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November 2020 Radiation Group

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  • Poppy_90
    Poppy_90 Member Posts: 84
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    I haven’t checked in for a bit, hope everyone is doing well. I just wanted to share something my RO told me yesterday, which helped me a lot. I find the fatigue is really getting to me. He said going through radiation is like running on a track with a parachute on. At first, it’s not too hard, but as you continue to run the parachute keeps filling with air. The more air that gets into the parachute, the harder it is to run. With each treatment, a little more air is being added to the parachute making it harder to run. I felt like that completely nailed how I’m feeling, and thought I would share.

    Hope you are all are keeping well I’m at 16/35, so almost halfway there! Happy Thanksgiving to you all

  • kmom57
    kmom57 Member Posts: 178
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    Rang the bell. I'm finished. Came through with “minimal to no" skin reaction, so far anyway, so not scheduled for follow up til late January. I do have some discomfort swallowing. Not sore, more like a lump in the throat like things don't pass right. That's from the rad to the supraclavicular node. I guess they can't miss the esophagus. RO says it will pass quickly. I'll let you know if it does. But I'm done. Going home for Thanksgiving.

  • ladyc2020
    ladyc2020 Member Posts: 87
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    kmom- yay! I wonder if we all have slightly different areas effected? Depending on breast size, location of tumor ect.

    Kristen- I have struggled with fatigue hard this last week especially. Hoping it will all be gone very soon as I finish next week.

  • Poppy_90
    Poppy_90 Member Posts: 84
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    KMom—so happy for you! I know it’s hard in the covid world, but hope you can find a way to celebrate. When in doubt, I find cake is always a good option.

    LadyC, thanks for the reply. I’m so sorry you’re struggling with fatigue, too. I’m actually surprised at how hard it has hit me. I guess I went in thinking that since I had finished chemo, this would be easier than it is. You’re so close! Make sure to let us know when you ring the bell.

    Does anyone else tear up when they hear somebody else ringing the bell?? It can be a total stranger and the waterworks start.


  • kmom57
    kmom57 Member Posts: 178
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    Thanks Kristen and Lady! Kristen, yes I tear up too. Probably for the same reason everyone in the waiting room cheered loudly when I rang the bell. I suspect because every one of them knows first-hand just how much time, energy, fear, worry, struggle and strength it takes to get to that moment.

    And cake is a great idea!!!! Though I FaceTimed my 13 year old daughter so she could hear the bell ring, and seeing her jumping up and down was the best celebration.

    Lady, I’m sure location prob makes a difference. But in my case, they pretty much radiated everything. And I do mean EVERYTHING.

  • ladyc2020
    ladyc2020 Member Posts: 87
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    hi everyone, I had my last treatment today and feel great! Glad to be done. Am expecting a few more days of skin side effects to increase and then healing to start. I hope you ladies are all faring well 💕

  • hnsquared
    hnsquared Member Posts: 47
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    I’m curious if there is still anyone doing radiation or if you have all finished. I have 17 done and 8 left. I’m a little pink but it doesn’t hurt (I had a bilateral mastectomy so I don’t have any feeling anyway) and the skin is intact. Just wondering who is left and how everyone is fojng

  • redkitty815
    redkitty815 Member Posts: 18
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    I'm still going too! I am 19 down, 6 to go. The area is bright red and feels like a bad sunburn in the spots where I actually have feeling (under my arm). I have also had some weakness in that arm that my RO says is from inflammation and should resolve.

  • hnsquared
    hnsquared Member Posts: 47
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    Hey Redkitty....we are in the same place...getting close to done. If I remember correctly you are like me and direct to implant. Is your radiated foob holding up okay? They warned me the skin could tighten and the radiated side could sit a little higher. I’m hoping to keep the good outcome I had before rads started.

    Heather

  • kmom57
    kmom57 Member Posts: 178
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    Hi hnsquared and red kitty,, yes I’m still on the board. Finished with Rads, but checking in on y’all. I’m two weeks out from my last one. Had no real skin effects during rads, but they did build and get worse in the two weeks after. Intense itching in some areas. Like want to claw my skin, itching. Otherwise, ok. Hope y’all are ok.

  • hnsquared
    hnsquared Member Posts: 47
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    kmom57....thanks for checking in on us. I have 5 left. I’m pretty red but no discomfort or itching yet. I know they told me it could get worse for a week or two after. Did you have any blistering or breaking of the skin? I don’t so far but that’s what I’m worried about.

