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Radiation December 2018

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Comments

  • ghostie13
    ghostie13 Member Posts: 39

    After tomorrow's treatment I will be halfway through......just using Calendula, not even pink so far. I visited with the radiology doc after treatment today and she thinks the seroma will need to be drained again....😨.......I swear it's the never ending boob story.....

  • wised
    wised Member Posts: 184

    Purple cat and Cherry, I am having the same hot/cold symptoms. I thought it was because of the Anastrazole! It's causing a great deal of distress because I wear my hand knit fngerless mitts or gloves bc I've been having some painful neuropathy in my finger tips, but the sometimes cause me to have a blazing i nferno hot flash.

    Joytxs, you may not need to hold your breath. They had me hold it for 10 seconds during my CT scan during measurements, and the combo of my anatomy and tumor bed location made it unnecessary. If you need to do it, don't stress, the machine shuts off if you breathe andturns back on when you hold. You are safe.

    Alice, my mom was on tamoxifen for five years and had no problems with it. Your puppy is adorable.

    Egregious, I plan on healing, finding a new therapist, and moving on. I know I was really lucky to have the diagnosis and pathology that I do, so I plan on making the best of it.



  • pebblesv
    pebblesv Member Posts: 486

    I am loving all the dog pics posted, that’s a whole lot of cuteness! And now Domino and Tucker have company for cute pup pics in this forum lol.

    Joytxs - just wanted you to know that I also have a full rads schedule with radiation to my nodes as well, same reason... they never told me to do a breath hold. Sometimes I do it just because but I’m not obligayed to. I’m 27 out of 30 sessions done and my skin is faring really well considering so wanted you to know that it’s possible to have little to no side effects with a “full haul” of treatment!

    Today it rained and as you can see, Domino is not a fan of getting wet. Loopy

    image


  • DeeBB
    DeeBB Member Posts: 71

    Precious pups! Well, today is the end of week 1 and just a little swelling as of now but nothing major. No real redness, I am a little tired though. The fatigue seems to hit me at work about 1:00 or 2:00, I seem to be a little short of breath today as well. In the evenings kind of have the heavy head feeling but my dad has been here this week so visiting with him in the evenings has helped a lot.

    Joytxs: I hear you about the insurance part. I was hoping to be done by the end of the year but it looks like it will go into the first week of January. Deductibles and out of pocket start over, uggh.

    Hope everyone has a good weekend! I think tonight will be a great night for some wine Winking

  • Cherryi3
    Cherryi3 Member Posts: 45

    Dee, yes! The heavy head! I thought it was my imagination. I go at 1:45 every day and feel fatigued right around 4-5. Finally got a good sleep last night but super weird-ass dreams.

    To all you Xmas Rads Friends out there, TGIF! Two days off yay! Cheers Dee

  • egregious
    egregious Member Posts: 145

    Hi Joytxs,

    I think those of us who have left-side treatment have to hold our breath. The purpose is to move the heart out of the way of radiation.

    Right-side people can just breathe regularly.

  • DeeBB
    DeeBB Member Posts: 71

    Cherryi3: I'm waiting on the weird ass dreams, it's seems whenever I'm really tired I always have crazy dreams. It'll be nice sleeping in tomorrow.

  • wised
    wised Member Posts: 184

    Cherryi3, I've had some weird ass dreams as well.

    Egregious, my heart is low enough that I don't have to do the gated breathing. Plus my tumor bed/incision is at the top of my smallish breast, so they determined during my mapping session that my heart was out of the way of radiation.

    Pebbles, your dogs have the sweetest expressions!

  • DeeBB
    DeeBB Member Posts: 71

    Joytxs: Originally they thought they were going to have me lay on my stomach for radiation (mine is left side) but after the RO looked at the films, she said I could did it laying on my back and I don't have to hold my breath (thank goodness). I guess it all depends on how you are lined up and what area of the breast.

  • purplecat
    purplecat Member Posts: 226

    *waves at everyone, especially the adorable dogs*

    Cherry, I've been having a lot of dreams too. Not bad, just complex and detailed and vivid.

