Radiation Tips and Experiences

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smarssygirl76
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Re: RE: Radiation Tips and Experiences - Thursday, October 22, 2009 10:53 AM
Looks like it's been over a year since anyone posted on this thread. I meet with the radiology department next week to get my treatment plan and schedule. I've been reading through this thread but wouldn't mind hearing from some ladies that just finished RADS or are going through them now.

Army Mom
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Re: RE: Radiation Tips and Experiences - Monday, October 26, 2009 9:39 AM
Hi Smarssy,

I just started Rads on Friday. For me the hardest part has been when they did the films and I had to have my arms over my head for an hour. My poor arm was killing me and I ended up moving it so they had to redo the last part of the films.
So far so good from just Friday. I will have my 2nd one today. My doc told me usually you do not feel much from it until after the 2nd or 3rd weeks.
good luck !!
Grace 

Lumpectomy June 18,2009
4 rounds T/C DONE !
33 rounds of rads DONE !!
1 yr of Herceptin - DONE  !!!
2 yrs Tamoxafen/ taken off due to elevated liver enzymes.
oophorectomy 05/2012

March 27,2015 DX right breast
Lumpectomy April 16th 2015
To start chemo soon

54 years young  :)
Mother of 2 sons in US Army
Wife of wonderful husband
and of course I am now.
KOMAN STRONG  :)



Sowhynot
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Re: RE: Radiation Tips and Experiences - Wednesday, October 28, 2009 5:23 PM
I'm brand new to the forums.  I was diagnosed with DCIS in August.  Had a lumpectomy mid-September, started my first radiation treatment today.  Could it be possible that already my underwire bras hurt?  Or is it psychsomatic? 
 
Anyone have a good recommendation on cotton non-underwire bras?  The radiation tech during my simulation said that I shouldn't have any problem with the underwires the first couple of weeks.  I'm thinking that's not the case.  I'm a 34D so sometimes finding anything (other than sports bras) with support is an issue.

Army Mom
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Re: RE: Radiation Tips and Experiences - Thursday, October 29, 2009 8:03 AM
Hiya Sowhynot,

I just started my rads last Friday. No issues yet and sitll wearing my underwire. After my surgery I purchased some bras from JC Penny and they are very comfortable. They are the "JCP" brand (I can not remember what they call them) but are very soft and they have the micro fibor so it is even more comfortable.
I will probably take advise from someone on this list and do the soft mens tank under a bra if I start getting a burn.
Good luck.
Grace 

Lumpectomy June 18,2009
4 rounds T/C DONE !
33 rounds of rads DONE !!
1 yr of Herceptin - DONE  !!!
2 yrs Tamoxafen/ taken off due to elevated liver enzymes.
oophorectomy 05/2012

March 27,2015 DX right breast
Lumpectomy April 16th 2015
To start chemo soon

54 years young  :)
Mother of 2 sons in US Army
Wife of wonderful husband
and of course I am now.
KOMAN STRONG  :)



JulieS
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Re: RE: Radiation Tips and Experiences - Thursday, October 29, 2009 4:02 PM
Hi ladies,
I am 2 years out from finishing my rads, Yea!!!!  But I discovered that not wearing a bra while at home is so nice, with a cotton tee so your skin can breath.  I used tons of 100% aloe (but check with your onco)  and I didn't get but a little red.  Do be gentle with your skin that is getting the zap...don't use harsh soaps either in your shower or to wash your shirts (in fact do a double rinse on your shirts and bras)
I hope you all do well!!!

Hope and strength,
Julie S
Bothell, WA
dx 5/07 IDC
lumpectomy 6/14/07 1.5cm
er/pr + Nodes negative
finished rads 9/13
Tamoxfen 9/07- 8/09
Arimidex 8/09-

Sowhynot
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Re: RE: Radiation Tips and Experiences - Thursday, October 29, 2009 5:41 PM
Thanks for the advice.  I did stop by Penneys last night and picked up 2 Bali cotton bras.  My problem is also PMS - so my breasts are sore already.  I think (again I may be making this up) that the radiation may be making things a bit worse in that department.  Oh well.  2 down, 31 to go!

