Congratulations kimjane on your last radiotherapy treatment!! Doo Doo!! Another one bites the dust!!
Lots of luck to everyone still having their treatments.
I'm still cooking a week after my sessions finished - I have a rash and some rather sore patches but all in all it's going well!!
Dont know what time your apt is at today, whether you have now completed your rads, but the bells are rining for you now anyway xxx
Hi ... my 19th zap tomorrow and last one😀 Had a review yesterday and very pink and sore .. I was given some medicated pads to put inside my bra but I found this gave me a rash .. so continuing with E45. Feels strange that tomorrow is the last one as my husband and I have developed quite a social life with the other daily patients having radiotherapy for either breast or prostate ... a lovely atmosphere and I am sure this has helped us through ... hope all of you still in the middle of treatment are enjoying the interaction we have had at Queen Alexandra in Portsmouth x
Truey and Mrsorangecat - I was talking the radiographers about this today, and they said I could start getting redness after about 6 treatments so yours is consistent with that. I've only had 3 so far so no problems yet, but I know I need to look out for signs next week and ask for help as soon as anything starts.
Hope you're all ok and enjoying this lovely sunshine if you have it where you are?
Had no.7 out of 15 today. At the end i told them that my scar was feeling a bit sore and they thought the area was very pink so they took me round to see the tissue viability nurse who applied some gel and gauze and gave me two further little tubes of the gel to apply at tea time and then just before bed. It's very cooling so i hope it does the trick. I also seem to be getting the little sharp twinges near my armpit that i had following surgery.
Halfway through 😂 the machine is having maintenance on Fri so no treatment and a nice long weekend to look forward too!! 😂Xx
9 down and 6 to go.....after lunchtime will be two thirds of the way through!! For the first time yesterday, I felt my skin become hot and pink afterwards. Is this the time others have started having SEs?
No significant tiredness so far though 🙂
Hugs to to all being zapped today.
Sue O X
Four down eleven to go, plain white ceiling to stare at and it is either freezing cold or boiling no happy medium.
The first three treatments were on the same machine with the same radiographers but today it was a different machine and radiographers and they had problems getting me in the right position I had to sit up and lay back down a couple of times so took longer than usual and I also noticed when I got home that the pen marks on my skin which I presume they use for lining up are in a different place than usual, not sure if it makes a difference to the area treated.
Back in usual room tomorrow for number five, hope everyones treatment is going smoothly
There was some music today, but I could hardly hear it above the machine so I couldn't tell you what it was. Probably why I didn't notice it yesterday! They might as well not bother if you can't hear it.
I had my treatment on Cedar unit so there was a picture of a cedar tree They also had the radio on but seemed to change the station most days and it was really just background music. A cherry blossom tree sounds lovely
Lol! The piece of ceiling where i look at needs a good paint, just white and boring. They need a picture of Daniel Craig up there to hold my interest. My team seems to have a penchant for Maroon 5 !!😂 Ha! X
Well, I didn't think my unit was particularly frilly, - but at least there was a picture of cherry blossom overhead, but it is static - they laughed when i said i expeced it to move.....(but I really did think it was going to be some sort of slide show.) Maybe your crew will have the radio on today!
Thanks Optimissy, but what music? The only sounds I heard yesterday were made by the machine and the radiographers! There are no pictures either, such as others have mentioned. It is clearly a 'no frills' operation here. I'm my way to the hospital now for the second one now (appointment at 4.30). I think I could find the runny nose a bit of a challenge as well, because it seems to be constantly streaming due to the Herceptin.
Yeah Old dawn, the positioning takes longer than the rads bit, but quicker after Day 1, Worst bit for me was getting an itchy nose or eyebrow just when you can't move. Sod's law. The music was interesting - different teams seemed to favour different music and one day it was really loud "holiday in Ibiza type" music (not usually my scene at all) but I really enjoyed it and felt "holidayish". Not long till May and the real thing now (not in Ibiza though, not at my age!) Good luck with the rest of the Rads - gets a bit boring flogging up to the hospital every day but I just told myself I was going to work. x
Thanks for the tips Optimissy.
I am now on my way back from the hospital after my first radiotherapy. I double checked about the Herceptin and they said it is fine, so I'll be going to the other hospital for that this afternoon.