    Just finished my first week. No redness so far, but feeling a bit sore and swollen in the same areas that were sore after SNB surgery. I've been using aloe after my morning shower and then re-applying in the changing room immediately after treatment.

    It's Friday, so I get a two-day break. Hope you all do too!


  • egregious
    egregious Member Posts: 145

    Hi all,

    A two day break sounds mighty fine here. I was extra crabby today, probably pent-up anger at just having cancer intrude into my life.

    There was a different team helping me today and the one telling me to breathe and hold my breath was soft-spoken. I have trouble hearing sometimes even with hearing aids, and it was hard over the loud noise of the machinery to hear what she was saying. Finally I told myself, they can only say hold your breath or start breathing again, you'll figure it out.

    Nine more to go. Soooo tired by mid-day. I was too tired to get my walk today. Skin is holding up, using gobs of moisurizer/miaderm three times a day.

    Grateful to have you all here to share how things are going. It gets hard sometimes. Rejoicing in having a weekend off!

  • alicebastable
    alicebastable Member Posts: 1,937

    Hello all December ladies - just a reminder to STAY HYDRATED! I saw my MO yesterday, and got a call today that I'm dehydrated and need to really increase my fluid intake. I have to go back next week for another blood draw because of this. They may be overly cautious because I had kidney cancer this year and now I've just got one. But I looked up the symptoms of dehydration and some of them are symptoms that we get during radiation, like tiredness and fuzzy brain. DRINK YOUR WATER!

  • purplecat
    purplecat Member Posts: 226

    Regarding the water, I'm working on developing a new habit. Each morning I pour a large (12-16 ounce) mug of water, heat it in the microwave to a comfortable temperature, and just glug it down while waiting for my coffee to brew. I'm trying to remember to do it again at lunchtime and then mid-afternoon. I've never been great at remembering to sip water throughout the day, and it's not always convenient to carry a water bottle around, but these regular large doses are working for me.

  • Spoonie77
    Spoonie77 Member Posts: 532

    <waves hello> Here's hoping everyone is enjoying a peaceful, calm, healing weekend. Cheering you all on as you are another day closer to the end of RADs.

    I have been really battling tons of pain this week. The RADs fibrosis and breast lymphedema is bad.

    I'm feeling more upset about the fact no one mentioned these risks to me before I began, not that it would've changed my mind, but maybe there would've been something I could've done to prevent this from being a rest of my life thing. Ugggh. Le Sigh.

    Anyway, even though my treatments finished up on Halloween, here I am.

    This week was rough going. My breast was huge, heavy, painful, and pitted (just like it was in radiation) from the swelling. Feels like I'm still going to treatments again.

    Saw my PT yesterday for my bi-weekly therapy.

    I'm now in the "know" of how to do a few basics regarding lymphatic massage drainage treatment so I can do them once a day at home, 20-30 mints, in order to manage my pain and symptoms in between PT visits. Also, since I continue to have a hard time wearing the breast Swell Spot, we're tabling it as it is just too aggressive of therapy for me at the moment. Instead, she's given me "spaghetti foam", cut to my size, to wear as often as I can with my compression sports bra

    It's basically an intermediate step between my compression bra alone and the compression bra + Swell Spot. She's hoping with this addition I can, in a month or so, work up to wearing the more aggressive form of therapy (Swell Spot) for longer periods of time.


    image

    image

    At least I know this is all making a difference. When I leave PT my symptoms are so much better, pain is reduced, and I feel more like me. She told me that she can tell there's been an improvement in my adhesions and the rigidity of my tissue. So the good fight is worth fighting, right? :)

    Anyway, sorry to have been rambling, but I'm kind of feeling down and wishing I didn't have this to deal with but I do. Reality. Thanks for letting me whine. Hopefully none of you will end up needing this kind of therapy down the road. Wishing you all the happy skin and tanness I can! :)

  • salamandra
    salamandra Member Posts: 736

    I'm so tired!

    I had my first three radiation sessions this past week. Yesterday and today around 5pm i really needed naps. I have never in my life been a napper (I still remember a very frustrating sense of injustice at the napping 'rankings' we would get in kindergarten), so I think this must be the fatigue.

