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Topic: How Long After Surgery Did You Have Radiation?

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

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

Posted on: Sep 17, 2021 04:15PM

macdebbie wrote:

When I met with the radiation therapist, she said she wanted to see me two weeks after my surgery for a "Planning Appt". I had my surgery on 9/14, but don't see my oncologist to go over his plan until 10/5. So not sure that it makes sense to see radiation before then, although with the path report results chemo is very unlikely.

Also can't imagine anyone poking at me in 2 weeks. Should I try and move up the oncologist, or just delay the radiation appt?

Dx 7/29/2021, IDC, Right, <1cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 9/13/2021 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Hormonal Therapy
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Sep 17, 2021 04:43PM Hopeful82014 wrote:

Two weeks seems a bit too soon to me. The planning appointment is generally when imaging, etc. is done to map out your radiation paths. It requires being able to hold your arm over your head which may be uncomfortable if you're only 2 weeks out from surgery. (If you had any nodes removed that area around the axilla is likely going to be both tight -do your post-surgery exercises! - and very, very sensitive for a while.) Now, a simple consult with the radiation oncologist at the 2 week point shouldn't be a problem but it doesn't sound like that's what she's talking about.

I didn't start radiation until about 6-7 weeks after my surgery but that was primarily due to needing to make a decision about chemo.

It was my understanding that delaying the start of radiation up to 8 weeks post surgery wasn't a problem. However, that was 7 years ago and protocols may have changed in the interim.

Good luck.

Dx IDC
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Sep 17, 2021 04:51PM macdebbie wrote:

Thx Hopeful80214. I think I'll call Mon and see what type of appt. they are talking about. Maybe it's just to go over the path report and talk about the treatment plan, but not do the planning appt.

It's strange, I asked my BCS at my appt with her (where I met her for the first time and decided that day to schedule surgery with her) about any exercises I should do after surgery. She said that just doing the "normal day to day course of things" was all that I needed. But like you, I have a friend who had specific exercises to do.

I see her Wed of next week. Maybe they don't want you to be doing anything the first week? She said for restrictions just no "bouncy" things (probably like running), and no lifting. She didn't really say anything else was off limits. I wish she had been more explicit.


What kind of exercises did you do? I've just been making sure I keep a pillow under my arm to not compress the lymph node area, and sleep with a pillow under my arm. During the day I try and elevate my arm several times a day and do a squeeze ball throughout the day and raise my arm over my head for a bit a few times a day. I've been careful washing my hair because I don't want to rip any stitches out or anything.

Dx 7/29/2021, IDC, Right, <1cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 9/13/2021 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Hormonal Therapy
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Sep 18, 2021 02:20PM Hopeful82014 wrote:

Hi, Macdebbie -

Sleeping with the pillow as you are is a good idea - I did that for a LONG time afterwards. If you do any yoga or Pilates floor work you'll probably find it helpful then, too.

I had a link to a PDF from my surgeon's office to a extensive post-surgery advice & exercises but can't find it at the moment. I'll keep looking for it.

In the meantime, the video below is pretty good and includes some of what you've been doing, so you're definitely on the right track. One exercise it doesn't mention is 'wall walking.' Just stand in front of a wall, about 1 ft. away and walk your fingers up the wall. Try to go a bit farther each time. Hitting resistance is good but pain is not!

Re: the axilla - I found the incision, etc., itched terribly but that running something that's extremely soft over the area, or wearing something very soft, helped a lot.

I hope this helps and I hope you're doing better each day. It's tough to wait so long for the Oncotype but it sounds as though your results will bring good news. I'm crossing my fingers!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPw2Me1jUCc

Dx IDC
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Sep 18, 2021 02:56PM macdebbie wrote:

Hopeful82014. Thanks so much!

I'm thinking they won't send out to Oncotype because my tumor was only 3mm. I think there is a cut-off of over 5mm? Not sure.

I called my MO Friday and LM to inquire.


Dx 7/29/2021, IDC, Right, <1cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 9/13/2021 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Hormonal Therapy
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Sep 18, 2021 03:14PM ThreeTree wrote:

I had my surgery on July 19 (2019) and then started the radiation (proton) Sept 30 of that same year. I didn't want to rush things and wanted to get well healed. I was also in the process of signing up for Medicare so that I could get the proton radiation covered and needed the "I'm officially on Medicare now" to come through.

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Sep 18, 2021 03:37PM Hopeful82014 wrote:

You're right - they may not run an Oncotype if it's that small. I'd guess then that chemo isn't on the table. I hope you get some useful info from your team Monday.

Take care of yourself.

Dx IDC
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Sep 19, 2021 10:32PM kksmom3 wrote:

I didn't get an oncotype because I also had a 3 mm tumor. There was no quibble about chemo, because they would never do it for a 3 mm tumor. It has to be 5 mm and up, is my understanding. I am very grateful it was that small. It was found hiding in what I thought was only DCIS. It was distressing to find out I was now stage 1A, but I know it could have been so much worse.

Dx 8/8/2018, DCIS/IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 9/30/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 10/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes

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