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 Radiation Tips and Experiences
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Susan

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RE: Radiation Tips and Experiences - Wednesday, February 27, 2008 4:28 PM
Just wanted to say that after #8, I am itching...why am I itching? They have burned the rash off I guess. I have had a rash for 4 months...doesn't itch, get radiated, the rash goes away and now I ITCH.
My skin is looking better than it has in 4 months...for now.  Just wondering if anyone else experienced this ITCH. Did I mention that I itch? HUGS.
Susan in TN
dx 3/05/07
IDC 3 cm.,10% DCIS/Stage IIB/T2/G2
6/9 + lymph nodes
ER+ 90%/ PR-/ HER2-
A/C,Taxotere
Simple rt. mast.
Arimidex 
Radiation
carepage:blackeyedsue
My2giftsRmy2girls

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RE: Radiation Tips and Experiences - Wednesday, February 27, 2008 5:22 PM
Susan ~
 
I too am on # 8 !
 
I read a thread that the little hair follicles start to get irritated...and therefor a rash, or itching presents itself.
 
I read HyrdoCortizone helps...and if it get really itchy the Rad.Onc. can prescribe some over the counter Cortizone.
 
Hang in there
<message edited by My2giftsRmy2girls on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 5:26 PM>
Nov.19
DCIS Stage 0 grade 3
0/3 lymph node
mastectomy
Feb.18 Rads
ER- PR-
25 Rads 10 Boost
KarenL

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RE: Radiation Tips and Experiences - Thursday, February 28, 2008 10:25 AM
I finished rads January 21st (and quit smoking the week before woo hoo).

My advice is:  go without a bra whenever possible, all the time if you can.  Get some cami's with a shelf bra in them if you need some support. 

Pure aloe, from an aloe plant.  Cut the aloe leaf off and slice through it lengthwise, and the juice will just be there ready to smooth on.  I have a sunroom which is a bit on the cool side in the winter, so the aloe felt nice and cool.  You could cut the leaf and wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge to get the same effect. 

That worked really good until the last 2 weeks of radiation, and then I moved on to a product they sell at the pharmacy behind the counter called "RADIX".  This has a ton of lidocaine in it along with aloe and really helps with the pain from the burn. 

I am rather large chested, so I got terribly burnt along the side of my breast and underneath.  When I was at that stage, I could barely put anything on it.  The onocologist recommended I use the magic mouthwash (benedryl, maalox and lidocaine) they gave me for gargling during chemo for mouth sores.  I applied it GENTLY with a cotton ball to the blisters and burns. 

Hang in there.  Radiation sucks, there is no burn worse painwise, it hurts more than a bad oven burn on the wrist.  The onky will keep you in pain meds, JUST ASK if you need them.  The last 2 weeks I shed a lot of tears from the pain, but now I can tell you that I survived the ordeal!   Again, if you are small breasted, you probably will not have the same problems I did.  The onky said the reason I burnt so bad was because of the size of my breasts, and when I laid on the table for treatment it sort of folded on itself and therefore got a double dose on the side and underneath. 

REST as much as you can.  My appointments were at 2:15 daily for 33 sessions, including boost, and it was a PITA breaking up my day every day, but while you are in treatment, you need to listen to your body and rest as much as it tells you too.  

I still tire easily, but my oncologists both told me it would take me about 1 year from the day of diagnosis for me to feel back to normal completely. 

One last thing, and I am sorry if this doesn't sound upbeat, but this entire cancer ordeal was really hard on me...when radiation ends, I crashed emotionally.  My doctor prepared me for this right before I started the boost treatments.  He told me that most women feel sort of, not abandoned, but well, you are in daily contact with a RN, and the radiation techs, and you see your doctor once a week, and all of a sudden you are done and alone, and for me, that was when I realized what I had gone through. 

I think when we get the diagnosis, we are so busy waiting on labs, waiting on pathology, and then plugging along doing whatever needs to be done to insure that you kill the beast, that the truth of the word "cancer" really doesn't hit you.  When I finished rads, I sort of stopped dead in my tracks and said "whoa"...I cried, sobbed actually, for days afterwards.  And then I joined a Breast Cancer Support Group.  I couldn't have gone to any meetings during treatment, I wouldn't have had the strength, but let me tell you, once I got there, I felt totally normal and realized everything I was experiencing emotionally was ok.

Best wishes...hang tough.  Its 33 days.  Then you are done :))

(oh my gosh did i just vent?)  lol[sm=whew.gif][sm=whew.gif]<--------this is me now on tamoxifen  freaking hot flashes

Karen Sandoval age 51
IDC RB Stage 1 gr 2
lumpectomy RB 8/31 1.1mm clear margins
HER2- ER+ BRCA1/2 negative!
A/C DONE!! 11/13
Rads DONE! 1/21/07 Tamoxifen 5 years visit my blog!
http://karen826.vox.com
JulieS

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RE: Radiation Tips and Experiences - Thursday, February 28, 2008 11:49 AM
Yep, hydrocortozone (sp) was what my onco recomended for the ITCH!   It did help some but not totally.  Not very polite to scratch the itch either....sort of felt like Ma Kettle. Okay I am ageing myself here.
[sm=laugh.gif][sm=laugh.gif][sm=laugh.gif][sm=laugh.gif]
 
