holiday ????????????????

hello ladies , hope you are all doing well and feeling ok , can anyone give so advice please , i go into surgery next fri - 10 th june for lumpectomy and lymph node removal , consultant told me grade 1 and mimimal risk of spread , how long after surgery does radiotherapy normally start , my partner and i both heard different on this , he thinks he heard 1 radiothrapy a week for 3 weeks ? i thought i heard 5 a week for 3 weeks , anyhow the long and short is we have holiday booked for aug 13th (great yarmouth ) and having not had holiday for 3 years am so looking forward to it , is it likely my radiotherapy coincide with that and if so can it be put back a week , if there is anyone that can advise me that would be great thank you xxxx

sorry bout the repetition of message girls , not quite figured out how to use laptop yet lol xxxx

Hi trish,

The most common chemotherapy treatments are once a week every three weeks and there are usually six treatments (sometimes eight) so it takes about four to five months. This assumes no Herceptin, which is usually every three weeks for a year (I think!)

Radiotherapy is usually given every weekday and you can have anywhere from 15 sessions and up, so at least three solid weeks and usually a few days more (a lot of us have 15 rads then a few boosters to the tumour site).

They usually wait at least 3-4 weeks after surgery before you ahve chemo or rads as both can affect the healing and you need to get some flexibility back in your shoulder to get in the right position for rads.

Did your consultant talk to you about chemo? If so, maybe that’s why you heard two different numbers?

They will usually delay the start of either treatment for you to go on holiday but would be very reluctant indeed to break into the treatment once it’s started so you really need to have a chat with them.

Of course, there’s always the chance that you’ll need a further op if they don’t get clear margins the first time (that affects about 20% of us) so that would push back your chemo or rads start date further.

I’d give your BCN a call and find out exactly what you treatment plan is, although they won’t be sure of anything until your lump/nodes are out and have been examined in the lab as that often changes things.

Is that any help?

Jane xxx

Hi Trish,

First to answer your question about how many, if you were told 3 weeks it’s most likely to be 5 days a week for 3 weeks, they don’t just do them weekly. An alternative plan they sometimes use is 3 doses a week for five weeks, but I don’t know when they decide that’s the thing to do. But definitely not 1 a week for 3 weeks.

Moving on to your other question, sorry I can’t give any specifics but there are a couple of things you should be aware of. It is possible that the surgeon might not get clear margins around the lump, so there’s a chance you could need to have a second (smaller) surgery. I was told by my surgeon that that happens in around 20% of cases, so you still have a good chance of no further delays, but it’s something to bear in mind. Also they do generally like people to have healed well after surgery before moving on to the next treatment, whatever it is. And finally given that you’ve been graded as grade 1 there is a very slim chance that your grade might change. I was initially given Grade 2 but after surgery this turned into Grade 3, so it does happen very occasionally, so my plans went out the window and I ended up on chemo before rads.

Do you know your HER2 status? If positive that increases your likelihood of getting chemo, but you might know already that you’re HER2 negative. That said, depending on the time you’re booked on your holiday you should still be able to go even if you do get told that you need chemo, and even if you have to have a re-excision.

They do try to accommodate the other things that go on in people’s lives. I managed to get start of chemo postponed for a couple of weeks, I’m sure they’ll take into consideration your holiday. Depending on when in August your holiday is and if you get clear margins first time you might even be all done and dusted and can have your holiday to recuperate! As far as I understand they don’t like to cause a break in the middle of rads but might be prepared to adjust start dates to take account of your circumstances. You’ll need to be extremely careful with your skin after rads to keep it

I’m sorry not to be able to give you a definite, but even your surgeon wouldn’t be able to at this stage until after your surgery. So make a note in your notebook of this lot as more questions to ask, you might be able to get some answers before your surgery when you speak to him or her, and ask the others at your results meeting.

I hope you do manage to get away, we all know that now more than ever you need to have something good to look forward to.