    My breast is also pink and the RO noted at my regularly scheduled check in on Friday that my chest is flushed too. Which seems very odd though he didn't seem actually concerned.

    Looks like I will not be one of those women who sails through radiation without SEs.

    I've been riding my bike to appointments and hope to keep that up as long as it's not snowing/raining, so I'm getting exercise like they recommended for fatigue. And I'm using the steroid cream and recommended non-Rx lotion faithfully. It's not actually painful, just red. Hopefully it doesn't get much worse than this...

  • Cherryi3
    Cherryi3 Member Posts: 45

    Salamandra, I’ve been following your posts as we have similar diagnoses and treatments at the same time. Tried to Xmas shop today but petered out early and didn’t accomplish much. good for you with the biking!!! I’m going on elliptical if it’s too snowy to run. I’ll be on AI not tamox like you. I’m following the opting out thread for HT and plan to get more involved in lifestyle changes as bone loss could be a deal breaker for me.

  • dani444
    dani444 Member Posts: 215

    Ok, I definetly need to stay more hydrated. I am going to get into a routine, so I will get in a better habit. I just don't think about it.

    Spoonie, I hate it for you that you are struggling with the breast lymphedema, and that you still feel like you are still in treatments because of the SE. I hope your therapy continues to help. I have a list of lymphedema exercises I am supposed to do 3-5 times a day. I am not sure if I can even do them once on days I work. I do rads at 215 then into work from 3p-3a. Do you have to wear the compression 24/7 ? Whine, vent, yell, all day long if you feel like it Spoonie that is what we are here for.

    Salamandra, great job on the biking! I am glad that your skin is not painful but I can understand why you are worried. I have only had two sessions. The only thing I have noticed is in the evenings after the tx my scar line from where my drain came out is really puffy, but then seems resolved by morning. I can hardly stand my bra to be against it though.

    I started back to work on Friday and only worked a partial shift so I could go to our work Christmas party. I don't want to bore you further but lets just say I was hit with some emotions I wasn't expecting and barely made it to the car when the tears hit. I miss the old me.

    We will keep on keeping on right???

  • egregious
    egregious Member Posts: 145

    ((((gentle hug for Dani)))) Yes we will keep going!

  • wised
    wised Member Posts: 184

    Salamandra, I turned pink right away after my first session. I'm just now starting to have some side effects like pain in my armpit Etc. But my skin is holding up well so yours should too.

    Spoonie, super gentle hugs for you. 💓

    Dani, it's super hard to remember who and what we were before we got the shock and fright of our lives. We were so much more care free! I think we will approach that place again, but with a healthier appreciation for life. It's ok to grieve, but with the knowledge that we will have a good life again once we finish and recover from treatment. Hugs to you, dear lady.

    Cherie, I hope you are able to stay on the AI. The lifestyle changes you are making are fantastic. I read that except for the treatment we have, exercise is the best way to prevent a recurrence.

    Ok, I have to get on some sort of exercise plan! I only have 2 more treatments, thank God, my armpit is red and so tender. I'm swollen and I still had swelling from the lumpectomy, so still have a headache in my breast. All in all, it's ok, this is totally doable, I just throw a little pity party now and then. It's hard having two cancers and a hysterectomy in 3 years. I want my life back!

  • dani444
    dani444 Member Posts: 215

    Wised, cheering you on for the home stretch! Throw a pity party if you need to! This damn cancer “journey” sucks. And you are a bada** if you ask me, that is a lot to go through. (Sorry my filter for my cursing seems to be weakened lately😂.)

    I do hope your pain starts to lessen quickly in the weeks following your completion. Have they given you a timeline of when to expect some relief? Sending healing thoughts as you finish up this portion of treatment!!

  • grandmaadams
    grandmaadams Member Posts: 39

    Hi ladies - Just a suggestion. I finished my radiation treatment on October 31st and have healed well. My biggest skin issue with rads was the crease under my right DDD breast. Besides staying lubricated and hydrated, I applied Neosporin with pain relief to the crease several times a day. My side effects weren't severe and the Neosporin kept the discomfort manageable until I started healing. One thing that surprised me a little was that the skin in the crease continued to darken after treatment was over, then I actually pealed (including the nipple and areola) when the skin started healing. The nurse told me the reaction wasn't unusual. Good luck to all.

