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Topic: Starting Radiation May 2018

Forum: Radiation Therapy - Before, During, and After —

What to expect from treatment and ways to cope with side effects.

Posted on: May 3, 2018 09:49PM - edited May 3, 2018 09:54PM by star2017

star2017 wrote:

I haven't seen a May thread yet — apologies if I missed it!


Anyone else starting radiation this month? I'll be starting in a couple weeks, but I go in next week for the detailed planning meeting. I'm getting scared because there are so many unknowns.

Dx in 2017@37, pregnant, BRCA2+
IDC&DCIS rt breast, IIIA, gr 3, ER/PR+, Her2-
Surgery1: Single mx w/ TE, 8cm tumor, 4/8 +nodes
Chemo: Dose-dense AC+Taxol
Surgery2: Rt implant, left prophylactic mx with TE
6 wks Radiation
Tamoxifen
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Posts 121 - 150 (165 total)

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Jun 12, 2018 09:43PM JosieO wrote:

DearLife and Star,

Thanks to both of you for your posts. Just noticed the very same thing this morning, was not sure what to think. Now I know. Will continue with my Aloe Vera and a dab of cortisone cream on my burned collarbonearea. So glad to have this board as a resource.

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Jun 12, 2018 10:26PM Dodgerick wrote:

Thanks JosieO, I hope the word gets out on these new genomic tests that will spare women (and men too) from chemo! It's a hard enough journey without fighting the chemo SE too! I will have an appointment with my surgeon tomorrow, the first appointment with her since I completed 25 sessions of radiation on May 31. I have no idea what kinds of scans or tests they will do. I have lymph node involvement, I'm not sure what they do to monitor my lymph nodes now that they know that it's spread outside the sentinal lobe, that kind of scares me.

My skin is now peeling from the radiation, but it's really not what I would call painful. I just keep putting Aquaphor and Radigard lotion on!

I'm sure glad to be able to connect with others going through this same journey!

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Jun 12, 2018 10:37PM Dodgerick wrote:

The May radiation ladies should be closer to completing their radiation treatments, good luck. And congratulations to all the ladies who are now finished with radiation! Yay!

I'm now in the peeling phase of the after radiation treatments, not painful (very little discomfort). Tomorrow I'll meet with my surgeon for the first time since completing radiation treatments. Since I have lymph node involvement, I'm curious to find out how they are going to be able to monitor the cancer left in my lymph nodes. But I guess I'll find out tomorrow!

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Jun 12, 2018 10:44PM star2017 wrote:

Keep us posted, Dodgerick.


JosieO, I'm hoping the aloe and the aquaphor are enough. It's not painful or itchy...yet.


16 of 30 done. Last date will be 7/3.

Dx in 2017@37, pregnant, BRCA2+
IDC&DCIS rt breast, IIIA, gr 3, ER/PR+, Her2-
Surgery1: Single mx w/ TE, 8cm tumor, 4/8 +nodes
Chemo: Dose-dense AC+Taxol
Surgery2: Rt implant, left prophylactic mx with TE
6 wks Radiation
Tamoxifen
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Jun 13, 2018 11:56AM Olesya wrote:

Dodgerick - my oncologist warned me that skin might feel a lot worse on days 7-10 before it starts to get better.


I am a week out of radiation. Fatigued alright. It hits my around 3pm and I have to take a nap ASAP, otherwise i don't function.And i need to take care of my 2y.o.

I was told that the first two weeks the fatigue will pick(which i definetely feel right now a week after), then next two weeks - platoeing, and then on next weeks the energy level should pick up.

Skin held up, however on 3rd day post treatment, I accidentally brushed over my nipple and the skin broke right in the fold at the base of the nipple and oreola. my doc recommended to use polysporin on broken skin. so i did that twice a day on a nipple and calendula homeopathic cream on all breast.

skin is a bit pink still and a bit itchy.but mostly starts to turn brown.

Cannot wait to start the whole antioxidant diet and supplements to help my body to heal - again recommedation was to wait about 2 weeks post treatment.

Smile-life is beautiful!:) Dx 11/28/2017, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 12/12/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary Targeted Therapy 1/22/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 1/22/2018 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 4/23/2018 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy 5/6/2018 3DCRT: Breast Hormonal Therapy
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Jun 13, 2018 06:09PM Dodgerick wrote:

My surgeon said everything looks good! Yay! I'll have a PETscan (or some type scan) later in the year to check the status of the cancer in my lymph nodes.

star2017- you're over half way through! Yay! I just noticed your profile at the end of your post (pregnant), are you still expecting or have you already delivered? Lots of luck and best wishes!

