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Radiation recovery

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  • katehudson25
    katehudson25 Member Posts: 1,939
    edited September 2011
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    Hi Gigil I am concerned about the boosts because I am very fair. I am not peeling, and so far I have not felt tired. Last night I was a little itchy, but I am fine today. Have a great time on your trip. Enjoy!

  • gigil
    gigil Member Posts: 914
    edited September 2011
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    Kate, if I remember correctly, you are having the shorter protocol, so hopefully your skin won't take too much more abuse before you are done.  If they use the gel pad during your boosts, it will hopefully protect your skin surface and direct the electron beams into your tumor bed area.  My skin did much better in that case.  I know each place does it a little differently.  It is so fresh in my memory the huge amount of energy I expended getting myself psyched to start again each Monday.  The weekends were just too short.  I will be sending you positive energy as you get closer to the end of this.

  • katehudson25
    katehudson25 Member Posts: 1,939
    edited September 2011
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    Hi Gigil,

    You are right I am doing the shorter protocol, but the radiation is stronger. I asked my radiation oncologist about the gel pads, and he doesn't use them. Thank you so much for your support.

  • gigil
    gigil Member Posts: 914
    edited September 2011
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    Kate I really liked the gel pad.  It made the boost area tan instead of red and peeling, like the other side of my breast.  I will be done two weeks on Thursday.  I am pretty well healed now, except for a little redness and itching - much better than it was at first.  The peeling is almost done.

  • pat01
    pat01 Member Posts: 913
    edited September 2011
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    I finished last Wednesday, and it seems like my skin is getting worse, particularly under the fold.  Does anyone have any experience with what to do with skin on skin?  It feels best if I just hold the breast up so no skin is touching, but this would be a little weird at work!  I am slathering once a day with Eucerin, but it is very itchy and looks miserable in the fold.  No peeling or open sores, just dark red irritated skin. Breast is a bit sore internally today too.

    Pat

  • Elizabeth1889
    Elizabeth1889 Member Posts: 509
    edited September 2011
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    Pat:  The Ro nurse gave me some radiagel sheets that I placed underneath the left breast.  They are cooling and I found I was much more comfortable while using them.  I know that will not help with the internal pain.  I hope that will get better soon.

  • Elizabeth1889
    Elizabeth1889 Member Posts: 509
    edited September 2011
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    Hi everyone: Today I returned to my job on the suicide helpline after a five month absence.  Part of me felt as though I had never left and another part of me felt strange being back.  All in all though, it was great to reclaim yet another part of my "real" life after finishing active treatments.

    My Arimidex pills arrived in the mail today.  The MO said I could wait a few more weeks before taking them.  Just enjoying the non treatment time for now.

    I hope everyone is doing well with their rads recovery. 

  • katehudson25
    katehudson25 Member Posts: 1,939
    edited September 2011
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    Gigil I think gel pads are only used if you have a mastectomy, and I had a lumpectomy.

  • MamaV
    MamaV Member Posts: 373
    edited September 2011
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    So after my last rad yesterday, my RO said he didn't need to see me for a skin followup b/c I didn't burn at all!  He said he has never seen anyone do as well as me with 36 rads!  I told him God was giving me a well deserved break b/c chemo nearly killed me (truely). 

    Hoping to have my energy back soon - big homecoming football game and dance for my son this weekend.  I am making lasagna from scratch for about 20! 

  • Elizabeth1889
    Elizabeth1889 Member Posts: 509
    edited September 2011
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    MamaV:  Congratulations on finishing rads in such great condition.  Have a wonderful time this weekend.

  • gigil
    gigil Member Posts: 914
    edited September 2011
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    MamaV so glad you did so well with your rads.  Kate, I only had a lumpectomy but had the gel pad.  Healing went well during my trip to Orlando.  I am almost all healed as far as my skin goes, although the new skin in my boost area is lighter than my regular skin.  I still have aches in my armpit and sometimes my breast, but nothing unbearable.  My nipple peeled some but not all the way so now my right nipple looks like an Apaloosa pony pattern.  It is very strange looking.  At least nothing is red and peeling anymore and I can use regular unscented lotion on it.  Next I have to get back to my MO and start on either Tamoxifen or an AI.  I really hate these decisions.  It is always what is the less of two evils.