Theworst thing about today's radiotherapy was having to stay still for so long, because they had to position me and take reference pictures. They said the rest will be a lot quicker now that they have set it all up, so it should get easier in that respect at least.
re bras during rads, I bought 2 on-line from Yogichi, (as I wasn't reading much on this forum at the time so didn't know about Sainsburies) which are long yoga vest tops (I don't do yoga I might add...) as they were heavy-duty supportive cotton - they were on offer for about £7.50 ish. I felt very supported and wore them for the whole of the 3 weeks of rads with no bra and was very comfortable (and warm, as February weather was a bit cold during my rads period.)
I used Aqueous cream about 3 times a day during rads and had no skin probelms at all - but make sure you don't use it less than 2 hrs before the rads and make sure it is well rubbed-in.
All the best. X
Katy, Blueleyla, Mrsorangecat and Truey - thank you for the kind words and advice.
Mrsorangecat- I'm glad you enjoyed your holiday too despite everything that has happened since. Our husbands' health problems are unlikely to have had anything to do with the BC (and mine's is pretty much under control most of the time anyway, though the extra worry about this hasn't helped). Neither is anything we have or haven't done, probably, so there's no point beating yourself up about that either. Lifestyle can be a factor, but moderate drinking and the occasional cake won't have caused it.
Corinna- if you are only seeing the oncologist about your treatment plan today you may not get to start radiotherapy for a while if you are having it, because you have to have a planning session first. This involves having a CT scan and tattoos. The oncologist should explain about this, but it's really nothing to worry about.
You are being very sensible thinking ahead and asking questions now - it is wise to be as prepared as possible for each stage of your treatment before it starts. I would definitely recommend putting together a list of questions for the oncologist if it's not too late, to make sure everything you are worried about gets covered. I did this before chemotherapy and surgery, but made the mistake of not doing the same for radiotherapy, so there were still outstanding issues that didn't get resolved until last week. I think I must have been focusing so much on recovering from the previous stages of treatment that I took my eye off the ball, so to speak. I suppose I could blame 'chemo brain,' but that excuse is starting to wear a bit thin now!
I haven't started my radiotherapy yet (it starts later this morning!), but as I mentioned in my previous post, I have been advised to use perfume free products such as Simple soap, aqueous cream or E45 lotion, and a crystalline deodorant such as Pitrok. It's funny how each hospital seems to recommend different things, but they all say it should be perfume free. I have also been advised not to wear any underwired bras during treatment, and to leave my bra off for at least a few hours when I get home after each treatment, to prevent rubbing and chafing.
Ididn't have any axillary nodes removed (had WLE and SNB only), but my scar does extend partly under the armpit, so anything too tight under the arms could cause problems. I've already got some skin problems following chemotherapy, so I don't want to aggravate them instead of a bra at home, I will probably try wearing the crop tops from Sainsbury's mentioned by Blueleyla. I bought some of these to wear after my operation, and they were very comfortable, better than the ones I got from Asda. I also invested in some soft padded bras which I can wear when I go out. The padded ones cost £8 and are more comfortable than the unpadded, but the pads do tend to migrate in the wash, which is a bit annoying. The loose tops and blouses I wore after the operation should be OK as well.
I have also been doing the post surgery exercises religiously since the operation which I think has helped a lot with recovery. I have been doing them 4 times a day for the last three weeks, as advised by the oncologist. This has been a pain to fit in, particularly during the holiday last week but I think it has been worth it. I'm as prepared now for radiotherapy as I'm ever going to be! I hope your appointment goes well, let us know how you get on.
I had my mx and axiallary node clearance last August and still have some swelling. I've been told it's completely normal. The "hard" swelling can last for many months or even years, so don't worry. The rads do seem to make it feel a bit uncomfortable and I do my exercises to try and keep it comfortable.
So far (having had 7/15 rads) I have been alternating the vest type post surgery bras worn with a softie with my normal bra and prosthesis. I'm quite large breasted and it is uncomfortable having minimal support for too long. However, there is no burn yet on the skin so I may have to revise this as we go on!!
Hugs to all,
i finished radiotherapy last week , taking Letrozole and Adcal 3 after having a bone density scan as I have osteopenia. I bought a crop top from Sainsbury's for £6 and still find this more comfortable than my bras. They are in the sleepwear sections and come in a range of colours. Hope this helps.
