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Topic: Starting Radiation August 2021 - Anyone else?

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

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

Posted on: Jul 29, 2021 02:20PM

MaineJen wrote:

I hope I'm not duplicating efforts here. Couldn't find another group under this heading. Anyone else starting in August sometime? I just finished my final round of chemo and am not looking forward to starting radiation so soon. But that's life. Anyway, anyone else?

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Sep 14, 2021 02:27AM ubershop7 wrote:

Yea! Good for you that you have the PT.

Dx 5/2016, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH)
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Sep 14, 2021 03:25PM MaineJen wrote:

Hello everyone. Hugs to each and every one of you. It is starting to look and feel a bit more like autumn around here (in Maine), and as I drove to radiation today, I saw a few red leaves here and there. And I thought of all of you. We're on the cusp of change and we're all closer than we were before to this radiation thing being over. Thank goodness.

LOADS of love to you all!

Jen

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Sep 14, 2021 03:26PM MaineJen wrote:

Also: has anyone in this group completely finished yet? If so, I'm so sorry I missed a chance to say YAYYYY!!!!

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Sep 14, 2021 03:36PM Mich21 wrote:

Finished RADS on 8/25 and today I just took my first Anastrozole hormone pill. Fingers crossed that it goes well. I could’ve waited another week to start but I was only stressing about it, better to just know!!

I love that the leaves are changing for you Jen, it’s my favorite time of the year 😍

Dx 3/8/2021, LCIS/IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 6/8/2021 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 8/3/2021 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 9/14/2021 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Sep 14, 2021 07:24PM MaineJen wrote:

Michele - hooray! If I already congratulated you on finishing, apologies. I'm losing my mind between chemo and radiation. Seriously! LOL! It's insane. Anyway, I super duper hope you don't have a hard time on anastrozole. I hope it goes well! I would have done the same thing - let's just take it and find out asap! LOL. Anyway, keep us posted on how you're doing and yay! xoxoxoxo

It is the best time of year. Pumpkins (glass and other types :) ), squash and yummy soups and stews and fireplaces and pretty leaves and apples and crisp air and more. I think I shared that I grew up in Los Angeles. I remember cutting out pretty leaves and pasting them on windows for autumn when I was a kid. And then we cut out snowflakes during winter. I yearned for autumn when I was a kid. I'm glad we all are getting radiation over with before autumn is in full swing - I don't want any negative associations! LOL.

xoxoxo

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Sep 14, 2021 11:34PM Esther01 wrote:

Good point, Jen! I sure don't want to associate radiation with anything! Why ruin a perfectly good holiday..

I was reflecting today - on my daily involuntary commute - radiation is like a job we didn't apply for and that we can't quit. Thank God there is an end to it, for each of us. Every day is bringing us one day closer to the Finish Line! WOOHOO!!

How is everyone doing with your skin? Any recommendations on what works best for you? We might be helping those who haven't yet started. I am still using the Boiron Calendula Cream and some occasional California Baby Calendula samples. Other than occasional itching which is hard to resist scratching, only a little nipple soreness.

I forgot that today was the setup for my boosts and accidentally wore a white shirt. What was I thinking? They painted me with green marker, and I had a good laugh in the dressing room once I realized I was in trouble. I usually just lotion up and wear the shirt home but this time I had to wear my bra (which immediately became greenstained). At least I saved the shirt.

HAHA That sounded like I just wore the bra and not the shirt. LOL!! Now that would have been an embarrassing walk out to the car.

Sleep well, sweet sisters. Thinking of each of you and praying - we can do this!

Love,

Esther


Grateful to Jesus, that His love finally broke through to me. "With one touch, You just rolled away the stone that held my heart," - Lyrics by Keith Green, " 7 weeks of Radiation including supraclavicular nodes. Dx 12/2020, IDC, Stage IIB, 5/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 12/20/2020 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 6/9/2021 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Reconstruction (left) Radiation Therapy 8/4/2021 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Sep 15, 2021 09:49AM Serendipity09 wrote:

Esther!! Been thinking about you! Ha Ha Ha! The white t-shirt...I did that the day before my DMX, I wore a white t-shirt and my PS marked with this deep purple marker, I was headed to have lunch right after, lol.

I just told my son yesterday exactly that; radiation is like going to work. For me, more-so the commute. It takes me longer to get there then actually being there. My sessions seem to be like 10 minutes, which I'm thankful for.

I've being using the cream that the RO gave me and it seems to be working, my breast is still red and my son told me that there's a red area on my shoulder blade, which is probably the exit point, my armpit is ok, baseball feeling is gone, but my underarm feels raw. The nurse told me not to use the Boiron and to use what they gave me. When I told her about the raw patch under my arm she said they would be give a gel pad that's impregnated with something that will help relieve it. I'll let you know what it is when I get it today. As I've said before, my breasts and armpit are numb so I don't feel the sunburn. My neck and shoulder pain is better, thank God. I am experiencing headaches on the right side of my head and pressure in my right eye and ear. I realize they are only zapping my breast. but I've never had headaches or pressure like this. My scar seems to be angry too. I see George Clooney...I mean my RO today, so I'll ask him.