Tricia Keegan
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Re: RE: Radiation Tips and Experiences - Saturday, October 31, 2009 9:04 PM
If you can get away with it its best not to wear a bra at all during radiation defianty not an underwired one but maybe go for a supportive camisile vest?
I found this far more comfortable and am sure it helped minimize any soreness.
I'd also agree the natural aloe vera is a must!
<message edited by Tricia Keegan on Saturday, October 31, 2009 9:05 PM>
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

27islucky
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Re: RE: Radiation Tips and Experiences - Sunday, November 01, 2009 10:03 AM
I am 3 months and a few days since my last radiation treatment following lumpectomy. I am still sore, particularly around the nipple and in the area of the SLN incision. The itching is deep and frequent on the side of the breast toward center. I have stabbing pains and deep aching. When will this stop? My surgeon told me 6 months from surgery, but that will be in less than 2 weeks and it is hard to believe it will go away by then.
I can't wear a bra for more than an hour without discomfort. I have trouble wearing a shelf bra T shirt for more than a half day. Most comfortable is a wifebeater T. This is not a good look for a woman my age.
Maybe I am just whining. Most women here have much worse cancer and treatment than I did and I am thankful mine was so early and small.
I would like to know if other people's recovery took so long.
27islucky
DCIS, LCIS
Surgery 5/13/09 lumpectomy
Sentinel Node biopsy
margins 1.8 cm
Radiation started 6/18/09
Radiation completed 7-28-09

JulieS
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Re: RE: Radiation Tips and Experiences - Monday, November 02, 2009 11:57 AM
Hi 27!
It has been more (by just a bit) than 2 years since I have finished rads and had surgery and my breast and underarm still gets sore and achey sometimes......don't laugh but especially when the weather is damp and cool.....LOL.  My own weather notification when the weather is going to change!  My onco had me do a ultrasound last spring because of my complaints.....showed nothing but the saroma.  Sigh, we think surgery, rads and we are done, not so. Our bodies just keep on reminding us that we had bc.
Hope and strength,
Julie S
Bothell, WA
dx 5/07 IDC
lumpectomy 6/14/07 1.5cm
er/pr + Nodes negative
finished rads 9/13
Tamoxfen 9/07- 8/09
Arimidex 8/09-

lymphdema5
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Re: RE: Radiation Tips and Experiences - Saturday, November 07, 2009 1:14 PM
yes i know this feeling! here is the you are not whining your cancer is just as important and you own it, at the end of the day you and you alone have your cancer, I had double D's and its not a good look with no bra, but normal bras are not good during recovery and for me not ever, my lumpectomy turned into partial mastecomy radiation was worse for me then chemotherapy, one thing is all shirts need to be really soft, even thou they took half of my breast i never knew they had bras under mastecomy names that are made especially for this. I cut off alot of t-shirts glad you caught your's early have a good day  

lymphdema5
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Re: RE: Radiation Tips and Experiences - Saturday, November 07, 2009 1:19 PM
sports bras are not the answer to our D size they have alot of bras they mostly list these under mastecomy

acteacher
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Should I quit radiation treatments? - Saturday, November 14, 2009 9:47 AM
Is there ever a time when it's better to stop radiation treatments before you have reached the end?  I have been in a lot of pain the last few days and have been taking Lortab just to make it through the day.  I had 21 treatments and then the radiation oncologist told me to lay off for 4 days.  In the middle of my chest, where I was receiving electron treatment, it was very red, sensitive, and blistering.  I had 2 more treatments and when I went yesterday, the radiation therapists asked me if I wanted to wait a few days again.  (The radiation oncologist was already gone for the day.)  There are places where my skin is peeling, turning various colors, has become very hard, and it hurts unless I am completely still.  I don't even like to look at it!  I don't know if I can take 10 more treatments!  Do you have to completely finish the treatments to reap the benefits?

lymphdema5
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Re:Should I quit radiation treatments? - Saturday, November 14, 2009 10:55 AM
teacher if your radiation oncologist has given you days off, and his nurse has asked you if you want to then do it. I had six weeks five days aweek. About the fourth week, I was driving myself over 100miles and I was in so much pain and my best was raw, so I stopped for about five days this was my decision, my radiation doctor did not agree at that moment but I am here five years later. I also was vomiting and couldn't eat, so it is up to you but if your onclogolist is saying okay well medically it sounds like the right thing to do you can only do what is physically possible for yourself.

JulieS
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Re:Should I quit radiation treatments? - Saturday, November 14, 2009 12:34 PM
Teacher,
Wow sorry you are in such pain!!!! I can't really advise as I sort of flew through my rads (ok kick me now.)  I know some of the women's onco's have prescribed different creams for burns that have helped.  Did your onco prescribe you any type of healing cream???? Do be gentle on that skin....if it is hard it must be dry so maybe doing the lotion or cream (I used 100% Aloe, inexpensive and worked great for me.)  I think asking your onco what % of benefit you have gotten at this point......no fun for sure to be in that much pain.  I know some about that pain......I sunburn really easy.....and as a kid would blister.  
Please read through the tips on rads and see if there is something there that may help you.   Let us know what your onco has to say.
Wishing you quick painfree healing.
Hope and strength!
Julie S
Bothell, WA
dx 5/07 IDC
lumpectomy 6/14/07 1.5cm
er/pr + Nodes negative
finished rads 9/13
Tamoxfen 9/07- 8/09
Arimidex 8/09-

