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Topic: November 2018 Starting Radiation

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

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

Posted on: Oct 30, 2018 07:50PM - edited Oct 30, 2018 07:52PM by Appyfan

Appyfan wrote:

I didn't see a November thread, so I thought I'd start. Just had my planning appointment today, and will start treatment with a dry run on Nov 12th, treatment starts on Nov 13th. 15 hypofractionated whole breast with 5 boosts. Tried prone, but RO didn't like the CT images, so positioning is on my back.

Curiously, no discussion of skin care, and I'm at an NCI cancer center too. I'm very thankful for these boards, learned way more here than I was told by medical professionals during my journey.

So, who’s joining me in November?

Dx 5/10/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/8 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 6/12/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 8/9/2018 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 11/12/2018 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 1/10/2019 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Nov 10, 2018 12:57AM PebblesV wrote:

Hi Alicebastable - that's a really interesting question and I plan to ask the doc on Monday too about how much they hit the lungs. I have asthma, so I'm pretty concerned about radiation impact on the lungs. Mine is my right breast and they have me turn my head to the left... they claim that in modern medicine, everything is more on an angle to minimize impact to the lungs and heart, but for my treatment, there is one overhead angle which I asked them about today and they claimed it's just high up and the window to the lungs is closed to it's not hitting my lungs at all. Still...

Alicebastable, silloldrab, urdrago etc... let's all ask and compare notes next week!

egregious - good luck with your start! We are also having a 'home for the holidays' without travel as I'm going through this. If it helps, please know that I am done with 10 sessions (that's 1/3rd of the way through!) and no side effects so far. You can look to my prior posts to what I'm doing, mostly for me it's the aloe vera, miaderm, hydrating and staying upbeat.

sillyoldrab - thank you, I hope it stays this way for me, but I'm prepared if side effects start to hit too. I hope at least some of what's working for me will help you and others, and that's great news on the soap too!

golfnut33 - totally understand, this also takes a 2-3 hour chunk out of my day. It's 40 minutes to drive there in good traffic, otherwise it's an hour. So at best, it will be 2 hours, at worst 3 hours. It really does seem to make the days go by super fast and right now, how it's impacting me is that I'm working WAY too late into the night, because 3 hours of my day were cut out, and I can't get everything done, and I end up working until 10pm or midnight or something crazy, then I don't get enough sleep and it's a vicious cycle. I told my boss that I need to take at least a day a week off and we will see if that works better for me. I decided to keep working through this, and at least I can work from home (with cute puppies by my side so super helpful!) but I need to find a better balance.

We're all one day at a time. Keep persevering ladies!

Dx 9/7/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 2/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 9/18/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 10/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Nov 11, 2018 12:06PM - edited Nov 11, 2018 12:09PM by Misstic

For those who wonder how RT affects our lungs, it does. And our heart too, especially for women with left breast cancer.
If you had anthracycline chemo previously, your heart disease probability is increased. 50% to 63% of dead people who had thoracic radiation present a cardiomyopathy if there is an autopsy. This cardiomyopathy could be totally asymptomatic.

You have to ask to your RO the max dose for each organ and also the average dose and then make your own decision.

I used to be a smoker. I quit 5 years ago and decided to not do the sub and sus clavicular RT. I was N1 for MRI and Scan but N0 after surgery. The RO considered I was N1, I decided I was N0 so I didn't need the radiation on my sub sus clavicular chain. But I have to get the internal mammary chain radiation because a tumor on the sternum which is a heart disease risk.

Never forget you are your own advocate.

Dx 6/26/2014, ILC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/16/2014 Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left) Chemotherapy 8/24/2014 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxol (paclitaxel) Hormonal Therapy 3/8/2015 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 2/4/2016 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting Dx 1/5/2018, IDC, Left, Stage IIIC, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 2/5/2018 Gemzar (gemcitabine), Navelbine (vinorelbine) Hormonal Therapy 1/10/2020 Faslodex (fulvestrant) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Nov 11, 2018 12:44PM Spoonie77 wrote:

For anyone that is interested, this is the "drawing" that my RO did for me, to explain how (at least for me) the four fields of radiation would interact with my Heart, Lungs, Ribs, and Chest Wall.



