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April 2021 Radiation

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panout
panout Member Posts: 33

Creating this group for those of us receiving radiation therapy in April

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  • castigame
    castigame Member Posts: 336
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    Strictly based on general sequence of treatments for this bleep, radiation is the last beating my sistes need to take in order to stay the hell away from the bleep for the next 50 yrs.

    A few reminders are.

    Radiation fatigue may be smaller than chemo fatigue but it could come harder and faster. many say protein drinks help.

    Keep the radiated area cool. It could be aloe gel soaked gauze pad or cool tea soaked ones.

    Those fancy machines are very finicky and could go out of commission suddenly. Try not to panic when that happens. I took it as a much needed break for me.

    Lastly, I understand it is easy for me to say bc I went thru it. Any types of cancer treatment radiations come with side effects such as potential lung damage. One way to minimize it is to do breath hold exercise. With any stop watch. I recommend holding breath as long as possible. For many of you the more you practice, the longer you will be able to hold breath.

    Please be gentle to yourself. Almost the end of the tunnel and you will be able to stay the bleep away for the next 50 yrs.

    Mimi who has been there.





  • panout
    panout Member Posts: 33
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    I had my mapping done today. Before the appointment, I was really curious what "mapping" was all about and didn't find a lot of details, so I'll share for anyone that is about to go through it.

    The appointment started out with them wanting me to give a urine sample so they could r/o pregnancy. I'm taking this as a great compliment as I have been post-menopausal for several years. They led me to the infamous "gowned waiting room" where there was a room to change into and a locker bank to store my stuff. Next time, I'll be smarter about keeping my phone with me and locking it up at the last minute. Once I was gowned, they let me know they had a male student with them today and they asked me if this was OK. That was perfectly fine with me, so I agreed.

    They led me to a room and explained the process. They told me that my body would be marked, and I insisted on no permanent marks. They agreed to make temporary marks that are covered with tape when I agreed to be very careful with them when showering.

    The room they took me to had a CAT scan type donut hole and had me lay on the table. I started in a supine position while they taped all kinds of wires to my body. Then, I switched to a prone position while they measured/adjusted/measured/adjusted for about 20 min. Finally, they all left the room and took images for about 5 min or so. Somewhere in the mix, they made a bunch of markings. That was it. Very anticlimactic.

    I will add that I got a little nauseated by the many table movements. I tend to motion sick very easily, so I think that's not likely to happen to anyone else.

  • Laurie27
    Laurie27 Member Posts: 1
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    Hi, I'm starting radiation on April 7th. I am a little concerned that my surgery was February 12th and that it seems like way too long between surgery and starting radiation. From what I see online, a month is more ideal. Anyone else wait almost 2 months?

  • dj1reno
    dj1reno Member Posts: 3
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    hello. I am on day 10 of radiation. I had my first surgery Dec 30th and my sentinel node surgery on Jan. 29th.

  • panout
    panout Member Posts: 33
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    Laurie - It will be 6 weeks for me between surgery and radiation. I think time between depends on 1) how you are healing and 2) their availiblility

  • hopeful2020
    hopeful2020 Member Posts: 80
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    Hello everyone,

    I am supposed to start on my radiation April 2021. I am not sure how this is going to be helpful so anyone has any thoughts.

    I had my lumpectomy surgery Oct 30 and just finished 6 rounds of TCHP Chemo. I meet with the radiation oncologist on Thursday. It's been 5 months and so what are they going to target? How do they determine the length of radiation? What kind of information do they get from the CT Scan?

    Please let me know. Thanks!


  • annlat
    annlat Member Posts: 25
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    Hi all. I am starting tomorrow. They told me this would be a "dry run" to check everything and positioning. I'm not sure how that is different from the mapping, but I will find out. They told me the rad therapy usually starts the following day. I am not looking forward to going to the office every day, but thankfully it's close to my house. Good luck everyone! Keep on keeping on!