Jen - YES! It is the most wonderful time of the year! The weather here is different every day, the weekend was very fall-like, yesterday was 80, today it's nice and fresh, tomorrow we begin an upward trend into the mid 80's into the weekend. Much like my mood these days, we never know what the weather will be like, lol.

Have a beautiful day my pretties!


Dx 3/2020, IDC, Right, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Chemotherapy 4/1/2020 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 9/17/2020 Lymph node removal; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 11/3/2020 Xeloda (capecitabine) Dx 7/2021, Right, 2cm, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 7/9/2021 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin)
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Sep 15, 2021 03:12PM MaineJen wrote:

Esther, it IS like a job we didn't apply for and cannot quit. GREAT description. And yes, thank God there is an end for goodness sakes! And boosts: I'm having my boosts starting Monday next week....why green marker? What do they do that's so different for boosts? I had no idea. I thought they just pointed the zaps differently LOL. And you crack me up!

I drench my boob and shoulder and throat (doing nodes too) in aloe vera "Celor "- gel - 3 times/day. Then, at bedtime I slather on Aquaphor everywhere. I sleep with it on overnight. Quite messy LOL. but helpful. Unfortunately, I'm apparently in the 2-3% of people who experience chronic nausea during radiation. I'm pretty sure it has to do with doing it right after chemo. But anyway, the under-my-boob area (is there a word for that area LOL) is terribly sore and blistering. :( I've been told to cut a t-shirt and put the square under my boob all day so it stops rubbing my skin raw. I started that today. I keep thinking "are they DONE YET?" but apparently they're not. LOL. That said, I finish a week from tomorrow. Thank God. They've changed my plan a couple of times. I cannot remember the lingo about what they're doing to me, but it has something to do with more intense amounts of radiation each time, across less time now. Or something. I just want it over! LOL

Ivy I'm so glad your neck and shoulder pain is better. xo It makes total sense to me that you have headaches and pressure in your ear and eye. I feel so fatigued and sick to my tummy all of the time even though they're only blasting my boob and nodes. I think when radiation is zapped into our bodies at these intense levels, day after day, our bodies scream for it to stop. And when it doesn't stop, our bodies react in various ways. I think your body is so done with this crap, and I hope that your headaches and pain subside - SOON. But it makes sense on some level to me. Sending healing hugs your way. Gentle ones, so we don't squish each other's ouchy-parts LOL. Ivy: remind me where you are again?

Love to all.

Jen

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Sep 15, 2021 08:59PM Serendipity09 wrote:

Jen - I'm in Wisconsin. Wishing I lived in Maine or Vermont, especially this time of year.

I've been wanting to respond to you about feeling bad about yearning for your hair. Do not feel bad! I had long, thick, beautiful, blonde, curly hair. I thought I had prepared myself mentally for when it fell out...NOPE! To me having lost my hair was worse than the SE's of chemo. I could not look at myself in the mirror without my wig or a scarf. I looked once and cried for days, I swear, I looked like Uncle Fester from the Addams family. I wouldn't even let my son see me without something covering my head. I'm a year out from my last treatment with about 4/5 inches of hair on my head. I finally ditched my wig in June. My hair came in darker, but still curly and thick. I still struggle with my appearance. I know it sounds vain, but I don't care, I guess I'm vain. People I've known all my life (family members and friends) don't recognize me, when they realize it's me, they're shocked, not in a bad way, but I definitely look different. I can't wait to dye it, but going to wait until it's a bit longer.

The RO checked my skin today and said that everything looks good so far. Didn't need the gel patch as there is no blistering of the skin and the scars look good. Hoping that it all stays that way, but anticipating some change as I'm only 7 days in. He was very opptimistic.

May you all have a beautiful night!

Dx 3/2020, IDC, Right, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Chemotherapy 4/1/2020 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 9/17/2020 Lymph node removal; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 11/3/2020 Xeloda (capecitabine) Dx 7/2021, Right, 2cm, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 7/9/2021 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin)
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Sep 16, 2021 12:40PM MaineJen wrote:

Ivy,

I've read and re-read your note re: hair. I cried reading it. I'm so grateful for your sharing. This has been so painful and scary and hard for me. I keep asking myself "what's wrong with me?" because I keep thinking I shouldn't care about this sort of thing because the top priority is staying alive and of course, I'll exchange just about any hair or anything for a chance to be here to watch my kids grow up. That said, it has been so upsetting. So disorienting. I don't even wear wigs - but I don't go around bald. I wear baseball caps with scarves underneath, like the "typical" cancer patient - in public (mostly). At home, I wear a soft cap (designed with a bandana pattern). I found that wigs hurt my head during chemo and now radiation, my skin is so sensitive. Also: whenever I look at the wigs - and maybe it's just because I've felt so yukki physically that I don't have a lot of emotional energy for anything different - I get upset. I think "those are NOT ME" - and I break down! I spent hundreds of dollars before I lost my hair - on wigs. I haven't touched them and I'm wondering if I ever will. I had one made with my own hair (through https://chemodiva.com ) which I was 100% sure would solve my pain. Nope. I bought gorgeous blue and purple long curly wigs to try to be playful. Haven't felt playful once since my hair came out. :( I just want MY hair back. Even if it comes back different than before (it sounds like it was the same as yours but brown and lots of gray LOL), I'd be fine with whatever comes.

