Dec 17, 2018 07:13PM ghostie13 wrote:
The fatigue really sucks....kicks in late afternoon.......won't miss that either.......
What to expect from treatment and ways to cope with side effects.
Posted on: Nov 20, 2018 01:28PM
I don’t think anyone has started this group yet, so here goes. Anyone else doing this over Christmas?
Posts 241 - 270 (519 total)
Dec 17, 2018 07:13PM ghostie13 wrote:
The fatigue really sucks....kicks in late afternoon.......won't miss that either.......
Dec 17, 2018 07:25PM PurpleCat wrote:
I was going to ask at my appointment today and forgot: why do they take a new x-ray each week? What are they looking for, and what would they change about the next week’s treatment based on the changes
Dec 17, 2018 07:29PM - edited Dec 17, 2018 07:33PM by Dani444
Hello to the Christmas rads group!!!! Welcome Jolihouse, I hope things are going well for you so far. How many sessions do you have to do?
hdmom- Way to go on getting that first session under your belt!! I am sorry you are having trouble eating, you should definitely try to stay hydrated with plenty of water. Have you discussed this with your family doc or MO? I hope they can find a solution for you. Maybe your doctor could suggest a meal replacement shake. There is home IV nutrition that can be given, but not sure at which point they would prescribe that. Healing thoughts are being sent your way.
PurpleCat- Thank you for the encouragement, and I am so, so , so very happy that your friend got good news. That is fantastic!!
egregious- Three more, you hare closing in fast on that finish line!! Your new mantra of lube - hydrate - vent will carry you into the finish.
Pebbles- That was so sweet of them to show their support, and I am glad you had a happy tears moment. You deserve it. How did it feel to get back to work? Domino is rocking that winter wear, and throwing in that sassy pose along with it....LOVE it.
Spoonie- I hope your pain is better, grrrrr, damn nerves. I imagine that would be so frustrating on top of everything else you are going through. Gentle hugs for you, or maybe just an air hug ;) I wouldn't want to aggravate the situation. How often are you doing therapy? Are you seeing any improvement with the lymphedema? Hang in there lady, and whip out the jello shots if needed:)
Keepmovin- Are things getting any better for you. I am sorry you are at what feels like the motel 6 of rads centers. Whine all you need to, we will listen.
Wised- Thanks for sharing how your healing is going, post rads. I got a couple zingers today, I am glad they come and go quickly.
Ghostie- TWO DAYS, so excited for you. I hope your SE stay manageable!
I saw a different RO today, and I will be adding spritzing to the skin care routine. He wants me to spritz green tea three times a day. My underarm area feels irritated but is only slightly pink, and the patchy redness is still there right above my scar. They gave me some samples of a cream with lidocaine for itching. Does anyone else get an itching sensation on your numb areas?? It drives me crazy. He was also surprised I was not on lifting restrictions, and said if my irritation increases he wants to write me for restrictions. So we will see. I did do a little more lifting at work last night than I have been, it is a little frustrating to not feel strong enough to help like I did before surgery.
Dec 18, 2018 12:15AM WorryThePooh wrote:
I started my radiation on the 12th, five days down now, 16 to go. So far I am finding it easier than I thought in terms of the actual lying there having it, because it is over quite quickly. The first time I was so anxious I visualised that I was lying in my bed at home looking out the window at the trees, and I got so carried away imagining it, I was surprised when it was all done so fast! Side effects have been minimal so far, just some pink sore skin, but I am applying QV Intensive cream a few times a day and that helps a lot.
Strangely (considering they see me with a bare chest on the table), the thing that bothers me the most is getting dressed and undressed in front of the technicians, they just have a chair to put my things on and stand there waiting while I get undressed. I thought there would be a separate dressing cubicle.
Dec 18, 2018 06:43AM Tigerlily318 wrote:
Good morning. And a blanket thank you to all of you! This information has been so helpful! Today will be 10/20. I felt fine until Sunday when my boob finally got sore and my nipple got huge. I saw the doctor yesterday and she said it was all normal, but she suggested advil. I hate to do it, but 2 advil 2 x yesterday and all is back to normal and the slight coloration is gone. I took a Zumba class on Saturday and asked if that was it, but they said keep at it as long as I'm not uncomfortable. Nice to hear that I can't make it worse myself!
