Radiation Tips and Experiences

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Tricia Keegan
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RE: Radiation Tips and Experiences - Thursday, March 06, 2008 7:01 PM
Susan I have'nt had a chance to go to the carepages to see your update but keep applying the aloe as it'll help a lot. Also I became very itchy but did'nt burn at all,just pink so hope you'll be the same!
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

skbadger
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RE: Radiation Tips and Experiences - Thursday, March 06, 2008 7:23 PM
Hi Everyone,
 
I had my sim today so last night I read through the string to find out what questions to ask.  It's interesting how different our rad oncs can be.  I was told deodorant (of any kind) is fine as long as it wasn't applied just before rads.  I will work in the morning and have rads in the afternoon so this is not a problem.  They just want the area to be dry.  Taking my multi-vitamin is just fine.  The one thing my rad onc basically guaranteed is that my breast will be red from rads. 
 
The information I got here was very helpful and always greatly appreciated. It's really great that everyone is so willing to share their personal experiences.  You guys give me sanity during all this craziness.  [sm=whacky2.gif]
Sara, dx 6/07 @ 39 yo
BRCA neg ER+ PR+ Her2+++
lumpectomy 7/31/07
Stage IIA grade 2 1+/32 nodes
4 AC; 12 Taxol+Herceptin-DONE!
31 rounds of Rads-DONE!
Herceptin thru 11/08 - DONE!
Tamox & Lupron shots

Sandefeet
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RE: Radiation Tips and Experiences - Friday, March 07, 2008 1:41 PM
I FINISHED my rads on Tuesday (March 4)!!!  My husband and I left town after my last treatment so I've been out of pocket.
 
I am still tired (lack of energy) and have to pace myself each day.  I hope it doesn't last long. 
 
My boost area is pink but already starting to clear up.  The rest of my skin is almost totally clear.  I found DEB SBS 40 medicated skin cream the BEST solution for me (I am a fair skinned, red head).  It started healing my skin before I finished treatments; even the doctors were amazed.  I used it exclusively the last 3 weeks.  You have to buy it online but it is well worth it.  I bought mine at www.safety-products.com
 
My surgeon told me when I finished my rads I would be CURED so I have held on to that and now declare myself CURED!  I'll take it since I've learned as many of us have, we only have today!

Susan
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Lynne - Friday, March 07, 2008 2:00 PM
Thanks, but I cannot take all the credit for this thread. It was more Coco's idea, but since I was starting radiation first, she asked me to go ahead and put it up.  I have found it very helpful and I hope it does the same for many in the future. 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

Susan
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To late Tricia...already gone RED - Friday, March 07, 2008 2:04 PM
Hey girl, I am already gettting red. Went pink and red in the same week and I only have 15 under my belt. I may be ordering the suggested DEB SBS 40 medicated skin cream that Sandefeet posted.
I am using the perscription Biafine 3 to 4 times a day now and the pure Aloe Vera Gel at least 3 times. As soon as this boy I keep goes home, I change into button front pj's so that it makes all these self  treatments easier on me. HELP...[sm=whacky2.gif][sm=whacky.gif]
I'll make it, for sure, but was really hoping to avoid any breaks in treatment. I am going to be REALLY SURPRISED if that happens now. SIGH.
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

Coco
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RE: To late Tricia...already gone RED - Friday, March 07, 2008 4:12 PM
Hi all,
I just had my 9th treatment today and so far so good.  I keep looking at my breast and it seems ok.  I am putting the biafine on twice a day.  They said not to use anything else until I see the Radiologist on Monday.  I'll keep posting and hopefully will have nothing nothing bad to report.
Susan are you going to have a break in treatment?
Age 67
DX 10/8/07
10/29/07 LUMPECTOMY RT BREAST INVASIVE DUCTAL CARCINOMA
LYMPH NODES NEG Stage 1 Grade 3
Triple negative
4 cycles of Taxotere and Cytoxan Finished 1/29/08
35 Rads finished 4/11/08
Malvern, Pa

My2giftsRmy2girls
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RE: To late Tricia...already gone RED - Friday, March 07, 2008 5:22 PM
Hi Feb.Rad Girls !
 