I'm scared it won't return to me. This happens to a small percentage of people. And I'm always one of the small percentage people. :( Like, 2-3% of us get chronic nausea from radiation. Me. Of course! :( If it doesn't come back, I'll have to confront something even harder than this. Of course, I'll find a way to deal with whatever. But still

Do you mind me asking you this: when did it start to grow back? I mean start? Like - sprouting out of your head. It's been 8 weeks tomorrow since I had my last chemo infusion...my finger nails are still falling off and I still have other symptoms, so my guess is it may take a while for my body to recover. I keep saying I'll wait til Halloween before I officially freak. LOL. But my husband keeps saying I'm not doing a good job of waiting LOL.

Anyway, sending love and appreciation. I realllllly appreciate your helpful words here. Thank you.

Jen

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Sep 16, 2021 01:10PM Serendipity09 wrote:

Jen - {HUGS} it's hard when you don't feel like yourself, but it's even more difficult to not look like yourself. I get it and no one can tell you how to feel, you need to go through the grieving because so much of this is loss, and I'm not talking about physical loss of any kind.

I noticed my hair starting to really come in on Halloween day last year, so about 10 weeks after my last chemo infusion. I thought it would never happen. It started slow, but about month 6 it really started to grow crazy fast!

I know exactly how you feel, but be patient, it will come back. I spent a lot of money on wigs too, but used them a lot. At first my scalp was very sensitive, I had folliculitis (I like saying that word). I used organic coconut oil that helped relieve it. I also found that my scalp would hurt when my hair was about to start growing, even recently, I saw a spurt in growth and I knew it was coming as my scalp/follicles hurt. I started taking Biotin as soon as I finished chemo, which I think helped. Chemo had no effect on my nails. Towards the end though, they started lifting, so I was just careful with my hands.

Be extra kind to yourself, try not to be so hard on yourself either. None of this is fun, but God-willing, it will pass.

Saying an extra prayer for you today!

Dx 3/2020, IDC, Right, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Chemotherapy 4/1/2020 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 9/17/2020 Lymph node removal; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 11/3/2020 Xeloda (capecitabine) Dx 7/2021, Right, 2cm, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 7/9/2021 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin)
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Sep 16, 2021 05:27PM MaineJen wrote:

Hi, Ivy - Hugs right back to you. Thank you so much for your understanding, kindness, prayers and reassurance.You are so helpful - you really do get it. 10 weeks. Ok, so I'm not the only one waiting this long. That's a huge relief. What is Biotin? I'll look it up. :) Anyway, thank you SO much for this note. GIANT hugs to you. GIANT hugs. xoxoxoxoxo

Jen

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Sep 16, 2021 07:57PM Mich21 wrote:

I don’t feel at all brave or badass or any of the affirmations given to breast cancer survivors- I feel like I’m scared of everything, even more now. Worried about everything and just taking each day as it comes. You ladies inspire me, truly, to know that I am not alone.

I appreciate the candid stories. Anastrozole day 3 and I am okay. My skin from radiation is much better, I am using Calendula still but really only at night. Some nerve pain but no skin pain currently.

Hope you all have a great pre-Friday ;)

Dx 3/8/2021, LCIS/IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 6/8/2021 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 8/3/2021 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 9/14/2021 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Sep 16, 2021 10:51PM jasmine2717 wrote:

Good evening dear ones and hugs to all. I think about you all daily and follow along reading your posts nightly before bed but I am usually too sleepy to contribute, but tonight I'm feeling more alert due to a late afternoon cup of coffee! The last time I'd posted I hadn't begun radiation and had no start date, but I'm happy to report now that I have completed 8 of 16 and I'm halfway to ringing the bell!!

Esther your observation about this "commute" being to a job we didn't sign up for is such a perfect description. It took me several days to get in the swing of things, and I feel like I won't have it down pat until it's almost finished! My appointments are always before 9:15 am, so many times I'm driving in rush hour which just adds to the stress of the whole thing. The good thing is that since I'm done early, and I'm retired, I have the whole day ahead of me. The town I'm going to is about 40 minutes from my house and a place I don't go to often, so most days I stay there and take a walk, go to a museum, or grab a coffee and read a book, and then run errands on the way home. This all is probably really not helping with my fatigue, but if having cancer has taught me anything it's that I need to squeeze as much out of life as I can.

Take care everyone and I'm so glad tomorrow is Friday so we have a few days off!

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Sep 17, 2021 02:32PM Serendipity09 wrote:

Mich - I'm with you! I don't feel strong or brave. When I thought I was in the all clear, I didn't feel like a survivor. I don't like and cringe when any of those words are used to describe this experience (notice I didn't say journey). I'm doing what I need to do to live and will continue to do so as long as necessary and my body and mind can handle it. Like you, I worry about everything. Hell, a mosquito bite freaked me out last week, lol. It's mind-boggling. You are an inspiration as well! Keep your chin up!

