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Radiation recovery

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  • katehudson25
    katehudson25 Member Posts: 1,939
    edited October 2011
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    Janis I am sorry that you are not doing well. Jenny12000 yes it is my final decision regarding Tamoxifen. I was already 90% sure I was not going to take it, and when my RO gave me his blessing, to turn it down I made my 100% decision to refuse it.

  • justmejanis
    justmejanis Member Posts: 1,474
    edited October 2011
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    Thanks Kate...this phase is totally miserable but wil get better I know.  Yesterday I was "out" most of the day.  I just took pain meds, did my soaks and slept.  Sleeping is the only real respite I have right now.  I kniw i may have a few more bad days then the real healing will start.  I have peeled so many times, and still am.  I am so disappointed as I did so well during rads.  Just the last week apparently did me in. 

    Kate as long as you are at peace with your decision, nothing else matters! :)

  • katehudson25
    katehudson25 Member Posts: 1,939
    edited October 2011
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    Janis, I am at peace with my decision. As somebody who would rather endure pain then take pain meds, my decision was 60% made up from the start. I do not recommend this decision, of refusing to take hormonal therapy, for everyone. I don't have a history of family breast cancer. My tumor was 4mm, and I was stage 1, grade 1, so it is a good decision for me. I only have a 1% chance of the same breast cancer recurring. Tamoxifen would have only lowered my chance of getting a different breast cancer by about 2%. As my RO said in my case the side effects would outweigh the benefits. I am 16 days post rads today. The general area of my breast is cleared up. My boost area is still red. Have a great weekend everyone.

  • justmejanis
    justmejanis Member Posts: 1,474
    edited October 2011
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    Kate...being at peace is what matters.  Now you can just go forward and get on with your life.  I know you will do the required mammograms.  Just keep doing the follow ups, and relax and enjoy life!

    I would be one happy camper if this awfu burn would heal.  I know it is a matter of time and it will get better.  It is just frustrating as I have three areas that are bad.  They "weep" and at night when I sleep stick to my t-shirt.  Searing pain jolts me up!  I put the Lidocaine/Aquaphor mix on as soon as I wake up and it does help.  I wish I wasn't allergic to Sulfa.  I feel like this burn is healing slowly, still lots of peeling then of course  beneath the area is raw.  I know this will pass!  I am staying busy.  Yesterday my DH and I made a huge batch of pasta sauce.  I kept freezing all the overripe tomatoes from our garden and I had a lot.  So, we got them all blanched/peeled yesterday and I chopped the basil and parsley and he chopped the onions.  It felt good to be busy, we made a huge mess in the kitchen but had fun. 

    How is everyone else doing?  I so hope you are all doing well.  Recovery is awesome!! 

    Hugs my friends......

  • katehudson25
    katehudson25 Member Posts: 1,939
    edited October 2011
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    Janis I am sorry that you are still feeling bad. I am finally seeing my boost area heal. It is still red, but the redness is fading. With the very fair skin that I have I am very surprised that I have done so well. I never peeled or blistered. I saturated my breast in moisturizer a minimum of 6 times a day, and I think that helped. MY RO told me that after rads you do not have to use special radiation moisturizer. He said that any general moisturizer is fine. I still have some Udderly Smooth body cream and Miaderm so I will finish using that, and then I will just use a regular body moisturizer.

  • lrw333
    lrw333 Member Posts: 142
    edited October 2011
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    Hi Ladies, I hope everyone is coping with RADS recovery OK. I would like to know when I will quit peeling? It has been weeks and the red is finally fading but under my arm and under my breast it is still very burned and peeling... I have been to so many DR's. It is ridiculous. Now I have to do a sleep apnea study. Go figure! lol I am not sure I need half the stuff they are making me do. One day soon this girl is going to put her foot down and just refuse to do anymore. Is anyone else having all these friggin test? I have to wait a month to see a LE Therapist... I have to go to the Eye Dr. My MO is sending me. Its all crazy... I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend. It is so nice here.. )Off to enjoy the outside with a picnic and trip to Bay Mt... Take Care!!!