  • redkitty815
    redkitty815 Member Posts: 18
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    Hi Heather! I am also direct to implant and so far, so good an the foob front...the implant is staying soft and the two sides look about even. My skin is getting a little pissed though. I have tiny blisters on my side boob which the RO thinks may be friction blisters from wearing the wrong bra to work out. And I am super itchy. They gave me a zinc oxide to mix with aquaphor when the blisters start bursting to dry them out. 3 more to go!

  • kmom57
    kmom57 Member Posts: 178
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    Hnsquared, no, no breaking of the skin or blistering as of yet. Just pretty intense itching, rash of sorts, and a couple spots that are tender. Word of warning though....one of my areas that's very tender and angry happens to be exactly where the edge of my seat belt passes across my chest. I had not thought of that being an issue, so you might want to be aware and cautious about that. I keep my down coat on in the car now to pad it, but little too late perhaps.

  • hnsquared
    hnsquared Member Posts: 47
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    redkitty....glad your implant is staying soft and is doing okay. Mine is too so far...4 to go for me. Sorry you have angry skin...hope the zinc helps. My foob and armpit is super red but the skin is intact.

    Kmom57....I also have a rash. It’s not on my foob but on the area between my boobs and above my foob where the skin is thin over my bones and there’s not much fat. They told me it’s radiation dermatitis and fairly common. I’m using hydrocortisone cream it help with the itching. I’ve been using a small pillow since my bilateral mastectomy to keep my seatbelt from rubbing but I still have a rash.

    I can’t wait to get the last 4 done and then get through the couple of weeks after. Time to celebrate getting this behind us

  • redkitty815
    redkitty815 Member Posts: 18
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    I finished today!!!! They gave me a fancy certificate and I got a little teary eyed. The last couple treatments have been tough—I have babied my Celtic skin my whole life and it’s pissed! And the fatigue hit me like a ton of bricks over the weekend. Every task seems to take all my energy. So I am taking a little time to chill and ignore my to-do list and hoping to be on the upswing soon. Hnsquared-thinking of you as you finish

  • kmom57
    kmom57 Member Posts: 178
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    Redkitty!!! Yaayy!!!! Congrats!

  • hnsquared
    hnsquared Member Posts: 47
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    Redkitty....woo hoo!!!!! Congrats! So happy for you! I have two left and I’m not sure if my rads has a bell but if they do I’ll ring the bell out of it. Hopefully your skin doesn’t get too much worse before it gets better. I also hope your fatigue goes away quickly. Rest and take it easy you deserve it.

    I’m pretty red and just in the last day or so I’m having a little discomfort in the crease under my breast. The nurse looked at it today and thought I might have a little break in the skin there. They called in a script for silvadene so hopefully that helps and it doesn’t get too much worse.

  • Poppy_90
    Poppy_90 Member Posts: 84
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    Congratulations, Red Kitty!

  • kmom57
    kmom57 Member Posts: 178
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    hnsquared...one left now? Finished tomorrow?

    Redkitty, how are you today?

    My itching is subsiding. Still pink but I think it's starting to heal. My arm and chest is getting a bit tight though. My PT won't see me until after Xmas when the skin is totally healed. Trying to hang on to my hard won ROM


  • ladyc2020
    ladyc2020 Member Posts: 87
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    redkitty- congratulations! Feels awesome right??! I hope you start healing soon and don’t have long lasting effects 💕

    I’m 2 weeks out from being done and the fatigue has gone, and I had it pretty intensely. Maybe too soon for me to say this, but I think my skin was really badly effected and will never be the same. I’m ok with that.

  • hnsquared
    hnsquared Member Posts: 47
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    I’m done with radiation!!!! Woo hoo!!! I was so bummed my center doesn’t have a bell or do a certificate. I was looking forward of ringing the bell out of that bell 😁. I am really red on my breast and armpit but the skin seems to be intact. They gave me silvadene for the crease under my breast because it looked like there may be a slot where the skin was getting ready to break. I’m a little nervous about how much worse it will get in the next week or so. I also think my breast seems swollen which I guess isn’t surprising.

    I’m so glad it’s over and always thankful for your support

  • kmom57
    kmom57 Member Posts: 178
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    Woohoo!!!!!!! Congratulations!!!

