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Topic: Radiation October 2018

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

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

Posted on: Sep 20, 2018 08:41AM

RiRi11 wrote:

Hi! I do not see an Oct thread, so I will start one

I finished chemo on Sept 4th and start radiation Oct 1st. (20 + 4 boosts) I had my mapping and tattoos this past Wednesday and now Im just relaxing and waiting for next mont

Dx 3/6/2018, IDC: Mucinous, Right, 3cm, Stage IIA, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/6/2018 Lumpectomy: Right Chemotherapy 6/11/2018 Radiation Therapy 10/1/2018
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Oct 8, 2018 12:26PM RiRi11 wrote:

whats are greys

Dx 3/6/2018, IDC: Mucinous, Right, 3cm, Stage IIA, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/6/2018 Lumpectomy: Right Chemotherapy 6/11/2018 Radiation Therapy 10/1/2018
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Oct 8, 2018 12:54PM Palesa2018 wrote:

Hi- that is how radiation dosage is measured. I'm getting 1.8gy x 25. No booster.

Dx 6/7/2018, DCIS/IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 6/12/2018 Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 7/9/2018 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 8/9/2018 Radiation Therapy 9/16/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone), Zoladex (goserelin)
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Oct 8, 2018 01:11PM RiRi11 wrote:

thank you. I will ask tomorrow what my greys are.

Dx 3/6/2018, IDC: Mucinous, Right, 3cm, Stage IIA, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/6/2018 Lumpectomy: Right Chemotherapy 6/11/2018 Radiation Therapy 10/1/2018
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Oct 8, 2018 05:32PM voilalia wrote:

Thanks for starting an October thread RiRi11!

Today I had my 4th Rads of 35. And as I lay there I kept thinking over and over and over “I don’t want to do this!” Reading everyone’s posts helps keep me from throwing in the towel.

But I had a week from hell - had a Zometa infusion Tuesday, which made me feel I had been in a car accident - no way did 20 weeks of chemo make that SE feel like nothing!!! The next day 1st Rads and I felt nauseated and nearly fainted, but was told nausea was not from Rads (yet I feel it just after each Rads, so hmmmm.... thankfully, it goes away.) pulled myself up by my bootstraps and worked from home all day... emotional? Heck yes!

I was wondering about dosage, so thanks for the explanation, Palesa2018. Curious if the tightening I’m feeling in my skin is because it’s starting to burn or psychosomatic. Time will tell. My docs told me to use any cream I was already using (except any with alcohol) including coconut oil, etc. and not get anything special. Fingers crossed!

Spoonie77, thanks for posting the exercises. I feel like I should have gotten something like that.

This has been a long hard road since I was dx’d a year ago July. I am so tired! Working full time at a stressful job doesn’t help. Having a community of ladies like you all does help. I am grateful.

Love and hugs to you, my sisters.

Dx 7/19/2017, IDC, Left, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Chemotherapy 10/25/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 5/9/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary Surgery 8/18/2018 Lumpectomy Hormonal Therapy 9/7/2018 Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy 10/2/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Targeted Therapy
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Oct 9, 2018 03:05AM cc738nj wrote:

Hoping that everyone is having minimal SEs with radiation. I'm 17 of 25 plus 7 boosts and so far (fingers crossed) just a tiny pink tone to my skin but barely noticeable. My RO is happy and I'm dutifully following the regimen of prescription steroid cream, aquaphor, and corn starch. Half way there! Stay strong ladies!


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Oct 9, 2018 08:17AM Dee3960 wrote:

hello, I’m new to this! I’m in radiation now after chemo and surgery. The radiation is making me very nauseous. Or so I think it is! Anyone having this reaction? Mine started after treatment number 4. I’m on number 16 out of 33

Dx 2/2018, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IIB, 1/13 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxol) Surgery Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Oct 9, 2018 08:51AM Moderators wrote:

HI Dee and welcome to Breastcancer.org!

We're so sorry you're experiencing this side effect -- we hope someone will be by shortly to weigh in with their experiences and offer some advice to you to make the next 17 rounds smooth!