Its been awhile since I have been on...I have another support group of Feb. Rad Team. so,  I had a lot to catch up on since then !  So, far in comparison everything seems to be the same from different approaches with RAD. ONC. and all the same red/itchy/burn ( Which by the way I heard happens a lot Chemo or not...they suggest HydroCortizone ) As far as muscle aches...YES,  I hear that a lot...that comes unfortunately with the RADS. Mine feels stretched and sometimes stabbing pains...
 
Deoderant : Salt/rock roll on or spray or rock...and also, baby cornstarch is now working for me...other than that they say something about the aluminum...and burning so no no on the deoderant...but things change all the time so who knows !
 
So, far #15 for me....20 more to go!  ( 10 boosts at the end )
I started draaaaaging today ![sm=sleeping.gif][sm=sleeping.gif][sm=sleeping.gif][sm=sleeping.gif]
 
Its always FREEZING while they give me treatments !  Trying to remain still while I am being zapped is hard at times...
 
Have a restful weekend !! [sm=peace.gif]
<message edited by My2giftsRmy2girls on Friday, March 07, 2008 5:24 PM>
Nov.19
DCIS Stage 0 grade 3
0/3 lymph node
mastectomy
Feb.18 Rads
ER- PR-
25 Rads 10 Boost

Susan
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Coco - Friday, March 07, 2008 5:29 PM
I won't be surprised, but they haven't mentioned it yet. I have to see the rad. onc. every Monday. Since they tell me this is normal, he may let it get worse before taking a break...I hope. I have the weekend to keep myself slathered up, so maybe it will fade a little bit. It really doesn't hurt. I know when it is time for cream though. It developed a little feeling yesterday, so I just listen and go soothe it. 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

Suzy
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RE: Radiation Tips and Experiences - Saturday, March 08, 2008 9:45 AM
I have only had 4 rad treatments, 29 to go!  So I really don't have any problems yet...My last chemo was 2/6 and I'm having pains in my legs a little so I guess it is from the chemo which I thought would be out of my system by now....I heard it takes a few mos. to get the chemo out of your system...I asked my onc about chemo brain, and she told me it can take 6 mos or so to get back to normal.
 
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

DianeA.
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RE: Radiation Tips and Experiences - Saturday, March 08, 2008 10:14 AM
First of all, I want to say thank you for starting this thread.  There is a lot of really good information here.  I just finished getting lined up for rads which starts Monday.  Nothing personal but I prefer to have a woman doctor.  So I was referred to a female oncologist for radiation which i really like.  But, no one told me a male, none the less in his 30's, handsome Italian,  would be the one to work on my boob everyday.  This really sucks!!!!  It made me feel really uncomforable, though he is probably used to it but i am NOT.  I guess i will get use to it too.
 
Just a suggestion, when you go to radiation to have the mold of your upper body done DO NOT WEAR YOUR WIG.  Once again, how uncomfortable i felt when he suggested that i should take off my wig because the mold gets really hot and of course, you are to keep your wig away from all heat ... oven, dryers, etc.  I wish i had known ahead of time i would have brought a hat or scarf with me.
 