My RO assured me the exposure would be minimal, but that yes, there was a small possibility of scarring of the Lung (~ 1%) but that the damage would not change anything enough to show a change on my lung output. Also, that rib weakness could occur, however unless I'm playing hockey, football, or overall beating myself up on a regular basis with hard core sports (yeah, so not me! lol) I would not be at a higher risk for breaks than most other people w/o exposure to RADs.

This is another reason why it seems most women (with BC in L breast) have Gated Breath Radiation...to pull the heart out of the field of RADs.

As far as exposure to the Chest Wall, that was a given for me, and was sent to PT at the start of RADs to prevent cording, adhesion, and shortening of my chest muscles. Didn't prevent it from happening for me, but I'm sure it would have been MUCH worse if I had not gone proactively.

Not sure if others were given this handout from their RO, but here's one that was helpful for me to see how Gated RADS works to protect your heart from as much of the RADs as possible.


"Spoonie" who entered BC World @ 41. DXd w/MS & Thyroid Cancer @42. Treatment: LX/SLNB/RADs. Plan A: 5mg Tamox = 0 QOL. Plan B: OS/AI = Rare allergy to OS meds. Plan C: Only option left,  Diet & Exercise. PS: Not a dr, just a Googler. 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 Hormonal Therapy 3/30/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy 7/2/2019 Zoladex (goserelin)
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Nov 11, 2018 12:55PM Spoonie77 wrote:

I posted this in the Oct RADs thread, for when I was undergoing my own "fun" times, but as I know they were so very helpful to me, will post here as well.

Hoping these stretches from my PT will help the rest of you out as you complete your journey through RAD land. Sending you all gentle and encouraging, supportive hugs!






"Spoonie" who entered BC World @ 41. DXd w/MS & Thyroid Cancer @42. Treatment: LX/SLNB/RADs. Plan A: 5mg Tamox = 0 QOL. Plan B: OS/AI = Rare allergy to OS meds. Plan C: Only option left,  Diet & Exercise. PS: Not a dr, just a Googler. 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 Hormonal Therapy 3/30/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy 7/2/2019 Zoladex (goserelin)
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Nov 11, 2018 01:03PM PebblesV wrote:

Spoonie77 - thank you SOooo much for this!! Very informative. And a bit reassuring too.

Dx 9/7/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 2/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 9/18/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 10/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Nov 11, 2018 04:37PM ghostie13 wrote:

My start date for radiation was pushed back a week......😨......when I went for my first appointment doc said I had a seroma and to put a hot pack on the side of my breast 3 times a day. Well I gave myself a blister.....apparently I don't have as much feeling back as I thought I did..... didn't even notice it and it doesn't hurt at all......So doc said blister has to be healed and will be checking it tomorrow. Blister popped and is now scabbed, so not sure if radiation will begin or not. Getting worried because lumpectomy was Sept. 12. Isnt there some window of opportunity for treatment??

I also took some time off work because of how far I have to drive and I work night shifts. Now my schedule is a mess, have had some nights off that I could have worked and will run short of PTO by the end of treatment, especially if delayed any longer. So frustrated, feel like thumping my head off some concrete.....

