Radiation Tips and Experiences

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ElaineQW
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Re:Radiation Tips and Experiences - Saturday, January 31, 2009 9:06 AM
bump... again   This is a very useful thread..

Hug,
Elaine

 A person's greatness is the power to stand alone;to be able to make her own choice; in action,to write anew her own law; to choose her own sacrifices; run her own dangers; win her own freedom; venture her own destruction; to choose her own happiness 
 






LisaF
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Re:Radiation Tips and Experiences - Saturday, January 31, 2009 9:40 PM
i have finished the first week of rads with little or no effects. I am not sure if it is related but today my shoulder has been hurting pretty bad. I finally took some advil this afternoon and took a nap and when i woke it it was better. I also have some discomfort in my neck. I think it may just be the positioning or something but so far no skin problems.
Now 23 more to go...
Lisa from georgia- 44 yrs old
dx 6/20/08 IDC Grade 3
SNB 7/08 2/3 nodes pos
bilat MX 7/16/08 0/10 nodes pos
Stage IIIA
Port 9/10/2008
chemo begin 09/18/08 3 FEC+ 3 T  DONE!!!!)!01-02-09!!!
28 rads begin date 01-26-09 DONE!!!!!!!!!! 03-06-09!!!!!
Begin tamoxifen 3-8-09

MJG
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Re:Radiation Tips and Experiences - Sunday, February 01, 2009 9:36 AM
I'M NOT REALLY SURE - IF I HAVE POSTED THIS ON THIS THREAD BEFORE - BUT SINCE THERE ARE SO MANY NEW GALS -------

BE SURE TO WASH AND RINSE WELL ANY NEW CLOTHING THAT WILL TOUCH THE RADIATED AREA .  THE FIRE RETARDANT AND FORMALDEHYDE THAT IS IN MOST CLOTHING CAN CAUSE A REACTION IN THE RADIATED AREA.  IT HAPPENED TO ME AND SEVERAL OTHER LADIES THAT I KNOW. MY RAD. ONC. AND DR. SAYS THEY ARE SEEING IT MORE AND MORE.  I HAD TO HAVE A PUNCH BIOPSY TO FIND OUT WHAT IT WAS.

SOME ARE MORE SENSITIVE THAN OTHERS ---- AND FIVE YEARS OUT --- I STILL WASH AND DOUBLE RINSE EVERYTHING THAT TOUCHES THAT AREA. MY SKIN THERE IS STILL VERY TOUCHY!

JUST A WORD OF WARNING. I KNOW SOME ON HERE POO FOO THIS - BUT BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY!

MJG
Dx. in 04 - age 63 IDC/grade 3/stage 1/HR+PR+HER-/16 nodes all neg./lumpectomy/36 rads w-boosts/ Arimidex 5 years/5 other biopsies on same breast all (inflammation and fibrosis from LE and rads- scar tissue) LE of trunk, breast and arm..(under control) 2014 angiosarcoma from radiation treatments. Surgery and scans May 2014...all clear.. watch closely and PRAY!

ElaineQW
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Re:Radiation Tips and Experiences - Sunday, February 01, 2009 9:45 AM
Hi -- 

Just a reminder about X-Claire cream and silver nitrate (both by prescription).  They helped me tremendously with the 'burn'.  I didn't have the fatigue - very lucky.

Hug,
Elaine

 A person's greatness is the power to stand alone;to be able to make her own choice; in action,to write anew her own law; to choose her own sacrifices; run her own dangers; win her own freedom; venture her own destruction; to choose her own happiness 
 






Vera
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Re:Radiation Tips and Experiences - Monday, February 02, 2009 9:06 AM
Lisa, hope your rib pain is better soon & good luck with the rest of your rads. MJG, Thanks for the laundry points. I have washed my camis so I can be ready. I plan on just wearing camisoles right from the beginning & am grateful it's winter (the only time I am happy about cold & winter)  so the coat will hide the fact I'm not wearing a bra.
 
I start my rads today & had a "run through" on Thursday. They had me on the table & confirmed the measurements, then got the machine set into the different positions & took a couple xrays. I know I'm in the home stretch & am looking forward to being finished!
Vera 54yrs - NE Ohio
married to a great guy
dx 5/27/08
IDC Stage II
Er+PR+Her2-
Lumpectomy clear margins 6/20/08
Tumor 2.3cm
2/9 nodes+
4 A/C &12 Taxol Done - Rads -DONE
Putting on the BIG GIRL PANTIES and Combat Boots

susang
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Re: Krista - Monday, February 02, 2009 3:49 PM
Just starting radiation. I don't have to do chemo, so I feel blessed. The shelf bra sounds like a good idea..will get one. Get marked on the 5th, simulation the 12 and start the 16th for six weeks.  I have to say, I fear the fatigue..though I heard this is a piece of cake compared to chemo.  Still, I am tired all the time NOW!  I had my second surgery (for a clean margin) January 16th.  My exhaustion is emotional and hormonal, not doubt (took off the HRT when I found the lump.. already had the ovaries out).  So, even though it isn't chemo, I am still scared a bit.  It is so easy to get depressed on this little journey!

