Come join others currently navigating treatment in our weekly Zoom Meetup! Register here: Tuesdays, 1pm ET.
Fill Out Your Profile to share more about you. Learn more...

Starting Radiation October 2021

Options
123457

Comments

  • serendipity09
    serendipity09 Member Posts: 769
    edited November 2021
    Options

    LW- I feel it in my armpit. It gets very tight and, but I can tell the difference between the tightening of the skin and the cording. Luckily I didn't/haven't developed lymphedema. I pray it stays that way.

    Probably best to steer away from PT right now as you never know what the condition of your internal tissue.

    I bet that drive gets tiring, I know I was sick of driving the 15 minutes to/from towards the end, can't imagine anything more.

    Have a great day!

  • NatureYogi
    NatureYogi Member Posts: 135
    edited November 2021
    Options

    Hello all,

    Hope everyone is doing well, I've got two boosts left! Part of my upper chest is healing, but by my underarm, it is tight. Had to go to Oncologist for blood work and port flush, sitting in chemo room brought back some memories. That was hard going through chemo, surgery was more tolerable, radiation tiring that we go everyday, and skin gets burned and sore. We have all gone through a lot and endured SE's. Someone rang the bell today, I was happy for them and excited that on Wednesday it would finally be my turn. I'm seriously thinking about resigning from my job of 13 years and taking a break for healing, rest and some travel. The stress the job has caused me over the years is not worth it and when I'm ready I'll find something low key. With the Triple Negative Inflammatory Breast Cancer bomb I received earlier this year, I need to go have fun and truly enjoy life.

    Hope you are all feeling ok and getting closer to your finish line!

  • Rubytoos
    Rubytoos Member Posts: 44
    edited November 2021
    Options

    Nature Yogi, I think head space is super important. To the degree one can, being happy and engaged, mitigating stress, is probably one of the best things you can do for yourself. A cancer diagnosis is very much akin to dropping a bomb, and so much changes over night. If you have the resources to take a break, and that is what you want to do, you should go for it. Let's face it--most people's bucket list does not include spending more time at the office...

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 7,911
    edited November 2021
    Options

    Hi All,

    Chiming in to invite you to our Zoom Meet-up for people in treatment. Here is the information in case you are interested Medicating

    It's held every Tuesday at 1:00pm ET but you only register once.

    Today at 1:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

    Register in advance for this meeting:

    https://breastcancer-org.zoom.us/meeting/register/...

    After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

    Warmly,

    The Mods

  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,399
    edited November 2021
    Options

    Hey y'all. I had written a long post last night but the forum glitches must have wiped it out. I'm glad that most of you are doing well.

    I can't believe I'm down to 4 boosts left!! I have to say, this process has been tedious but really did go quickly. I still have not had any significant SEs; my skin is pink but not painful at all. I'm still not using any creams or lotions and don't plan to unless my skin starts to hurt. I'm keeping up my stretches and strength exercises, though.

    Hang in there; we are getting close to the end!

  • NatureYogi
    NatureYogi Member Posts: 135
    edited November 2021
    Options

    Thank you Rubytoos! LW-I think MD Anderson is on to something, not using creams and you are doing so well! Tomorrow is it for me, I know it will be an emotional day. Thursday we are leaving for North Carolina mountains, hiking, relaxing, cold weather!

    Have a great evening!

  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,399
    edited November 2021
    Options

    How exciting, NatureYogi!! One more and done! I'm so happy for you, and I hope you have a wonderful time in the mountains. Have you noticed if the boosts made your skin any more red? I've only had one so I'm wondering what to expect.

    I think once I get all the stickers and stuff off after treatment I'll be using moisturizing cream on dry areas and the scar. That's "assuming" my skin doesn't get much worse!!

    Hope everyone's doing OK.

  • serendipity09
    serendipity09 Member Posts: 769
    edited November 2021
    Options

    Ruby - it's so important to do what you feel best for you! And you're absolutely right, spending time in an office is definitely not on my bucket list. Whatever you decide,I wish you nothing but the best.

    Nature - Last one!! I hope you have a wonderful time on your trip!

    LW - by the time you read this you'll be down to only three more! Time sure did go quickly.

  • pamep
    pamep Member Posts: 66
    edited November 2021
    Options

    Last in, last out. I have 5 more sessions to go, ending next Wednesday. A little pink, especially around the sentinel node excision scar, but basically fine.