Glad that Anastrozole has been tolerable for you. I'm already worrying myself sick about Xeloda and we don't even have a start date for that yet. Not sure if I mentioned in a previous post, but I had a terrible experience with it last year, my body could not tolerate it. I'm praying that it was too close to when I had finished infusion chemo and that this time around will be different. My feet have started to hurt the past week, I'm thinking because of the change in weather, and I know Xeloda will make it so much worse. UGH!

Jasmine - YAY to being half way!! I'm thrilled to have the weekend off!

Have a wonderful Friday lovelies!

Dx 3/2020, IDC, Right, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Chemotherapy 4/1/2020 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 9/17/2020 Lymph node removal; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 11/3/2020 Xeloda (capecitabine) Dx 7/2021, Right, 2cm, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 7/9/2021 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin)
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Sep 17, 2021 03:47PM MaineJen wrote:

Michele - I, too, don't feel brave or badass at all. Like - not at all. One friend keeps telling me "cancer is no match for Jennifer" and I know she's trying to be nice and convey faith in me, so I don't say anything - I just smile or say thank you. But I'm like - um, that's so wrong. Whether cancer kills me or not has nothing - absolutely nothing to do with my will or the force of my personality or my strength as a person. I have said to people that cancer kills super strong, courageous people and super cowardly people and nice people and mean people. People "beat" cancer (whatever that means) whether they're nice or mean or strong or weak or whatever. It's just not about who we are as people and it certainly is not about whether we're brave or not. That type of thinking drives me nuts. It makes people who live after cancer treatment into heroes and people who die - apparently those who die were not heroic enough? It's gross - even if it is meant to be nice. I also hate the word "survivor" and I also hate the word "journey." I'm so with you on all of that. LOL If I had hair, it would have gone even more gray every time I hear things like that. LOL

Like you, I'm doing what I need to do to live. Until I just cannot do it anymore, I'll keep doing it.

Jasmine, I love that you take yourself for a walk or to a museum or to coffee when you're done with a treatment. That's so lovely. I wish we could all go with you on one of those outings. The fatigue is real, though. So go easy on yourself. That said, I do get that you want to enjoy as many thing as you can. Sometimes simple pleasures are the best kinds. I don't know why, but since I've been going through treatment, tiny little things have brought me feelings of happiness like never before. Like stupid tiny things. Maybe I notice things now that I didn't notice before. I don't know. Anyway, sending a hug. I'm glad you shared.

My son is in here now. More later to all of you.

Loads of love on this Friday. Yay! A weekend off from radiation! (THANK GOD!)

Jen



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Sep 17, 2021 09:26PM - edited Sep 17, 2021 09:38PM by Esther01

Happy Friday, my dear lovelies!!! No radiation all weekend! Hurray!

Jasmine, how I wish we were all being treated in the same place - we would take off together for coffee and explore those museums... we'd have such fun losing track of time together. Our families would all start texting, "Where are you? When are you making dinner? When will you be home?" I think it's great that you're doing that. They say that walking helps with the fatigue even though it's hard to do when we're tired. You had me laughing about the tough commute because mine was so awful this morning I couldn't even speak when I arrived at the hospital. I"m tired of wedging the lumpectomy pillow between me and the seatbelt. It always pops out like a fumbled football when I'm changing lanes! I must look really funny struggling with this big pink pillow in the air. I can't wait to ditch it.

Ivy, I am praying that the Xeloda works way better for you this time around. You are probably right about having had the infusion chemo right before. I'm so glad you didn't need the gel patch and I'm praying it stays that way. Still, it's good to know there's something we can apply to our skin for relief when the blistering gets bad.

Michele, I'm glad your skin is recovering and that the Anastrozole is not bad so far. I am in the boosts now. I only have two days left of rads. I could cry with relief and I probably will on Tuesday. I didn't realize that the "boosts" would be way easier than the first six weeks of regular radiation. It only takes a few minutes and I don't have to hold my breath anymore. I wish I had known that... I wouldn't have been as anxious about this final week.

Hey I wanted to tell you gals about something my RO mentioned yesterday. He recommended Bio-Oil. He said to wait until a month after radiation to begin using it on the radiated breast. He says massaging the breast with it will help make the tissue softer with less scar tissue. He said that when one of his patients used it after mastectomy and only on the radiated breast, during her follow-up with the expanders, her other breast had a lot more stiff scar tissue than the one that had been radiated; he believes it was the benefit from massaging with Bio-oil. My new PT says if I bring it in, she will massage me with that.