Diane
Dx'd @ 42 Now 46 - New Jersey
Dx'd 8/20/07 - Stage IIIa
Lumpectomy 9/7/07
ER/PR+, HER2 (Not Amplified)
4x A/C, 4x Taxol - DONE 2/8/08!!!
Radiation - DONE 4/25/08!!!
Tamoxifen 3/22/08
Started Lupron Shots - 10/2010
6/20/11 Dx'd Stage 4 to Lungs
6/31/11 Start Chemo - Gemzar

Susan
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Hi Diane - Saturday, March 08, 2008 11:08 AM
I had a male that did all the simulation work on me. Two ladies do the treatments every day, so I lucked up there. Great tip about the wig. Fortunaltey, I have hair again and did not have to suffer through that. I am so sorry you went through that. My mold was done differently. It is like a bean bag and once he got it shaped, they just sucked the air out and it stays the shape they wanted. I just hate the hospital FASHION gowns. In all these years it looks like they could improve those things. Rads. nurse said I should design one...would make a fortune! 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

Coco
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RE: Hi Diane - Saturday, March 08, 2008 12:02 PM
Susan,  What kind of mold?  I go in, lay down on a table and put my arms in styrup like devices.  Then they line up my body with laser lights based on where the tattoos are.  When I'm lined up they zap me first on one side and then the machine moves around me to a different angle and I get zapped again.  Did you get tattoos?
Claudette
Age 67
DX 10/8/07
10/29/07 LUMPECTOMY RT BREAST INVASIVE DUCTAL CARCINOMA
LYMPH NODES NEG Stage 1 Grade 3
Triple negative
4 cycles of Taxotere and Cytoxan Finished 1/29/08
35 Rads finished 4/11/08
Malvern, Pa

Susan
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Coco - Saturday, March 08, 2008 12:11 PM
WOW, yours is different from most reported here. I learned about the molds long before the rad. onc. mentioned them.  Mine keeps my head turned to the left, so they can radiate the neck. My right arm is up over my head and they molded where it should be. It has a nice little pocket to lie in. I have a handle just behind my head to hold on to. My left arm is at my side and my hand tucked under my butt. YES, they line up lazer lights and YES, I have TEN tattooes. Yes, they move the machine three times for my treatments (each side and straight down). They put a wedge under my knees so that lying on the table is more comfortable. Sometimes they strap my feet, but not so much now. I think they know I am not going to move. I don't want that stuff going anywhere it isn't supposed to. I think you are one of the first to say they didn't have some type of mold to lie in. Do they use the bolace/gel pad on you? They use it every other day for me.  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

DianeA.
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RE: Hi Diane - Saturday, March 08, 2008 3:54 PM
I had a male that did all the simulation work on me. Two ladies do the treatments every day, so I lucked up there. Great tip about the wig. Fortunaltey, I have hair again and did not have to suffer through that. I am so sorry you went through that. My mold was done differently. It is like a bean bag and once he got it shaped, they just sucked the air out and it stays the shape they wanted. I just hate the hospital FASHION gowns. In all these years it looks like they could improve those things. Rads. nurse said I should design one...would make a fortune! HUGS.
 
Susan - I was hoping that he would only be there for the simulation.  Maybe I will get lucky and they two woman will always be there.  Your mold is definitely different.  My mold got really warm and formed to my body.  And my body was formed exactly how you said yours was.  I don't like the hospital gowns neither.  Oh and I had eight tattooes not as many as you and they said they have four spots to treat when i thought i had two??
 
Diane 
Dx'd @ 42 Now 46 - New Jersey
Dx'd 8/20/07 - Stage IIIa
Lumpectomy 9/7/07
ER/PR+, HER2 (Not Amplified)
4x A/C, 4x Taxol - DONE 2/8/08!!!
Radiation - DONE 4/25/08!!!
Tamoxifen 3/22/08
Started Lupron Shots - 10/2010
6/20/11 Dx'd Stage 4 to Lungs
6/31/11 Start Chemo - Gemzar

Coco
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RE: Coco - Sunday, March 09, 2008 12:43 PM
Susan,  What is a bolace/gel pad?  I have 7 tattoos.  Maybe some others have the same procedure that I have.  I'll ask tomorrow about the molds.
Claudette
Age 67
DX 10/8/07
10/29/07 LUMPECTOMY RT BREAST INVASIVE DUCTAL CARCINOMA
LYMPH NODES NEG Stage 1 Grade 3
Triple negative
4 cycles of Taxotere and Cytoxan Finished 1/29/08
35 Rads finished 4/11/08
Malvern, Pa