Hi there

I was where you are a couple of months ago, we bookd last year before all this to take the kids to Florida!! we fly sept 1st ABW, we married in 1998 after my first fight with cancer, even after all the treatment incl chemo I had 2 kids now 9 & 7 and they have never been on holiday unless you count 2 weekends camping!!! we have saved for 3 years and are not going to give it up without a fight!! we have insurance but I am not giving up yet!!! I am halfway through chemo and if it stays on track we will go on our holiday then come back for surgery + rads?? Both my surgeon and onc happy with that. I agree with both Alto and choccie there is alot in the mix, keep them in the picture and take each day as it comes you may like me be able to slip it in during a ‘waiting period’ I thought WLE + rads job done by the summer but things change, hopefully for you for the better and we will be exchanging holiday stories???

Hope it all works out for you, we can’t can’t be the only ones with planned hols then this horrible b/c throws a spanner in the works???

Let us know how goes it

Love to you Jeanette xxxxxxxxxxx

thank you so much for responding ladies , guess i just have to wait , i know things can change and not always for the better. as you quite rightfully say a lot will depend on the lab results after surgery tho i remain quite optimistic as both the ultrasound technician and consultant stressed had been caught very early , it is oestrogen receptive and was told herceprin or tamoxifen for 5 years , does that make difference to anything - i missed a lot of what consultant said because felt like i had been hit by baseball bat at time lol ,i must tell you i went to hospital with nipple that had inverted ( had done so on and off for 12 months ) but because it kept coming back out i wasnt unduly worried - or maybe i was , anyhow had i gone for mammogram at that time nothing would have been seen because the tumour wasnt there then and inverted nipple has turned out to be absolutely nothing to do with it and more to do with menopause , i like to think someone looking out for me ( lost my parents and best friend to cancer )and the time was right to go see doc xxxx oh and also at time of diagnosis it was 1cm x2cm x

sorry i was asked about chemo , no mention of it other than if it was in lymph nodes then i would have to have it but he said chances of that were minimal , nothing had showed up on ultrasound , he said surgery and radiotherapy , but as we know it can change so i am just going to have to wait , just such a worrying time waiting for surgery then more waiting afterwards for results - how long do they normally take ?

Hi trish, I am having my second WLE on 1st July and my hubby and I are booked to go to Kos on the 29th August. I have been told they are quite happy for me to have my holiday and then the rads afterwards, as a few extra weeks won’t make any difference long term. Make sure you mention this at your next appointment as your team will want you to have your holiday if possible, as treats and holidays are just as important for your recovery from a mental health point of you.

SGL xx


Oh Ninja, I do feel for you. We were supposed to be going to the Dominican Republic two weeks after I was diagnosed and I was told point blank no way! I was really wondering if I would get to go to the holiday in August and was half expecting to have to cancel this one, but fingers crossed I will get to this one!

What about October half term, could you maybe go somewhere warm like the canaries. We had to cancel Turkey two years ago when OH had a ruptured ulcer that perforated his bowel, but later in the year we went to Lanzarote.


Canaries - was that where the English tourist lady got beheaded? eeek.

SGL - I can so empathise with you!

October is when I have the surgery and I don’t know yet how radical it will have to be…so IF I’m well enough, it may have to be a last-minute we’ll go anywhere warm thing.

I really need a HOT holiday though, as it is the only time that my fibromyalgia doesn’t hurt. Round about day 3 of 28-35 degrees and my aches and pains melt away and I get full mobility back. Just enjoying the mini-heatwave ATM and sitting in garden today.

Hi Trish

Hope this info helps:-
I had lumpectomy (grade 1) and lymph node removal on 04 April
Results on 20 April when told lymph nodes clear but had to have further breast op as needed a clearer margin.
2nd op was on 09 May.
Results on 25 May which were all clear and I also had first consultation re radio.
Radio planning appointment was on 16 June with a view to probably starting radio 2 weeks after that.

Despite all this I was told at the very beginning that I should be able to take my pre-booked holiday if I felt up to it as the radio was like an insurance policy against the cancer re-occurring.

Good luck with it all and hopefully you can still go on your holiday. It will probably be a real tonic for you.


Lynn x

thank you lynne , i am just so looking forward to getting away , my partner works such long hours i treasure the time we can spend together , when everyone speaks of clear margins am i right in thinking that is the surrounding area around the tumour ? ,which bc did you have lynne? , and why do i feel so ill ? it could be anxiety i know but waves of nausea and if i didnt know better id say pregnant ( mals had the snip and i`m 49 and going through menopause).besides at this stage it would prob be the immaculate conception !!!