Upcoming radiotherapy

Hi. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in June. I’ve had chemo and recently surgery. I got a phone call the other day to say that I would have a telephone appointment with someone about radiotherapy on Wednesday. So I know it must be happening soon. I haven’t asked any questions about it before, because my consultant told me to take things one step at a time otherwise I would overwhelm myself. I’m just wondering if anyone has any advice on how best to get through this next part? Also, I’m hoping to return to work after, but realistically, how long do you need to recover? 

Hi Amy, I was 70 when I had my rads in 2017, and I found the whole process very easy. I had 25 sessions, including 5 boosts to the tumour site. My clavicle was also irradiated as the disease had spread. My main issue was the timings. I couldn’t request a specific time. You got what you were given. So a different time every day for 5 weeks. The machines are working non stop , thereforeI did have a couple of long waits when machines suddenly broke down. On the plus side, because of the uncertainty of timings parking was free, which was really helpful. I found a few people had difficulty laying on the bed, staying still etc, which all had a knock on effect, as did the fact that tiny children were, obviously, given priority. So when they were settled and happy to go for treatment the adults took a back seat. The initial session takes a while as markers are put on the skin. This lines up the laser beams. You MUST be able to lay flat with your arms above your head for quite a while so please do your arm exercises. No hiccoughing or moving during treatment or you will move your body out of alignment. I did get fatigued as the sessions wore on, but I believe 15 is the norm now. Housekeeping etc went out of the window, and we ended up taking most of our meals at restaurants by the end of the 5 weeks. I soon learned to take snacks etc with me, as well as books and music. My husband was my chauffeur , and by the end of the 3 rd week I was jolly glad he was! I was burnt by the lasers, but my team were great and supplied a variety of creams as treatment progressed. My skin was checked carefully before each session. Aveeno cream was recommended by my hospital as it is non greasy and easily absorbed. It’s a great feeling when you ring that :bell: . The effects do continue in your body for some time. Thin, sensitive itchy skin was one of my side effects. Also, no sunbathing, I’m afraid. Hats and long sleeves from now on unfortunately, especially in early days. I’m still cautious even 4 years down the line. To sum it up…easy easy! Go get’em. X

Hello Amy,

I will be starting my first session on the 22nd of March this month for a block of 3weeks intense radiotherapy , so basically Mon / Friday get the weekend off  and repeat, the first time you go they will give you a top that is yours to wear while your having treatment, then they get you to lie down flat if possible with myself that was a no no as I have fibromyalgia so it was very painful but the nurses were fab, then they put a wedge under my legs for support, ok I was starting to hurt, then my back muscle went into spasm so I had to try and get up off the so called thing when I felt I was ok we started from where we left off. Lol next they scribbled all over me again, I thought not again haha, as they need to mark you so your in line with the machine once happy with that then then need to tattoo the areas which need to be zapped, that dose hurt a bit it’s so when you go into the machine they can see where they need to start, ok that’s the moulding etc sorted once all done they will then test it to make sure they can get yo in the I call it a huge doughnut lol, as you have to have your arm where you had surgery at that has to be put in an awful position, so I was in there for the first time just to get set up just over an hour, they will ask if they can take a pic of your lil face so when you go for your 15mins of treatment they know it is you and they have the correct patient , so I came home hurting and crying as with me having fibromyalgia really bad it took it’s toll on me and yes I did cry as my breast was hurting with then moving me here and there, so yes the bed is very hard no pillows or anything as soft around so I have called it the table of pain hahahaha but everybody is different, they then also tell you about side effects like the skin may tighten, it will look as if you have had sunburn , depends on where the have to blast you with the radiotherapy there is a chance of tissue scarring , dry sore skin so buy so Aveeno you can get it for shower and moisturiser cream to use while your having treatment and a comfortable bra lol knew that was coming didn’t you lol, ok the scarring can effect internal organs like I said before depends where about the cancer was when they removed it, mine was in my right breast low to mid  and my lump was 4cm all rounder lil tinker  I also had cancer in my lymph nodes also, so I chance to get scarring on my right lung and a bit of scarring on my heart, it will also leave you wiped out so sleep if you want to or dance lol joking lol,  so hope you have a good set of lungs lol and hopefully your either a non smoker or an ex smoker but like I said everybody is different and each individual will have different outcome so each session lasts 15mins remember and you must lay still while you have your treatment, I do hope I have covered everything for you to expect on your first appointment and do keep up the exercises so good luck and stay safe you will also need someone with you when you go for treatment as like I said it will wipe you out, good luck hunni and just think it will be done with in 3 weeks.

hope I have helped you and not scared you pmsl Catt57