Susan
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RE: Coco - Sunday, March 09, 2008 1:20 PM
How to describe the bolace/gel pad? Ruth calls it a mouse pad. My rads nurse said jello texture. It is a pad that my rad. onc. has used every other day on mastectomy patients so that the radiation stays more on top of the skin. If I had a lumpectomy, they would not use it. This is also the reason I am told I will burn so badly. No fat to absorb some of the radiation, so they try to keep it on the surface of the skin. You had a lumpectomy, so no need for this. I hope this helps.
 
Most ladies when I read in the past about the molds, speak of like a garbage bag with plaster inside, that shapes and then hardens. That is why I wrote about mine being so different. It is like a large pillow that they shaped around me and then removed the air to hold the shape. I thought everyone got one...maybe not, since you don't have one.  HUGS.
<message edited by Susan Creed on Sunday, March 09, 2008 1:21 PM>
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

Alaska Laura
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RE: Radiation Tips and Experiences - Monday, March 10, 2008 1:29 AM
I just had my Sim 1 & 2, CT scan and X-rays last week; start radiation on Tuesday for 6-7 weeks.  Sims, CT and X-ray all a piece of cake, my Oncologist Radiologist said I'd probably be a litte sunburned on the left side of my breast, but they will give me all the cremes and lotions to help with the "sunburn."
 
Let the games begin!
Laughing and Learning the Hard Way,
Laura
www.laurasjourney.com

1 year out from cancer treatments for Recurrent Invasive Breast Cancer. Her2neu+, ER+/PR+, nodes-.  I am now dancing with NED ;) (no evidence of disease!)

Coco
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RE: Coco - Monday, March 10, 2008 9:06 AM
Hi,  I just had my 10th treatment and asked about a mold.  The techs said they don't use molds where I am being treated but one of them had worked somewhere where they did.  Different methods for different places I guess.  anyway 10 down and 25 to go.  It's getting old fast.
Claudette 
 
 
Age 67
DX 10/8/07
10/29/07 LUMPECTOMY RT BREAST INVASIVE DUCTAL CARCINOMA
LYMPH NODES NEG Stage 1 Grade 3
Triple negative
4 cycles of Taxotere and Cytoxan Finished 1/29/08
35 Rads finished 4/11/08
Malvern, Pa

JulieS
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RE: Coco - Monday, March 10, 2008 2:11 PM
Claudette,
I didn't have the "mold" either and was just lined up with my tattoos.  I only had two tattoos so can't even play dot to dot!
Hang in there women....it will soon be over!
Hugs
Julie

codetwinmom
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RE: Radiation Tips and Experiences - Monday, March 10, 2008 3:20 PM
I spoke too soon...the fatigue hit me right after I posted last week.  I have 13 treatments down, 23 to go.  I feel like someone tied about 50 lbs of weights to my body.  Just overall worn out, but not sleepy tired.  I find that I feel better when I'm active, but try getting me to move once I am settled in!  My boob is just a bit darker/slightly red but no real pain or burning.  I feel a very mild discomfort. 
 
I did have lumpectomy and they do use bolace on me.  A mouse pad is a good description.  The tech told me it fools the machine into thinking I have more skin.  They use 2 days on/1 day off. No mold here either, I just lay flat and put both arms over my head, holding onto handles.  I get zapped twice and total time on the table is less than 5 minutes.
 
Hang in there sisters, we're getting closer!
 
Mona
45 years old
Stage 1/Grade 1 IDC
Lumpectomy and sentinel node removal 1/16/08
Clear margins
Start rads 2/20 (36 total, 28/8 boost), done 4/9/08
Tamoxifen and Lupron started 2/14/08
Living with NED

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