Dx 9/2018, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/12/2018 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 11/25/2018 Whole-breast: Breast
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Nov 11, 2018 05:10PM mharte88 wrote:

Hi,

I joined this Group a couple of months ago, when the thread was "to take Anastrozole or not to"; I took one and felt so sick and strange the next 48 hours I decided that should this cancer return, at 73 I would go the bi-lateral route. I was hoping to learn from the Group more about what happens after radiation? I too felt pressured onto Radio Therapy, I argued and stated my case (living independently and happily on my own). But my girls, 40 and 45 were so worried that I would not have "peace of mind" if I didn't go through with it, in the end I had 15 fractions over 4 weeks, which as I am left side lumpectomy, this included respitory gating every session. The idea it could harm your heart, terrified me, but it seemed as though, the that consulting room that day, it was only me that took that view. Together with other damaging effects some not until way after ie: lungs, bone loss and extreme cases cancer? I thought, walk away from it. When it returns (right breast maybe) go for gold. I did say I wanted to remove the cancerous breast, but it was estrogen fed, and as I was on HRT (for migraines). which I had to stop dead with (rather like coming of crack I would say), I could not see how or why it would return.

My operation was 4th July 2018, followed by RT, four weeks. but now its like - well your on your own love.!! So its why I turned to this Forum, it seemed friendly and nice and what I read, I could relate to. The RT was a breeze, but four weeks on, I have had to giggle my anti-depressants, and most other things that are important to me, like wanting my flat to look clean and tidy. I just do not have the energy. Rather like your batteries simply "run out!. You have no choice you have to lie down. A much smaller breast now too, as I should imagine it was swollen before. I am fine about that though. Mainly too, I wanted to give input so I could at least share the up side of my experience, which is positive, sorry, I appreciate it doesn't sound that way. Its because no-one gives a straight answer - like, how long does the RT stay in your system. I have this "air balloon" situation going on, just expel air the minute my toes touch the floor in the morning? So its not "popping" as my grandchildren call it. Nothing to do with "wind" as we know it, just all this "air". So I imagine I still have not lost the RT. I wanted to know, as then I have a set goal to work towards in order to try and get my life back. But apparently everyone is different etc., etc., so here I am posting on this lovely site. Thank you for reading this Molly, mummy to Milly, my little ginger girl pussycat who is 3 years old and the light of my life. :)




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Nov 11, 2018 05:14PM urdrago71 wrote:

Spoonie77. Thanks for showing the sketch as I didn't get any of that and will be asking for details monday at my dry run.I wish the docs. Wld have common hands they wld have to give use thru all stages of cancer. I have to keep stretching as I actually had Cording. Went to PT about 14days after surgery and I have almost all my movement back.

Misstic thanks for sharing info as I have RT cb on the right side but it will be up to my clavicle.

PebblesV, thanks for give info about skin care. I think Im ready to treat and care for my skin. Are u using Dove for soap? Cant wait to see what we all find out this upcoming week.

Stay strong, make them wonder how you're still smiling! Dx 3/2/2018, IDC, Right, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, 2/18 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (DUAL) Chemotherapy 4/5/2018 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide) Chemotherapy 5/31/2018 Taxol (paclitaxel) Surgery 10/5/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary Radiation Therapy 11/13/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Chemotherapy 1/18/2019 Xeloda (capecitabine)
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Nov 11, 2018 05:17PM - edited Nov 14, 2018 08:32AM by egregious

Hi ghostie,

It does seem odd when the doctors aren't in any hurry to get to rads after surgery is complete. I'm in the same boat with a similar diagnosis.

Here's my (totally not a doctor) opinion - they think they got all of THIS round of cancer in the surgery. Assuming they have clean margins from the surgery, radiation is to make sure they got it all, and daily meds afterwards are primarily for preventing recurrence.

Sometimes I feel brave, and sometimes I get tired of feeling brave. I keep going for my children. Age 67 at diagnosis Dx 9/5/2018, DCIS/IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 9/26/2018 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 11/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 1/26/2019 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Nov 11, 2018 07:33PM ghostie13 wrote:

hi egregious! They might not be in a hurry but I am! I just want this over with.....plus I need to get as much done as possible by the end of the year while my insurance is still paying 100 percent....

