Topic: Starting Radiation January, 2022

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

Posted on: Dec 28, 2021 10:04PM

Posted on: Dec 28, 2021 10:04PM

jen2957 wrote:

Anyone else starting radiation in January who would like to share experiences and provide support to one another? As I’ve been waiting to be cleared for rads, I have been following the experiences of those in the November and December radiation topic threads and have learned so much from the discussion there!

I had my UMX on October 21, but had a positive margin that had to be surgically dealt with, so my radiation plan was delayed a bit. Today, I finally got the all-clear from my plastic surgeon to go ahead with rads! I will be mapped on January 6 (they were able to schedule it on the same day as my oncology appointment, second Lupron shot, and first Zometa infusion, so it will be convenient, but definitely a full day)! I was told I will get started on the actual treatments about a week after mapping, so that should be the second week in January. I will have 25 sessions + 5 boosts (depending on how my skin holds up).

I’ll be getting rads with my TE in place, so if anyone has gone that route, I would love to hear how it went. I’m also interested in possibly using Mepitel, but I don’t yet know if my hospital recommends/allows it. Wishing everyone a happy last few days of the hear



Surgery 10/21/2021 Lymph node removal (Right): Sentinel; Mastectomy (Right): Nipple Sparing, Simple, Skin Sparing; Reconstruction (Right): Tissue Expander Surgery 12/2/2021 Lumpectomy (Right) Hormonal Therapy 12/22/2021 Aromasin (exemestane) Radiation Therapy 1/19/2022 Whole breast: Right breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Surgery 4/6/2022 Reconstruction (Left); Reconstruction (Right): Fat grafting Surgery 5/3/2022 Surgery 8/1/2022 Reconstruction (Right): Fat grafting, Silicone implant Dx IDC/DCIS, Right, 5cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 1, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 6, 2022 01:18PM shipanikra wrote:

Has anyone had breast bone pain after whole left breast radiation?

Hormonal Therapy 11/19/2021 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 1/10/2022 Lumpectomy (Left); Reconstruction (Left); Reconstruction (Right) Radiation Therapy 3/7/2022 Whole breast, Radiation boost: Left breast
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May 6, 2022 08:29PM oldladyblue wrote:

Hi Shipanikra, I think it took about 3 weeks for me to start feeling the all over bone pain. The last month it got pretty bad, then I cut it down to one pill every 36 hours, then one pill every 2 days. It is manageable the last few days now, with the 1 pill every 2 days for the last 2 weeks. My moods were especially volatile lately, and the insomnia is getting to me. I took a 2 hour nap today after sleeping only 5 hours last night. But the bone pain is a LOT less, almost not noticeable today.

Surgery 7/1/2021 Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph node removal (Left): Sentinel Chemotherapy 10/8/2021 Other Radiation Therapy 1/4/2022 Whole breast: Left breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 3/10/2022 Arimidex (anastrozole) Dx IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 31, 2022 06:18PM shipanikra wrote:

hey Lady Blue, sorry for dropping off the planet. took some vacation. my breast bone pain has gone away - I have occasional pain in my femur and my left hip and knee ache when I walk up stairs. And I am not sure if my moody ness (which isn't bad) is from the AI or just from not wanting to put up with stuff anymore. LOL The hot flashes are coming on a bit more now, and of course at night covers on covers off...


I am sad to hear all the issues you are having - I hope it levels out soon for you!

Hormonal Therapy 11/19/2021 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 1/10/2022 Lumpectomy (Left); Reconstruction (Left); Reconstruction (Right) Radiation Therapy 3/7/2022 Whole breast, Radiation boost: Left breast
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Jun 1, 2022 04:05AM oldladyblue wrote:

Hiya Shipanikra, glad your breast bone pain went away. Also glad that the AI's emotional side effects aren't bad for you. I couldn't tolerate the Anastrizole and stopped just about two weeks ago, with almost immediate abating of side effects. I see my doctor today to discuss another Estrogen inhibitor. I am very very glad at this point that I did the chemo and rads as I may not be able to take the anti-Estrogen pills. I had hoped I could, and it worries me if I can't, but the side effects were bad for me.

Surgery 7/1/2021 Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph node removal (Left): Sentinel Chemotherapy 10/8/2021 Other Radiation Therapy 1/4/2022 Whole breast: Left breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 3/10/2022 Arimidex (anastrozole) Dx IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 1, 2022 12:32PM jen2957 wrote:

Hi, all! Blue, this is probably a bit late since you were seeing your doc today (as am I, coincidentally), but I am on Exemestane/Aromasin and once the hot flashes slowed down, I have had very few side effects other than stiffness and pain when I get up from sitting too long. I know we are all different I the way we respond to meds, but exemestane is a bit different than the other AIs- it is a steroid based one and may work a little differently in your body. I was terrified to take it…I pictured gaining 80 pounds, being severely depressed or having mood swings, losing a lot of hair, not having any sex drive…the list goes on. So far, none of those things has happened (though the dryness of ALL the places has been annoying).

I so hope you find one that will work for you without causing you too many issues-‘I’m sure it’s stressful to have to deal with yet another craptastic cancer experience.

Shipanrika- so glad to hear a report that things are improving with your breast pin AND kudos on taking a little vacay time!!!!

All the best for a happy, healthy (relatively) summer!!