    For those of you who are not estrogen receptor positive, is this it for you for active treatment, excepting follow-ups with doctors? If so, sounds great. You can get back to your lives, hopefully not too stressed by all the cancer chapters. NatureYogi, your plans seem terrific. LW, ring that bell and skin be well. Serendipity, I hope your ROM improves. I agree that 'I'm glad I did it as it does give me peace of mind in that the beast was blasted to high hell and hopefully gone forever." Rubytoos, my hypo-fractionated buddy. You haven't posted your diagnosis, but I believe you had lumpectomy followed by radiation, which was my route too. Will I meet you on the hormone blocker side of discussion once your skin clears up. Taking hormone blockers for years sounds worse than radiation!

    What a strange trip this has been and is, and the path is so beaten down. Who woulda thought...

  • NatureYogi
    NatureYogi Member Posts: 135
    edited November 2021
    Options

    I'm done and I rang that bell 3 times! Looking back, this really went quick. LW-for the boosts, I am not red at all in that area. I am starting to heal, just a little sore.

    I will still have check ups for awhile, but hopefully this it it!

    You guys are almost there!

  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,399
    edited November 2021
    Options

    Pam, those last 5 will go FAST! Then we can all put this in our rearview and move on. This will be the end of treatment for me. Since I had pCR with chemo my MO said I'm done with treatment which is fine with me. This has been a very long 10 months! I will have followups with him every 3 months for 2 years, then every 6 months.

    Congrats, NatureYogi!! You did it! I won't be ringing the bell; I'm not much on that and I didn't ring the chemo bell, either. The chemo nurses gave me a little brass handbell in a box and told me to ring it with my family. Enjoy your trip.

    The only problem area I have is my armpit; it's a little tender and is redder than my chest. I found that putting some cornstarch in a sock (lol) and "dusting" my armpit helps; it keeps the skin from sticking together under there. I see my RO tomorrow for the last visit and she said she would load me up with a goodie bag; I assume with creams "just in case."

  • serendipity09
    serendipity09 Member Posts: 769
    edited November 2021
    Options

    Pam - things are not done for me unfortunately. I was supposed to start Xeloda yesterday, but it's on pause for the moment while we are dealing with another issue that came up at my appointment with MO yesterday.

    Nature - congrats on being done!!

    LW - one more!!! How exciting! I'm so happy for all of you and I'm very glad that it was all tolerable for you as well. Now to be gentle and kind to yourselves and heal.

    My best to you all. Have a great night!

  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,399
    edited November 2021
    Options

    Serendipity--I'm sorry that another issue has cropped up and I hope that it's nothing concerning. Hugs to you and positive thoughts coming your way.

    I had my last "weekly see" with my RO today. I really like her but I'm not sorry that I won't be seeing her again, lol. She sent me home with a goodie bag of gel bandage stuff, Mepilex, and another tube of cream in case I need them. She said if I have any problems or concerns I can call her anytime.

    My skin is still holding up OK; a bit tender under the arm and still pink. All in all it hasn't been bad at all and I'm hoping I won't have any unpleasant surprises. I have 2 more treatments and will be done on Monday.

    I hope everyone is doing OK.

  • serendipity09
    serendipity09 Member Posts: 769
    edited November 2021
    Options

    LW - I had a "blemish" appear overnight about a week ago. Luckily I had my appointment with the MO already scheduled for Tuesday. She took one look at it and called the BS and asked her to do an emergency biopsy. It looked exactly like the blemish that appeared that turned out to be a recurrence back in July. I thought maybe it had something to do with rads, but my skin had healed completely, and again, it popped up overnight. Everything went so fast; it was like tunnel vision. I remember walking to the BS office with my son and was crying uncontrollably. I was inconsolable. My BS did call me about an hour ago and said that it was negative and that it was a ruptured cyst, thank God. I'm scheduled for a PET Scan, just to make nothing has spread and Brain MRI as I started having headaches early on during radiation and they haven't gone away. I will attribute the headaches to the stress of everything as well as the change weather, but will at least have the peace of mind of having the scans confirm nothing else is going on.

    Needless to say I was terrified. Thank you for the hugs and positive thoughts, they're really appreciated.

  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,399
    edited November 2021
    Options

    Oh, Serendipity--I'm so sorry you had such a scare; my heart hurts for you. I don't blame you for crying; you have been through so much and having to deal with more crap is just devastating. I'm glad to hear that the blemish was a non-issue and I'm praying that your scans will be clear. I've had the PET and the brain MRI; they are easy but work on the nerves while you wait for results. I hope you can relax a bit; bless you.