  • Nor_Cal_TKD
    Nor_Cal_TKD Member Posts: 5
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    Hello Everyone - Better late to post here than never! I’ve read up on everyone’s status and appreciate the info and direct kindness! Tomorrow is my LAST of 32 radiation treatments (boost for the last 4)!!! I don’t think there’s a bell or anything at my RO center but that’s ok! 💯🙌🏻💯

    I am not on here very often .. I’ve been POOPED: worked in my special needs classroom all the way through rads treatment until just this Monday 12/18! Also, I had to keep myself away from too much online info of any kind due to struggles with anxiety when I read too much and get overwhelmed. My support system lacks and I have to watch my own limits. To be honest, my skin has REALLY suffered from the rads too. I’ve used Miaderm lotion and aloe vera gel all through treatment ... nothing else, as per my RO. I’m very fair skinned and now my left boob is dark reddish brown, nipple way oversized, funky concentric circle burn on areola, exposed new skin, and extremely sore and open cracks in armpit and sentinel node removal scar area. I’m fearing the after-effect next week when I’m told it will all feel worse...aaarrrggghhh :((

    Also, I’m pretty savvy with such things, but I’m never sure if I’m hitting the right ‘reply’ button and/or how to reply directly to someone’s post with the way the threaded conversation are displayed in these boards. 🤷🏻♀️

    My hugs to each of you ~ I’ll try to be better with posting more often!
    PS - what does IMF mean?
    PPS - my RIGHT breast mammogram last week showed a “seroma” at the 9/23/20 excisional biopsy site. I haven’t even really googled that yet. And then there’s Christmas. Ugh. Does the new stuff we have to learn about ever end? 🙄🤪

  • hnsquared
    hnsquared Member Posts: 47
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    welcome NOR CAL.... so sorry you are here with us but congrats on finishing rads!!!! I finished a week ago and like you my skin took a beating. My skin didn’t breakdown until the last 3 sessions and after. I’m reddish brown also. IMF is inter mammary fold or as I like to call it the under boob crease😂. That’s where my skin broke down and it’s just raw. It’s uncomfortable and I’m hoping it starts to turn around soon. They told me that things can get worse the week or two after rads finish but heal up fast. I’d love to know what fast is because I’m over this. I used aloe, Miaderm and aquaphor. They gave me silvadene to put on those raw areas. Fingers crossed it heals soon. I hope yours doesn’t get much worse. I’d ask if there is anything they can give you for the open areas.

    A seroma is a pocket of clear fluid that sometimes forms after surgery. I think it’s pretty common. I’m not the expert but I think the body often absorbs it or it can be drained...I don’t think it’s anything scary. Dr google is definitely dangerous for me too. After I got diagnosed before chemo started I had to ban myself from google😂.

    I’m glad you have winter break. My husband is a special education teacher and I’m a social worker. I also worked through all of it. I really didn’t get tired until I finished rads. I’m sure my body needs rest in order to heal this raw skin. I hope you can just rest, watch some movies or Netflix and let your body heal.

    Please don’t hesitate to reach out. I’ve gotten the best support from other women in the middle of this crap. Merry Christmas

  • Elledwriter
    Elledwriter Member Posts: 18
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    Hi Everyone! New to this radiation group. I finished my last chemo 2 1/2 weeks ago. Yay! Chemo was tough, but on my way to the next phase.

    I’m getting the mapping for radiation done on Wednesday next week. Then I’ll start 18 rounds.

    Any tips? I’ve heard from a couple of friends that have gone through this that it’s not too bad, I should expect to get tired towards the end.

    I’ll try and read through some postings, but tips will be much appreciated! Thanks!!

  • ladyc2020
    ladyc2020 Member Posts: 87
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    ElleD Congrats for finishing chemo 🙌🙌


    I think everyone has different experiences with radiation and side effects. Mine was surprisingly worse than I expected and I have lingering lymphadema now which I did not have prior.

    Advice - go braless, have a good aloe and another recommended product on hand all the time.

    It will be over before you know it!

  • kmom57
    kmom57 Member Posts: 178
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    ElleD, I don't really have any tips either. As LadyC said, it seems to be different for everybody. I had very little skin reaction until the week after my last treatment, and then it got a super itchy dermatitis that drove me crazy. But even that was more an annoyance than anything. I did not have fatigue. I had a couple days during it where I kept falling asleep mid day, but that could have been that by then I was just exhausted by the whole year long process. I never really got the fatigue I'd heard about. One piece of advice I do wish I'd had, if they are doing nodes, cushion the seat belt for a long time after. I did get a pretty uncomfortable inflamed spot right where the seat belt crossed my neck. Good luck! It was scary ut not nearly as bad as it was in my mind. You can do it!

  • racheldog
    racheldog Member Posts: 209
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    Had my simulation yesterday. The radiation onc said only cornstarch which sounds insane. How can a drying agent like cornstarch moisturize a breast that is being radiated??? I had purchased all the other recommended creams that others have used by their radiation doctors but cornstarch??? I can see dusting that under a breast where it touches the skin but only that. Any other comments?