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Nov 22, 2011 09:50AM
Hi everyone! I will be starting on 11/30 - simulation the first day, then 25 rads and 5 boosts. I had my planning session last week and it was much quicker than I expected. I think my arm was over my head for less than 10 minutes and it was broken up into two sessions. I have 6 pinprick tattoos - they are tiny, not nearly as big as Suz39 describes. Like everything else, every facility has its own methods.
I had Mammosite radiation in June 2010 (in Overland Park, KS), so my radiation this time will be different. I've since had a BMX and my new RO was very concerned about inflicting heart and lung damage. I will be getting electron beam radiation, which uses a much shallower beam that can be directed at angles to avoid organ damage. My RO is the Chief of Radiation Oncology at Dana Farber, and breast cancer is his sole focus.
They'll be hitting my chest wall, the internal mammary nodes and the supra-clavicle nodes. The boosts will go to the mastectomy scar area. He warned me that my skin will probably take a beating. I'm very happy that he will not radiate my axilla as that raises your risk of lymphedema to about 30%.
And the biggie in all this...we live in Salem, NH, which is 42 miles from Dana Farber. The round trip will be at least 3 hours each and every day. I could have had rads in NH, but the RO here talked about 10-20% chance of damage to my heart and/or lungs and a 1 in 3 chance of killing my thyroid. I will have about a 50% chance of a spontaneous broken rib, somewhere sometime in my lifetime. Not much can be done about that because my ribs have already taken the brunt of the Mammosite rads from last year. So we will suck it up and go to Boston, to the guy who has written the book on breast cancer radiation.
I've already started treating my skin with Moisturel cream. It was one of several potions on the list provided by DF and I have been using it on my face for 20 years, so that was an easy one.
Michelle - read my blog at www.mch-breastcancer.blogspot.com - Be kind to one another!
3/29/2011, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, 4/21 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
5/11/2012, IDC, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-
6/15/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-