My naturopath suggested taking powered glutamine to combat fatigue. So between that, eating a lot of protein, and drinking a lot of water, I have not had a lot of fatigue - and it isn't consistent. It may just be though that I'm feeling that much better from chemo and better by comparison.
Highly blessed and others, starting is the worst part. The technology today deals better than ever with the heart/lungs. I'm on my left side too and was mapped for lying on my back and they didn't like it so they remapped me and now I'm on my stomach. It is more uncomfortable but no breath hold. But the machines and lasers are pretty impressive.
Here is a picture of Martin....he's at work with my husband today, but has been a great therapy dog. He is kind of a space cadet and not particularly well coordinated for an Australian Shepherd. He's just a sweet, sweet soul.
Dec 18, 2018 06:55AM Nomaddd wrote:
Hello! Today will be my 3rd day of 20. So far so good. However I still have a large enough hemotoma/seroma mix where the tumor was taken (it's been more than 7 weeks since my lumpectomy) and I feel like the breast is getting even harder around that area. I feel like the hemotoma is going to stay there forever. Has anyone also dealt with a hard, colored half a fist size lump(hemotoma) at their breast that was still there long after surgery? My BS says just be patient..
Dec 18, 2018 08:13AM PebblesV wrote:
Hi Nomadd- yes, I also had a seroma after surgery and it scared me in the beginning because it felt the same as the initial lump. But the docs kept saying that was normal and they gotten the lump with clear margins. Lo and behold after I completed 6 weeks and 30 sessions of radiation, that hard lump / seroma is GONE. My breast finally feels soft again. It's still a little harder by the scar but nothing like what it was. I asked the radiologist if the radiation had “dispersed" it and he said while he'd like to take credit it was more likely just time. It's been about 3 months since my surgery (also lumpectomy). Hopefully that is reassuring to you.
Tigerlily - Martin is such a handsome boy! Love love love! Reminds me of our Tucker (see pic below!) whom is part border collie but we think the other half is an Australian Shepherd.
Dani - actually feels OK although I miss being home with the pups all day. But I don't mind resuming the “norm" a little bit, and hopefully getting more and more back to my regular life.
Egregious - almost to the finish line! Woot woot!
For everyone still going through rads - you can do this! The good thing about it being daily is that you get to check it off quickly! I got through pretty cleanly so it's possible. I'm a week out and feel fine. Wishing a smooth ride for you!
Tucker, Domino and Kit Kat:
Dec 18, 2018 08:29AM Wised wrote:
Nomadd, I have the leftovers of a hematoma under and perpendicular to my incision. The original hematoma was enormous. my radiologist has recommended that I do absolutely nothing about it. My breast surgeon wanted to clean it out, but that would just cause more bleeding which could lead to a new hematoma. If it is still present when I have to have my follow-up mammogram, I might have to have an MRI instead. The good news is I'm a week out of radiation treatments, and it doesn't feel as heavy or as painful as it did during radiation. It is still the same size, about the size of a plum.
Dec 18, 2018 09:35AM Nomaddd wrote:
Thanks for the response ladies! Does make me feel better😘
Dec 18, 2018 10:30AM egregious wrote:
Hi WorrythePooh, and welcome! You're onto something smart by visualizing a beautiful scene while they take care of you. Then time passes pleasantly. Yikes on undressing in front of the staff... I wouldn't be too happy about that either.
Hope things continue to go smoothly for you! Keep us posted.
