Topic: Starting Radiation October 2021

Forum: Radiation Therapy - Before, During, and After — What to expect from treatment and ways to cope with side effects.

Posted on: Sep 18, 2021 09:35AM

Posted on: Sep 18, 2021 09:35AM

NatureYogi wrote:

Hello! Wanted to get a thread started for October radiation, I've met with my Radiation Oncologist and I'll be receiving 30 treatments. I also had my simulation this week and have my markers in place. Technically I start September 30, but what's one more day!

Dx 2/11/2021, IBC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 3/10/2021 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 7/23/2021 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Right
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Oct 5, 2021 09:30PM aklynna wrote:

Evenin’ ladies!

Had my simulation today and I was a nervous wreck! Thankfully the radiation tech was a saint and put up with my anxious/not so nice behavior. After she did her part and I met with the nurse for “education”, she came back to get me and took me over to the actual treatment room. Showed me the big scary machine, how everything moved around, where the beams would enter and exit my body, etc. She was amazing! And she was able to work out a schedule that should be manageable with my work schedule.

That is one of biggest challenges…notputting myself 1st. I know that I am 100% replaceable at work, but my type A personality can’t just walk away and let someone else handle things. My appointments are at 3:15 or 3:30 everyday so I will only be missing about an hour or so of work.

The nurse was adamant about using Aquaphor and nothing else. If I try it and don’t like it then they will look at other options. Other things that surprised me a bit were NO underwire bras and NO shaving my armpit except with an electric razor.

And, to top it all off I found out today that I am officially post-menopausal! At 43, and not really having any symptoms I was shocked. I don’t know if my period has stopped since I’ve been on the mini-pill birth control for just over a year. But blood tests confirmed it!

Hope everyone had an easy day and has a restful night’s sleep! Hug

Kristy
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Oct 6, 2021 09:34AM serendipity09 wrote:

Aklynna - I'm happy you got through simulation.

I'm surprised, kind of shocked that they didn't give you a radiation burn cream in addition to Aquaphor. My RO gave me both. I don't use the Aquaphor, I don't like it and it doesn't help me with the burn. The burn cream helps soothe and calms my inflamed skin.

I was instructed not to shave either as they didn't want any irritation/cuts, then I was told I could shave, but haven't had to since the rads has stopped the hair growth.

It's not easy putting yourself first, but you really should make an effort to do it. It will help you get through treatment and heal along the way. I learned the hard way.

My best to you all today.

Chemotherapy 3/31/2020 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 9/16/2020 Lymph node removal; Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left); Mastectomy (Right); Reconstruction (Left): Tissue Expander; Reconstruction (Right): Tissue Expander Chemotherapy 11/3/2020 Xeloda (capecitabine) Surgery 7/9/2021 Reconstruction (Left); Reconstruction (Right) Chemotherapy Xeloda (capecitabine) Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin) Radiation Therapy Whole breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Oct 6, 2021 11:31AM lw422 wrote:

NatureYogi--I had a couple of longer breath holds today, too! One was really long (or so it seemed) and I was worried I couldn't hold out for the entire time, but I did. I wish they'd warn me when the longer ones are coming so I could prepare.

Aklynna--glad your simulation went well. Do you have your start date yet? Wow, menopause at 43 is a shock; I'm pretty sure the medication you took had something to do with that.

Serendipity--how are you holding up? I know you are getting close to the end so hang on, girl. I had my first bolus today; I get them every other day for 2 weeks. Yikes.

My team hasn't said anything at all to me about lotions or creams but I see the RO tomorrow. I've been putting a moisturizer on the area but it's really hard to avoid all the stickers and markings... good grief. It doesn't seem like I have much area left to apply cream with all that going on.

I hope everyone has a great week. All of you in treatment check in and let us know how you're doing.

Surgery 8/23/2021 Lymph node removal (Right): Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy (Right) Dx IBC/IDC, Right, Stage IIIB, ER-/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy Right breast, Chest wall, Lymph nodes
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Oct 6, 2021 02:25PM serendipity09 wrote:

LW - they'll probably be giving you the cream tomorrow. They give me Miaderm Radiation Relief from the beginning. It was explained to me today that the Aquaphor should be used in the armpit and on the areas that are peeling, so right now that is under my boob.

What is bolus? Isn't that the mold they put on the area that is being radiated? Or is it something else?

I'm hanging in there. I'm exhausted and my skin is on fire! No breaking of the skin or blisters and praying it stays that way. My skin is "prickly" though. 3 more to go! We'll get though this. And I'm with you guys til the end, if you'll have me.

Chemo caused me to go into menopause last year and it's awful! The hot flashes are insane. It went away for a while back in March, but came back full force right after my exchange surgery in July. UGH!! I said this in the August thread, I swear I go from 0 to hell in 1.5 seconds, lol. I hate them! The last few days have been really bad, I've gotten so frustrated with them that I've actually started crying.

Will check in with you a bit later!!