Dx 9/2018, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/12/2018 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 11/25/2018 Whole-breast: Breast
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Nov 11, 2018 08:37PM AliceBastable wrote:

I had my lumpectomy on 7/11/18, re-excision on 8/8/18, and started rads 10/29/18. I had a delay due to an unrelated surgery in September. My BS said as long as I didn't wait more than three months from re-excision, it was okay. The RO seemed a bit more in a hurry to start in October, but I was still sore from my other surgery and got them to wait until the end of the month.

Mine is left side, and I'm not doing any special breathing for heart or lung protection. I also never had drains or bruising or any other SEs from surgery, so I hope that trend continues.

Endometrial cancer 2010, basal cell multiples, breast cancer 2018, kidney cancer 2018. Cancer's a bitch, but I'm a bigger one with more practice. Dx 5/2018, ILC/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/10/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 8/7/2018 Radiation Therapy 10/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Nov 11, 2018 10:03PM - edited Nov 11, 2018 10:05PM by PebblesV

@urdrago71 - yes I use Dove soap! I've always used it so I didn't need to change that up for the radiation treatment. I use the pink one which I think is more moisturizing. I will say my sister and I have similar genetic make up but her skin is more dry and cracked while mine is more smooth so who knows, maybe the soap helps! I also have always moisturized morning and night so the only change up with radiation is switching to aloe vera for the right breast and adding Miaderm immediately after the treatment. But if I start to see side effects, I will use Miaderm 3-4 times a day which is what they recommend.

@ghostie - I think @egregrarious is correct, based on what the docs told me too. The surgery is the most “curative" thing and the other stuff - chemo, radiation, hormone therapy - is called “adjuvant" therapy because it's meant to prevent a recurrence. And people who need chemo wait months until radiation, so don't worry too much if you were pushed back another week. If it helps to know, my friend had a melanoma in his ear and the only thing they do is surgery. No chemo or radiation after even though his type of was much more aggressive. Another co-worker has prostate cancer and all they do there is the surgery too! So, surgery is the most curative thing.

I did feel there was a lot of waiting between appointments and waiting for surgery and waiting for test results and waiting until treatment starts. So for me, that's where the diet and lifestyle comes into play. I didn't want to wait to do what I could to beat this cancer, and what we can control is the diet and lifestyle. So I started that right away, learned a lot from foodforbreastcancer.com and other places and changed up my diet right away. If the idea is that the medical stuff is to help prevent a recurrence, the nutrition is too. I have to wait to take tamoxifen until after rt is done, and some 'let's preserve my eggs' stuff my husband and I are doing since we don't have children (we have our paw family though!) and tamoxifen could mess with my fertility, so I'm figuring that during that wait, I can do the nutrition stuff now.

Mharte88 - I'm glad rt was a breeze for you, so encouraging for those of us going through it now. I do think my right breast is already smaller from the lumpectomy and was hoping for that “perkier after rt" side effect lol. Luckily the husband still loves me lopsided and you can't notice with clothes on, so he and I are the only ones that would see the difference, so I think I'll do nothing about it too.

Dx 9/7/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 2/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 9/18/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 10/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Nov 12, 2018 09:07AM Wised wrote:

I had my set up today and will hopefully have my dry run on Sunday... I'm still swollen but I only need 16 sessions because of my pathology, so my radiologist isn't too concerned because it'll probably still be swollen in 3 weeks. Oh, I'm going in on Sunday bc they're closed on black Fri so they are open then don't get too backed up w appointments.