Speaking of... I finally switched PT this week. Only took me six weeks to make the move, LOL! Glad I did. The new place is in a major cancer center and they have a machine called L-Dex which assesses your tissue fluid build-up and can detect whether or not you have or are currently at risk for lymphedema. The L-Dex website says there is 81% lower incidence of chronic cancer-related lymphedema with L-Dex monitoring and intervention than with circumference monitoring in a meta-analysis of 67,000 patients! I guess those pen marks my former PT was putting on my arm every week was the "circumference monitoring" method. 81%, that's kind of a big deal! Unlike my former PT, my new one gave me a nice long massage on the cording in my arm by massaging the tissue near my elbow, even though the tightness and impaired ROM is in my armpit. The cord stretches from the inside of my elbow to my armpit. She said, "I can't massage your underarm until your skin heals. It's a hot mess right now!" LOL I should not be laughing at that but it was such a funny - true - and unexpected thing for her to say... my underarm is very red. She re-measured my range of motion before I left, and it was measurably better. I am relieved to be in a better place than where I was for the first six weeks, and that maybe she will be able to resolve my cording. I also pray that none of us get any lymphedema!

Jen and Ivy, my heart was heavy this week thinking about what you all have gone through with losing your hair. I don't know why I was not a candidate for chemo, but I did not even handle the visual impact of my surgery outcome well. I hated every glimpse of my Ms. Frankenstein chest for weeks after surgery and that's not even losing my hair. I can see why losing our hair is so much more traumatic - even when it grows in differently and even if the new hair is truly beautiful, we are accustomed to seeing our familiar selves in the mirror our whole lives - and when that changes, it must be very traumatic. I don't think that is vain at all. Love and hugs to each of you going through that - I love each of you so much and I hate that this is truly so hard.

Hey Jen, I'll take some of those red leaves! We don't have "seasons" out here in California. Truly, there is like one tree on our hill that changes colors. I'm not kidding. One tree! I have starting watching "Autumn Ambience" videos on YouTube. Have you all seen those? They are gorgeous! I love that you can listen to the rain, wind, windchimes, rustling leaves, and the ambience is so beautiful. So ready for fall weather. And yes it is funny the things people say to us. I know they are just trying to be loving and kind. No one ever knows what to say to someone who is going through trauma. At least these are the friends who stuck around, right? Some of our friends disappeared when they heard we got cancer; hurts worse than the awkward comment here or there.

I hope that each of you has a wonderful and relaxing weekend. Please know how much you are truly loved and appreciated. You have made my radiation experience so much more bearable with your love and gentleness and kindness and because I knew we were all going through this together. If you get a chance, check out that Autumn Ambience. It's lovely!!

Much love - xoxoxoxo

Esther


Grateful to Jesus, that His love finally broke through to me. "With one touch, You just rolled away the stone that held my heart," - Lyrics by Keith Green, " 7 weeks of Radiation including supraclavicular nodes. Dx 12/2020, IDC, Stage IIB, 5/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 12/20/2020 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 6/9/2021 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Reconstruction (left) Radiation Therapy 8/4/2021 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Sep 18, 2021 12:46PM Esther01 wrote:

Jen, I forgot to mention, you are amazing! You are loving and supportive and retain your hilarious sense of humor even when you must feel yucky. I feel so awful that you are having nausea during radiation. That "weird percentage person" is usually me. I wish you would get a really good break from it, like, forever! My brain is trying to remember the strategies that I've heard my doctor mention how to get rid of nausea during rads, but by the time I remember what she said, you will be done! I guess I have my own brand of brain fog.

Sending love and gentle hugs,

Esther


Grateful to Jesus, that His love finally broke through to me. "With one touch, You just rolled away the stone that held my heart," - Lyrics by Keith Green, " 7 weeks of Radiation including supraclavicular nodes. Dx 12/2020, IDC, Stage IIB, 5/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 12/20/2020 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 6/9/2021 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Reconstruction (left) Radiation Therapy 8/4/2021 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Sep 18, 2021 08:06PM MaineJen wrote:

Esther - you are right that the friends who disappeared - well, that does feel worse than the ones who say wrong or awkward things. You're always so forgiving and generous. I tend to get worked up about this stuff. So thank you for the reminder. Being more forgiving is always a better path anyway. xo

And: "Autumn Ambiance" videos! OMG. I Love it! Can this video be found next to "crickets at the ocean"? (LOL) Wasn't that another video you mentioned a long time ago (or a few weeks ago, which feels like years ago already)? You amaze me with the things you've found on YouTube!

Sending love to everyone this evening. Saturday - a day without radiation. YAY!

Jen

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Sep 19, 2021 01:10PM Serendipity09 wrote:

I agree, wish we could all be together, getting some coffee, going to a museum. Jasmine, Love that you are taking advantage of the time and doing some fun stuff. I've been finding myself going shopping, A LOT! Not good :) I try to just window shop, but that does not happen. I usually don't feel fatigued until later in the day so I take try to do something on my way home.

My bones are hurting a lot lately, not blaming rads, probably weather related. I'm barely able to walk by the time bed time comes. I had something similar last year during chemo. I've suffered from neuropathy for a while, but this feels like it's bone related and it does not get better when I put my feet up; so frustrating. Ok, sorry for complaining.

The weekend has been a nice break! It's a beautiful day here; sunny and warm, not humid. Probably one of the last for the year.