  • justmejanis
    justmejanis Member Posts: 1,474
    edited October 2011
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    Irw...how nice you get to go on a picnic.  I hope you have a great outing.  Sounds fun, enjoy.

    I am only 3 days post rads but peeling constantly.  I have some bad burns and they ooze and stick to my t-shirts.  My husband just put the burn stuff on for me and covered it with a piece of clean flour sack towel.  He said the one under my breast looks really nasty.  The one under my arm high up in the pit area is bad too.  I have not had any tests ordered for anything.  I see both my RO and my MO on Thursday.  Maybe they can give me some insight on how to get these burns to heal.  Irw I can imagine how sick you are of it.  Weeks of this crap is not much fun!  I hope you start getting better very very soon!  I expect I will be following suit and take awhile to heal.  I sure hope you can get some relief.  Did your RO give you pain meds?  Insist on them!  Burns are terribly painful and so slow to heal.

    Big hugs to you hon, feel better soon.  Enjoy your day away. 

  • BobbiMarie
    BobbiMarie Member Posts: 29
    edited October 2011
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    After reading the last few entries, again I will count my blessings.  I have my last rad on Monday - YES!!!!  I was using Aquaphor but it was staining everything.  I switched to the Fruit of the Earth 100% Aloe Gel - the RO and his nurses were pushing it every time I saw them.....I thought they were getting commission. But all in all it has helped.  I have blisters in a very sensitive area from the boost but otherwise I am just very tender and very tired.  Sounds like that is normal for everyone.  The anti-hormone drugs present challenges all by themselves.  I didn't do chemo so don't feel I can 'not' do the anti-hormone drugs - my chances of recurrence go way up.  Winter in the north country can be a blessing when it comes to dealing with the hot flashes.  I am tolerating the blisters so far but I have used a burn ointment in the past that had lidocaine or some kind of novacaine in it to help with the pain.  I don't know if an RO would be familiar with it but it might be worth asking about.  My RO told me 7-10 days following treatment I should see my skin almost back to normal and I should not be so tired. I hope that is true for all.....

  • lrw333
    lrw333 Member Posts: 142
    edited October 2011
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    Janice I know what you mean. LOL I think we both have had some rough spots lately. I know it will get better it just takes time. Good Luck Thursday I hope they don't run you around like I have been. Maybe it is b/c I have not had insurance for awhile. I truly don't know. I did enjoy the picnic. Also the wolf habitat. I love watching them play etc... Also the other anaimals, it was so calming to forget for awhile.. BobbiMaria please don't let me discourage you. Most do not have alot of problems. I used aquafor and lidocaine for the most part. Then I was given silvadene burn creme. It does make it a little easier to handle. I wish my skin  was normal after 7 to 10 days but it was not for me... I started tomoxifen Mon and so far so good. Hoping you heal quickly.  Hugs  

  • ann329
    ann329 Member Posts: 16
    edited October 2011
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    Let's see....  this is my 11th day post rads and I am counting my blessings.  My skin is healing very well.  It really seemed that all at once I woke up about day 8 post rads and the skin was much less tender & red.  I wore my regular bra yesterday and today. The breast is still swollen a bit and requires tender handling (nipple skin still tender), but it is much easier to manage than the burns.  I'm still using aquafor twice a day to keep things moisturized as there is still some peeling going on.  Such a huge relief and something I wish for all you ladies very soon!! 

    Soooooooo, onto the next step.  Starting tamoxifen tonight.  Scared to, scared not to, but mostly feel lucky.  Life is good!!  :)

    (Bobbi - what state are you in.  I'm also in the north country....)

    Hugs!

    Ann

  • katehudson25
    katehudson25 Member Posts: 1,939
    edited October 2011
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    I am so glad you are doing well Ann. I am 17 days post rads and my boost area is finally healing. Last night for the first night in a while I was not itchy. I am one of the lucky ones I never peeled or blistered even with extremely fair skin, and I never had any pain or swelling. My only symptoms were redness and itchiness.