Stage 3 colon cancer treated in 2015/16. Factor 13 bleeding disorder. OncotypeDX 8. Lymphedema dx 3/19. Dx 9/12/2018, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 10/10/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Hormonal Therapy 10/18/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 11/18/2018 Whole-breast: Breast
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Nov 12, 2018 12:38PM AliceBastable wrote:

PebblesV, the difference in types of tumors/cancers and if adjuvent treatment is necessary has to do with the composition of the tumors and the size, plus the type of tissue surrounding them. Since breasts are soft tissue, unless it's a very hard tumor, it's more difficult to tell if the entire tumor has been excised in a lumpectomy, or if there are small scattered ones - and some types of cancers make it extremely difficult to physically find them. Node involvement is also an issue. So radiation is used to clean up strays and leftovers, not as a preventive of recurrence; that's the job of anti-hormonals. We are lucky to have the Oncotype test for certain early-stage cancers so chemo (used as a system-wide clean up for those with a higher chance of stray cells throughout their bodies) isn't thrown at people who don't need it.

Endometrial cancer 2010, basal cell multiples, breast cancer 2018, kidney cancer 2018. Cancer's a bitch, but I'm a bigger one with more practice. Dx 5/2018, ILC/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/10/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 8/7/2018 Radiation Therapy 10/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Nov 12, 2018 02:16PM wlo002 wrote:

I was supposed to start radiation today, but got a call that the machine I was planned on was down. My anxiety is working OT and I didn't need that today. To be honest, I don't feel like I'm prepared to start. Neither my RO or anyone on the team has discussed skin care. When I asked about it at the planning appt, one of the techs handed me a small tube of lotion and said I could use it right after treatments. That's it...

I had my simulation Friday and as I'm walking out, the tech says "oh, yeah, we'll be putting this wet towel on you everyday during treatment to direct the beam". It was said almost like an after-thought. I made the mistake of researching the the wet towel (called a bolus) and of-course, find all the horror stories and studies showing that it typically causes more skin damage than without.

I can't explain my anxiety other than just not feeling informed enough. I've gone through chemo and BMX and never had this kind of anxiety over either.

Sorry ladies, I just needed to vent a little. I'm hoping I get to see the RO tomorrow (I was supposed to today) and I'm not leaving until I feel informed.

Dx 4/11/2018, IDC, Right, 5cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 4/26/2018 Lymph node removal: Sentinel Targeted Therapy 5/8/2018 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy 5/9/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy 5/9/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Surgery 9/13/2018 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Radiation Therapy 11/11/2018 External: Chest wall
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Nov 12, 2018 06:26PM AliceBastable wrote:

I didn't have any skin care discussions with the RO or nurse or technicians either. When I finally asked, they said they'd give me stuff if a problem showed up. In the meantime, I've started using aloe pure gel, let it mostly dry, then Eucerin cream. Since my rads are at 8:00 a.m., and we're supposed to be grease-free for 3 - 4 hours before, I wash the marinade off before going to bed. The nurse said creams or lotions would actually work like a bolus - but probably not a controlled one like they sometimes use. So far, they haven't used one on me and today was #11.

Endometrial cancer 2010, basal cell multiples, breast cancer 2018, kidney cancer 2018. Cancer's a bitch, but I'm a bigger one with more practice. Dx 5/2018, ILC/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/10/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 8/7/2018 Radiation Therapy 10/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Nov 12, 2018 06:50PM - edited Nov 12, 2018 07:14PM by journeyforward

Hi everyone, I also hopped over from the October group. I started radiation Oct 31.

My skin looks good after 9 radiation treatments - I have 21 total. I put Calendula cream on 2 to 3 times daily. My radiation treatments are at 8 am so I shower and apply cream at night and do nothing but eat and go to my appointments in the morning. I'm starting to get slight fatigue but I keep working part-time and working out in the evenings at the gym. I avoid the eliptical machine because of the repetitive arm motions and my fear of setting off lymphedema event in my right arm during radiation. Instead, I fast walk on the Treadmill and ride stationary bicycle.

I hope everyone going through this is staying strong and doing well.

Dx 4/13/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Surgery 5/1/2018 Lumpectomy: Right Targeted Therapy 6/4/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 6/4/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 10/31/2018 Whole-breast: Breast
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Nov 12, 2018 07:46PM - edited Nov 12, 2018 07:52PM by urdrago71

So heres the instructions I got from doc. And I found out that no rays from back side. They take my lungs in consideration on Right side, very, very. rare, small possiblity that ray might affect lung. Im all set to start tomorrow, still very nervous about the impact to my skin.