    Oh... and I was going to say that I have had headaches since starting radiation, too. I also have dry eye which is unusual for me. I'm not sure if any of it is related or just coincidental. Hugs!

  • pamep
    pamep Member Posts: 66
    edited November 2021
    Options

    Serendipity, I am happy and relieved for you that it was a cyst! Empathy and love and hugs!

  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,399
    edited November 2021
    Options

    Hello all; hope you are all doing well and healing. I'm down to the wire with ONE MORE TO GO on Monday!! Hooray! There were two "bell ringers" in my group today; everyone was so happy for them.

    Serendipity--I hope you're feeling OK; wish I could give you a big hug. Do you know when the scans are scheduled?

    Have a great weekend, everyone.

  • serendipity09
    serendipity09 Member Posts: 769
    edited November 2021
    Options

    Thank you Pam! I am so relieved.

    LW - ONE MORE...WOOOHOOO!!

    Like I said everything just happened so quickly. I was able to get PET Scan done this morning at 6am :/ was supposed to have MRI done right after, but of course, the machine broke down. So I they were able to get me in at another hospital in another county at 3pm today. PET scan came back clear, now just need to wait on results for MRI. My headaches don't want to ease up and while in the MRI I had a very bad one. Praying that it's just residual side effect of radiation.

    Have a wonderful and restful Friday night!


  • Rubytoos
    Rubytoos Member Posts: 44
    edited November 2021
    Options

    PamEp--I keep neglecting to update my profile. My diagnosis is so weird and complicated I could write a book. But the long and the short of it is that I am currently dealing with IDC/Papillary breast carcinoma that should have been a "good actor" but hasn't been. My cancer was found but not reported by my imaging center even though I literally drew a map and complained of pain in that area (they found it, measured it, and commented on it, but then told me nothing was there). When it finally was formally diagnosed, was still very early. Was under treated and it recurred, along with the same weird pain, but was initially thought to be a cyst. I had to insist on a biopsy and then it became a 911. I had a lumpectomy but no other treatment the first go round. So I have had lumpectomy (originally), and most recently an incisional biopsy (bad margins), lumpectomy (satellite tumors, atypia, and bad margins), followed by a mastectomy a few weeks later (no residual cancer or atypia to everyone's surprise), and then rads and soon tamoxifen. I don't dread the latter at all. I understand it may even be protective of bone loss and some other things and there is some indication that it can be titered to a lower dose. I do plan to mosey on over to whichever thread discusses these things. So I do need to add my diagnosis, but I still get so mad when I think about it, and want to move past that first. I try not to think about it right now and just concentrate on treatment, being positive. Which mostly works for me :).

    Wow Serendipity--How terrifying for you. I would not have been able to hold it together in your shoes either. Your reaction was totally understandable. You had such a rough go of it with radiation and everything that led up to it. I have had headaches since radiation, too, and had it not been for the fact I had body scans last summer I would be worried myself. But in my case it is very likely the acute angle I had to hold my head throughout the planning and actual process. My set up always took a fair amount of time so I was on the table for awhile before treatment began. I am optimistic that your headaches are a byproduct of the stress and strain of the treatments.

    Hoping the best for everyone.

  • serendipity09
    serendipity09 Member Posts: 769
    edited November 2021
    Options

    Ruby - wow you've had quite an ordeal! For them to have found something, yet not report it?! I would've lost it! Not that it was going to help anything, but who does that? I'm sorry you had to endure that {hugs}

    I literally walked across the hospital lobby to the BS' office sobbing.I wondered, after the fact, what other's must have thought. My poor son was trying to be strong, but I could see the worry in his face and so I came out of the biopsy with my game face. He's had to deal with my whole situation pretty much on his own, all while studying full time and working part-time. I just thank God, that the biopsy and PET Scan came back clear and pray the MRI will too.

    My body needs time to recoup and it has not been given the opportunity. My head had to be at an angle as well, so I agree with you that the headaches are SE's and the stress of all of it.

    Have a great Saturday!