Lube - hydrate - vent here where it's safe :)
Dec 18, 2018 11:05AM - edited Dec 18, 2018 11:34AM by Spoonie77
<<waving hello to everyone>>
Dani - How's the itching going? Is the green tea spritzing helping? I had a Lump so didn't have much itching with healing. Hope the lidocaine helps calm yours down. Good luck with the rest of your work week and remember to go slow. It's impressive that you're back at work full-time with all you've been through. Pace yourself my dear! :)
Also, thanks for asking how therapy is going. PT at home using the lymph drainage techniques my cancer rehab specialist showed me has really made a difference. That, combined with wearing my "spaghetti noodle" compression prosthesis daily for 6 to 7 hours has kept the Lymphedema tolerable. I just wish I could get rid of this dang nipple pain...it's being annoyingly consistent. Going on Day 3 of straight nipple pain. If it doesn't let up after PT tomorrow, will be calling my RO/MO. Arrrgh. The fun continues.
Egregious - Woot almost through! Yay! Keep on truckin! :)
PurpleCat - I had weekly x-rays done too. My team told me that they are called port films which are used to double-check that the radiation is precisely hitting the correct areas of your body. If things are not inline as they want them, then they are able to readjust for the next week.
WorryThePooh - It would bother me a TON if I had to undress/change in front of my team. If it's stressful to you I'm sure you could ask if there is a separate area? I'm sure they would not be offended in the least.
TigerLily -- Congrats on being halfway done! Glad your RO is on top of things and the anti-inflammatories are helping with the swelling. Martin, your puppers, looks so very soft and adorable! Furbabies are such a comfort at times like this. Glad you have him by your side.
One more day closer for all of yall still in RADs! <<<cheers>>>
Update on me:
Soooo...just got the call back of results from my recent bone scan on Friday.
This is just an example of how much pain I live with daily, that somehow, in the past 2 months or so, my left 9th rib was apparently broken and is still in the process of healing.
LOL (not really) but my MO's nurse was asking me if I was ok or if I knew what had happened and I honestly can't remember a single thing that took place (accident/fall/etc) that could've left me with a broken rib.
Just goes to show me, yet again, that I'm such a "zebra" when it comes to medical stuff. Oh the joy.... smh.
Also shows increased uptake in my lower jaw, which is concerning. Yet, reassuringly my MO says it's not cancerous, most likely related to inflammation/pain/arthritis/TMJ that I deal with. Good times.
The good fight continues on.
Hugs and healing to everyone of you fellow warriors!
PS -- sorry if TMI ... this was me, 4 treatments into my RADs in October. Full on "sunburn of the worst kind". Picts just don't do it justice. Hence, the requirement of "boob lasagna" to get me through treatment...gosh I love saying that phrase. LOL. Still not back to my "normal" pale, more like very light pink tinged pale. Maybe in another month or so I'll be back to reflecting the light directly like a proper vampire. ;)
Dec 18, 2018 11:28AM - edited Dec 18, 2018 11:29AM by Highlyblessed
Hi everyone thanks for excepting me in the group and all the kind words. Well got my first treatment over a little while ago.I must say the radiation oncologist is the meanest person I have ever met , and that didn't help in the mist of a full blown panic attack. Her response was " ITS JUST LIKE GOING TO THE DENTIST A DARN X-Ray.TAKE THIS PRESCRIPTION. FOR XANEX. She may as well just told me to get over it because basically that what she meant.This was my first time and yes emotions were all over the place.Hope the remaining treatments be better
Dec 18, 2018 11:37AM - edited Dec 18, 2018 11:38AM by Spoonie77
HighlyBlessed -- WOW! I'm so sorry you had that experience today! Ugggh. Not professional at all IMO.
Is that person that your normal RO or one of the techs/staff?
Was this your first time meeting her/him, meaning you had your planning/simulation and a treatment all in one day?
If so, that is A TON of stress to go through. I sure hope the xanex helps a bit. I take Clonazepam as needed for my anxiety.
IMO it's totally understandable and normal to be nervous, scared, overwhelmed in dealing with any one part of this cancer journey. Hang in there and known you're not alone. I sure hope tomorrows treatment is with someone different and will be much calmer to go through. Hugs.
Dec 18, 2018 12:04PM Wised wrote:
Highlyblessed, your RO's response to your very understandable anxiety is the worst response EVER...
I would like to ask the group to join me in flipping her off!
