Join Us

We are 216,745 members in 84 forums discussing 160,184 topics.

Help with Abbreviations

Topic: What I did to cheer myself up during radiation

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

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

Posted on: Nov 18, 2019 12:56PM

mitziandbubba wrote:

I don't know if this might help others but radiation was very hard for me. I was hit with fatigue immediately. Plus the facility was an hour drive each way. I was too tired to drive as I would often fall asleep sitting up. I was so glad to have skipped chemo that I didn't count on how hard it would be.

I decided to do a few things to make myself feel better that worked well - I had heard about chemo patients marking off each chemo session in a special way, so I decided to do a version of this:

- for each of the 21 days of radiation, I marked them off by getting myself a different Starbucks drink. I normally only drink black coffee or green tea so this was kind of fun - although I didn't get too wild with that Tie Dye Frappuccino or anything. After rads my husband and I would go get a drink. The following day I'd report to my rads team what I had. They thought it was funny - I live in a rural area and we don't have Starbucks! Part of the silver lining of cancer treatment was all the trips to civilization. I once even blurted out to my surgeon that the best part of cancer was all the new restaurants I got to try. I think she almost fell over.

- we babysat a friend's puppy and after Starbucks, I'd buy a treat for both the puppy and my dog, a different one each day - maybe 2 some days or a treat and a toy. When we got home I'd delight in watching both pups enjoy their gift.

- in the changing room, I made sure to fold my clothes very neatly after changing into my gown. This way when I came back, I felt like I had done a small but important thing to care for myself.

- I did start to wear a different bright eyeshadow look each day but this quickly proved too difficult when I snagged the first appointment in the morning. But I did always wear a bright lip, which was easier.

These little things made my life so much better. I just wanted to share. It's hard to have pleasant memories of cancer treatment, but I do have them.

Surgery 5/9/2019 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 5/29/2019 Lymph node removal: Sentinel Dx IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
Log in to post a reply

Page 1 of 1 (11 results)

Posts 1 - 11 (11 total)

Log in to post a reply

Nov 18, 2019 01:15PM berries wrote:

Thank you for sharing! I follow someone on instagram who "dressed up" for radiation everyday in a cute, unique outfit and took pictures of herself. It's so important to take extra special care of yourself during this time. I am sure it is so rough, so self-care is essential.

Dx 8/6/2019, DCIS/IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 4/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/18/2019 Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (right) Chemotherapy 10/24/2019 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 2/17/2020 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant Radiation Therapy 3/31/2020 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Chemotherapy 4/30/2020 Xeloda (capecitabine) Hormonal Therapy 5/8/2020 Arimidex (anastrozole)
Log in to post a reply

Nov 18, 2019 01:21PM mitziandbubba wrote:

I thought about dressing up too! My one friend had asked me to do that and take a photo every day but I didn't do it. If I was going to have chemo she had said I expect to see you in a fabulous outfit with a beautiful matching head scarf. She said she would not allow me to look any less than my best despite cancer, she expected more of me LOL. She was sending me pictures of scarves, turbans, everything to encourage me. It was very sweet.

I did take photos every week for friends to let them know it was another week down! But I didn't look especially great. I had an early morning appointment and it was all I could do just to get there!

Surgery 5/9/2019 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 5/29/2019 Lymph node removal: Sentinel Dx IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
Log in to post a reply

Nov 22, 2019 02:48AM suzee30317 wrote:

These are great ideas, and kudos to you for making the long trip every day AND babysitting a puppy while going through this!

I have also been hit by fatigue more than expected. I am on day 13 of 20, and have two goals every day - one is to dress nicely for radiation appt., ('look like a person' as our family says) and the other is to still be functional enough to make something for dinner every night. Neither are required, of course - I could wear slouchy sweats and a t to radiation and it would be fine, and I could pull something out of the freezer, my husband could cook, or we could get take out. But planning for to those two things has helped me take things one day at a time and allows me to feel 'still standing' at the end of each day - radiation hasn't beat me yet.

