raditherapy planning help please

Hello I have to have rads and am panicking about the planning have heard that you have to have a ct scan and I just wondered what that involved how long it takes and are you inside a machine, sorry to sound such a baby but get in a panic if I am enclosed in any thing, thanks,Celia.x

Hi Celia
I have just finished 6 weeks of rads. The machine they used for my planning session wasn’t enclosed - it had sides that they revolved around me when they wanted to change the angle etc. The whole thing took about 45 minutes, but it seemed much quicker as there were an army of people who kept coming in and talking to me and doodling on my chest!
Sue xx

yes I agree the planning was nothing to worry about - I just lay still on the machine and it wirred (sp) around me. The staff were brilliant and came and went drawing on me at certain time and then disappearing. It was quite relaxing to be honest and not at all uncomfortable. I actually start my RADS on monday.

good luck

i finished my rads in April this year.

It’s not enclosed for the plannin- which is something i was worried about too! It’s like llying in a giant donut- not all covered up.

Hi Celia. I finished my rads last week. I was at the Churchill in Oxford.
The planning session went like this:
First had talk about treatment etc and went through what would happen. Had picture taken so they know they have the right person!
Then taken through to CT scanner. This is a doughnut shaped machine. Got positioned on the table and then they made various marks with pen on me and covered my scar (I’ve had a mx) with wire and tape (so it would show up on the scan they said). When they were reasonably happy they checked that I would go throught the machine in that position and then left the room and the scan proper took place. This involved a lot of whirring by the machine as I moved through. When they had finished (about five minutes) the operators came back in and three tiny tattoo marks (one on each side and one in the middle of chest)were put on (no pain). Photos were taken of area to be treated and the side marks and that was it. All over in about half an hour. The scanner isn’t long in length so I could always see out so didn’t feel too enclosed.
Hope all goes well for you.

Thank you everyone feel better about it now I know that I wont be shut in the machine and that it wont take long, thank you,

Hi Celia as the others have said my CT scan was also a doughnut shape not enclosed. Just plenty of drawing and at end a couple of tattoos which look like specks of dirt and I can hardly see them and I now where they are!
I found my planning session pleasant compared to other appointments I have been through.
Just waiting for phone call to begin rads.
Good luck

Thanks Sarah hope all goes well with your rads.

I haven’t posted for ages, had lumpectomy and re-excision of DCIS in left breast which has gone well but Consultant now recommends 3 weeks radiotherapy and possible drugs trial, although originally was told by Registrar didn’t need either? Radiotherapy Consultant says got to wait for haematoma near nipple to reduce before starting otherwise will go hard as a rock? I have the holiday of a lifetime booked to Aus at the end of October so not sure whether there will be time to get the rads in beforehand or wait until after flights? Dont know what to do or expect. Would be lovely to hear from anyone with experience of radiotherapy/holiday advice.
This is such a rollercoaster - I was originally so pleased surgeon had got it all and looking forward to holiday but now not sure whether i’m even able to go! I feel like I want to get on that plane, whatever, but have to be guided by the healthcare professionals?

Hi curlylol I understand how you feel about the holiday I am going away but only for a long weekend and they said they can work round it, I was originally told I would not need rads after my mx and when the bc nurse rang she said the results were good and I did not need rads only hormone therapy then when I went for the appointment for results they had changed their minds said the margins were close and rads was recomended,hope you can get something sorted out , good luck.

Thank you for your support Celia and your kind words. The Lead Consultant said they could work round it but the Radiologist said my health was more important, so am not sure where I stand at the moment. Waiting for contact from the Breast Cancer nurse so will ask her what is best. I don’t want to come across as totally selfish but have been waiting for this trip for 30 years and it is the last family trip probably as my kids are 21 and 18 now. I feel that, after all the cysts, mammograms, biopsy, 2 surgeries - I need something positive to look forward to.

Hi curlylol i have just finished chemo 3 weeks ago and have a holiday booked for thursday and then im starting my radiotherapy when i get back so going to enjoy a nice well earned relaxing break beforehand . you dont say how long you going to Oz for i think if its for 2-3 weeks and you feel fit and well enough go for it ,but i know Oz is not such a relaxing holiday theres so much touring and things to see so you have to think of that but if its before treatment starts i would go for it . and i have got a really good deal in travel insurance with insurepink it covers me for everything including breastcancer related medical problems and even with my planned radiotherapy coming up and only being 3 weeks post chemo before i go ( it was £ 50 for me and hubby for 1 week ) so very reasonable . xx

Hi Julie, thanks for the post, hope you have a good holiday, sounds like you deserve it.
Aus is only for 2 weeks and, as we are staying with relatives, if i’m tired they can all go off and leave me to rest, so no pressure to sightsee. It will be a shame but can’t be helped. I am worried what reaction the radiation will have on my breast, apart from the tiredness and will obviously have to keep it well covered/out of the sun. Will have to go with the flow, I guess.
Thanks for the info on the travel insurance, will get a quote! xx

Hi Celia

just want to say that I was made to feel really comfortable by the radio staff during my treatment, at no time did I feel embarressed or awkward and they explained everything so didnt feel bad or scared about anything.