  • bb226
    bb226 Member Posts: 23
    edited September 2011
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    GiGil there is a new study that this site recapped. Basically the new procotol might be to mix the 2, tam and Al. Start 2-3 years of one and then switch for the reminder of time to the other. It has better coverage to reduce BC with less side effects according to the study. My MO told me that he is waiting until 2013 to switch me because of some big study being published then. I started with tam and have had no notable SEs. Hoping it continues. Now my sis MO told her tam was "old school" and she will have something else. She is on the west coast and I am in the Midwest. Go figure.

  • gigil
    gigil Member Posts: 914
    edited September 2011
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    bb226 doesn't it somehow feel like we are dealing with this bc stuff a little earlier than we should be to benefit from some really important research that is going on right now?  I read the article on mixing the two meds.  I am post-menopausal, and my MO wants to do 3 years of tamoxifen and 2 of an AI.  She s kind of "old school", from what I can tell.  I might get a second opinion on it, just to be sure.  I am in the Midwest as well.

  • ann329
    ann329 Member Posts: 16
    edited September 2011
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    Another party crasher here!  Finally done done DONE rads!  Feels amazing to have reached this point and to join you here on "the other side".  Hope everyone is doing well.  Under my breast is doing great - almost done peeling and little to no discomfort.  HOWEVER, I have a spot at my SNB site that is angry red/purple and very painful.  The burnt area, not as angry, goes up into my armpit.  Tight skin, ouch.  'nuff whining.  I'm done and I'm ecstatic!  Looking forward to wearing my "real" bras sometime soon, I hope!!

    Ann

  • justmejanis
    justmejanis Member Posts: 1,474
    edited September 2011
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    Ann I will be here next week.  I finish boosts next Tuesday.  I have that burn area up in my underarm and it is peeling and so sore.  My nipple is cranberry colored, very angry and skin around it is still peeling.  I can't wait for this to be over.

    So glad you made it!  Wonderful news.

  • julianna51
    julianna51 Member Posts: 21
    edited September 2011
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    Guess I'd better get myself over here to the recovery site!   I've just been enjoying not having to go in every day.   With boosts, my skin had more reaction although no blisters.   Hoping to regain my energy quickly so I can get back to normal again...whatever that might be.

    Ann, many congrats on making it through!

    Janis, hang in there.  You are entering the home stretch.   I'll be cheering you on!

  • lrw333
    lrw333 Member Posts: 142
    edited September 2011
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    So this is where everyone is hiding. I hope you don't mind if I join you... I think it will be so nice when everyone is finished and we can close the other thread. I can't wait,Smile
  • bb226
    bb226 Member Posts: 23
    edited September 2011
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    Ann a piece of advise...that problem area might get a little worst in the coming 7-10 days. I had my worst pain on day 5 post rads. It lasted 2 days. My skin started to breakdown. I tried to handle it myself. After not sleeping 1 night I called my RO. She got me in right away. That phone call was a blessing because not only did I get a pain med (to sleep) but also the skin nurse gave me great advise and dressings to help the discomfort and protect the underlying new skin. Like I said it lasted 2 days.

    GigiL did you start tam or AL yet? I have had such minor SE from tam hoping it continues.

  • justmejanis
    justmejanis Member Posts: 1,474
    edited September 2011
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    bb226...I am wondering then if mine will get much worse.  The pain woke me up in the wee hours this morning.  That underarm area is awful.  It is so sore.  I start boosts today, but the tech said the boosts will be hitting that area as well.  So guess I have a few more uncomfortable days ahead.  I see my RO tomorrow and hope he will notice the serious changes in my skin in just one week.  I have done really well and was so proud and now this.  It can onky get better I hope.  Soon!

  • ann329
    ann329 Member Posts: 16
    edited September 2011
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    Janis - hang in there - you are soooo close.  Remember, time doesn't stand still - you're going to get done done done soon soon soon too!

    bb - I know exactly what you mean.  My underarm has been very sensitive and painful the last three days.  It didn't even start to get pink until about 10 days ago - and it's not even that pink..  My "zingers" of pain shoot up into the armpit now from the SNB site - where my skin is the most angry; they typically take my breath away, but I had one last night that made me jump out of my seat!   Everyday brings changes, there is definately healing going on too.  Thank goodness!!  Can't wait to wear a "real" bra.