Olesya- you are amazing! How did you manage radiation with a 2 year old at home? You should get a trophy! :)

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Jun 13, 2018 08:07PM JosieO wrote:

Hi Dodgerick,

Thankful for your good words from the surgeon.

I would share that when I started radiation I was told that the radiation would also address the tissue area that the surgeon did not/can notremove (I.e. the stray cancer cells not contained in the lymph node(s) removed). I had 6 lymph nodes removed on the left, and one of them was cancerous. I do know that my radiation did cover the area just above and just below my collarbone. So i’m assuming that the removal of the tumor and the tissues around it (to get to clear margins) got the source of the cancer that would travel to the nodes.

I’m also thinking that the initial radiation simulation and planning report would give you some indication of how the radiation beams were aimed in that area.

I’m going to ask similar questions as I finish my treatments, will see what I can find out.

Congrats again on finishing this phase-see you in the hormone forums soon.

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Jun 13, 2018 08:08PM JosieO wrote:

Hang in there, Olesya. Enjoy some well-earned rest and know that you’ll continue the healing journey

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Jun 13, 2018 08:14PM JosieO wrote:

Hi AlohAnn,

Boy, you were busy,

You are almost done-will be glad to scream out a big YEA when you confirm.

Still chuckling at your “at the spa” comment 😀

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Jun 13, 2018 10:06PM star2017 wrote:

hi dodgerick, I was pregnant with my third when diagnosed. He’s a sweet 7mo now

Dx in 2017@37, pregnant, BRCA2+
IDC&DCIS rt breast, IIIA, gr 3, ER/PR+, Her2-
Surgery1: Single mx w/ TE, 8cm tumor, 4/8 +nodes
Chemo: Dose-dense AC+Taxol
Surgery2: Rt implant, left prophylactic mx with TE
6 wks Radiation
Tamoxifen
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Jun 14, 2018 12:01AM AlohAnn wrote:

Aloha JosieO!

Thanks in advance for the YEA! I can almost hear it already!

Today was my last spa day wherein I get the full treatment. Henceforth it’s specialized treatments (4x boosters). Today’s spa day seems to have resulted in a few small blisters and a wee bit more itchiness in an area or two but not bad at all. Yea me!

Someone mentioned fatique... I think I’m lucky in this category also. There’s only been a time or two when I have actually been fatigued. Yesterday I trimmed trees and was doing great the first hour. At the 1.5 hour mark I was done... energy capoot. Found just enough to clean up, eat dinner, turn on the tv and..... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz......... I was wiped. The RO had mentioned the fatique would feel much like a kid that had played outside all day in the sun. When they come back inside and finally slow down it’s a pleasant tired vice exhausted. Think I hit in between. Sadly it did prove something I’ve been fighting against forever... at the age of 61 I’m not the kid I think I am.. because I know I lasted outside a lot longer than 90 minutes!

Now I have a question. With all these spa treatments giving me a glowing sunburn, do I need to be scheduling an appointment in 20 years for the skin cancer check? Already fighting that from my lifeguard days. Argh!

Remember to find a moment to laugh everyday. If not at yourself... pick someone!

Surgery 3/15/2015 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary Dx 2/20/2018, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Radiation Therapy 5/22/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 6/25/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Jun 17, 2018 09:21PM Jsan11 wrote:

I have a question about x-rays during radiation. I have done 20 of 25 rads to the whole breast (plus have 5 boosts to go) thus far and have had the usual xrays every 5 treatments or so. My question when they did the xrays this past week, it took longer than all of the previous xrays and they came in and had to read some numbers off the side of the xray table where i was positioned. It all just was out of the norm and I am wondering if anyone else has had this happen or know what might have been going on? My mind of course wonders if they "see something" on the films or if they made a mistake, etc.? Anyone have something similar happen or have knowledge about radiation and the xray process as to why this would have occurred?

Dx 12/22/2017, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (IHC)
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Jun 17, 2018 09:23PM star2017 wrote:

JSan, sometimes mine have taken longer, with the same kind of in and out, and I assumed it had to do with positioning. But I am not sure. They didn't say anything after. I've done 18 of 30.