acteacher
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Re:Should I quit radiation treatments? - Saturday, November 14, 2009 1:09 PM
Thanks for the encouragement!  I have used Miaderm (a water-based cream recommended by the rad onc) 3 times a day.  I have used a pain-relieving form of Neosporin and the doctor also recommended lidocaine.  I think that all of them give some degree of relief.  I'm just wondering how much more pain and damage to my skin will result.  I can't help but wonder why burning the skin is necessary to treat cancer cells in the breast tissue. 

Tricia Keegan
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Re:Should I quit radiation treatments? - Saturday, November 14, 2009 4:36 PM
Teacher, I'm sorry you've had a bad reaction to the radiaiton.

The reason we have this is to zap any cancer cells left around after surgery, whereas the chemo goes right through our bodies to hopefully kill any cells there.   It's unfortunate that some skin types burn as a result of this.
If you're in this much pain it sounds like you may need to stop, have you spoken to your rad onc about it?
I also want to mention to continue to use whatever cream you have even after you stop as the skin sometimes can continue burning for two weeks or so after tads:)
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

susan g
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Re:Should I quit radiation treatments? - Sunday, November 15, 2009 10:50 PM
i just finished rads 2 weeks ago tomorrow, and my skin felt much like you describe. i had the weepy wet burns in between my breasts and under my arms where my nodes were removed. the rad onc nurse gave me "cool magic" gel pads, i kept them in the fridge, and cut to fit. they stick to the skin but do not tear it when removed. also i had something called "mepilex  lite" , a kind of foam pad that sticks to and protects w/o tearing the skin. the worst was under the arm, i couldn't really wash it like i wanted, or the baby skin cells could be washed off, i just had to gently wash, and it was so nasty and it smelled bad, too. i'm so sensitive about it, and it was so hard to get anything to stick on such a large area as the underarm! finally, after i finished rads, i could use the silvadene cream, and the healing began, though i thought it never would! i used aquaphor cream (like vaseline) to keep the areas moist, too, i never realized how much the skin on your chest moves as you go about your daily stuff-it burned and felt itchy and like it was tearing for quite some time! but there is hope!!

Army Mom
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Re:Should I quit radiation treatments? - Monday, November 16, 2009 12:20 PM
Teacher,

I am so sorry you are having a difficult time. I just had my 16th treatment today. So far I am a bit red but nothing major. I will say I am completely exhausted right now. I went to a dog show this weekend, really didn't so that much (my friends make sure I don't lift or over do it.) Even took the golf cart so I wouldnt have to walk much. I was so tired when I got home yesterday afternoon. This weekend was harder on me than when I went to a show the weekend before my last chemo. I also had to go back out on short term disability from work. I just have such a hard time concentrating and doing my job, I am so tired and everyone at work is sick with the flu of some sorts etc.
I hope you get some pain relief soon and that it gets better for you.
Grace 

Lumpectomy June 18,2009
4 rounds T/C DONE !
33 rounds of rads DONE !!
1 yr of Herceptin - DONE  !!!
2 yrs Tamoxafen/ taken off due to elevated liver enzymes.
oophorectomy 05/2012

March 27,2015 DX right breast
Lumpectomy April 16th 2015
To start chemo soon

54 years young  :)
Mother of 2 sons in US Army
Wife of wonderful husband
and of course I am now.
KOMAN STRONG  :)



lisalovinlife
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Re:Should I quit radiation treatments? - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 2:58 PM
i am on treatment #11 and I was wondering when you all started noticing burns or even redness.  i am not even pink, gosh are they giving me enough?  I am tired though.  I sure hope you all heal up quickly. much love, lisa
Lisa 44 years young, happily married, mom of 3 teens IDC 6/09 1.5cm er/pr+ her2-, nodes not totally sure , partial mastectomy, Chemo taxotere/cytoxan 4 rounds, 30 rads, Tamoxifen 5 years  A self exam followed by a mammogram saved my life!!!

smaas707
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Re:Should I quit radiation treatments? - Tuesday, December 15, 2009 7:38 PM
I had a very hard time when I was going through radiation, I have stage 4 with mets to my spine and was getting radiation on my lower spine which was burning my stomache and causing me all sorts of issues with my digestion, I asked my oncologist about stopping and she wouldnt let me, I had to keep going..It was soo hard..Keep your head up we will make it through...

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