Journeyforward. Why would u stop moving the arm?

My cording was bad 10 days after surgery no strength and cldnt lift it with support by other arm. Ive gone to PT very successful and I will continue to keep moving my arm so it doesnt tighten. Also keeps the lymphetic fluid moving thruout that area.

Wishing everyone minimal skin discomfort..Sending Good vibes.


Stay strong, make them wonder how you're still smiling! Dx 3/2/2018, IDC, Right, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, 2/18 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (DUAL) Chemotherapy 4/5/2018 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide) Chemotherapy 5/31/2018 Taxol (paclitaxel) Surgery 10/5/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary Radiation Therapy 11/13/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Chemotherapy 1/18/2019 Xeloda (capecitabine)
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Nov 12, 2018 08:39PM CarolAnnieLumpLump wrote:

For all of you just getting started, it's not going to be as bad as you think. Drink lots, and keep slathering it with good lotions. Today I had treatment 23 of 28 whole breast treatments. I will be getting an additional 6 boosts after my whole breast treatments. My skin is holding up well considering it is various stages of red to purple with itchy bumps. My armpit and under my breast are the worst in terms of color. My chest above my breast is the most itchy. Under my breast and between my breast is where the itchy rash is. My RO, RN and the tech all say this is normal. The techs told me that open skin sores are rare. It does feel like a sunburn but is not as sensitive to touch as a sunburn. It itches like a sunburn. I have found that slathering often is key. I have a basket full of different lotions I am using. The aloe seems to help with the itching feeling so i use that at night. I like the aloe better than the hydrocortisone. The zinc oxide my RO swears by helps it heal, especially under and between where the rash is. I use that in the morning and after treatment. Sometime during the day I use a good moisturizing lotion, Alra, Calendula, etc. Aquaphor is too greasy for me. I tried wearing sports bras and bras without underwires but gave them up for my regular underwire bras. I like to wear what I am used to and what supports me best. I have not had a problem with the underwires. I hope this info helps.

The fatigue struggle is real but nothing you can't handle. Listen to your body and adjust accordingly. It sucks we have to do this but the benefits outweigh the SEs, IMHO.

Stay strong! Hugs to all.


Diagnosed at 59. Oncotype 10. 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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Nov 12, 2018 09:42PM Lavenderlee wrote:

Today was my first of 28 treatments plus 5 boosts - all using a bolus - I feel like they really underplay what it will do to my skin by saying it just makes it a little more red. It was very emotional so I’m happy to be joining this thread (well, as happy as one can be) to have a group who understands.

I am using Miaderm thanks to some other posters’ recommendations and Fruit of the Earth Aloe. I started taking Singulair as well since I had a direct to implant BMX in July to help prevent capsular contracture. I wish my office would give out that nifty instruction sheet Urdrago, but thanks for posting

I finished chemo on October 18 and got right in to rads so I can try to finish before the year ends and insurance resets (like Ghostie). I’m still dealing with fun rashes/hives left behind from my good friend Taxotere.

Not looking forward to the fatigue, but am hoping to continue to work near full time and get in some yoga and walks. Thank you CarolAnnie for the positivity in your treatment - looking forward to when we can ring that bell!!!

Dx 6/18/2018, DCIS/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 7/18/2018 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Chemotherapy 8/15/2018 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 11/11/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Nov 12, 2018 09:50PM urdrago71 wrote:

Lavenderlee, happy you found us. Im a day behind you with Rads and I agree about getting this done before the end of year.

Carolann, thanks for the advise. The issues Im worried about is skin breaking open and fatigue. I need to get better about lathering creams on my body. Drinking water never has been an issue..