Frankenstein! LOL (funny, not funny)! I never thought about it like that, but yes! That's what I can compare it too! GEEZ, if I really think about it, my bc experience is all Halloween related; looking like Uncle Fester, pale like a ghost, pieced together like Frankenstein, howling like a werewolf whenever I walk at night. My son would probably say that I was mean, more-so crabby like a witch LOL. I guess if I had to put a positive spin on it it would be that it's been Halloween for a year and a half for me.

I swear my hair defined me and I cannot wait for it to be long again. Thanking God daily as it's slowly getting there. Again, hoping and praying for you Jen that it's starts growing soon and that it goes very fast.

Esther - thanks for telling us about Autumn Ambience - love it!!

I am going to get the Bio-oil; I've been eyeing it for a few weeks. I'm so glad you mentioned it.

Wishing you all a lovely Sunday!



Dx 3/2020, IDC, Right, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Chemotherapy 4/1/2020 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 9/17/2020 Lymph node removal; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 11/3/2020 Xeloda (capecitabine) Dx 7/2021, Right, 2cm, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 7/9/2021 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin)
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Sep 20, 2021 12:08PM Esther01 wrote:

Morning sweet friends,

OK Ivy, as a fellow "Frankensteinian," you crack me up! Halloween for a year and a half, I get that. And, "howling like a werewolf at night." LOL!!! Awful experience, I know, but SO funny the way you have encapsulated it!! I'm glad your hair is beginning to grow in again and pray the same will be happening for Jen.

Jen, you crack me up! What a good memory you have. Yes, I am still listening to "Crickets at the beach" at night. It really helps me sleep. This morning I have one on called, "Breakfast in Bed Ambience with nature and morning sounds to brighten your day." I'm really drawn to the breakfast tray... a chocolate croissant and a steaming cup of coffee but I can't figure out what's on the plate next to it. Looks like cheesecake with strawberry sauce on top, but who eats that for breakfast? I love having these on during the day when I work from home. So cheerful. Wow, we have a big heat wave coming this week, so I guess no fall weather out here for awhile longer.

I'm thinking of each of you today as we go in for our rads. Hang in there!

Love,

Esther

Grateful to Jesus, that His love finally broke through to me. "With one touch, You just rolled away the stone that held my heart," - Lyrics by Keith Green, " 7 weeks of Radiation including supraclavicular nodes. Dx 12/2020, IDC, Stage IIB, 5/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 12/20/2020 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 6/9/2021 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Reconstruction (left) Radiation Therapy 8/4/2021 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Sep 21, 2021 12:05AM - edited Sep 21, 2021 12:10AM by Marlade

Hi ladies! I have missed you all! Sorry I have not been able to keep up with all the posts, finally catching up this evening. I am so sorry some of you are having pain and nausea and dealing with all the crap that we get from the treatments for the stupid disease! I use ginger chews and ginger tea for the nausea or ginger ale, flat if possible. Hopefully that will help.

I finished on the 10th! Rang the bell! My team was amazing and I actually missed seeing them each morning, but also not. I am sure you get my meaning. After packing up the rv and heading back home, it took me 2 days to put away everything that needed to go back to the house! LOL! I was warned to expect the effects to continue to intensify over the next 2 weeks. That will be the end of this week. The fatigue is kicking my butt!!! Skin is ok, a little red especially under my arm and under my breast. I just keep using the creams that I have, radiation burn cream, calendula and aquaphor at least 2 -3 times a day. CBD cream for the pain. I have continued to work 4-5 hours a day and am exhausted when I finally get off work. I have been trying to increase the hours at work and have been able to add about an hour in for this week so far, it's only Monday and already rethinking this. The pain comes and goes but, so far I have gotten through with just the CBD. I also take the bra off as soon as I get home, it does help. I am so happy this part is over. Got an al clear for now from the plastic surgeon, she will monitor every 3 - 6 months for changes to the reconstructed breast. Next step - Arimidex or Aromasin? not looking forward to the AI but I will go in with an open mind and take it one day at a time. In the meantime lots of checkups and like you Mich21 I get to prepare for my colonoscopy the first part of November. I am on a 3 year rotation now since I have had multiple pre cancerous polyps in previous scans. DOES THIS EVER END?

I am happy to see all of your posts and hope you all continue to hang in there and get through this! We are warriors! I think of you all daily!! Love you all.

Marla

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Sep 21, 2021 12:47PM MaineJen wrote:

Marla! I love that photo of you ringing the bell! You are awesome and I'm SO HAPPY for you that you're done! Although, yes, I've also been told that the side effects last for at least a couple of weeks afterwards. The fatigue is intense, isn't it? And I hope you'll be careful about not pushing yourself with work and adding hours too quickly. Your body is dealing with a lot of stuff no one can see - it's all invisible mostly but it's really a thing - a big thing. So please be gentle with yourself. "Does this ever end" indeed! That is what it feels like, right? Ugh!

Esther: Breakfast in bed ambiance? LOL!YOu are adorable@!! And the cheesecake??? LOLOLOL!!! Love it. You are a doll. xo

Ivy - no apologies for complaining - omg we are all here suffering together. Is your bone pain resolving? Yikes-a-roo. Ouch. That's the worst! And you are HILARIOUS about Halloween for a year and a half! OMG LOL!