  • panout
    panout Member Posts: 33
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    Good Luck AnnLat! Let us know how it goes.

  • annlat
    annlat Member Posts: 25
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    I had my dry run yesterday, and my first actual treatment today. For me, it wasn't bad at all. The dry run took a while because they were lining up things and drawing on me. But my actual treatment was under 10 minutes. I met with the rad onc today and will continue that once a week. 1/20 done!

  • panout
    panout Member Posts: 33
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    Yay AnnLat!! I'm glad to hear it was smooth sailing :)

  • Sweetie125
    Sweetie125 Member Posts: 6
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    Hi all, I went for my Simulation today and will go one more time for Imaging before my first radiation session. I am concerned about the length of time between surgery and rad also. It will be more than 7 weeks before my first treatment. I will have 20 sessions, with 16 covering full breast and 4 specifically targeting the original cancer site. It is all a little overwhelming at times, and I just want to be finished.

  • panout
    panout Member Posts: 33
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    Welcome sweetie125!

    I feel like this is the last leg of a long trip. Waiting to start radiation is like your last layover...I can't wait to be on the plane heading home!! I start on Monday.

  • annlat
    annlat Member Posts: 25
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    My surgery was 2/5 and I just started rad therapy this week. The doctor said this is fine. They want to be sure your incision is healed and you can hold your arms up. Rad therapy was not anywhere close to what I feared it would be. I am only there for about 20 min...that includes changing clothes. The actual treatment takes less than 10 min. Positioning takes longer than anything else. The breath holding part only lasts about 20 seconds. I was thinking it would be 2 min! You have to lay on the table with your breasts exposed, but I am getting used to my boobs being exposed! I have been using Eucerin on my skin 3 times a day. Hopefully I won't have much reaction on my skin. They said there is no correlation with how easily you sunburn, luckily.

    Panout, I know what you mean and I'm so glad to get this moving forward! I know i will still have a lot of doctor appts in the future, but that's ok with me.

    Stay as calm as possible and keep on fighting! We can do this!


  • Sweetie125
    Sweetie125 Member Posts: 6
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    Thanks for the encouragement, panout and annlat! I will do what needs to be done, but just am concerned with rads so close to my heart, being my left breast will be the focus. Guess holding your breath and finding a good cream will be the most important part in this.

  • panout
    panout Member Posts: 33
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    2 treatments done, 18 to go. So far, the most difficult part is the table moving so randomly... I’m fighting seasickness... without a horizon to focus on. Any tips

  • annlat
    annlat Member Posts: 25
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    Panout- yours must be different than mine. Once they get me positioned, the table doesn't move, just the linear accelerator.

  • panout
    panout Member Posts: 33
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    AnnLat - are you laying on your stomach (prone)? That's how they have me positioned.

  • annlat
    annlat Member Posts: 25
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    Panout- Oh, no I'm supine. We talked about prone, but the doctor thought for me it would be better supine. So I'm sure yours if different from mine. I just finished #7. I'm surprised how fast it is.


  • panout
    panout Member Posts: 33
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    The hard thing with prone is you can't SEE anything. It's all just sounds. Without any visual reference, the table movement as they are positioning is very weird. I'm sure it is just because I'm sensitive to motion. I'm sharing here for anyone like me who tends to get nauseous easily (iMax movies, MRIs, carsick) to have more information in the planning stages. If I had thought about this, maybe I could have scheduled radiation at a different place. The techs have suggested I load up on Dramamine prior to treatment, but I know from scuba diving from boats that dimenhydrinate/meclizine/ginger doesn't work for me.

    So far, there's one awesome tech who remembers to TELL me when they are moving the table...and then I can mentally "brace" for the motion.....its going well when she's there.

    I guess the standard is that you meet with the radiation oncologist each week. What's that like? So far, the treated breast has the start of a little "tan" but no problems yet!