  • Sue53
    Sue53 Member Posts: 5
    edited October 2011
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    So far, so good on Arimidex (5 days) Wink
  • BobbiMarie
    BobbiMarie Member Posts: 29
    edited October 2011
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    Ann, I'm in Minnesota.  And glad cool weather is in store the next few days.  Although the dry air has made 80 not too hot. 

    Have you had any under arm pain?  I'm thinking that jumping back into my old schedule and lifting laptops, bags, purses, etc maybe is causing some issues.  Hadn't had any problems before.  Had my last rad yesterday and the pain started last night - was ok this morning - but came back this afternoon.  I only had one lymphnode removed and didn't have a drain.....

  • BobbiMarie
    BobbiMarie Member Posts: 29
    edited October 2011
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    lrw - not discouraged.  I'm good.

    lrw and Ann - are you pre menopausal and on Tamoxifen or on it because you have osteopenia or osteoporosis but are post menopausal?  If Aromasin doesn't work....and I should have a more positive attitude but worried about the steroid base so am guessing I'll have a reaction - Tam is my last choice.  Hoping you continue to have good luck with it!

  • Elizabeth1889
    Elizabeth1889 Member Posts: 509
    edited October 2011
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    On Arimidex for 10 days, and so far, so good with me, too.  Wishing everyone good luck with whatever hormone therapy they take.

  • Merilee
    Merilee Member Posts: 734
    edited October 2011
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    Glad to hear the hormone treatments are going well so far.

  • justmejanis
    justmejanis Member Posts: 1,474
    edited October 2011
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    I am exactly one week post rads now.  I still have one area from the top of my breast to my underarm that is oozing.  Very painful and so slow to heal!  This is where the boosts were directed.   I see both of my oncologists tomorrow but doubt either will say a thing.  I think it is healing, just slowly.  The rest of my breast is almost done peeling and is not so sensitive anymore.  So there is hope. 

    I am glad to read most everyone is healing up well.  Getting on with life and back to normal is good!

    Hugs to all my friends!

  • Merilee
    Merilee Member Posts: 734
    edited October 2011
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    Mine oozed for  weeks but was pretty much all healed in 3.

  • katehudson25
    katehudson25 Member Posts: 1,939
    edited October 2011
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    I am 3 weeks post rads and finally all healed up. I never peeled or blistered, but the redness and itchiness are gone. All I have left to do regarding cancer is my cosmetic surgery for implants and lifts.That will be in December, and I will find out the exact date for it this week.. It is time to move on. I hope those who are not feeling well will feel better soon.

  • ann329
    ann329 Member Posts: 16
    edited October 2011
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    Bobbi - I'm in New York.  We had an useasonably warm weekend, but things cooling off now.  (yay!)  Regarding Tamoxifen, I'm premenapausal.  Yes, on the underarm pain.  I had a SNB with re-excision for clean margins July 1st, then rads, it can sometimes still bother me if I do too much, but goes away quickly with rest.  I'm finding it tender if I reach too far out, behind me, or over my head or lift something heavier than I should.  Just normal healing from surgery; it's all good.  :)

    Hope everyone is having a good day!

    Ann Cool   

  • lrw333
    lrw333 Member Posts: 142
    edited October 2011
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    Bobbi I am premenopausal as well. I still have arm pain occasionally from my SNB. 2nd week on Tamoxifen and still tolerating it well. wOOt!!! Janis I oozed for weeks too. It truly gets better with time. This week I am almost finished peeling.... I hope everyone is doing well....