Dx in 2017@37, pregnant, BRCA2+
IDC&DCIS rt breast, IIIA, gr 3, ER/PR+, Her2-
Surgery1: Single mx w/ TE, 8cm tumor, 4/8 +nodes
Chemo: Dose-dense AC+Taxol
Surgery2: Rt implant, left prophylactic mx with TE
6 wks Radiation
Tamoxifen
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Jun 17, 2018 09:28PM - edited Jun 17, 2018 09:29PM by Jsan11

star2017 - Thank you! Of course my mind immediately panics thinking something is wrong. It happened on friday so I had all weekend with it on my mind. Glad to hear it sounds like nothing to worry about. I hope the rest of your treatments go well. Mine have been uneventful other than some redness and itching.

Dx 12/22/2017, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (IHC)
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Jun 18, 2018 05:37PM Simbobby wrote:

Hi All,

Just checking in. I have completed 18 of 30 treatments with a bolus every other day. I am now very sunburned and very itchy.

Just purchased CeraVe itch relief moisturizing cream. Immediate relief. I have been useing the Regular CeraVe but it didn't relieve the itch. Bought it at Walgreens - $22 for 12 oz. I highly recommend it.

Dx 9/15/2017, IDC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Chemotherapy 10/9/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 3/29/2018 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right Dx 4/3/2018, Right, 24/26 nodes Hormonal Therapy 4/10/2018 Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Jun 18, 2018 06:30PM star2017 wrote:

hi simbobby! Thank you for the recommendation! I’ve done 19 of 30. The first ten were with the bolus. My skin looks terrible but the nurse and doc say it looks good. It is starting to get tender and itchy, particularly under the arm

Dx in 2017@37, pregnant, BRCA2+
IDC&DCIS rt breast, IIIA, gr 3, ER/PR+, Her2-
Surgery1: Single mx w/ TE, 8cm tumor, 4/8 +nodes
Chemo: Dose-dense AC+Taxol
Surgery2: Rt implant, left prophylactic mx with TE
6 wks Radiation
Tamoxifen
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Jun 18, 2018 09:34PM JosieO wrote:

Simbobby: yes, thanks for the recommendation. I have the regular CeraVe, didn’t know there was one for itch relief. I need something-my skin is getting very itchy as well as weepy and cortisone is not helping like it used to. Aloe vera relief does not seem to last as long as it did earlier.

Star: I’m almost finished (just the boost treatments left) and all of a sudden my skin became mottled, very painful in the underarm area, and looks terrible to me also. Hoping for a quick and complete recovery. Prior to breast cancer, I never had any issues with my skin. Sheesh..


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Jun 18, 2018 09:55PM star2017 wrote:

JosieO, that's exactly how mine has been since last week. My doctor said I could try "Second Skin Moist Burn Pads" for some relief, so I'm going to get some. I'll also try the Cerave lotion Simbobby recommended. I've never really had skin issues either, and now I have all the radiation reaction as well as a bad case of hives that has last multiple weeks without a clear source (tamoxifen? seasonal allergies? stress?).


Dx in 2017@37, pregnant, BRCA2+
IDC&DCIS rt breast, IIIA, gr 3, ER/PR+, Her2-
Surgery1: Single mx w/ TE, 8cm tumor, 4/8 +nodes
Chemo: Dose-dense AC+Taxol
Surgery2: Rt implant, left prophylactic mx with TE
6 wks Radiation
Tamoxifen
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Jun 19, 2018 05:34PM JosieO wrote:

Well...I only had the boost treatments left when my skin broke out under my arm BIG TIME. The upshot was I was given Silvadene cream and my boosts suspended for a week. Darn it! Was already looking forward to finishing, but guess they can’t apply the beams if the skin is that broken. But have to admit, it does feel better with the cream.

Almost there...

Hang in there, Star and Simbobby

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Jun 19, 2018 06:14PM - edited Jun 19, 2018 06:15PM by star2017

so sorry to hear that, josieo! What are the breakouts like?



Dx in 2017@37, pregnant, BRCA2+
IDC&DCIS rt breast, IIIA, gr 3, ER/PR+, Her2-
Surgery1: Single mx w/ TE, 8cm tumor, 4/8 +nodes
Chemo: Dose-dense AC+Taxol
Surgery2: Rt implant, left prophylactic mx with TE
6 wks Radiation
Tamoxifen
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Jun 19, 2018 07:14PM JosieO wrote:

Star-looks and feels a lot like any other bad burn

* like a sunburn where the skin has sloughed off and you see the second layer

* if you touch it, the skin comes off in your fingers

* an angry red, wet to the touch, and both an itching and a burning sensation

SHEESH !!!