Stay strong, make them wonder how you're still smiling! Dx 3/2/2018, IDC, Right, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, 2/18 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (DUAL) Chemotherapy 4/5/2018 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide) Chemotherapy 5/31/2018 Taxol (paclitaxel) Surgery 10/5/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary Radiation Therapy 11/13/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Chemotherapy 1/18/2019 Xeloda (capecitabine)
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Nov 12, 2018 09:57PM AliceBastable wrote:

I don't think my rads place has a bell. Guess I'll just say a quiet Whoopie when I'm done.

I had the weirdest dream last night that I questioned the RO about something and he threatened to cut off my boob and two-thirds, so I grabbed my clothes and ran. He and all the radiation personnel were chasing me through a maze-like hospital, taunting me the whole time. I must REALLY have been unwilling to go for my zap this morning - or for tomorrow's weekly RO check-in. I did tell the one tech about it, and she got a good laugh out of it - and reassured me that if I DID run away, they wouldn't chase me!

22 more episodes of this tedious remake of Groundhog Day to go!

Endometrial cancer 2010, basal cell multiples, breast cancer 2018, kidney cancer 2018. Cancer's a bitch, but I'm a bigger one with more practice. Dx 5/2018, ILC/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/10/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 8/7/2018 Radiation Therapy 10/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Nov 12, 2018 10:08PM ghostie13 wrote:

Well no treatment today......Blister is scabbed over but Radiology doc doesn't think it's healed enough. So I go back Friday......so sick of this already.....

Dx 9/2018, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/12/2018 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 11/25/2018 Whole-breast: Breast
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Nov 12, 2018 10:11PM Appyfan wrote:

Went for my dry run today. One of the techs finally mentioned skin care-only to give me a small sample of California Baby Calendula Cream, and to say nothing on skin for 3 hours before. No mention of antiperspirants/deodorants. I’m constantly amazed at the lack of info on the simplest of things that would help patients so much. Thank God for this community! I was off today, so tomorrow will be the first zap and the first commute from and back to work from treatment.

Thanks everyone for sharing all this good info

Dx 5/10/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/8 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 6/12/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 8/9/2018 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 11/12/2018 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 1/10/2019 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Nov 13, 2018 12:14AM - edited Nov 13, 2018 12:15AM by Spoonie77

Happy to say that finally after 3 weeks finishing my reg RADs treatment, and about 2 weeks after my boosts finished, the swelling is finally gone! It's wonderful to see my boobs back to normal (for me) size! Plus, my skin is finally healing and settling into a pinkish tint tan!! Never thought it would come back from that angry brick red! Also, more good news, last night for the first time in over a month, I was able to finally NOT wear one of my compression bras 24/7! Amazing! The pain is fading and the heaviness is minimal at last.

A couple weeks ago I never thought my sores, my skin, my poor nipple would recover, welp, at least not for maybe months - what a trip they've been through, at least with RADs, but hey they are healing, so much faster than I imagined!! Woot.

Wishing everyone continued strength and remember that you are always your best advocate! Be proactive - drink water, slather on the creams and what not, do the stretches, get rest when you need it, walk and move when you can, and most importantly remember to laugh and smile, and to be kind to yourself!

((((hugs to all)))))


PS -- I still vouch for Miaderm, Aloe Vesta, and Calendula. Without them, I think I'd have had permanent scarring or worse. They and the "boob lasagna" (from Oct Rads Thread) were the saving graces for me. Good luck everyone!