There's also some good tips to minimize your nausea on the main Breastcancer.org site's side effect page on Nausea.

We hope this helps, and hope to hear more from you soon!

--The Mods


To send a Private Message to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/mem...
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Oct 10, 2018 03:47AM Sidalee wrote:

Hi Girls, how is everyone doing? I had my HP infusion number 5/13 and radiation tx 7/25 yesterday. I'm feeling a little rough today, I still got out and walked almost as far as normal this morning, but my stomach is a mess and I just feel...yucky. Up until yesterday I wasn't feeling bad other than I seem to get a headache after each radiation tx so I assume the infusion is the cause and hopefully it will pass. I'm still wearing my Mepitel Film and my skin is still doing okay so far. My armpit is the only area without Mepitel so I've been applying Miaderm to just that area--not sure if it's in my head or not, but I feel like I'm getting a little tender under there. I also feel a little tenderness along my bottom rib and sternum--is anyone else feeling anything in those areas?

Diagnosed the day after my 40th Birthday at my baseline mammogram Dx 2/1/2018, IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC) Targeted Therapy 3/12/2018 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 3/12/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 3/12/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 8/10/2018 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Radiation Therapy 10/1/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Oct 10, 2018 07:02AM GreenHarbor wrote:

I had treatment 7 of 20 today. I also had my weekly visit w/ my radiation oncologist. I have some skin just starting to turn pink, but no pain or itching yet. I’m using calendula cream twice a day- right after my treatments and again before bed. However, the anastrozole has kicked in and I have worsening hot flashes. A story for another thread! Wishing you all an easy week and manageable side effects..

Dx 7/5/2018, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 8/23/2018 Lumpectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 9/15/2018 Radiation Therapy 10/1/2018
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Oct 10, 2018 12:14PM - edited Oct 10, 2018 12:17PM by Frog-on-the-lilypad

Today was the 6th day of radiation. Breast feels a bit sore. I do not need to use any cream or anything because of the Mepitel they have put. Its a film of silicone which covers the whole breast barring the nipple. Nipple is quite sore. I got a foam patch for it today. I will need to remove it during shower and treatments. The Mepitels stays on. I do feel tired, but then I have a bad cough so am not sleeping very well. I was freaked out about coughing on the radiation table. Thankfully, I have been able to control the urge. Also, I use a clove as a cough logenze and it works much better if you ask me and are okay with the taste. Just keep it in your mouth and bite on it when you feel the cough coming.

Sorry if anyone from the April chemogroup is reading this as this is a repeat of what I posted there.

I do have some nausea. It was worse on the first day so no one thinks its because of the radiation. My breast feels heavy and my nipple is sore.

Do you ladies see your RO in between treatments as well? I think I will see her only once during treatment and that too near the end. I do see the nurses every week and also the Senior Radiation Therapist.

Wishing everyone minimal SEs.

Dx 3/2018, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 4/3/2018 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 9/6/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel
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Oct 11, 2018 12:59AM InnaB2018 wrote:

Today is my treatment #3. I don’t know whether the side effects I am experiencing are from radiation or the antibiotics I just finished taking yesterday. I am applying CeraVe cream right after the treatment and Mometazone at night.

Wishing everyone good luck!

Dx 3/26/2018, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 1/18 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/24/2018 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 6/1/2018 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 10/8/2018 3DCRT: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Oct 11, 2018 07:29AM - edited Oct 11, 2018 07:29AM by Spoonie77

To Dee and the other members that have experienced nausea from the RADs, I have too. I have RX meds for it, due to other conditions, so now I take one prior to my RADs visit each day. It helps. Also - ginger tea is helpful for me with the nausea. That and crackers. I find the nausea lessens about 4 or 5 hours after the RADs session.

I'm on treatment #7 today. I've had SEs since day one - heavy, sore, incisions not happy, pink skin, and very swollen. I've found that Miaderm helps me MUCH more than the Calendula cream I was given (bioiron). It's spendy but it's worth it to me in how it allievates and makes the symptoms I do have more manageable. Applied it 2 x day a week prior to treatments and am using it 3 times a day now during RADs treatments.