Love you ladies all so much.

I believe today is Esther's last day - HOORAYYY!! Check in with us when you can, Esther.

My last day is Thursday and it couldn't come soon enough. I know you all know what I mean.

I've been so bitchy to the radiation techs so many times - I'm just not in the mood to be chatty when I go in at all. Anyway, yesterday I had a pang of guilt that I've made them so miserable so I bought Dunkin Donuts for the whole staff and showed up and said "sorry if I've been bitchy, but this is just a tough road to be on and I want you to know it's not personal." I've had that chat before with them (I think I have shared) but this time I added donuts to the mix. :) I think they appreciated it. But gosh, I just hate this and want to be DONE.

Love you all!

Jen

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Sep 21, 2021 03:15PM Serendipity09 wrote:

Marla - congrats on being done with rads! I pray the effects begin to go away! Great picture!!

Jen - Two more days! That's awesome, I'm happy for you and also pray that things begin to get better for you, for all of you/us!

That was very sweet of you to take them donuts. I'm sure they appreciated it and understand that this is not easy for you or anyone having to go through rads. If they took it personal, they are def in the wrong profession. My techs can tell that rads is taking its toll on me.I can tell by their facial expressions when they see my exhausted eyes. They are a team of 3 and they are so sweet and gentle with me. I couldn't have asked for a better team!

My bone pain is driving me nuts! Especially my right foot, it feels like it is broken, I know it's not, but that's what it feels like. I'm tired all the time too, but can't sleep during the day I feel like a zombie. I barely wake up in the morning with enough time to get ready to go to rads and they are at 10:45am, lol. I worry that one of these days I'll have to go go in my pj's. That would be funny! HAHAHAHA, I just realized what I typed..zombie! Another one to add to my extended Halloween. Luckily, I like Halloween!

Time to go make some chili and cornbread! Perfect weather here for it.

Much love to you all!

Dx 3/2020, IDC, Right, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Chemotherapy 4/1/2020 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 9/17/2020 Lymph node removal; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 11/3/2020 Xeloda (capecitabine) Dx 7/2021, Right, 2cm, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 7/9/2021 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin)
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Sep 21, 2021 06:58PM emotionalpond wrote:

@Serendipity I had side effects right away too! I have the same ones you do other then the pain in the shoulder (its kinda there today) I can't wait for this to be over!!! I have 5 left!


Jenn

Dx 2/8/2021, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 3/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 4/2/2021 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 7/7/2021 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 7/25/2021 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary Hormonal Therapy 8/30/2021 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy 9/7/2021 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Sep 21, 2021 07:35PM Serendipity09 wrote:

Hi Jenn! - Woohoo you're almost done! So happy for you! I'm anxiously looking forward to getting these next 14 sessions done! I hope you feel better soon!

Dx 3/2020, IDC, Right, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Chemotherapy 4/1/2020 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 9/17/2020 Lymph node removal; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 11/3/2020 Xeloda (capecitabine) Dx 7/2021, Right, 2cm, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 7/9/2021 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin)
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Sep 21, 2021 08:15PM MaineJen wrote:

Emotional Pond - Jenn - another Jen! :) You're almost done! WOOHOO! We're almost there! Omg!

Ivy - 14 sessions left! Every day that goes. by = one day closer to being done. This is how I look at these things LOL Also: I'm SO glad you like your radiation team. That is SO good. And oy - I'm SO sorry you're going through such bone pain. OMG that's awful. :( And you are hilarious with "zombie". - LOL! xoxoxoxo And hey, why not go in pj's! LOL! And boy oh boy do I love love love chili and cornbread. I cannot wait to get my energy/interest back enough to start baking and cooking again!

Love you all!

Jen

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Sep 21, 2021 11:57PM Esther01 wrote:

Chili and cornbread sound fantastic, Ivy! We're all on our way over to your house! I'm so glad you have such kind, gentle rad techs. That is a real blessing and not always the case. Even if some of us finish before you do, we will be here cheering you on for the next 14 sessions until you are done, too. You're well on your way!

Jenn, I'm sorry you had side effects right away, too. I hope your final five sessions will go really fast and then you can run out of that building and never look back.

Marla, thanks for mentioning the ginger. I have been hearing that helps. I'm so happy that you finished on the 10th and are still here with us. How beautiful your photo is and that you got to ring the bell. My place didn't have a bell to clang, but they did clap and thrust a certificate into my hands as I got up from the table today at my last session. I was rushing so much to finish making my mother's breakfast and run out the door today that I forgot the gift I had wrapped on the kitchen table for the techs (Kirkland chocolate fruit bars, grass fed beef jerky, granola bars, biscotti, etc). It's a really long commute so rather than make a 34th trek out there I guess I will just bring it with me for my follow-up session in two weeks. I sprinted out of there so fast that I didn't even stop to make my follow-up appointment. Haha They must be used to that by now... LOL. I went from there straight to physical therapy to work on the cording in my arm. The massaging by the PT is helping. I did celebrate with my family by sharing a piece of chocolate cake at a local cafe (OK, two slices of cake... it was wonderful).