  • salamandra
    salamandra Member Posts: 736

    Thank you all so much for the encouragement!

    Wised, it's great to hear that even though you got pink fast, it wasn't an omen that everything would get terrible. I've already been catastrophizing.

    Friday evening I had a funny surprise. I had the door open for my kitty and another guest came in and made himself at home. The super helped me get him out. Not as much fun as bring-your-dog-to-radiation, but pretty neat.

    image

    I brought my cat over to the neighbors while we dealt with it. There, she cowered and hissed in fear at the tiny kitten IN A CRATE. She is such a wuss. I don't see how I'll ever be able to get a dog. Sigh

  • Spoonie77
    Spoonie77 Member Posts: 532

    Wised -- Good luck on your last two treatments! Hang in there. Sending encouragement and gentle hugs!

    Dani - I hear ya on wanting to find the "old" us. Le Sigh. I agree with Wised, that with time, we'll get to a place where not everything seems so emotional or unstable or worrisome....it's hard in the moment, but eventually we will get there again, with a new perspective on the things that perhaps matter more now, given what we've been through. At least that's how it's been for me on my Spoonie life. There's a grieving process, denial, and all that "fun" stuff, but eventually we find our "spot" again. Sending support. The emotional rollercoaster is a hard part of this for sure.

    Salamandra -- Hope you were able to recharge a bit over the weekend. The fatigue sure does sneak up on us! I became a regular napper in the afternoons during RADs. Took about 2 weeks after txts ended until my energy started returning to pre-RADs levels. I'm impressed that you are biking! That's awesome. But don't feel too bad or be hard on yourself if you need to rest or nap. Your body is talking to you. Listen when you can.

    Purplecat -- Awesome on getting the big chugs of hydration down! IMO it's not how often there's water, just that it's going in at quantities that are needed. :) That's one thing I've never been good at, though I tried very hard to drink at least a gallon during RADs. Keep up the good work!

    AliceBastable -- Good thing your dr is on top of the hydration issue. Did they order blood work weekly from the beginning or was it ordered as a one time thing? I wonder, does anyone else have labs done during RADs? Mine never did. Hmmm. Another difference in centers or maybe like you mentioned, due to your kidney cancer Alice? Thanks for sharing and I sure hope your labs are good this week!

    Egregious -- Hang in there! Wishing you luck on your last 9. Fingers crossed your skin continues to hold up! :)


    Thanks for the hugs everyone. They're appreciated.

    To answer your question Dani, I'm supposed to wear the compression "noodles" as often as I can to break up the Fibrosis and tissue adhesions, plus to move the Lymph around as well to manage swelling. My goal is about 6 hours a day this week. It's painful but needs to be done. At least the "noodle" foam is less aggressive than the Swell Spot was so it's doable. Next week I'll try for 8 hours a day.

    So thankful to have this place to come as it seems so many in my circle just don't seem to care or are too busy to check in or listen to my struggles anymore. Sad but true. Anyone else experiencing this?

    Also, found out this weekend that my cousin, on my dads side, who had a BMX 14 years ago at Stage I, got the bad news call....a recurrence, stage III. Not sure what her treatment plan is but kinda feel punched in the gut. A reminder that even if we do everything just right and follow everything that's asked of us, it's no guarantee. :(

    Hang in there ladies. We'll get through this together. Sending hugs and healing....


  • alicebastable
    alicebastable Member Posts: 1,937

    Oh, Spoonie, I'm so sorry to hear about your cousin. 😞

    I don't get tested all that frequently. I had the appointment set with MO before my final radiation was set, so we both thought I'd be done before now. They're just keeping on top of the hydration issue now. And I have to go back again in late January, giving me enough time to be on Tamoxifin for four weeks after the shortb break she said I could take after rads. It's kind of confusing, sometimes I'm a breast cancer patient with kidney issues; other times I'm a kidney cancer patient with breast issues. I'm just glad my MO stays on top of both. It's funny, even before my mammogram, my PCP had referred me to this MO for losing weight too fast and a screwy white blood count. Then the whole boob extravaganza started and I changed that appointment to include both problems. Then when she sent me for a chest CT a few days before surgery, because at that time I was a smoker, the kidney cancer showed up. So she's been like an air traffic controller keeping on top of it all.

