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 10:35AM

Posted on: Sep 18, 2021 10:35AM

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 6, 2021 10:10PM aklynna wrote:

Ivy- I asked about other creams, but she said I need to try this first. Well, if I want to get something else I will! I told my mom last night that I will not be attending the wedding next month. I said that I need to make the best choice for ME. She was disappointed but understanding. I also talked with former supervisor(now close friend) and current supervisor to go over my work schedule when treatments start. They were both great and on board with whatever I need. So glad to hear your skin is still hanging in there…you are SO close!! I also appreciate you sticking with us, your advice and support mean so much!

LW- my start date is 10/13, last date is 11/9. I’m also a bit nervous about the breath holds, hope I can do it. Your menopause story makes me feel better…I was thinking this was too good to be true!

Lisa- welcome to the group…none of us want to be here, but at least we can commiserate together! Good luck at your 1st session tmw, hope it goes smoothly for you.

Sweet dreams all!

Kristy
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Oct 7, 2021 01:46PM - edited Oct 7, 2021 02:32PM by lw422

AKlynna--you'll be an old hand at this before you know it! The breath holds aren't that big a deal; usually they are pretty short, like 5 to 10 seconds. Only a few times have I had to hold breath for over 20 seconds, but if I'm not expecting a long hold I get caught off guard.

Tomorrow my first week will be done!! Woohoo! So far I've not had any effects; my skin doesn't look or feel any different but I'm sure that will change. A couple of ladies at the radiology waiting area said they barely have pink skin after 4 weeks so that made me feel a little better.

I had my "weekly see" appointment with the doctor today and I really like her very much. She was very thorough in describing my plan and showed me all the images they used to develop it. The nurse gave me some Metaplex** bandage stuff to use later in case I have a tender spot (like under the arm) and a tube of some kind of cream. I still don't know how I'll use cream around all the markings and stickers!

We are almost done with this week, y'all!!


** SORRY!! That should be "Mepilex". Duh!!


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 7, 2021 02:26PM serendipity09 wrote:

Hi Peter! Nicole will be in my thoughts!

AKlynna - I'm sorry you had to decline going to the wedding but you really don't know what you'll be feeling. I thought I had hit the worst part of it until last night. OMG!! I was miserable, immense pain in the armpit, my scar was on fire, which is weird because my breasts are numb. Maybe it's the nerves?! I don't know! I was/and still am, feeling ill, very nauseous. I did not want to go today, my son had to talk me into it. I think it's just taken its toll on me emotionally. I'm so over it! Again, and I know I keep repeating this this, it's tolerable, but it's very bothersome. It's different. So, I don't say any of this to scare you, everyone is different and my body has been through hell for over a year and half now without a break.

And the breath holds, they really aren't difficult. Like LW said, the most is 20-30 seconds.

LW- one more day to go and then the weekend break! I'm looking forward to it! That's great that you don't have any SE's!! There's a lady and a gentleman who both really haven't had any SE's and started at the same time I did, so I hope and pray it stays the same or vey minimal.

I was really concerned about my implant, but from what I can see there's been no change; I think it's a good thing. From the beginning the RO told me he'd be keeping watch on it and make adjustments if necessary, but luckily nada. I really like my RO too. On the August thread it was an ongoing joke because I mentioned he looked like George Clooney, which he does.

Metaplex, is that like a patch/bandage with gel on it?

I asked about the bolus and it is exactly what I thought, but I have to have mine on every single treatment.

I'll check in with you all later!

Have a great day!


Chemotherapy 4/1/2020 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 9/17/2020 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 7, 2021 02:39PM - edited Oct 7, 2021 02:40PM by lw422

Awwww, Serendipity! I'm so sorry you are feeling so awful. :-s You are so close to being DONE with this! Bless your sweet heart; I hope it gets better soon.

Sorry I misspelled "Mepilex"... duh. It's some kind of foam "dressing" that can be applied without adhesive to the skin to protect it. It can be peeled off and re-applied, and I'm hoping it will work to keep my skin-on-skin discomfort minimal in the armpit when the time comes.

Wow, you've had bolus EVERY time??? I'm only having 10... every other treatment for 2 weeks. Then some "boosts" the last week, I assume on the scar.