Im going to discuss treatment options with my oncologist tomorrow. I am thinking I will be offered three weeks of Radiothrapy and to take letrozole for five years.however they said they will be discussing the pros and cons of treatment options so hoping they dont suggest any chemo as that would really scare me .
Anyway I have it in my head I am doing radiotherapy so want advice on what bras to wear during treatment and whether there is anything I can do or buy to help myself before I start the treatment and what creams to use to stop me from burning or scarring in the future.i will be getting radiotherapy to the breast and under my arm. I am still a bit swollen under my arrm and where the scar is where they took out my lymph nodes and wandering if this is normal. I had my sugery on 31 Jan 17 x
That is what I used whilst on rads, the Pitrock, it is a bit strange because you either have to put it on wet skin or wet the end of the stick, but it works.
Thank you, I will look for the Pitrock it sounds good. I am using Aloe vera gel which was recommended as a moisturiser. Ladybowler recommends keeping it in the fridge as it helps cool things down later in the treatment, and she takes her moisturiser with her to appointments to apply immediately after treatment. Good Luck tomorrow.
Hi ladies, sorry for neglecting you all. I am back from holiday now and (sort of) ready to start radiotherapy tomorrow morning.
Belated thanks to 7oanne for good wishes. We didn't go very far for our holiday, just to a cottage on the Somerset/ Wiltshire border, because I didn't want to overdo things too soon. We went to Stonehenge on Tuesday and the weather was a lot better than expected, bright but a bit chilly. I wore a woolly hat over my wig, which unfortunately got caught on a twig sticking out of the lintel of one of the reconstructed Neolithic houses. The hat came off, and the wig with it, so I had to beat a hasty retreat back inside the house! I was lucky that the only people in there were a couple of kind, sympathetic ladies who helped me to put the wig back on straight.
Katy - I forgot to ask about this at my briefing session as well, so I rang on Friday, and was told it was OK to use deodorant as long as it is one of the perfume free crystallised types. I got one called Pitrok from Boots about 3 weeks ago, and started using it straight away to get used to it. It's basically a lump of crystal rock in a plastic container. You moisten it with wet fingers and dab it under your arm. I was sceptical about it at first, but it really does seem to work! I have also been advised to use only perfume free soap (I use Simple and they confirmed that is OK) and aqueous cream as moisturiser (they said E45 lotion is also OK). My first appointment isn't until 10.15 tomorrow morning, so it should be fine if I use the moisturiser and deodorant first thing in the morning, as long as it is more than 2 hours.
Truey - I haven't been given any advice about increasing fluid intake during radiotherapy, but it is possible to go too much the other way, so please be careful and don't overdo it. I ended up in hospital twice with hyponatremia following FEC chemotherapy, partly due to drinking too much (I don't accept that the excessive drinking was my fault though, because it wouldn't have happened if the nausea had been properly controlled and I'd been able to eat). After the second episode, I was advised not to drink much more than the standard 2 litres a day. Part of the treatment for the hyponatraemia the first time was to reduce my fluid intake to 1 litre a day, which I found much more difficult than drinking the recommended 2 litres - so if you factor in cups of tea etc, you may already be drinking more than you think! It is easier to drink the right amount of fluids if you measure your intake and pace yourself. You can check the volume of the mug or glass you normally use by filling it with water then tipping it into a measuring jug, and that way you can keep tabs on how much you are drinking over the whole day (how many cups/ glasses = 2 litres). It is also better to sip drinks slowly than all in one go.