  • dj1reno
    dj1reno Member Posts: 3
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    Hello. Yesterday was day 19 of radiation for me. I have to take today and Monday off due to redness and irritation. It is interesting that you mentioned feeling movement. I recently started feeling like the table was moving during treatment and I asked about it and they said it must be the feeling from the machine moving around me that the table wasn't moving during treatment. The ro sees how your feeling each week and to do a skin check. At least that's what mine does each week. Hope all goes well with you. It is a rollercoaster of emotions for sure.



  • panout
    panout Member Posts: 33
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    After 5 treatments, I have figured out the click sound that is the brake release on the table. Once I hear this, I know I'm going to move and it's been a HUGE difference in being able to know. All of you that are on a stationary table are SO LUCKY.

    25% done. Only 15 treatments left!

  • annlat
    annlat Member Posts: 25
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    I'm glad, panout, that you found a way to cope with the moving table! Maybe I am lucky to just lie there on my back. I finished my 8th treatment yesterday. So far, no skin issues...I'm using Eucerin 3 or more times a day. I was kinda tired yesterday, but I don't know if that has anything to do with the treatments. I'll talk to the doc at my weekly meeting on Tues. Have a great weekend!

  • Sweetie125
    Sweetie125 Member Posts: 6
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    Hi ladies, Enjoying the weekend respite from radiation treatments...kind of a mixed blessing, cuz I really just want to be finished! So far, so good. 2 out of 20 completed. No issues yet, and have been using lotion/Aquaphor 3 times a day. Been trying to increase my exercise/walking time every day, too.

    How is your radiation going??

    Stay strong!


  • Mememee
    Mememee Member Posts: 33
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    Hi Ladies.

    I am starting radiation around the 22nd of April. This is my second primary BC. I had a mastectomy and DIEP flap recon in 2017\2018. Has anyone else had a DIEP recon than had to do radiation? I am worried what rads will do the tissue. My plan is for 6 weeks of treatment everyday. My oncotype score was very low and chemo would have 0% effect on my cancer, so rads is my main treatment this go around.

    Starting to put a plan together for clothing - any suggestions on clothing that would be more comfortable? My super clavicle & axilla nodes are also getting rads.

    I wish none of us had to be part of the April 2021 club.

    For those who lie prone, was your mapping done in that position? My mapping was done while I was lying in my back. Panout - I also get motion sickness also from movies and boats, that sounds challenging experiencing that during treatment.

  • CristinaKL
    CristinaKL Member Posts: 3
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    Hi everyone, just had my mapping done today. It all went well and I’m going to have to get used to being exposed so much through all this. Definitely feels like an emotional roller coaster that I’m ready to be done with, yet still have a ways to go. Hoping time flies by

  • annlat
    annlat Member Posts: 25
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    Treatment #10 done yesterday! Half way through! Woo hoo! Hang in there ladies! Stay strong!


  • panout
    panout Member Posts: 33
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    AnnLat - Congrats on hitting the halfway milestone!! You'll be ringing that bell soon! :)

  • panout
    panout Member Posts: 33
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    Mememee - you asked about prone position and mapping. I was mapped in the prone position. I believe whatever your simulation position is exactly how you will receive treatment. It sounds like you are getting radiation to a larger area than I am, so I don't know what to recommend for clothing, try finding a few things that are 100% cotton, and are light (in weight) fabric and a bit loose, especially in the arm next to your treatment. Good luck!!


  • panout
    panout Member Posts: 33
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    ChristinaKL - As you get to know the radiation technologists, being exposed to them will likely become less and less uncomfortable. I've been on this adventure since October and by the time I'm done, I'll suspect I'll have a stripper's comfort level at being topless in a roomful of people.

  • dj1reno
    dj1reno Member Posts: 3
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    Has anyone experienced any side effects on the breast not getting radiation? I have a tender spot on my breast not being treated and I feel like it is swollen. I don't know if it is from radiation or if I need to actually ask my mo.