Also, I don't take my boobs out at the dentist... What the heck kind of dentist does SHE go to?
Dec 18, 2018 12:10PM - edited Dec 18, 2018 12:11PM by Wised
Spoonie, my worst day was just a little redder than that! Wow, you got hit with your share and then some!
Dec 18, 2018 12:21PM Salamandra wrote:
Aw Spoonie that is a lot of red! And how crazy that you've had a broken rib for weeks and not known!! It's one of the things where they don't do anything about it though right, just painkillers and time? Could it have made the radiation experience worse? It must have been more painful?
I'm pretty red too, I think not as bad as your picture though! It has been more hot than painful and they gave me gel pads which is helping.
This fatigue though. I feel like as long as I keep moving I can stay a little ahead of it, though I'm riding my bicycle and yawning at 9:30 in the morning! But as soon as a slow down, bang!
I feel pretty lucky with my radiation techs. The people in the office are nice. The women who check me in already know my name. I've been talking Pokemon Go with one of them. It's two or three of the same young women every day who do my treatment, and they are just the right amount of chatty for me to feel comfortable. I think it helps that I don't have much physical modesty, especially in medical situations.
The radiation oncologist *denied* that heartburn could be a side effect of radiation. Then he said, well, not a direct side effect, because it can be a body's response to stress and the medical treatment could be stressful. He wants to ask the MO if it could be a side effect of tamoxifen. I don't know. The nurse in the skin clinic said she hears it from women getting breast radiation pretty regularly that they are having heartburn. What's with radiation oncs and denying side effects? I *HOPE* the heartburn is a side effect of radiation because that would hopefully mean it wouldn't last much longer than the radiation.
It is starting to feel like a real slog though. I'm not even halfway through! Though I guess, I'm almost halfway through! That's good! And after I finish, I have to go back to work, so that makes me not mind so much and actually is a downside of getting closer to the end!
Wised I've been thinking of you working through radiation. I stopped wearing a bra because it was leaving my breast all marked up (even my super soft, no underwire bras which were the only thing I wore even before this all started). I don't think I could have gone braless if I were still in front of high school students every day!
Dec 18, 2018 12:56PM Wised wrote:
Salamandra, I wear a camisole and it's been pretty chilly so I get to wear something thicker over that so it didn't make a difference going braless. It would be a different story at the beginning of the school year or in May , LOL. It was hard working through radiation but helped keep my mind off of that. I don't consider myself a very modest person either, but radiation bother me because I felt so vulnerable laying on the table with my breasts exposed.
Dec 18, 2018 01:10PM - edited Dec 18, 2018 02:27PM by PurpleCat
The dog photos always make me so happy! Thanks, Tigerlilly and Pebbles.
Tigerlily, I'm about halfway too (12/20 today) and things are getting pretty sore. Taking off my bra for treatment felt painful. Friction, yowza. The nipple feels like someone took sandpaper to it, and looks like something you'd see in a zombie film. I hope things return to some semblance of normal afterwards.
(PurpleCat stops for a moment to ponder the surreal turn her life has taken that has prompted her to describe her nipples to strangers online … )
Dani, very interesting about the green tea spritzing! I'd never heard of that.
Spoonie, thanks for the information on the port films. I haven't asked the doctors many questions through this whole process, which is somewhat unlike my normal personality. Some of it is because I have had a tendency toward health anxiety in the past, know how many hours I can spend googling symptoms and tracking down every little possible scrap of information, and in this situation I have made a conscious decision that my job is to just show up and let the experts do their thing. But it means I haven't asked a lot of those basic questions, and now I'm so far into treatment that I feel sort of dumb asking things most people probably ask about on the first day. And OWWW to your poor skin! I'm glad to hear things have improved since then.
HighlyBlessed, that sounds just awful! May tomorrow be much better.
Salamandra, "slog" is a great term. I hit a low point last week. Being just past the halfway mark feels good.
*waves at everyone else … *
Dec 18, 2018 03:05PM - edited Dec 18, 2018 03:35PM by ghostie13
One more treatment to go!! So Damn excited....or I would be if I weren't so freakin' tired......
