May 2018 Radiotherapy

Hi,

 

Just joined the forum but have been reading for a couple of months.  Had my first radiotherapy session today - no. 1 of 20 (15 normal and then 5 boosters).  Since it’s May, thought I’d start a new thread for anyone else staring radiotherapy this month.  Hope you don’t mind!

 

History wise, got diagnosed with a grade 2 mucinous carcinoma (18mm) on the left side at the beginning of March.  Had a WLE and SNB at the end of March.  2 nodes removed. All clear and margins clear too.  So now onto Radiotherapy and I will start tamoxifen after rads haven finished.

 

First rads session went OK.  I don’t find the breath hold thing particularly hard.  Worst thing is the feeling of being so exposed whilst they sort themselves and the equipment out…oh and the itch I got on my shoulder blade which was driving me nuts.  I’m sure it’s a bit like being pregnant / childbirth though in that by the time I get to the end of it, I really won’t care at all :-).

Hi Handbag

I’m over in the April rads thread and my last session is tomorrow. Woohoo.

Have to say the whole rads experience has been very good. Fast and efficient process each day and excellent caring staff.
I think the feeling of being exposed does eventually disappear.

My rads staff have been both male and female and I can’t say that it has bothered me either way. I agree that eventually it’s just like child birth in that you really don’t mind being exposed. Although they always attempt to preserve my dignity and cover up my untreated breast.

Wishing you all the best for your remaining sessions and any other ladies joining in May.

xx

Handbagaddict

 

Thank you so much for starting the May thread, I have suddenly realised today that it was the 3rd of May and I hadnt done it.

 

You will get loads of help and support form the wonderful ladies on here and those who have already finished their rads.

 

Glad today went well, yep we are a bit exposed arent we but it will not be long before you will be finished.

 

Helena xxx

Thank You so much Helena, I will report back tomorrow.
And I agree, the 15 sessions really have gone very quickly.
Heartfelt thanks to you and everyone on the forum for all your support over the last few months
xxx

Session 2 of 20 all done.  I have to say that all the staff - right through from the receptionists through to the radiographers - do try to make the process as painless as possible.  Male radiographer threw me a bit today, but he was lovely - just had cold hands !!  Come away with a small headache each time but i think this is because I’m tensing up / biting down onto the mouth piece for the breathing thing when holding my breath…

 

Hope everyone else is OK and lovely to ‘meet’ some of you.  

 

To the point made earlier about the forums being of comfort and helpful.  You are absolutely right.  I’ve been lurking and reading for a couple of months and you would not believe how helpful i have found everyones comments and the sharing of experiences.

Hi lovely ladies

 

i had my 10th rad today, only  another 5 to go. Getting red and sore now been using aloe Vera and bio oil and notice some of you are using aveeno, so think I’ll  give that a try.  The staff have been amazing and I’ve got to know the others in My time slot, there’s been lots of banter and laughs, even talking of a future reunion.  I am really tired now but been getting up at 6 for my rads and not always sleeping well.  Hope you lovely ladies have a great weekend and enjoy this lovely weather.

xxxxx

Evening ladies, just had my 7th of 15 rads today. Must say, the first week has gone very smoothly, wonderful staff, feel I am in the swing of things now. Looking forward to a long weekend.

Skins looking ok, moisturising 3 times a day and drinking plenty of water.

I hope all you lovely ladies get a chance to enjoy the weekend and enjoy the sunshine!

Love to all

xxxx

What a beautiful morning!  Had an really early session today.  No 3 of 20.  In and out within 15 mins and it really does get easier every time…  Still drinking stacks of water.  My skin (face) is going to end up looking fantastic by the end of it all given the fluids I’m taking on.

 

Hope everyone else is OK and enjoying the sushine today…albeit from underneath a sun umbrella perhaps… …

Well done Vonn for getting the first session done.  To be honest, I think that’s the hardest one, as until you have to do it, you dont really know what to expect in terms of atmosphere of the room, noises, movement of the bed, the manhandling, etc. to ensure you;re in the right position.  It really does get easier each time.

 

Having said it gets easier though, had a nightmare yesterday on session 4 with my breath hold as for no reason, I was really struggling to get my lungs unflated enough. i did it in the end, but it took a few goes. Sessions 1, 2 and 3 had been fine.  Got a big apology from the radiogrpaher this morning as they confessed that they’d forgotten to give me a nose peg (and i hadnt realised either).  Then said that they were impressed that i’d actually managed to hit all the levels despite not having one! 

 

Today’s mishap in session 5 was the machine getting stuck on some cables post the minin CT scan and setting loads of alarms off.  Cue what felt like a million people running in the room at once to try and sort it out.  Still makes it all a bit more interesting i suppose.

 

Loving my radiography team too.  They really do make such a big effort to make the process as ‘enjoyable’ as possible.

 

 

Good to see you Vonne, hope you are getting into the swing of things. It will be number 10 of 15 for me today, can’t believe two thirds through already. 

All the staff are amazing, so respectful and gentle. 

Luckily for me a friend gave me a heads up for free parking opposite hospital, down some side roads. Sometimes have to drive round a little but manage to find space eventually.

Have a good day everyone!