Hope it doesn’t happen to anyone else

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Jun 19, 2018 08:26PM star2017 wrote:

Oh Josie, I’m so sorry. Hope it feels better soon. Mine is a very deep red now. And spots are grey/black. Still have five whole breast treatments and then the five boosts

Dx in 2017@37, pregnant, BRCA2+
IDC&DCIS rt breast, IIIA, gr 3, ER/PR+, Her2-
Surgery1: Single mx w/ TE, 8cm tumor, 4/8 +nodes
Chemo: Dose-dense AC+Taxol
Surgery2: Rt implant, left prophylactic mx with TE
6 wks Radiation
Tamoxifen
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Jun 19, 2018 08:45PM DearLife wrote:

Josie that sounds painful. I am sorry this is happening to you. And you were almost done. I hope a week of rest helps your skin heal. 🙏❤️🙏

I've looked at clouds from both sides now. Joni Mitchell Dx 12/1/1998, LCIS, Right Dx 1/9/2018, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 2/26/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Dx 3/1/2018, DCIS/IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Hormonal Therapy 4/17/2018 Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast
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Jun 21, 2018 01:19PM JosieO wrote:

DearLife and Star,

Thank you for the kind words. I can report that my skin is already looking better. Instant pain relief with the Silvadene, but I found at night that the ointment was getting all gooey and my nightclothes were getting wet. So after cruising around looking for likely bandages I just used a non-stick pad on one spot and some folded up gauze on the other. Both worked well, so will just continue until I go back next week. Now I just want to get ‘er done and move on.

Hang in there Star-we’re almost finished. I think DearLife was already finished. On to Hormones..

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Jun 22, 2018 11:21AM DearLife wrote:

Glad to hear it is getting better Josie O! Yes, I finished four weeks ago. Got redder for two weeks then started healing. I had very thin peeling and now it is almost back to normal. So it seems to heal quickly.

You are almost done! Hang in there.

I've looked at clouds from both sides now. Joni Mitchell Dx 12/1/1998, LCIS, Right Dx 1/9/2018, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 2/26/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Dx 3/1/2018, DCIS/IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Hormonal Therapy 4/17/2018 Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast
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Jun 25, 2018 10:08AM Sparkse wrote:

I finished my radiation treatments in April but still get fatigued. Anyone else have this issue?

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Jun 25, 2018 12:37PM Moderators wrote:

Dear Sparkse,

Welcome to the BCO community. We are sorry that your treatment and accompanying fatigue may have brought you here but glad that you reached out. Here is some information about Fatigue from our main site. We hope that others will offer their post treatment experiences with fatigue but it is normal for the fatigue to last after treatment has been completed. Let us know if there is anything we can do to help you to navigate your way around the boards. The Mods

To send a Private Message to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/mem...
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Jun 25, 2018 12:46PM star2017 wrote:

sparkse, that sounds pretty normal, based on what I’ve read

Dx in 2017@37, pregnant, BRCA2+
IDC&DCIS rt breast, IIIA, gr 3, ER/PR+, Her2-
Surgery1: Single mx w/ TE, 8cm tumor, 4/8 +nodes
Chemo: Dose-dense AC+Taxol
Surgery2: Rt implant, left prophylactic mx with TE
6 wks Radiation
Tamoxifen
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Jun 26, 2018 03:25PM star2017 wrote:

I finished my 25 whole breast treatments today. Five more boosts to the scar!


JosieO, hows your skin holding up

Dx in 2017@37, pregnant, BRCA2+
IDC&DCIS rt breast, IIIA, gr 3, ER/PR+, Her2-
Surgery1: Single mx w/ TE, 8cm tumor, 4/8 +nodes
Chemo: Dose-dense AC+Taxol
Surgery2: Rt implant, left prophylactic mx with TE
6 wks Radiation
Tamoxifen
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Jun 26, 2018 11:49PM JosieO wrote:

Star,

HAPPY FOR YOU,,, so close !!!!

Well I can report that my skin improved enough that I was able to restart and now tomorrow 6/27/18 is my LAST treatment.

Skin is still broken and weepy, but the Silvadene really helps a lot. Biggest challenge is being out and about. Needed to cover my two worst areas, as the weeping left my clothes wet and sticky. Finally found some nonstick pads that work until I remove them. Really looking forward to having “good” skin again. At least hopefully that can be “normal” again.

Strengths and courage to all my friends and colleagues who are about to finish. Appreciated all of your notes, info, and support

See you soon in Hormone Therapy !!!

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