Thanks for thread, I will keep checking back..PS, I have lotion my breast once a day now.. in preparation.  Has anyone tried Bag Balm?  Perhaps I should step it up to twice a day, and then I will move toward the prescribed/approved lotion when it all starts.

Susan B

Terri B.
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Re: Krista - Wednesday, February 04, 2009 4:01 PM
Man, its been awhile since i've been here!

I've been busy getting nuked!  I've done 26 rads so far.  I have 2 more regular ones and then 5 boosts to finish next week!  I'm soooo excited to be almost finished with this part!  Every day, every day, EVERY DAY...  I'm TIRED!!

Fatigue for me started about the middle of week 3.  Sleepy feeling, lazy, I hit a wall every night about 9.  Gotta go to bed. 

I am very very red.  The worst areas are my collar bone and under my arm.  Luckily, these two areas wont be touched for the boosts.  Also, my right shoulder has been itchy from almost the start.  That is where there is passthrough radiation from the claviclar shot. 

This is a piece of cake compared to chemo.  IMHO.  Sure, there is a bit of physical discomfort, but nothing that can't be handled.  My deal is that I just had my swap surgery on December 3, and I've been hopeful that this radiation won't harm my right side "girl".  I'll let you guys know how that goes.  It still feels nice and soft and I massage it several times a day to make sure its not getting hard and the skin is still plyable.

Hang in there everyone!  It goes pretty quick!
Terri B.
46 yrs. young
Dx IDC 3/6/08 1.5 cm & .6 cm grade III 3+nodes
Stage IIA es/pr- Her2+++
Dbl Mast w/exp. 4-14-08 port placement 5-23-08
T/H x12/FEC x 4 done 11-10-08/RADS 33x finish 2-13-09! 
Implant swap 12-3-08 new girls!!
Herceptin until June 09 

Jacksonville, AR (near Little Rock)


Vera
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Re:Radiation Tips and Experiences - Thursday, February 05, 2009 8:48 PM
Had my 4th treatment today & I have to see the Dr. every Thursday. She felt I was already getting pink, but I told her I just have a pink tone to my skin. I was using the Special Care Cream twice a day, but she prescribed Biofine 3 times a day, that my CVS had to order & will have tomorrow. I told her I didn't plan on hardly wearing a bra & she said many get a yeast infection since the breast doesn't get lifted so to be careful. She also told me the breast may get heavy as time goes on. She recommended a piece of clean t shirt tucked under the breast or a cami with a shelf. Luckily I have a few of those. So, we'll see how all this goes.........
Vera 54yrs - NE Ohio
married to a great guy
dx 5/27/08
IDC Stage II
Er+PR+Her2-
Lumpectomy clear margins 6/20/08
Tumor 2.3cm
2/9 nodes+
4 A/C &12 Taxol Done - Rads -DONE
Putting on the BIG GIRL PANTIES and Combat Boots

Valjean
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Re:Radiation Tips and Experiences - Friday, February 06, 2009 11:58 PM
I've completed 25 rads treatments, can hardly believe it has gone by so fast. Have 3 more next week, then the 5 boosts. I've had no fatique at all, have just as much energy as I always have. (but then, I was lucky to have not had chemo). I am very red, itchy & very sore under my arm. The Aquaphor works mixed with the Hydrocortisone.

Terri B-I have in-laws in Conway.

