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Reassurance about delaying radiation?

1982m
1982m Member Posts: 224

When I get the chance I will ask the radiation oncologist.

I was diagnosed in July 2021. Originally it was suppose to be lumpectomy, chemo and Herceptin, then tamoxifen and radiation. Well…the margins on my lumpectomy had DCIS in them so I started chemo without a re-excision and they planned to go back after chemo.

So long story from my first lumpectomy I have a big dent so they were going to do a re-excision and a breast reduction to help with the dent. The plastic surgeon was frank that the dent would be worse after radiation and it’s already pretty noticeable. (9 o’clock inner left breast).

Then I caught Covid before my surgery (we tried really hard not to but my 4 year old goes to daycare).

They cancelled the reduction since it’s elective and did just a re-excision under local. The plastic surgeon so far is still ok with doing a breast reduction before radiation but not before pathology comes back. That’s expected to be 3-4 weeks. I don’t think I’ll be scheduled ASAP and then I need healing time.

My med onc has put me on tamoxifen while waiting and I’m still on Herceptinbut what’s the upper limit of waiting?

I won’t go to radiation without a reduction bc saving the breast seems futile when it’s already fairly deformed. I’d rather just get a mastectomy and reconstruction if it takes to long.

Ugh……

I think I’m looking for reassurance that delaying radiation is ok? That it’s been done and it won’t be a huge deal? I don’t know if you can actually tell me that….but that’s what I’m hoping.

I’m stuck between feeling this urgency to do it all but realizing I have to live with the breast for hopefully 40 more years and waiting an extra month or two for radiation is prob ok.


Comments

  • alicebastable
    alicebastable Member Posts: 1,932
    edited January 2022

    That's a really long time between surgery and starting radiation. I don't see anything in your post about what the radiation oncologist says, just that you'll ask, but that's who should be guiding the answer. I had to have a re-excision nearly a month after my lumpectomy, then another unrelated surgery the month after that. I had met with the radiation oncologist for a preliminary planning around the time of the lumpectomy. Once I needed the two other surgeries and radiation got put on hold, he was pretty adamant that I had to start within 12 weeks of the re-excision. While I was recovering from the other surgery, his nurse called to set up the mapping session and radiation schedule. I put it off until the last possible week because my other surgery would make the stretched-out position uncomfortable.

  • 1982m
    1982m Member Posts: 224
    edited January 2022

    Thanks Alice. I appreciated you sharing your experience.

    I'm incredibly frustrated with the whole situation. My re-excision was on Jan 24th, so I think 12 weeks is prob achievable, even with waiting for pathology for 3-4 weeks.

    I will definitely discuses with the radiation oncologist but I'm not sure when I will finally get an appointment with them- I talked to them earlier on, but now they say I'm a surgical patient and will see me once the surgeon punts me back to the radiation oncology team.

    I did phone the radiation oncology nurse and told them the tentative surgical plan. (Because none of them communicate between each other at all-it's all on me to keep everyone informed, which I found out incidentally).

  • alicebastable
    alicebastable Member Posts: 1,932
    edited January 2022

    Are they all at the same facility? The hospital I used is fairly small but part of a much larger system. All my doctors are affiliated with that hospital and I've hardly ever had to initiate anything, they set up my tests and appointments and notify my other doctors. I've realized from reading other people's posts here that I'm very lucky to be in this system.

  • 1982m
    1982m Member Posts: 224
    edited January 2022

    I live in a smaller Canadian city. So there’s one breast health Center and one cancer clinic. The surgeon works out of a different hospital, but one health region. They definitely all know each other. The radiation and medical oncologist work in the same small building.