Morning all.  Session 6 today and one of the most weird yet.  Normal treatment went fine and then I got measured up for my booster sessions.  Cue 3 x radiographers and 1 x student all standing over me (whilst completely naked from waist up) discussing positioning, marking me up with black pen and taking photos! They don’t do tattooing anymore where I have treatment, hence this novel approach!  Very surreal!

 

Anyway, holding up well generally and no side effect to be seen so far.  I am being very careful on skincare and drinking what seems like gallons of water…

Hi Vonne
Thank you for your good wishes. I did think recently that I hadn’t seen anything from you on the forum

I posted mainly in the April Rads thread although I completed on the 4th May.

Rads went really well and I just have minor irritated areas. GP prescribed hydrocortisone for the itching. I think another week and my skin will be almost back to normal.

Wishing you all the best and hope your treatment runs smoothly

xxx

Morning ladies,

Happy Monday ?

Welcome Sunflower!

On The home run this week , number 12 of 15 today, none tomorrow as machine maintenance. Have felt tired this weekend, had naps Saturday and yesterday. Skin looking darker, but feels ok.

Have a good week everyone!

xxx

What a beautiful morning!  Great start to the week.  Hope everyone had wonderful weekends.

 

@ Fenouillard - I think you’ve trumped me with your radiotherapy story!  Very funny and just plain strange!  I cant imagine what was going through your mind at the time!

 

@ Sunflower - Welcome and as the others have said, of course you can join!  No minimum entry requirements here!  Really hope that you are feeling better having had a few days to reflect on your prep meeting.  And its great that you dont have to breath hold, given that it was one of things you were most concerned about.

 

Having had session 8 today, I have 12 more to do.  Starting to look a bit darker around the side and there’s one bit which just irritates me if i have a bra on for too long.  Its not pink or anything, it just irritates and I think i feel it more because I’m left handed so my arm is constantly moving!  Decided to try and go bra-less whenever i can get away with it.  I’m quite small chested, so can probably get away with it for a bit…

 

Breath hold thing was the easiest yet today…

 

Enjoy the sunshine all nad hope you all have great weeks.

I hadn’t really thought about how i would feel after my treatment finishes until this past weekend whilst sitting in the garden.  I feel like I’m in a little cocoon at the moment with a daily routine of rad treatment and boob maintenance and then everything else is secondary.  I think the thought of recurrence and potential long term damage caused by the rads made me suddenly realise that i might not actually live as long overall as I had originally thought I might and actually that’s going to take me a while to get my head around.  Albeit I do also realise that in all likelihood, I will be fine…and there’s probably a higher probability of being run over by a bus…or something like that.  I think what I’m trying to say, is that its easy to just be focused on getting through the treatment without actually thinking about coping with the aftermath.

 

On a more cheery note though… @ Vonne …you had me giggling about blue boobs!  I thought I might be the only one still suffering but clearly not!  This could well turn out to be a new form of ‘free mason style handshake’… you know…you’re in a secret club and the only way to identify one another is to somehow display a part of your blue boob…  Could it catch on…???

 

@ F - sorry to hear about your blisters and soreness.  Hope you manage to get hold of something that can soothe the discomfort.

 

 

Hi May Ladies

I finished my rads on 4/5/18 but am still a regular on the forum.
For me the forum is still my support network even though active treatment has finished.

Vonne
You make me smile. I love your wry angle on the whole bc business. I too had back pain through the last week of rads. I have back problems anyway but think the stretched out position on the rads bed just made it worse. I should have been relaxing into position but seemed to hold myself quite taught, clinging on to the handles we have to clasp above our heads. Thankfully the pain has now subsided.

Handbag/Julie
Totally agree with your comments. … we are so wrapped up in the conveyor belt of treatment that we don’t anticipate the feelings at the end. We have a goal and keep moving forward, but the end of it all is a weird mixture of emotions.
I had a day of sobbing one week after treatment finished, but I feel more stable now.
Having something to focus on in the near future is useful.
I have also started a few counselling sessions and these have helped enormously.

Emotions yes,are up and down but ladies don’t be too hard on yourselves. Just look at what you have achieved so far.

Good luck to all of you, hope everything goes smoothly.
Andi xx

Hi Julie

To answer your question, yes the psychologist has recommended using mindfulness techniques.
She also recommended a really good book and the app HeadSpace.

I find the sessions allow me to speak freely to someone who isn’t emotionally involved in my situation.
I always find myself protecting loved ones and not opening up completely. This came to light in my session today.

I would totally recommend counselling. It’s very liberating to speak openly. I feel exhausted afterwards but also more relaxed.

To echo Helena’s words, we do all need a period of recovery and time to re-adjust after treatment has ended.
My psychologist even said that the mental recovery/recouperation is equally as important as the physical.

Love to all xx

Hey ladies!
I’m starting rads week after next but was wondering what happens with bank holiday? Is your day being added on at the end of the rads or are you doubling one of your sessions up? My onco seemed to suggest that they could do a double up one of the days? Xx

Hi SamH87
When I had my rads they added mine at the end but it might be different for you depending on how your rad department works… hope that helps.x

Starting my 15 sessions of rads next week, with the week of the bank hols 4 days and the other day the following week.

 

Got my Aloe ready and just wait and see how I am with it, also starting my Tamoxifen tonight … so the next stage starts ?