  • ghostie13
    ghostie13 Member Posts: 39

    Treatment #9 down.....7 to go. Still no redness, some swelling and keeping an eye on this seroma.....blah.....so sick of this crap....

    A question.....we are suppose to be using aluminum free deodorant. Has anyone found one that actually works? I ordered a brand called Native. Smells great in the applicator, not so great in the pits...... and is this forever now, the no aluminum thing??

  • wised
    wised Member Posts: 184

    Hi ghostie, my RO said NO deodorant... I think it can cause more irritation. that being said I've seen some people on this board that say they are allowed to use Tom's deodorant. I just finished treatment 15 out of 16, and my underarm area is burnt enough that I would not be able to roll or spray any sort of deodorant on it at this point. But if your RO says that it is okay, try it out and if you get too irritated you can always stop.

  • ghostie13
    ghostie13 Member Posts: 39

    Wised...Only using it on the unaffected side....but doesn't work well. I work in a nursing. home and feel bad for those patients that i need to learn over to help reposition etc.....who wants a stinky nurse??!

  • egregious
    egregious Member Posts: 145

    Halfway home.

    Eight down, eight to go. Today was pretty easy, except for the whole "I'd rather not go" part.

    Last Friday was really hard. Little things went off track, different machine, different team, couldn't hear what they were saying, so so so tired and angry about having cancer in the first place. Maybe there is an anger equivalent to having a good cry. I kept it all inside until we got home, then proceeded to feel quite sorry for myself.

    Today I was determined not to let little things get to me. That was a good plan. Four more this week, four more next week. I can do this.

  • pebblesv
    pebblesv Member Posts: 486

    Ditto Wised on my RO saying no deodorant as well. Also for whatever reason I also had a seroma which “dispersed" now that I'm nearing the end of radiation treatment. Not sure if it was radiation or just time that helped with that but ghostie13 it happened so there's a light at the end of the tunnel on that!

    AliceBastab - how long of a break are you allowe to take between rads and tamoxifen? I meet with my onc on Friday to discuss and would love to know.

    Spoonie - I love all the info you always provide! You are the research queen. I hope this week has been more healing for you.

    Salamandra - OMG that raccoon! 🤪👍 On a non bc related issue, our rescue Tucker was not good with other dogs at all, and now look at him with Domino. Maybe there's hope your cat can coexist with a dog?

    Egregarious - Yes you can do this! Think after this week, that will be 4 more checked off. Cheering you (and all of us!) on to the finish line. I totally understand about not wanting to go - today I didn't want to make the drive, but then I thought I would regret that later, so I went, glad to check one more off.

    Anyways I'm 29 of 30 sessions through today and skin is itchy but good. Aloe vera, Miaderm, now adding Aquaphor and staying hydrated, plus staying positive with this little one coming to treatments with me seems to help minimize side effects (oh and I do light arm exercises to try and avoid the risk of lymphedema too). I totally get that side effects can still happen after rads and still happen even if you're doing everything you can. Just wanted to share what's working for me in case it helps anyone as I seem to be skating through this relatively well.

    Today's Domino update and one pic with Tucker (the rescue who initially could not be around other dogs) being absolutely amazing with his “little sisters" Domino and Kit Kat (the sweetest of the sweetie pies who crossed the rainbow bridge in March and whom I still miss everyday)

    image

    image


  • purplecat
    purplecat Member Posts: 226

    Pebbles, Thanks for the Domino picture! I think that was the first time I’ve smiled all day.😊

    I asked my nurse today about deodorant, and she said it was fine to wear it. She said that a double-blind study had shown it didn’t increase irritation. Funny how all of our treatment centers are different on this!

    I am in full “don’t want to do this” mode. Just gloomy and anxious again. It’s probably because a very good friend had a callback today and I’m waiting to hear her results. Her diagnostic mammogram would have been in the same building as my radiation treatment today, on a different floor, and I wondered if I might even run into her.