  • pamep
    pamep Member Posts: 66
    edited November 2021
    Options

    Rubytoos, Your story is a hard one. Thank you for sharing. Your determination for proper treatment was met with what sounds like medical insouciance, to put it lightly. This is a familiar issue, that we have to advocate for ourselves when confronted with misinformation or sequential rather than team approach. Not all of us have major breast cancer centers available for our care (although you say left home to stay close to one for radiation therapy) and we share MOs and ROs with all sorts of cancers and specialties. Some of us fall through the cracks with treatment timelines. This has happened to me as well, but given my "lesser" diagnosis, I hope not to have such upsetting consequences.

    Anyway, upward and onward for all of us. You sound like your situation has improved. I am on tamoxifen and find it tolerable with minimal SEs. The only thing lacking is an endrometrial/uterine US baseline that my MO did not think necessary.

    Wednesday is my last RADS day. Skin is fine except for some redness under my arm.

    Best to all.


  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,399
    edited November 2021
    Options

    Hello everyone; hope you're on the road to recovery and feeling well. Tomorrow is my LAST boost, and the end to my 11-month treatment. A little scary since the past year has been filled with appointments, scans, treatment, surgery, emotional upheaval, etc... you all know the drill! Now I'll be pretty much on my own except for the 3-month checkups with my MO.

    It has been a blessing to tread this path with other wonderful people who understand and for a brief time shared their lives with me. Thank you all so much, and I wish for the very best outcome for all of us.

    I'm still doing well...not too much redness but my underarm is bothersome. I found that a dusting of cornstarch helps with that skin-on-skin irritation. I'm hoping that this will be the worst of it, but my RO said that at about day 5 after treatment ends will be the "peak" of after-effects which makes me nervous. I was also advised to begin using moisturizing creams tomorrow since all the tapes and marker stuff can come off.

    Take care of yourselves and have a good week.

  • serendipity09
    serendipity09 Member Posts: 769
    edited November 2021
    Options

    LW - LAST ONE! I'm happy for you. Hopefully now you can heal and put this part behind you (although, can any of us put something like this behind us, ever?)

    I hope that the redness in your underarm does not become more bothersome, and if it does, may it only be minimal and very short lived.

    Thank you for all your kind words and encouragement throughout, you have been a blessing to me. Having somewhere to go with others who understand, was very helpful for me.

    Wishing you all the best!

  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,399
    edited November 2021
    Options

    Hey October 2021 Radiation Team! I'm happy to announce that I have graduated and I'm still standing! Got to ring out that bell this morning and I was surprised at how emotional it was to walk out of there, but I'm so glad I don't have to go back!!

    Serendipity--I can't tell you how much you have helped me along the way with your kindness and willingness to bolster others while going through this horror yourself. You are such a sweetheart and I am blessed to "know" you. Thanks so much for your positive energy when so many of us desperately needed it.

    I hope everyone is healing and doing OK. My redness is already beginning to fade except for the area around my scar that got the boosts. My underarm is tender but not horrible, so I feel very lucky so far that radiation truly wasn't as terrible as I feared.

    Take care, everyone. Let's keep in touch; I know many of you are moving on to more treatment and I wish you the very best.

  • NatureYogi
    NatureYogi Member Posts: 135
    edited November 2021
    Options

    Serendipity-Hope all is well, that is terrifying to go through that!

    LW-Congrats on your graduation! i know you are happy to be done!

    Everyone take care and let the true healing begin!

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 7,911
    edited November 2021
    Options

    TODAY, if you would like to join, or a loved one for the caregiver meetup:

    image

    Register HERE, and you'll receive the zoom link. EVERY TUESDAY.

    image

    Register HERE, and you'll receive the zoom link.

  • pamep
    pamep Member Posts: 66
    edited November 2021
    Options

    I think I was the last in for October RADS, and now the last out. My radiated boob is pinkish, the underarm dusted with cornstarch. But, we are DONE!

    Thank you, and the Community, for your knowledge, input, and compassion.

    Let there be a true cure for breast cancer!

    Happy Holidays, and Good Luck to All!

  • serendipity09
    serendipity09 Member Posts: 769
    edited November 2021
    Options

    Pam - congrats on being done! I hope your skin does become too bothersome for you. Happy Holidays to you!

  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,399
    edited November 2021
    Options

    Good job, Pam! The October Rads Team hung in there and got it done. I hope everyone is healing and doing well. Happy holidays and blessings to you all.

  • Rubytoos
    Rubytoos Member Posts: 44
    edited November 2021
    Options

    Happy holidays to everyone. Glad we all crossed the finish line more or less intact! Hope everyone has a healing and restful weekend.