"Spoonie" who entered BC World @ 41. DXd w/MS & Thyroid Cancer @42. Treatment: LX/SLNB/RADs. Plan A: 5mg Tamox = 0 QOL. Plan B: OS/AI = Rare allergy to OS meds. Plan C: Only option left,  Diet & Exercise. PS: Not a dr, just a Googler. 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 Hormonal Therapy 3/30/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy 7/2/2019 Zoladex (goserelin)
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Nov 13, 2018 11:21AM AliceBastable wrote:

Aha. I had my weekly check-in with the R.O. and asked about the zap from below the table. His answer was that it does not go through the lung or heart, but around them, which is why a CT scan is done at the set-up to get the exact placement of those organs. He also stated that it's why there's about a week between the set-up and treatments, because the whole angle-trajectory thingie has to be calculated to get the beam to go around very precisely. It's very similar to string or wire art, creating curves from angles. Luckily I loved string art years ago, and geometry was the only branch of mathematics that ever made sense to me, so I could visualize exactly what he was explaining.

Endometrial cancer 2010, basal cell multiples, breast cancer 2018, kidney cancer 2018. Cancer's a bitch, but I'm a bigger one with more practice. Dx 5/2018, ILC/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/10/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 8/7/2018 Radiation Therapy 10/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Nov 13, 2018 05:09PM urdrago71 wrote:

Omg need to know more about "boob lasagna" lol.. I went to my first Rads treatment felt nervous and it all lasted about 5 minutes. 1 down and 29 more to go...

Ghostie, SORRY for the delay.. did they doc. Recommend something to use on ur blister and area?

Sending good vibes.. drink water, slather creams and be kind to urself.

Stay strong, make them wonder how you're still smiling! Dx 3/2/2018, IDC, Right, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, 2/18 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (DUAL) Chemotherapy 4/5/2018 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide) Chemotherapy 5/31/2018 Taxol (paclitaxel) Surgery 10/5/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary Radiation Therapy 11/13/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Chemotherapy 1/18/2019 Xeloda (capecitabine)
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Nov 13, 2018 06:21PM - edited Nov 13, 2018 06:28PM by Spoonie77

Urdrago --- The "boob lasagna" was born here https://community.breastcancer.org/forum/70/topics/867318?page=6 , my Oct 22nd post. It made a few people laugh, and it certainly helped me survive the worst of RADs. I can cross learn how to make "boob lasagna" off of my Bucket List! LOL!

Glad your first treatment went quickly. I swear it took me longer to park, change, and get redressed than it did for my actual treatment as well. :)

"Spoonie" who entered BC World @ 41. DXd w/MS & Thyroid Cancer @42. Treatment: LX/SLNB/RADs. Plan A: 5mg Tamox = 0 QOL. Plan B: OS/AI = Rare allergy to OS meds. Plan C: Only option left,  Diet & Exercise. PS: Not a dr, just a Googler. 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 Hormonal Therapy 3/30/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy 7/2/2019 Zoladex (goserelin)
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Nov 13, 2018 06:45PM urdrago71 wrote:

Spoonie, Im so sorry u went thru that. As I was reading ur comments, "you noticed problems the first time u went to rads." Im impressed u continued thru treatments. Super Congrats !!

Ive not noticed any changes in the way I feel. I lathered with Aloe and cream. Will do again before I fall asleep and when i get up just trying to stay on top of mositureizer.wish me luck!!

Stay strong, make them wonder how you're still smiling! Dx 3/2/2018, IDC, Right, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, 2/18 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (DUAL) Chemotherapy 4/5/2018 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide) Chemotherapy 5/31/2018 Taxol (paclitaxel) Surgery 10/5/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary Radiation Therapy 11/13/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Chemotherapy 1/18/2019 Xeloda (capecitabine)
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Nov 13, 2018 07:05PM AliceBastable wrote:

I had #12 of 33 today, and I'm just starting to get a few pink dots - like a mini pimple-blister combination. I've put aloe on, then Aquaphor, which I've used before to heal from skin cancer excisions. It's what the RO recommended for now, so I'll give it a try. They said they have other things if the little blistery things open up.

Endometrial cancer 2010, basal cell multiples, breast cancer 2018, kidney cancer 2018. Cancer's a bitch, but I'm a bigger one with more practice. Dx 5/2018, ILC/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/10/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 8/7/2018 Radiation Therapy 10/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes

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