Sunshine,
Val
Valerie  MI        
DX 11.5.08 IDC @ age 56
Stage 1 Grade 2
ER/PR+ HER2 -
Lumpectomy 11.11.08 >1.5 cm
0/5 nodes neg, margins clear
Oncotype Dx 14
Rads x33
Aromasin 2/20/09-
"Now I try to embrace life instead of just walking through it." ~ vivre

LisaF
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Re:Radiation Tips and Experiences - Saturday, February 07, 2009 1:27 PM
terri- glad to hear the explanation as to why my shoulder is itching!!LOL I have finished 10 of 28...however i have a sneaky feeling that somewhere along the line they will slip in a "by the way...add boosts to your number" They haven't mentioned more than 28 but i am trying to mentally prepare for what i fee sure will be more than 28.
So far the skin is just a tad pink but the tightness is what aggravates me more than anything. Right now the skin is just tender to the touch kind of like a sunburn would be but i cannot hold the babies near me as it is painful as they squirm...oh well...
Have not had a lot of fatigue and have been lucky to have people go with me just for the friendship...it has been okay so far.
Take care and have a good weekend.
Lisa from georgia- 44 yrs old
dx 6/20/08 IDC Grade 3
SNB 7/08 2/3 nodes pos
bilat MX 7/16/08 0/10 nodes pos
Stage IIIA
Port 9/10/2008
chemo begin 09/18/08 3 FEC+ 3 T  DONE!!!!)!01-02-09!!!
28 rads begin date 01-26-09 DONE!!!!!!!!!! 03-06-09!!!!!
Begin tamoxifen 3-8-09

sadecou2
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Re: Krista - Saturday, February 07, 2009 5:52 PM
Had 30 radiation treatments.  I don't know what it is about the Radiation Oncologists or Radiation Techs but they are the greatest people.  I love them all.

My skin got through it pretty well.  I got a burn on my neck during treatment.  I found that Aloe Gel (find it at Walgreens or CVS) worked the best for the burn.  They gave me a Silver based cream.  It worked pretty well but the Aloe kept my skin soft and made the burn heal quickly.

My advice is to use the Biafine at its scheduled times and use the Aloe around it.  That is how it went for me and I have started to peel since radiation ended and there is brand new PINK skin underneath it.  Healed very nicely.  My Radiation Oncologist is very happy with how I am healing.

I think that this post should be at the top, as well.  Thank you for making that suggestion.
DX 3/08 LB Rad Mast 22 Lymph nodes removed 6 infect, RB Simple Mast, 4-AC/4-Taxotere, Tamoxifen (failed), Zoladex/Arimidex (failed), 39 rads - chest, 12 rads - back, Abraxane/Avastin/Zometa (current), Stage IV - mets in bone & liver 

Terri B.
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Re: Krista - Tuesday, February 10, 2009 4:27 PM
30 down, 3 to go!!! 

These boosts seem pretty easy.  My energy level "seems" to be coming back.  But that might be because I'm geeked about almost being finished!!

My shoulder blade still itches insanely!!  I use a ruler on it while i'm at work.  My armpit is brown and peeling with pretty pink skin underneath.  My whole boob is BRIGHT RED.  These areas are not painful because of the mastectomy numbness.  My clavicle is brown and starting to peel too.
The only painful area is right below my breast crease.  That skin is very angry and annoyed right now.

Almost done!!!  Woo hoo!!! 
Terri B.
46 yrs. young
Dx IDC 3/6/08 1.5 cm & .6 cm grade III 3+nodes
Stage IIA es/pr- Her2+++
Dbl Mast w/exp. 4-14-08 port placement 5-23-08
T/H x12/FEC x 4 done 11-10-08/RADS 33x finish 2-13-09! 
Implant swap 12-3-08 new girls!!
Herceptin until June 09 

Jacksonville, AR (near Little Rock)


ElaineQW
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Re: Krista - Tuesday, February 10, 2009 6:17 PM
Woo hoo Terry!!  It heals very fast!  

Hug,
Elaine

 A person's greatness is the power to stand alone;to be able to make her own choice; in action,to write anew her own law; to choose her own sacrifices; run her own dangers; win her own freedom; venture her own destruction; to choose her own happiness 
 






Vera
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Re:Radiation Tips and Experiences - Tuesday, February 10, 2009 6:34 PM
I ended up buying some Fruit of the Loom "wife beater" undershirts at Target. There were 6 in the pkg for $8. I am wearing those under a sweater & since they are so long, I can tuck the shirt up under my breast after I put the cream on so I don't have the breast laying on the skin & get a yeast infection. I started putting the gel from my Aloe plant on the radiated area during the day in between the Biafine applications. Knock wood, so far, so good.
Vera 54yrs - NE Ohio
married to a great guy
dx 5/27/08
IDC Stage II
Er+PR+Her2-
Lumpectomy clear margins 6/20/08
Tumor 2.3cm
2/9 nodes+
4 A/C &12 Taxol Done - Rads -DONE
Putting on the BIG GIRL PANTIES and Combat Boots

MCJ
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Re: Krista - Wednesday, February 11, 2009 2:26 PM
I had radiation 13 years ago and it wasn' till the end that I had a pink tinge to my skin. All these years I thought I didn't have any side effects... so proud of myself for sailing through it - no skin changes etc.   Turns out now my PT believes, and it makes sense to me, that the radiation has contributed to my rotator cuff tendonitis - muscles, tissues etc constricting, fighting against the shoulder/back muscle etc.