I do see my RO each Monday for a check-in and discussion. It's reassuring to me.

I'm not sure how strong my Greys are....I will ask today. I do know the last 4 treatments will be boosts to the Lumpectomy bed.

Wishing good luck, healing, and hugs to you all....hang in there. We got this....eventually, right?! :)

7/10/18 my first EVER mammo ... 7/16 Imaging & Ultrasound: BI-RAD 5 ... Core Biopsy 7/19 ... 7/20/18 ---> It's official. Breast Cancer @ Age 41 Dx 7/20/2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Dx 8/30/2018, DCIS, Left, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2 Surgery 8/30/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 10/1/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Chemotherapy Hormonal Therapy 10/23/2018 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Oct 11, 2018 10:39AM cc738nj wrote:

I see my RO once a week during treatments and it is reassuring. Mostly they are monitoring my skin and want to know if I have any SEs or concerns. 19 of 32 down..... Stay strong ladies!

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Oct 11, 2018 11:47AM egregious wrote:

Met my radiation team today, wonderful people, so helpful! I will need 15 + 5 boosts after recovering from lymph node biopsy. I am likely to start rads in November.

They said I can take time off for my mother's funeral, she is in hospice. So that's one thing checked off the worry list.

It's a bewildering amount of information. Grateful to be on this forum and hear from others who are also going through this.

Dx 9/2018, DCIS/IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast Surgery Lumpectomy: Left
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Oct 11, 2018 11:57AM mwlimelite wrote:

Hello sisters,

This is my first post and I haven't looked into how to add my stats to the profile yet so here is a brief intro. I was diagnosed 7/24 at age 42 on my first ever mammogram. Stage 1 IDC, DCIS, and low grade. My lumpectomy was on 9/4, clean margins, no lymph node involvement, and I have been healing very well. I was feeling very lucky all things considered but this radiation experience is messing me up! Today was my third day of radiation and it sure as hell is a mind trip. Anyone else feel insecure about being exposed when the therapists leave you alone in there with no protection over the rest of your body? I stress about the breath holds too, but I'm trying to meditate and visualize the machine HEALING me...

Anyhow, I came to this forum because I was feeling more soreness today, then I came home after work to find that my affected breast has become swollen, hard, heavy and sore. Skin is OK, maybe a little pink but not burned yet. Before rads started I was almost entirely out of the pain zone and now I'm way back in after only 3 days. Trying to figure out if this is a normal SE of rads... They said it might shrink the breast, but there is not much literature out there about swelling. So I'm grateful to Spoonie for sharing your experience! The tissue underneath and around the incision is hardened as well ugh. I had two biopsies there too. I was doing so well & it really feels like I've gone backwards which is depressing - and I've had a very positive outlook all throughout up until now.

Tomorrow after my session I'm going to bring attention to it and also visit the nurse I've been working with from the beginning to have her look at it.

Stay strong ladies! It's nice to have a place to share experiences.

Michelle in Boston

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Oct 11, 2018 12:52PM GreenHarbor wrote:

Welcome, Michelle! I can relate to your post. My physical recovery has gone really well; the emotional side has been harder for me. It’s hard to be in denial when each day’s radiation treatment is a reality check. I was a little surprised at first that I’m naked from the waist up for the treatments. However, I spent the summer taking my shirt off for one doctor or another, so I got over it, LOL. I’m getting my treatments face down, so I can’t see what’s going on. The techs are all really good about telling me what they’re going to do. My only side effect is a little swelling and some pink skin- less than what you’re describing. Definitely bring it up tomorrow. Hopefully, your treatment team can come with a plan to help you.
Dx 7/5/2018, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 8/23/2018 Lumpectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 9/15/2018 Radiation Therapy 10/1/2018
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Oct 11, 2018 12:55PM egregious wrote:

Hi Michelle,

It's all pretty scary at the beginning - it gets better. Hope you are able to work with your team on the side effects.