Take care
Julie
Suzy

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RE: Nicki - Thursday, February 28, 2008 12:13 PM
I start radiation Monday, 3/3...so thanks for all the advice...I was informed that I could take a multivitamin, but will not.  I don't want to take anything that could interfere with radiation....same as I did with chemo...nothing...Susan
Susan Black, Kingwood, TX
DCIS 2/03 Rt.Mast.w/TramFlap
Rt.Brst Recurrence 6/4/07
IDC Stage 2, Grade 3
Lumpectomy 8/7/07
ER/PR+ HER2-
A/Cx4;Taxolx4:9/14/07
Chemo end 2/6/08
Rads:30 end 4/15/08
8/7 Port/out
Carepg:Susanrocks
Susan

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Thanks Karen - Thursday, February 28, 2008 1:57 PM
Until you mentioned it, I didn't see it as a vent, but perhaps it was. I appreciate you sharing. I am wondering how being DONE is going to effect me emotionally too. Thanks for the heads up and knowing it will just all be normal. HUGS.
Susan in TN
dx 3/05/07
IDC 3 cm.,10% DCIS/Stage IIB/T2/G2
6/9 + lymph nodes
ER+ 90%/ PR-/ HER2-
A/C,Taxotere
Simple rt. mast.
Arimidex 
Radiation
carepage:blackeyedsue
Jenny

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RE: Radiation Tips and Experiences - Thursday, February 28, 2008 5:33 PM
I had my 3rd radiation appointment today.  It's amazing to drive 1 hour, spend 10 minutes at the Dr.'s office and then 1 hour home.  Good thing I enjoy books on CD that I listen to in the car.
 
Anyway, I met with the nurse about skin care today and she suggested that I pick one product and only use that product.  If it starts to not work as well or if I begin to have reactions to it then switch and try something else.  Right now I'm using 100% aloa vera gel.
 
She also said to make sure my skin was COMPLETELY dry after my shower before I put any lotion/gel/cream on.  She even suggested using a blow dryer on the cold setting.  And to not use anything 3-4 hours prior to treatment.  She said moist skin burns quicker. 
 
I'm walking everyday because I'm training for The Breast Cancer 3 Day walk in D.C.  Walking is suppose to really help with fatigue.  I hope they are right!
 
Good luck everyone receiving radiation.
age 41
11/20/07 first mammo, 11/30/07 core biopsy,
12/06/07 dx with DCIS, 1/10/08 lumpectomy
2nd tumor found during lumpectomy,
30 rads finished 4/7/08
Walked in The Breast Cancer 3 Day in D.C.
Susan

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RE: Radiation Tips and Experiences - Friday, February 29, 2008 4:36 PM
OK, 10 down and 24 to go!!! Nurse said one third today...true if you don't count the boosts. So far, so good. No sign of skin problems yet and the itching only lasted a few hours that one day.
 
HUGS.
Susan in TN
dx 3/05/07
IDC 3 cm.,10% DCIS/Stage IIB/T2/G2
6/9 + lymph nodes
ER+ 90%/ PR-/ HER2-
A/C,Taxotere
Simple rt. mast.
Arimidex 
Radiation
carepage:blackeyedsue
Sandefeet

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RE: Radiation Tips and Experiences - Friday, February 29, 2008 7:25 PM
Laurita, I was told by my rad onc and I've read (Dr. Weil and Dr. John Link)  that the anti oxidant supplements counter the radiation treatment.  I've included info below.  I did not take mine and only took my multi-vitamins on weekends.
 
from Dr. Andrew Weil's web page:

"As things now stand, we need more research before we can confidently advise patients one way or another. However, I posed your question to Donald Abrams, M.D., an integrative oncologist at the University of San Francisco and a graduate of the associate fellowship at the Program on Integrative Medicine here at the University of Arizona. Dr. Abrams told me that questions about antioxidants are the most frequent ones he gets. In the absence of strong evidence, he now advises patients as follows:
  • For those being treated for a possible cure (meaning that their tumors have been removed and that the goal of chemotherapy or radiation is to destroy any remaining cancer cells): Don't take antioxidant supplements on the day before, the day of, and the day after chemotherapy. Otherwise, it is okay to take supplements.
  • For patients undergoing radiation therapy: no antioxidant supplements throughout the course of treatment.
  • For patients with advanced cancer who are being treated in order to prolong survival and relieve symptoms: it is okay to take antioxidant supplements. Because chemotherapy agents differ in their mode of action, it would be helpful to know whether the particular drugs being used work by an oxidative (free-radical-generating) mechanism. Ask the medical oncologist treating you for that information.

By the way, there is no justification for telling patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy to avoid antioxidant-rich foods."

 
 
terri67

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RE: Radiation Tips and Experiences - Sunday, March 02, 2008 7:13 AM
I have just finished chemotherapy 3 days ago and I have my first consultation with my Radiologist on friday 3/7.  I am just curious on who decideds how many radiation sessions I will need ? My Oncologist or my Radiation Oncologist.?
age:41
Dx: 9/24/07 IDC
10/17/07:lumpectomy & sentinel node.
10/22/07:re-excision. & 1/18nodes+
Stage: 2a.,ER/PR+,HER2+
11/12/07: port
11/15/07: 1st.chemo.
Taxotere,Carbo.,Herceptin
5/12/08:Radiation finished.
Tamoxifen
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