Chemotherapy 3/31/2020 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 9/16/2020 Lymph node removal; Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left); Mastectomy (Right); Reconstruction (Left): Tissue Expander; Reconstruction (Right): Tissue Expander Chemotherapy 11/3/2020 Xeloda (capecitabine) Surgery 7/9/2021 Reconstruction (Left); Reconstruction (Right) Chemotherapy Xeloda (capecitabine) Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin) Radiation Therapy Whole breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Oct 6, 2021 04:16PM - edited Oct 6, 2021 04:19PM by lw422

Serendipity--all I know is the bolus is some type of material that they placed on me to control the depth of the radiation. I have Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) which presents in the skin (which is why it is never less than Stage 3), so they are focusing on the skin around where my cancerous breast was removed. Since I didn't know they were going to do it and I was unable to turn my head (or MOVE) during the treatment I didn't get a look at it, but I'm going to ask to see it tomorrow. I have read that it causes an increase in radiation dermatitis (oh goody).

Sorry that you suffer with menopause symptoms. I went through natural menopause at 50 and it was easy for me; I never had many effects from it at all and was glad to never have another period!! I think this whole breast cancer thing is such a shit-show (sorry if offensive); I have cried more in the last 9 months than in my entire life before.

It's really sweet of you to hang with us until we're all done. We all need to encourage each other; it's easier to go through this crap with some sympathetic friends who understand. I hope your skin doesn't get any worse and will feel better soon.


Surgery 8/23/2021 Lymph node removal (Right): Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy (Right) Dx IBC/IDC, Right, Stage IIIB, ER-/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy Right breast, Chest wall, Lymph nodes
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Oct 6, 2021 07:40PM NatureYogi wrote:

I'm getting the Bolus also, I've had 5 treatments so far, and every one they used Bolus.

Serendipity-Your skin sounds painful, sorry you are going through this.

Everyone hang in there!


Dx 2/11/2021, IBC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 3/10/2021 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 7/23/2021 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Right
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Oct 6, 2021 07:59PM lisa_rn314 wrote:

Hello everyone,

I recently joined and this is my first time posting and I just want to say how much I appreciate all the great information on here! Starting radiation tomorrow….25 treatments to lymph nodes and chest wall. Did a run through today, feeling extremely anxious for my first treatment tomorrow.

Chemotherapy 3/9/2021 translation missing: en.treatments.chemotherapy.chemotherapy_regimen.options.short_drugs.anthracyline.adriamycin, Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxol (paclitaxel) Surgery 8/19/2021 Lymph node removal (Right): Sentinel; Mastectomy (Left): Skin Sparing; Mastectomy (Right): Skin Sparing; Prophylactic mastectomy (Left); Reconstruction (Left): Tissue Expander; Reconstruction (Right): Tissue Expander Radiation Therapy 10/7/2021 Lymph nodes, Chest wall Surgery 5/2/2022
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Oct 6, 2021 08:42PM serendipity09 wrote:

Lisa - sorry you had to join the club, but welcome! I hope everything goes well for you tomorrow; all of this is so overwhelming, but it does get better, for a lack of another word. We're here for you!!

Nature - the RO said it was normal, so as long as it's not anything bad I'll deal with it. He told me that it will "peak" a bout a week after my last session...great! It's like they say "we have to get worse before we get better." :/

LW - The August group have stayed with me, I'll do the same for you all! <3

Have a goodnight!!

Chemotherapy 3/31/2020 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 9/16/2020 Lymph node removal; Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left); Mastectomy (Right); Reconstruction (Left): Tissue Expander; Reconstruction (Right): Tissue Expander Chemotherapy 11/3/2020 Xeloda (capecitabine) Surgery 7/9/2021 Reconstruction (Left); Reconstruction (Right) Chemotherapy Xeloda (capecitabine) Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin) Radiation Therapy Whole breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Oct 6, 2021 08:53PM - edited Oct 6, 2021 09:01PM by pchyen

Hi everyone, joining October radiation thread.I see some familiar names and some soon to be familiar names.

My wife Nicole has CT simulation tomorrow andwill start radiation either next week or the week after. 15 sessions and will have bolus every other session due to IBC and skin involvement. No radiation to auxiliary area to reduce lymphedema but will have radiation to chest wall, internal mammary chain, and supraclavicular fossa. Was told the dosage will be more of a medium dosage instead of lighter dosagefor 20-25 rounds.

Going to gather some stuff to help with keeping the skin moisturized.

Peter, Nicole’s Husband. Nicole was diagnosed with IDC April 5, 2021. Dx 4/2021, IDC/Paget's, Right, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 4/27/2021 AC + T (Taxol) Targeted Therapy 6/23/2021 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 6/24/2021 Herceptin (trastuzumab)
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Oct 6, 2021 09:08PM lw422 wrote:

Hi Lisa and welcome. Let us know how your treatment goes tomorrow; I'll be thinking of you. We can do this!

Hey Peter!! Nice to "see" you and I hope Nicole's radiation treatment goes well. I have some concerns about how radiation might affect the lymphovenous bypass and neither the surgeon nor the radiologist could tell me. I guess the procedure is fairly new so they just hope for the best without much data. Let us know when Nicole gets started with rads and I hope she is feeling well after surgery.

Surgery 8/23/2021 Lymph node removal (Right): Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy (Right) Dx IBC/IDC, Right, Stage IIIB, ER-/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy Right breast, Chest wall, Lymph nodes

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