    Funny how our SE are all relatively the same yet different.  My incision site has faired really well with the boosts; I don't even really notice that it's pinker or anything...  hopefully it stays that way in the coming days.

    Irw - love you post.  I was thinking the same thing this morning as I made my tea (decaf chai) before sitting to sign on.  Can't wait till we are all finished and we can close the August Rads thread.  That, my BC sister, will be a happy day for all.  :)

    Much love and hugs,

    Ann

  • ann329
    ann329 Member Posts: 16
    edited September 2011
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    bb - Forget to mention - I want to send a big thank you!.  I pick up my Tammy rx from pharmacy today.  It's nice to hear your positive comments....  bless you!

    ((hugs))

    Ann

  • MamaV
    MamaV Member Posts: 373
    edited September 2011
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    Isn't it great to be on this side?  I'm 1 week of from Rads, skin is doing well - just a little peeling around the scar/boost area, but no pain.  Still waiting for the big energy boost to come!  (Maybe if I could sleep more than 3 hours at a time, I'd feel it sooner).

  • lrw333
    lrw333 Member Posts: 142
    edited September 2011
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    Thanks bb. I just feel like a part of me is missing. I want everybody DONE!!!! 

    I am starting Tamoxifen Monday. I have mixed feelings. I hope I don't have the SE's I have read from others. It is nice to know some are having little or no SE's. Thanks for sharing that. Is anyone having bathroom issues after radiation? There is no delicate way to put it. Sorry if I offended anyone...Gigil my nipple is the same way. Where some of the blisters were it has indentations. Skin peeled so deep. I hope this goes away.

    Ann congradulations!!!! Janice you sound like me. I hope it will get better when they start boost. Mine did.

  • pat01
    pat01 Member Posts: 913
    edited September 2011
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    3 weeks post rads today - almost done with peeling under breast, still looking pretty tender under there.  Now the top of my boob is itchy.  Hoping to go back to real bras someday - sigh...Go to MO tomorrow for the AI discussion, then BRCA testing in October.

    Found out today that radiation treatments cost me $75 a day!  Glad I didn't know that at the time, I would really have not wanted to go then LOL - guess thats why they wait until you are done to send the bill. 

  • pat01
    pat01 Member Posts: 913
    edited September 2011
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    I just had the funniest thought.  Before cancer, I couldn't wait to get home from work and out of my bra.  Now, I can't wait to get back to wearing regular bras.  Some people are never satisfied :)

  • MamaV
    MamaV Member Posts: 373
    edited September 2011
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    Pat that's funny!  I've had the opposite reaction!  I got so used to not wearing a bra I might never wear one again!  Ha ha!

  • katehudson25
    katehudson25 Member Posts: 1,939
    edited September 2011
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    I am 1 week post rads today. I am blessed. I have a rash and a little redness but that is it. I never had blistering, peeling, or 1 day of exhaustion . Life is good

  • ann329
    ann329 Member Posts: 16
    edited September 2011
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    So much for starting Tamoxifen today....  my pharmacy can't get the 20mg pills - only 10mg and even those aren't "in stock".  Is it an omen!!??   Guess I'll check some other places tomorrow.

    Ann

  • Ceeztheday
    Ceeztheday Member Posts: 246
    edited September 2011
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    Ann - I had the same problem trying to get the tamoxifen 20 mg at CVS. I went over to Walmart pharmacy and they had them in stock and I was able to get a three months supply right away.

  • julianna51
    julianna51 Member Posts: 21
    edited September 2011
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    pat01 - I'm with you....the radiation costs were a surprise.  I guess I shouldn't complain when Iook at how much was billed but I had to pay a $60 co-pay fore EACH session.   Somehow that seems so wrong.   Luckily the center is letting me make payments.

    MamaV - I agree, I don't know if I'll ever want to wear a bra again.   Definitely don't need one right now with my coconuts - we'll see once I get my implants some day.

    My skin where the boosts were seems a little broken down but I can't tell for sure.   Even with my glasses on I can't tell....lol, how sad that I can't see.   It feels a bit tender though.