Is anyone taking 10mg of tamoxifen or 20mg? My MO has me on 20 but I am thinking of negotiating for 10 mg.

I'm glad Jen that you like my Ambience Youtube video titles. I know, they do sound funny, huh? Truly, they distract me and cheer my day so much. I can't believe how beautiful and how many there are. I have them on during my morning coffee when I catch up on correspondence, and at night I switch to rainy "bedtime ambience" getting ready for bed.

Speaking of, I am so tired, I think I have to turn in early.... Sleep well...... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Gentle hugs and much love to all, xoxoxoxoxoxox

Esther

Grateful to Jesus, that His love finally broke through to me. "With one touch, You just rolled away the stone that held my heart," - Lyrics by Keith Green, " 7 weeks of Radiation including supraclavicular nodes. Dx 12/2020, IDC, Stage IIB, 5/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 12/20/2020 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 6/9/2021 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Reconstruction (left) Radiation Therapy 8/4/2021 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Sep 22, 2021 03:31PM Mich21 wrote:

Congrats Marla!! You look so happy ringing that bell! :)

Esther, your last day was yesterday, right? Did you ring your bell? How are you feeling?

Jen - Yay for tomorrow!! Can't wait for you to be done!

Jasmine - I think you'll be the next one done followed closely by EmotionalPond Jenn :)

Ivy - Our Halloween Queen :) I hope you get some relief soon, your foot sounds so painful - Please feel free to vent away. Also, funny enough, my chili I call "Frankenchili" because make it to clear out extra cans of beans and tomatoes from the pantry, so it is always a little bit different.

So exciting! I'm so proud of you all. I know, it's the job we didn't apply for .. But everyone still got up every day and gave it their best! I hope you all reward yourselves. For me, I got a new pair of "Cool nights" pajamas from Soma. They're soft and supposed to be cooling, however I find the term "Hot flash" to be misleading in that it sounds like a quick thing. What I am experiencing is more like "HOT all night unless you come out from the covers and then you'll be too cold so you'll go back under the covers and then you'll be HOT over and over again" lol. I got a cute little bed side fan that sounds like a motorcycle revving sometimes... I may kill it. I mean that, I may literally throw it across the room! I stare at it with murderous intent most nights and then it gets the hint and quiets down. I even took it all apart and tightened every screw I could find! it's just somehow off kilter. On that note - Can anyone suggest a nice quiet fan? haha.

Hope you are all having a beautiful wonderful Wednesday. I truly adore you all so much.

Michele

Dx 3/8/2021, LCIS/IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 6/8/2021 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 8/3/2021 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 9/14/2021 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Sep 22, 2021 04:25PM MaineJen wrote:

OMG Michele I was sipping a Diet Coke while reading your post and literally spit it out laughing! Literally! A MESS! You are HILARIOUS! "hot all night unless you come out from the covers and then you'll be too cold so you'll go back under the covers and then you'll be HOT over and over again." LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!! DYING. That is SO TRUE! My nights in a NUTSHELL!!! OMG!!! And you may actually kill your fan!?!? OMG I cannot handle it. You are HILARIOUS!!! And seriously, are you living my life?!?!?! "Cool Nights: pajamas! GENIUS! Also, probably an optimistic name? OMG. It's all too hilarious and horrible all at once!

And can I say how impressed I am that you were somehow able to reconstruct who is doing what and when? WOW!

Marla rings the bell - and I DO love that photo so much!

Esther is done - I want to hear everything about how you're doing Esther!

Jasminne - and EP Jenn - we're all rooting for both of you! And Ivy too!

And can I say: I'm just not a bell ringer. THere's a bell where I go for radiation and I've walked by it zillions of times and basically, I've growled. LOL. I couldn't make myself ring the bell at the chemo place either - the day I finished. I was genuinely happy for others when they did, but when it came my turn, I saw all of these other poor people sitting there with IVs in their arms and it felt awful to think of ringing a bell - like "yay me" when they were all suffering. My daughter was like "but weren't you happy for others when they rang the bell?" and I was like "good point!" but then, there is something about drawing attention to myself by ringing a bell that feels hard for me. I hate doing anything that draws attention to myself - isn't that odd? I'm sure it has to do with the fact that my Mom is a borderline personality disordered person who takes "self centered" to levels beyond anything you've ever seen - and when I was growing up, she would do anything and everything to draw attention to herself. I swore as a kid I'd just be me, lay low and not try to get people to notice me in any way, shape or form. So I guess - no bells for me. LOL Imagine, I'm 53 and I'm STILL reacting to that nonsense from my childhood. I can see the value in bell ringing. But I just can't handle it. LOL. Also: here I am again, overthinking even the simplest happy thing. Really? Can't I just ring a goddam bell? NOPE! LOL. But if you all do, I'm 100% on board with it because - YES, it is EXCITING to be done. And just because I'm a freak who cannot handle ringing bells, doesn't mean I cannot see why it's a cool thing. LOL

How do you all put up with my nonsense? I'm such a nut.

Anyway, Michele - love you!

Love you ALL

Jen


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