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 7, 2021 11:05PM Rubytoos wrote:

So tomorrow I will be a third of the way through treatment. The bolus definitely is the part I least like because the skin feels hyper heated for hours afterwards. But it also appears to be doing its job which is to ensure that the skin has adequate treatment. I want very much to try to avoid residual cancer popping up in my scar or chest wall at some future date. I am doing exercise to maintain ROM in my shoulder like crazy and I have a feeling I will be doing this forever. My treatment is left sided so I worried hugely about my heart--but the dosage is in the neighborhood of 1.97Gy so I am a happy camper.

LW422--I was shocked that you had 32 nodes removed. Was that SOP for IBC?

And as far as random concerns, I find myself wondering how up to date the machines are as far as software/calibration... But I have asked so many questions that people were clearly not prepared for I kept that one to myself.

I also asked why it is important to apply creams when radiation "burns" are basically from the inside out. Was told keeping a moisture barrier helps with discomfort but am not under the impression it speeds healing.

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Oct 8, 2021 01:20AM lw422 wrote:

Hi Ruby. Wow, a third of the way done... good for you! Yes, I had two levels of nodes removed because of IBC Standard of Care. It turned out to be 32 nodes because of my anatomy; my surgeon said everyone is different... some people have a few nodes in the 2 levels and some of us have a bunch.

I asked my RO today about creams and what they recommend; she asked if I was having any discomfort. The nurse gave me a tube of some stuff but they didn't seem to think I needed it unless the radiated skin needs soothing. The thread "A rad onc weighs in on radiation "burns" has a lot of good info IMO.

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 8, 2021 02:48PM lw422 wrote:

Hello all! It's Friday at last, and I had my treatment so now I can kick back till Monday. I struck up a conversation with a woman in the waiting area today; she has had 4 weeks of rads and told me she is "burned up." :sad: It made me so sad for her; she told the techs that she couldn't do it anymore. Honestly it scared me but I was scared of chemo and then scared of surgery... so this is just more of the same.

I'm feeling kind of weird since yesterday; not really "sick" but not great. It's kind of a shaky feeling and a tiny bit of nausea. Not sure if this is radiation-induced or all in my head, but hopefully it will go away over the weekend.

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 8, 2021 03:53PM serendipity09 wrote:

LW - YAY for Friday!

I agree with the woman in the waiting dreamy skin is definitely burnt. I think I said in the August thread, but there was a day earlier this week that I wanted to call it quits. My son had to talk me into going cause I've had it. The RO warned me at my mapping session that I could feel this way and here it is. One day left and I feel the worst I have throughout rads, I guess I shouldn't complain. Like you LW, I was scared of chemo and surgery too and I got through it and I will get through this too. Its just taken its toll on me at the moment and it's not permanent. I hope you feel better.

I had four nodes removed last year and I feel like a big baby because that's been the most bothersome area for me since surgery. I can't imagine having 32 removed!

Ruby - as mentioned before, I've had the bolus everyday; about week three was when the "heat" really kicked in. This week I could actually feel the area being radiated when the bolus was place on me. It didn't hurt, but could feel the bolus heating up and the heat penetrating my skin and could feel the exit point in my back.Needless to say my back is burnt too.

Your post had me questioning the machine today too, lol. I decided not to ask anymore questions, I'm too far along now. You can def tell the difference in technology.

Hope you all have a great day.


Chemotherapy 4/1/2020 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 9/17/2020 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 8, 2021 06:37PM - edited Oct 8, 2021 06:37PM by lw422

Serendipity-- ONE DAY LEFT... OMG!!! You are at the finish line, girl. I hope you feel better over the weekend.

I don't know if the number of nodes removed makes much difference in the pain and discomfort from surgery. The surgeon still cuts the nerves and stuff in the axilla, so it's a miserable thing for all of us whether we had one node removed or 50.

The thing that really annoys me is that out of 32 nodes, NONE OF THEM were cancerous. :cursing: So my odds of getting lymphedema increased by a million percent for nothing. Ugh.

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 9, 2021 10:58AM serendipity09 wrote:

LW - I cannot wait for Monday morning to come and go.

I woke up feeling like I have a terrible hangover. Talk about feeing shitty! UGH!!! I'm so over it! My skin is starting to peel, and not just in one spot, all over. I cringed while putting on cream this morning.

Anybody have any fun plans for the weekend?

Chemotherapy 4/1/2020 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 9/17/2020 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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