((((gentle hug))))

Dx 9/2018, DCIS/IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast Surgery Lumpectomy: Left
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Oct 11, 2018 01:27PM mwlimelite wrote:

Thank you ladies! I should clarify, when I mentioned being insecure about being exposed, it wasn't about the nudity - I agree there is little modesty left at this point. I meant that I was surprised there is no additional protection from radiation exposure for the rest of your body like the lead aprons you wear during a mammogram or x-ray. I get that it's super precise and targeted and I understand how the machine does that, it just kind makes me a little paranoid when I think about how it's not safe for the therapists to be in the room while it's happening.

Best wishes to all!

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Oct 11, 2018 02:29PM grandmaadams wrote:

Hi Mwlimelite. I asked my RO why no lead shields for the rest of my body, particularly the thyroid area. His response is that the lead shields used for other xrays, like a dental xrays, are no protection from the high intensity we're receiving for breast radiation. In order to get the lead apron thick enough, it would crush us. Anyone else asked their RO? Would like to know what they said.

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Oct 11, 2018 02:38PM grandmaadams wrote:

Gotta keep a sense of humor ... completed 7th treatment today out of 21 ... anyone else's machine sound like an anemic bagpipe?

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Oct 11, 2018 11:43PM mwlimelite wrote:

OMG yes! LOL

Interesting about the lead shields. I asked the therapist the other day and she showed me how in the machine there are interconnected lead blocks that move into place to target the beam. If you look up there you can see them and they move in between the beeps. You can hear them moving.

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Oct 12, 2018 02:23AM mwlimelite wrote:

Well my RO was out of town but the other (male) RO took a look at my breast and said it was very common for "younger" women to have a swelling and pink skin reaction soon after starting radiation. The nurse agreed. It isn't super red so they don't think it's an infection. Recommended taking Advil or some other anti-inflammatory and I will see my regular RO on Monday.

Side note: he was a little bit of a dick... made me feel a bit like I was wasting his time. Well maybe I was but I'd rather be safe than sorry!! My regular female RO would have been a lot more empathetic.

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Oct 12, 2018 12:16PM Sunshine-Lady wrote:

Thanks ladies for the honesty. I was really emotional at the start of radiation and it was comforting reading posts knowing that I am not alone.

I’m 9 into 28 and I’m itchy! I started Domeboro soaks 3x a day last Monday followed by hydrocortisone cream at the recommendation of my RO, he indicated it was a common SE for pale complexions. It seems to be helping. Also, getting a sunburn feeling/look already. So I’m grateful for the weekend to have some healing time. I haven’t seen many post about Aquaphor, I’m finding that I’m more comfortable lathering it on at bedtime. Miaderm is my 2nd fav. RO gave me a sample of Desert Harvest that has lidocaine for pain. Not much of a fan tho, I don’t find it that soothing or that it doesn’t smell that good either.

Wondering if anyone has found a way to celebrate markers during the treatment? I decided to do something special every 7th treatment (1/4 of the 28). But then on day 7 I was just tired and struggled for a good way to celebrate. I am finding it rewarding just X’ing out the days on my appt. calendar.

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Oct 13, 2018 02:34AM mwlimelite wrote:

Hi Sunshine Lady,

I hadn't thought specifically about celebrating milestones but I love the idea! We have a fancy dinner planned for after it's all over in November. I do have some nice outings planned on Fridays this month with my girlfriends and weekends with hubby that I'm looking forward to. Another friend suggested a spa day and although I don't think I could lay on my stomach for a massage, a facial would be nice.

Be kind to yourselves ladies! And give yourself the leeway to rest and take care of yourself however you need to. We are not always our first priority but we have to be for now.

Grateful for the weekend break!