Mrsorangecat - sorry to hear of your awful week and hope you are feeling better. It is understandable that you panicked during the radiotherapy when they told you that. If you think about it though, there can be changes between CT scan and radiotherapy if you still had some post-operative swelling when the scan was done, but it has gone down since. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the same happens to me, because I still had some swelling when I had my CT scan, but it seems to have largely gone now, so it has definitely changed. Any swelling you can feel now is likely to be scarring beneath the skin - that's what I was told anyway during my planning meeting, and it makes sense to me. It is easy to get worried and panicked about these things though, when you have been through so much already and it STILL isn't over. You want to get on with your life but you can't. I wanted to go back to work, but OH said no. I also had a terrible 'wobble' the week before last, and don't even have hormone therapy as an excuse. It may be too easy to blame the Tamoxifen anyway - too much time between surgery and radiotherapy is not only bad clinically, it is also bad psychologically, because it gives you too much time to think and start worrying about it. At one point I seriously thought about not having radiotherapy at all - I am having 23 of them and it all seems a bit too much. Fortunately I have been able to calm down and see the 'bigger picture,' including the effects on my family and friends if I don't go ahead - my husband also has a long term health condition and I don't want to make things worse for him worrying about me. So I will be starting tomorrow as planned. I am not looking forward to it but now I think the sooner I start the sooner it will be over. I have thought about counselling as well, but realise that it may not be available at short notice. One of the other ladies on the Forum (Gracie) found this was the case, so if you think you need counselling, the sooner you ask for it the better. I would definitely speak to your nurse about it tomorrow.
Isnt it incredible how advise can vary so widely from hospital to hospital, you would think that there would be a commond set of recommendations!!
Thank you both for such a swift response, I appreciate it very much. I forgot to ask last week at the planning appointment.
I was the same told not to use deoderant or moisturiser less than two hours before I had my rad session
I started mine last Thursday and was told not to use anything deoderant/creams etc 2 hours prior to treatment, hope this helps might be worth calling the unit if you are unsure
I am due to start my radiotherapy on Thursday and wondered whether it is ok to use deodorant on the morning of my session? My sessions will be around 8.35 am each day and wasn't sure if it might be a problem within a certain timeframe although nobody said not to at the planning meetiing. Thank you
I finished rads last Wednesday and like you struggled with the fluid, generally I didn't feel too tired but now every time I go to the kitchen I try and have a glass of water. I suppose it also just being aware of your fluid intake.
I suppose at the end of the day as long as you are taking enough fluid in then I would imagine it will counter any fatigue from the rads.
I have worked out that on days when I find I am suffering from fatigue it has been when I have not drunk enough during the day, so now I make sure I always have my bottle of water beside me at work and as soon as it is empty I will fill it again, it makes me move away from my seat as well because I am very good at forgetting to do that once I get engrossed in something 🙂
Just wanted to ask if anyone else has been struggling with fluid intake. I'm very aware that we should be drinking lots to keep hydrated but if I keep drinking a lot in excess of normal I just pee it all out straight away. I'm in awe of those of you back at work because that volume of fluid has me going o the loo every 20-30 minutes!
Also, trying to drink so much seems to make me feel a bit sick later in the day.
I know for chemo drinking a lot after the infusion and peeing it out was fine because it flushed the chemo out. However, for rads my understanding is that we are just trying to keep as hydrated as possible and I don't really understand how drinking buckets and it going straight through makes us more hydrated (since I'm a biologist I feel I should understand this better but I don't!).
Helena I know you said that you felt much more tired on says when you didn't drink enough. I haven't felt any tiredness yet from my rads - though I'm only on 7 of 15, so maybe it will hit me soon......
Hope managing to enjoy at least part of e weekend and our 2 days off!
Thanks. Yes there is a Macmillan centre near me, I have already had a couple of treatments there. Will make enquiries when I am there next.
I can SO relate to you. I am exactly the same I am the strong one, but even when you are strong there are times when you dont want to be and just need that bit of support yourself. I too have a partner who has long term health problems, he was diagnosed with MS 18 months ago and i am his carer to a great degree.
What you have to do to look after yourself, you will no doubt have heard on here a lot "be kind to yourself" and actually I think the counselling was my way of being kind to myself. It gave me a place where I could safely and comfortably talk about my hopes and fears for the future, grieve for the life that we had and actually realise that we still have a lovely future together albeit a different one to that which we had but no less fulfulling. It helped me to put everything back into perspective and to celebrate how well I have done on this journey with breast cancer.
Absolutely just spoil yourself today, make sure you drink plenty of water though and moisturise, thats me being mumsy again, as I do on here 🙂
So sorry to hear of your awful week mrsorangecat - hopefully the weekend will give you a chance to gather yourself ready for next week. It is scary when things are going on around you and no-one is taking the time to explain what's going on.