Still just pink, not sure how I lucked out with that. Maybe the topless sunbathing in the 70's.....lol....skin cancer is probably next.....
Love seeing all the pics of the puppers. Hubby doesn't want a dog. So we have a herd of insane cats. All rescues, that seem to be intent on eating us out of house and home. They make me laugh every day, the little sh!#s, so I guess they can stay......
Dec 18, 2018 03:25PM hdmom wrote:
Highlyblessed, wow, I am so incredibly sorry AND ANGRY that you experienced that. Is there an alternative RO you can see? They are in the wrong profession if they can't muster a bit of compassion for someone going through a difficult and life-altering experience.
Thank you for the sweet animal pics! I have tried to convince my husband we need a puppy, and I thought I had a pretty good chance because I pretended to make my “cancer breast" say “I want a puppy, it will help me get better!" but he wasn't buying it haha! We had a good laugh, though.
Today was my second rad. I'm having pinkness and slight swelling, and some burning. Right after the treatment, I felt some pain in what would be the tumor bed area so that surprised me. Guess I will be having to stay on top of my skincare regimen! Eyes on the prize.
And I just emailed my MO to find out about antidepressant plans for when I start Tamoxifen. I am just finding out that so many can't be taken with Tamoxifen, including the Cymbalta I've been on for a few years. Kind of worried about that since I've tried about everything else. Oh well, one bridge at a time, right?
Here is my little furball, Oliver. He's been pushier about being on my lap lately. They really know what we need, don't they?
Best wishes to you all.
*oh, it won’t let me post his photo. Says I cannot post links?
Dec 18, 2018 03:26PM Highlyblessed wrote:
SPOONIE77 yes she is my regular radio oncologist today was my second time interacting with her and she was really standoffish went I first met her.I just chalked it up to her having a rough,busy day.But today she really showed her true colors.I can't switch radiation oncologist because she is the only one close by.Thanks so much for understanding
Dec 18, 2018 03:44PM LPLlibrarygirl wrote:
Just checking in after 3 hours napping on the couch. I am not sure how some of you are able to work through radiation. I am really lucky that today was # 12 out of 20 and my skin is holding up well. The hospital provided me with Jean's Cream and so far, so good. Like the others with left breast cancer I have to hold my breath for two different shots of radiation. If I take in too much air they tell me to let some out. If I don't take a big enough breath they ask me to take in more air. The techs will guide you through it, HighlyBlessed. Except for shoulder pain, and I have stopped exercising because it is only getting worse, radiation has been tolerable. Like Ghostie I am swollen, but I was that way before and from the CT scan I know I have a seroma. I will see my PT again on Thursday and try to figure out what to do. Week 3 is definitely more tiring. I walked around the hospital today after treatment for about half and hour, then came home to sleep. Part of the sleeping might be due to taking tylenol and ibuprophen to help with shoulder pain.
Welcome Keepmovin and HDmom! I usually don't cry because I take Zoloft, but that's changed in the last few weeks. My RO has referred me to a counselor who I will see for the first time tomorrow, She will change my Rx as well, and maybe I need a little more medicine. I'm also going to try to take advantage of a few Reiki sessions. My hospital offers chair massages and Reiki, if you time it right.
Love the pink shirts Pebbles! You have some supportive friends at work.
Take care everyone.
Dec 18, 2018 04:07PM LPLlibrarygirl wrote:
I responded above after only reading through page 8. I just read page 9 and can't believe the treatment of HighlyBlessed! That is outrageous. I am so sorry you are stuck with a doctor who has no compassion. And even if she was having a busy, rough day that is no excuse to treat you poorly.
Ghostie, I tried the "I think a dog would help me" line with my husband too! We used to have a cat, then two dogs. For the last few years I have had only chickens! They follow me around outdoors and come into the house if I leave the door open so I call them pets. Unfortunately this last batch stopped laying eggs and we gave them away. The pet pictures brighten my day.