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Oct 13, 2018 02:47AM GreenHarbor wrote:

9 treatments down, 11 more to go! My husband and I went out for dinner last night to celebrate. Monday night would be the official halfway point, but it would mean missing my yoga class and it's one of my stress management techniques these days. If the weather cooperates, my sister and I are taking my almost 3 year old niece apple picking this afternoon. Mwlimelite, your idea of a spa day or facial sounds lovely! I will plan on getting a pedicure. I'm looking forward to a weekend away from treatments. Wishing you all a lovely, relaxing weekend!

Dx 7/5/2018, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 8/23/2018 Lumpectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 9/15/2018 Radiation Therapy 10/1/2018
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Oct 13, 2018 07:41AM CarolAnnieLumpLump wrote:

Hello everyone, I had my first two treatments this week. I agree the entire routine is a bit daunting with that huge machine, the aloneness, the buzzing, the breath holding and the nakedness. The team I have run the "Beach" machine and have been amazing in making me feel comfortable. There are 3 rads machines where I am going, each with a different theme. At first I thought I would be freaked out but in reality it was over so quickly that I didn't have much time to think about it. I am getting four zaps for about 20 seconds each. I am doing 34 visits but I am told some of those they will be taking xrays with no rads so I am not sure my total whole breast treatments. 6 at the end will be boosts to the tumor bed. I noticed that my nipple looked paler than it did before right after the treatment but the color has come back now. I am slathering it with Alra cream and another aloe cream for sun. The RO gave me some lidocaine cream for later in case I need to numb it a bit. For me the best way to get through this is by not overthinking it as I push on and power through it. Eat, drink, sleep, repeat. As long as I can do those three main things I can survive the rest.

I am one of the fortunate ones that had the cancer detected early with a mammogram. I hadn't had one in 4 years. The magnitude of that blows me away. I am in awe of all the women who walk this path having to do chemo, surgery, and radiation, all the while juggling their families, work and life. We are so much stronger than we think we are.

My RO told me to hold off on the arimidex until after my rads treatments are over. Anyone else have that recommendation?

My coworkers created a message board for me to bring home to check off the days. Sweet little notes of encouragement and gift cards too. I am also wearing special tee shirts on Fridays to give me something to look forward to. I am also trying to think of a fun thing to give my rads team on Halloween. Do share what you are doing.

Carol Annie

Dx 6/5/2018, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/8/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 10/10/2018 Whole-breast Hormonal Therapy 11/24/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Oct 13, 2018 01:59PM KimR18 wrote:

so glad to have found this forum! This is my first post, so I’m not quite sure how all this works.I’ve just finished my 14th radiation treatment, and have 19 to go! Breast is sore, but the fatigue and nausea are worse. Anyone else have tips for handling those?

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Oct 13, 2018 02:02PM - edited Oct 13, 2018 02:04PM by KimR18

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Oct 13, 2018 02:11PM cc738nj wrote:

CarolAnnieLumpLump - My MO also said to wait until rads are complete before starting Arimidex. Helps to just focus on one thing at a time. Hang in there everyone!

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Oct 13, 2018 11:57PM GreenHarbor wrote:

CarolAnnieLumpLump- I started my anastrazole about 3 weeks after my surgery, and before my radiation treatments began. My medical and radiation oncologists were both OK with that.

KimR, welcome! I’m envious that you’re that far into your treatments. I haven’t had any nausea from the treatments. However, I do have a history of vertigo, and was worried that my surgery would bring on an episode. My anesthetist gave me Zofran (an anti nausea drug) in my IV, and it worked really well. (There is an oral version.) Check with your treatment team and see what they suggest. I have a friend who swore by ginger tea during her treatments. In terms of fatigue, be gentle with yourself. You’ve been through a lot physically and emotionally. The nurse at the radiation place suggested trying to get a little exercise, like a walk, every day to help with fatigue. I do feel better after a walk, but I’m earlier in my treatments than you (9 out of 20). If the thought of exercise overwhelms you, listen to your body. Rest when you can. I’m told the fatigue does improve a few weeks after treatment.

Wishing us all an uneventful week of treatments - gentle hugs all around!

Dx 7/5/2018, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 8/23/2018 Lumpectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 9/15/2018 Radiation Therapy 10/1/2018

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