Dx 7/26/2019, LCIS/ILC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/19/2019 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 11/5/2019 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 1/1/2020 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
Log in to post a reply

Nov 22, 2019 05:37AM mitziandbubba wrote:

suzee hang in there, you are more than halfway through! Mine was 21 days. Good for you for being able to still make dinner each night! A lot of the time I was in bed sleeping at dinner time and my husband would wake me to eat!

The puppy was with us for a whole month and he was a rather good distraction - and he needed lots of walks, hikes, playtime.The dogs both got us out on hikes several times a week which was great b/c I was not going to the gym during treatment.

Surgery 5/9/2019 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 5/29/2019 Lymph node removal: Sentinel Dx IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
Log in to post a reply

Nov 22, 2019 05:18PM - edited Nov 22, 2019 05:51PM by AliceBastable

This Post was deleted by AliceBastable.
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 10/28/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
Log in to post a reply

Nov 22, 2019 06:46PM Cowgirl13 wrote:

mitziandbubba, absolutely wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the Devil says: 'Oh crap! She's up! Dx 5/28/2009, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 6/18/2009 Chemotherapy 8/3/2009 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 12/21/2009 Hormonal Therapy 2/23/2010 Arimidex (anastrozole)
Log in to post a reply

Nov 22, 2019 07:46PM TB90 wrote:

I travelled 1.5 hrs each direction throughout February and March in Manitoba, Canada. I drove alone and thank goodness, fatigue was never a SE. The road conditions were treacherous at times. My reward was tulips 🌷 from the hospital gift shop every day. My hone was filled with spring flowers in the midst of a dismal Canadian winter.

Dx 11/28/2013, DCIS, Grade 2 Surgery 12/17/2013 Mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 2/19/2014 Breast
Log in to post a reply

Nov 23, 2019 12:23AM - edited Nov 23, 2019 12:59AM by AliceBastable

This Post was deleted by AliceBastable.
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 10/28/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
Log in to post a reply

Nov 23, 2019 06:49AM mitziandbubba wrote:

TB90 - wow you are amazing - 1.5 hours?!? We get bad winters sometimes where I live so I was actually grateful that I had treatment in the summer in a way - although I did miss out on all the usual fun activities like kayaking that I love. I kept thinking imagine all of this driving in winter!

I was so fortunate my husband could drive me bc I did fall asleep sitting up many times. And I can picture all of those gorgeous tulips in your home. Were they all different colors or do you have a favorite color?

Tulips are my favorite flower, we have a bed of tulips and my other favorite irises growing together in our garden. They were here already when we bought our house as if they knew I was coming. :)

Surgery 5/9/2019 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 5/29/2019 Lymph node removal: Sentinel Dx IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
Log in to post a reply

Jan 17, 2020 03:17PM milolucymom wrote:

Great ideas! Thanks for sharing. I'm also giving myself little treats--a new lip gloss each time I'm at the store, etc. And I've been making lists of all those shows on Netflix or Prime that I keep meaning to watch, but somehow never do. Sometimes it's the littlest things, but whatever it takes, right?! Best of luck moving forward!

milolucymom
Log in to post a reply

Jan 17, 2020 07:19PM 2019whatayear wrote:

I wear different cute fuzzy sock to rads b/c I have a gown on top so I go with leggings and cute socks. During chemo I had a lucky button down shirt I wore every time and under it I wore a variety of T shirts- and when it was Oct, Nov, Dec I wore holiday themed :-) Each week of Taxol I had a different treat for myself like one week I did a painting class and another time I borrowed an audiobook from the library -

This week my treat for a week of radiation was binge watching The Circle on Netflix. :-) Next week it's a freezer meal workshop, Week after that I will probably get some more socks for myself!

IDC 2 cm micromets 1 node 8 more removed. BMX 6/24, A/C then Taxol 7/25, 25 rads 1/6/2020 No reconstruction BRCA2 - BSO 2/19 all clear/ starting AI on 3/1/2020

Page 1 of 1 (11 results)