Surgery 10/21/2021 Lymph node removal (Right): Sentinel; Mastectomy (Right): Nipple Sparing, Simple, Skin Sparing; Reconstruction (Right): Tissue Expander Surgery 12/2/2021 Lumpectomy (Right) Hormonal Therapy 12/22/2021 Aromasin (exemestane) Radiation Therapy 1/19/2022 Whole breast: Right breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Surgery 4/6/2022 Reconstruction (Left); Reconstruction (Right): Fat grafting Surgery 5/3/2022 Surgery 8/1/2022 Reconstruction (Right): Fat grafting, Silicone implant Dx IDC/DCIS, Right, 5cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 1, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 1, 2022 04:09PM gamzu710 wrote:

I had a 3-month follow up with my RO today and have been referred for PT due to muscle tightness in my chest and arm that is limiting my range of motion. I was lazy about stretching during and after radiation and this is the result. I don't know if it would have been the same deal anyway, but do your stretches and keep them up!

Surgery 7/1/2021 Lumpectomy (Right) Hormonal Therapy 8/3/2021 Aromasin (exemestane) Targeted Therapy 10/1/2021 Kanjinti Chemotherapy 10/20/2021 Taxol (paclitaxel), Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 1/30/2022 Whole breast, Radiation boost: Right breast Dx IDC, Right, <1, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2+, IHC
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Jun 4, 2022 03:55AM oldladyblue wrote:

Thanks for the tip JEN2957 . I saw the doc, and she wants to put me on Femara next, but I didn't make a choice yet as she told me to wait until my follow up appt in 2 weeks (after my bone scan). I will ask about the Aromasin. I could take something that only gives me hot flashes and a bit of stiffness, but the constant all over pain, wild emotional roller coaster, life wrecking insomnia and hot flashes of Anastrozole were so bad for me. Yeah, I like your "craptastic" coined word... very appropriate.

GAMZU thanks for the tip on exercising, I should be doing more too. I notice you are also on the Aromasin. How is that going for you?

Surgery 7/1/2021 Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph node removal (Left): Sentinel Chemotherapy 10/8/2021 Other Radiation Therapy 1/4/2022 Whole breast: Left breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 3/10/2022 Arimidex (anastrozole) Dx IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 4, 2022 10:29AM - edited Jun 4, 2022 10:30AM by jen2957

Good to hear from you, Gamzu! Hope the PT brings you relief - muscle discomfort is no joke.

Blue- Here is something you may find interesting. It is about authorized generic drugs. https://www.peoplespharmacy.com/articles/what-are-authorized-generic-drugs-and-are-they-betterEssentially, generics are reverse engineered and have the same active ingredient, but other ingredients vary. Authorized generics are made with the same exact “recipe" and often by the original company or at their facilities. For SOME people, but not all…the original name brand drug works better than the generic; however, it can be cost prohibitive or denied by insurance. If you find an authorized generic, you get the name brand formulation at generic prices. Just a thought as you search for a tolerable AI.

I have a chart somewhere that my MO have me about Aromasin and comparison to placebo in a blind study. We discussed many symptoms being caused by menopause anyway, but hitting it at 100 mph and even further depriving your body of estrogen wreaks havoc. I'll see if I can find it

Surgery 10/21/2021 Lymph node removal (Right): Sentinel; Mastectomy (Right): Nipple Sparing, Simple, Skin Sparing; Reconstruction (Right): Tissue Expander Surgery 12/2/2021 Lumpectomy (Right) Hormonal Therapy 12/22/2021 Aromasin (exemestane) Radiation Therapy 1/19/2022 Whole breast: Right breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Surgery 4/6/2022 Reconstruction (Left); Reconstruction (Right): Fat grafting Surgery 5/3/2022 Surgery 8/1/2022 Reconstruction (Right): Fat grafting, Silicone implant Dx IDC/DCIS, Right, 5cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 1, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 5, 2022 08:16PM oldladyblue wrote:

Jen thank you for the link to the article on generics. I had no idea of that information before. It actually expands the choices of AI. I appreciate that. I went through menopause 12 years ago, so the reactions I had to the Anastrozole stunned me.

Surgery 7/1/2021 Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph node removal (Left): Sentinel Chemotherapy 10/8/2021 Other Radiation Therapy 1/4/2022 Whole breast: Left breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 3/10/2022 Arimidex (anastrozole) Dx IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 5, 2022 10:23PM gamzu710 wrote:

I had my PT eval today and was told that the pec muscle on the right side is "super tight" and that I have radiation fibrosis. Pretty much what I expected to hear. I will be doing PT twice a week for 3 weeks and then once a week though August and then we'll see where we are. I was assigned a list of stretching activities I need to do each day and am going to do my best to stick with it. I seem to do best with external motivators, so having someone give me a list saying I need to do something X times in a row, Y times per day, and knowing that someone will assessing my improvement on these tasks every few days, will be a good motivator.

In the same vein, I was doing WAY better with my diet and exercise during chemo (I have a bad soda habit) when I was confronted with weekly bloodwork, and then it stopped and I lost motivation. I guess I need external accountability. Embarrassing that cancer isn't enough internal motivation to get me to shape up.

Surgery 7/1/2021 Lumpectomy (Right) Hormonal Therapy 8/3/2021 Aromasin (exemestane) Targeted Therapy 10/1/2021 Kanjinti Chemotherapy 10/20/2021 Taxol (paclitaxel), Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 1/30/2022 Whole breast, Radiation boost: Right breast Dx IDC, Right, <1, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2+, IHC

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