still, if I’m feeling well enough, and the weather has been beautiful. Irene and I have been doing errands together and eating out and enjoying each other’s company.

Today has been rich with bittersweet moments. It is wonderful to be done with treatment, and to be able to shift my focus as fully as possible to quality of life.

At the same time, it is scary that there isn’t a great next step when the tumor starts to grow again. GI tumors have proven to be stubborn beasts; you can knock them down, but they get right back up. Treatments that worked once (like my first 3 rounds of chemo) generally don’t work if tried later, especially after remission and regrowth.

But enough of that — tomorrow it is supposed to be 85 degrees, and I have seeds and seedlings to plant. I’m enjoying going through my rather vast photo collection and gradually putting some of it on the web. My wonderful kids Gregory and Amanda visit frequently — but don’t live here — and visits from old and new friends have been enlivening.

Life is good, day by day.


Dave Epstein

What a great upbeat post! Thanks for making our day start out with a smile!


What a nice time you are having! I hope you enjoyed the warm day on Wednesday in your garden.
I just read a wonderful book that you have probably already read, called When Breath Becomes Air, by Paul Kalanithi. If you haven’t yet read it, you will love it.

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