One thing I learned - 13 years later - when I was diagnosed with cancer in the same breast is that you can't have radiation again in the same spot so I needed to have a mastectomy this past January.  Radiation also causes some damage to blood vessels which impacts the reconstruction issues.

babygirl205
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Re: Krista - Sunday, February 15, 2009 8:28 PM
Hi! I am starting radiation this upcoming Wednesday, having had my simulation last week & final filming, etc. will be on Tuesday. Thanks to all the ladies who have posted about their experiences and shared tips on how to get through it all...... I have taken notes!

Question - does anyone have any experience with a cream called MIADERM??? This is what my doctor is recommending - 3x/day - and then Aquaphor at night plus as needed. Just curious if this stuff is any good -- seems like everyone may have used other creams......

THANKS!
Deb
dx: 4/7/2008
left multifocal IDC, ER/PR+ HER2-
BRCA2+
Bilateral Mastectomy with one-step reconstruction 11/7/08
lump excision 1/23/09 - left side - positive :o(
Ooph/tubes removed 2/3/08
Rads to start 2/16/08 - at least that's the plan......

Tricia Keegan
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Re:Radiation Tips and Experiences - Tuesday, February 17, 2009 4:19 PM
Bump!
Tricia Keegan...From Ireland Dx July '05 IDC 3/9 nodes pos..triple positive..a/c x 4..Taxol/herceptin x 12
Herceptin 1yr ..rads x35 oophorectomy Aug '06
Currently taking Arimidex /Zometa 1 x yearly
Carepage- survivortricia

Vera
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Re:Radiation Tips and Experiences - Saturday, February 21, 2009 12:39 PM
Saw my radiation oncologist this week & told her I was itching a little. She said to use 1% Hydrocortisone Cream in addition to the Biafine cream. She also told me to do vinegar soaks up to 4 times day, because vinegar is amazing! The paperwork she gave me says 1TBL white vinegar to a pint of water. Soak a clean washcloth in the solution & apply for 15 minutes at a time. My itching isn't real bad yet, so haven't tried it but wanted to pass this info on.
Vera 54yrs - NE Ohio
married to a great guy
dx 5/27/08
IDC Stage II
Er+PR+Her2-
Lumpectomy clear margins 6/20/08
Tumor 2.3cm
2/9 nodes+
4 A/C &12 Taxol Done - Rads -DONE
Putting on the BIG GIRL PANTIES and Combat Boots

Vera
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Re:Radiation Tips and Experiences - Wednesday, February 25, 2009 6:26 PM
Wanted to bump this up for those having rads.....

Saw my rad oncologist today & she prescribed the Silver Sulfadiazine Cream to use at night in place of the Biafine. I'm a little pink plus my collar bone area looks irritated & I have some little bumps on my breast. I guess it almost looks like you've had too much sun.....go figure.  I'm still doing the vinegar soaks, using the natural aloe from the plant, the Biafine & now the silver.......I'm just finishing my 4th week so I still have 2 more to go. The fatigue is hitting too. I've lost another 2 lbs so a total of 4 lbs just since starting rads. Dr. said I'm probably not eating enough but I swear I am. I will be so glad when this is all over.   Hang in there everyone!
Vera 54yrs - NE Ohio
married to a great guy
dx 5/27/08
IDC Stage II
Er+PR+Her2-
Lumpectomy clear margins 6/20/08
Tumor 2.3cm
2/9 nodes+
4 A/C &12 Taxol Done - Rads -DONE
Putting on the BIG GIRL PANTIES and Combat Boots

Pat Patterson
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RE: Radiation Tips and Experiences - Sunday, March 01, 2009 7:26 AM
Judy is right!  They told me not to put any cream on at least three hours before the treatment!  They also gave me a prescription cream as toward the end my skin was pretty bad and starting to split around where the scar is located.  It worked great and healed pretty quickly after the last 7 treatments or the "boost".   I thought it would never end but like everything else, once it is over it didn't seem so bad after all.  Good Luck!
DX 5/13/08 Clearwater, FL HER2 +
IDC Stage IIIA changed 12/2/08 to IIB Grade 3
Taxotere, Carbo & Herceptin  6/11/08
Part Mas 11/5/08 SNB neg & addl node neg - CLEAN MARGINS!
Arimidex 11/25/08  35 Rads 12/15/08

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