Dec 18, 2018 04:17PM Cherryi3 wrote:
Joining you guys in the halfway done club. For all the newer people, I seem to be sailing through with very little to complain about. Shit. Probably just jinxed it. Tomorrow getting set up for boosts. Not sure if that’s when the most burning occurs? Sorry to hear the the insensitive RO stories. As a person who has never had significant health issues, I totally get the anxiety related to laying topless on tables and whipping out boobs for dozens of strangers. Wishing quick healing for all of you who are in pain
Dec 18, 2018 05:18PM - edited Dec 18, 2018 05:21PM by Spoonie77
HDMOM -- Just want to say I wish you luck on the transfer from Cymbalta to some other anti-depressant. The only options I was allowed were Effexor and Pristiq (a newer form of Effexor basically). Wishing you much better luck than I had. I could not tolerate either one. Tried for 2 months nearly. I felt suicidal and had the horrible of mental SEs, including feeling highly unstable and full of rage just out of the blue, within days of starting and it did not let up until I stopped taking it. Even doubling the dose did not change things, only increased them. This was not the case while I was on Cymbalta. I was great. Loved my Cymbalta. Felt like me. The same cannot be said of how I felt on either of those new drugs. That's part of the reason I had to decline Tamoxifen. My mental health is too important and there were no other options that would stabilize me. Since switching back about 10 days I am back to my old self. All the scary thoughts and rage and crazy emotional rollercoaster are gone. Guess the moral of this story is if you don't feel safe on it or are having issues be sure to let your doc know and if they keep telling you "Oh just tough it out" or xyz be your own advocate. not only is our physical health important but so is our mental health. Wishing you luck HDMOM.
CherryI3 - Fingers crossed for you as you start your boosts tomorrow. I was really nervous for mine and thought it would increase my SEs. Thankfully nothing too severe happened and the last week eventually ended. Hope yours goes quickly and smoothly.
Dec 18, 2018 05:33PM - edited Dec 18, 2018 05:34PM by Spoonie77
Thanks everyone for the support about my bone scan results and the surprise fractured rib. Although, gotta say my mind has kind of been whirling as to how in the heck I ended up with a broken rib in the first place. My bone density wasn't great, a few years back, so maybe it's to do with that? IDK. My primary is referring to me to see a new Rheum to see what's up with my ribs and the jaw issue (increased uptake) seen on the scan.
One day at a time right? Trying not to fall down the hole of "it could be this" or "whoa it might be that".
<..slaps self...> That feels better. Off to snuggle with the furry ones. Have a good night everyone.
Ms. Ari (R-eee) - sitting pretty and floooofy on "her" couch. I swear she's 12 pounds of furrr is she's a pound of bone and muscle!
And Ms. Gypsy claiming her new territory, the puppy my mom and dad gave her for her birthday this year! "Dis mine!"
Dec 18, 2018 05:57PM ghostie13 wrote:
Spoonie.....what a pretty cat and cute little pup! I should get pics of my cat herd....does 5 constitute a herd??? I don't know but sure sounds like it when they are racing around here like maniacs.......
Dec 18, 2018 06:07PM Wised wrote:
Spoonie, your cat is magnificent and that pic looks like a painting! Sweet little dog conquering a big pink one! Broken rib? Srsly? WTH? Have you been out all night partying without inviting us? I am right there with you regarding Pristiq. I take Zoloft for anxiety and was convinced to switch a number of years ago. It was awful! Is there any reason you couldn't take an AI with an ovary suppression?
I know I'm missing some people here, please forgive me. I'm crashing under the fatigue, knowing that active tx is over, and teaching middle school right before Christmas break. I love you all and think EVERYONE should have an emotional support animal.
Dec 18, 2018 06:27PM Cherryi3 wrote:
omg spoonie is that a ragdoll? I want one soooo bad but breeders around here want too much $. Sorry, I missed some posts about your jaw. I have terrible tmj and actually went to physical therapy for it. And also wtf with the rib?? The pain was there before rads? Sorry I can’t find the post if you already answered that. Haven’t been keeping up. It wasn’t caused by rads? Or maybe it was?