  • gigil
    gigil Member Posts: 914
    edited October 2011
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    Hi everyone.  Just checking in.  I have been so busy with family get-togethers lately.  I finished my rads Sept. 1 and I haven't been back to my MO yet.  It took me about three weeks to heal up completely, and it has been good to take a break from treatment.  katehudson you are lucky to have your doctor's blessing not to take tamixofen.  I know I am going to have to make a decision and get busy with all of that very soon.  I am dreading it.  Time to stop putting it off, right?  I still have itching around my incision scar and also on scars made from tape burns (which is completely bizarre). The tape on my surgical site and for marking spots afterward caused me as much trouble as anything else.  I am in Minnesota as well, and the fall weather is so soothing.  I love this time of year.  Heal well everyone who just finished.  I know you will.  I wasn't so sure as I was baby stepping through it.Kiss
  • bb226
    bb226 Member Posts: 23
    edited October 2011
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    Hi. Just checking in. I have been on tamoxifen for over 5 weeks and have very, very FEW side effects. I wanted you to know that some people do tolerate the drug well. If you need to start tamoxifen, please think of the women who just take the pill every morning and forget they are even on it. I don't want to down play the side effects, but many women are taking tamoxifen to prevent or treat breast cancer and don't necessarily post.

    I was so scared starting...but I knew I needed to try. I am glad I did.

  • Merilee
    Merilee Member Posts: 734
    edited October 2011
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    BB you are so right. Glad it is going well

  • lrw333
    lrw333 Member Posts: 142
    edited October 2011
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    BB Thanks for sharing. It is nice to know your doing well on it. You give me hope... 

  • MamaV
    MamaV Member Posts: 373
    edited October 2011
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    I'm with you bb - I take it right before I go to bed.  I've been on it for 3 months and only a few hot flashes now to show for it!  It's doable for many!  I say everyone try it and you can always stop if it's too much for you.

    God Bless!

    Vicky

  • katehudson25
    katehudson25 Member Posts: 1,939
    edited October 2011
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    Hi Bb226, I am glad that you are not experiencing side effects, and I don't want to burst your buibble, but I heard it takes a good while before the side effects from Tamoxifen show up.

  • justmejanis
    justmejanis Member Posts: 1,474
    edited October 2011
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    I go to see both my RO and MO today.  Last visit with the RO.  I think my MO will get me started on Arimidex.  Since I am post menopausal he thought that would be the best choice for me.  Elizabeth, looks like you and I will be on the same medication.  We'll do great!

    Once this burn heals I will be on Cloud 9!  It is still raw in places and oozing.  I noticed last night that my breast is swollen.  I am not sure if it is fluids from the burns, or what it is.  Not huge but it is definitely larger than my left breast.  It was slightly smaller after my surgery so this is strange.  Ann I noticed you mentioned being swollen too.  Guessing this is just a normal part of the post rads healing process!  I am not even close to  being able to wear a bra.  One of these days!

    bb226....I am very happy to hear you have no SE's.  Not everyone will have SE's.  I think having a positive attitude about the meds helps so much.  Some of us need to take these medications for five years.  Accepting it and just moving forward with our lives and not obsessing about possible SE's helps a lot!   I hope you continue to do so well!

    MamaV....good to hear from you!  It sounds like you are really doing well.  Happy for you hon!

    I hope everyone just gets better each and every day!!  Happy hugs to everyone!

  • Elizabeth1889
    Elizabeth1889 Member Posts: 509
    edited October 2011
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    Hi everyone:  I just returned from the MO's office where I had my port flushed.  Just thinking of how far we have all come in a few months.  There was a women there just beginning her chemo journey and her cancer required getting rads at the same time.  I think she was happy to meet someone like me who had survived both.  It is time to thank God and pat ourselves on the back.

    Janis:  Good luck with your appointments today.  I hope your burns will heal quickly.  My radiated breast is still swollen, too.  Wishing you an SE free experience with Arimidex.  Whenever I take the pill, I just remember its help in keeping me cancer free so that I can enjoy life and hopefully help others. 

  • justmejanis
    justmejanis Member Posts: 1,474
    edited October 2011
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    Thank you Elizabeth!  Your wonderful attitude just shines.  I feel the same way.  Whatever discomfort I am feeling now will pass.  I am on my way to a healthier tomorrow.  :)