I really hope you have the same experience, all the best for your treatment

Alx xx

Thank you Alex thats good to know glad it was ok for you, hope it is the same for me,

Hi swallowtail,

I had chest wall radiotherapy after mx last year and I actually found the planning session really distressing. The ct part was ok, just like a big polo mint, but having all those peopl leaning over me really upset me. Everyone was very professional, but they all have a very precise job to do and they laid lots of cold lead over me and drew on my chest. About 5 people all leaning over me, talking like I wasn’t there, me feeling ugly, cold and vulnerable. Nobody noticed when I started to cry. Then this whole terrible experiece was memorialised with the pin prick tatoos. I cried so hard when I left.

Actually having the rads was much easier, because I got into a routine, got to know everyone in the the department and it was OK. I have to go next week and be ‘planned’ again for radiotherapy on my spine and I know I won’t be at all upset. I think I was just struggling with everything that first day.

Please let us know how you get on.


Hi, just want to update that I started rads 2 days ago and although the journey and parking facilities are aweful, the radiotherapy isn’t anywhere near as bad as I imagined. I know it’s early days but my boob feels fine and I am using the aqueous which I found out about from other posts on these forums. I have bought some cheap cotton bras from Asda, £3 for 2 in a pack and they are brilliant, don’t cut in and are extremely comfortable. My boob does feel bit hot and I get twinges of pain every now and again but, all in all, it is going ok.
Swallowtail - how are you getting on?
try to keep positive girls
Lorraine x

Hi Lorraine i have the same cotton bras from asda and they are so comfortable and soft and if they get marked with the purple pens then hey they are only £3 for two i started my 1st radiotherapy on the 1st oct and have found the staff to be really lovely sensitive and reassuring ( i cannot fault them ) i did have a thin wire taped to my boob at planning session and a couple of indelible pen marks drawn on ( i joked i hope they werent drawing smiley faces on my boobs ) ha and the tatoos were a bit uncomfortabl but not for long and any of the male staff have always gone out of the room and i have 2 female staff for treatment before anything is exposed . We are given a little tabbard like top with a velcro flap that pulls down only to reveal the area treated so you dont feel completely exposed and you take it home and its yours for full treatment ,so i must admit i have found the experience very relaxing ,informative and everyone very proffessional and friendly .I also have a hospital taxi sent for me at home and take me home again so no problems with parking or stressfull journey. Hope yours is the same x Julie

Hi everyone, I am waiting for my appointment for the planning at the moment and was told it would be in the next week or so then the rads about a month after that, thanks for all the replys I am feeling much more confident about it now,have tried to get the cotton bras at asda but they never have my size in will have to keep looking,

Hi Julie,
You are so lucky getting transport, I have half an hour drive there and sit for 30-45 mins to park car as oncology car park is only 20 spaces for 3 counties!
Not nice waiting for patients to have their treatment and come out so you can park in their space. I am taking my own dressing gown too as the gowns supplied expose your boobs if you are not careful as they are op gowns you have to put on like a coat.
On the positive side, once i’m in there they are all very caring and it doesn’t take long. Then back in the car to let someone else park who’s sitting in the never ending queue and the horrible journey back home. Hey ho, all in a day’s work.

Hi Swallowtail,
Keep trying for the Asda bras, I got mine on 3rd attempt, typical being popular size but they are really worth getting as they are pure cotton, great with the aqueous cream, don’t rub or cut in.
I drove home without a bra on Friday (hussy) first time i’ve done that but the bra I had on was cutting in (fine after the ops but no use for rads). In a Tesco sports bra today £4, last of the big spenders, but again, very comfortable, can’t get more though as cant get my size. The supermarkets are brilliant, especially Asda with their Tickled Pink campaign. Bought a lovely t-shirt as have enrolled for Wear it Pink day on Friday 29 October, hoping the girls at work will take part.

Keep posting and being brave girls
Lorraine x