As blueleyla says it could also be the hormone therapy that is giving you the blues which was something that my oncologist said.when I mentioned that 90% of the time I'm fine and then the other 10% and the slightest thing sets me off. Tamoxifen can give you mood swings and if you are the one who is normally strong for everyone else - it can be very difficult to let that go. I'm fortunate in that the girls at our local hospice who do complementary therapies also take the time to talk and let you let off steam etc so in effect offer a counselling session too.
But if I really felt I needed it I would go for it. My GP offered it way back when I first found out I had BC and couldn't sleep and she wanted to give me anti depressants rather than sleeping tablets. I didn't feel it warranted anti depressants so early on so she gave in and prescribed the sleeping tablets- 8 months on I still have half of them. So her fears of me becoming addicted to them were unwarranted.
But I'm rambling - go for the counselling - you have been through so much over the last few months that you need some release. My family and friends have been brilliant but I still find that only someone who has actually been through BC can understand where you are coming from - I go to a monthly group which meets to chat over coffee and lets us have a giggle over things that no one but us ladies would understand.
Blueleyla - you are right in saying that counselling won't change anything that has happened to you but it will help you come to terms with it. There are many moments when I could scream at the world about the unfairness of it all - and why me? My life had been virtually untouched by any family members with cancer and now it is changed forever - thats the bit I personally find hard to cope with. It doesn't matter that cancer is not selective and that 1 in 3 people will be affected by it - it's still c**p!! Think I'd better book up!! lol!!
I had mine arranged through my work ,however, I am sure that your breast care nurse (when was diagnosed it was one of the services they mentioned I could have if I needed it) or do you have a MacMillan centre near you, they will be able to sort something for you. The other thing is perhaps have a word with your GP surgery and ask if they can make a counselling referral.
Ladybowler, you mentioned counselling. Is that something that was arranged through your hospital? I haven't gone down that route so far as i have felt that talking to someone is not going to change anything but wonder if it is something I should consider.
So sorry mrsorangecat to hear about your awful week. I am on Letrozole which also comes with mood swings and I can cry at the drop of a hat these days, I put it down to the Letrozole and the tough times we are all going through. Lots of hugs. Enjoy your 2 days off.
No wonder you feel as you do you really have been through it this week, sending you a lovely squishy hug from all the girls xxx
Never forget you are amazing and extremely brave because you have gone through so much so be proud of yourself for how far you have come my dear.
You never have to apologise for posting no matter how long or short it is, this is a safe comfortable place which allows us to get the things out that we sometimes can not tell our families and friends.
Just to say I took Tamoxifen before I even started my rads, about a month before. I have been on in now for nearly 4 months. In the beginning I was having quite a few sensitive times but that has settled down now. I would imagine that your bursting into tears yesterday was the culmination of the whole week, its bad enough having to go every day without soemthing like that happening . There was one time during my rads when I actually broke down in the rads room because I just could not cope with my life being controlled by this one appointment every day. It does get to you.
The nurse was probably trying to ascertain if there was any unusual that might have caused it so hence the questions. I would have thought that if there was anything you were doing that you should not be, she would have told you.
I think you will find that "a phantom patient" is some sort of diagnostic programme they run, in the same way as they do when there is a problem with a piece of equipment to identify what and if there is a problem with it. But if you wanted to know there might well be someone on the helpline who would be able to answer your question.
It really does not sound ridiculous that you could not speak, you were terrified as you say and it was bringing back all the anxieties when you were waiting for diagnosis.
I must admit I highly recommend counselling. I have just completed 6 sessions of it yesterday, the only reason for it ending is it felt the right time for me, I could have had more if I wanted to, but I felt that I was able now to move forward. I had counselling 8 years ago for stress and again found it so therapeutic.
Try and put this behind you now and enjoy your weekend off rads.
We are all here for you and always will be
Optimissy and Swampy
It is absolutely normal to feel like that, but you soon get over it believe you me you will soon forget it xxx
I'm so glad you posted - that's exactly how I've been feeling since my rads ended and I said as much to my onc yesterday, and i felt really sort of "ungrateful" somehow, 'cos i expected to be feeling euphoric but
actually feel a bit "So now what?" - I'm feeling good that it's all sorted (all being well) but still a bit -well, "flat" is the only word i can think of.. Lovely man said it was really common to feel like that at the end of active treatment and it would soon pass and then you get on with the rest of your life. So I'm going to! x
Thank you Jo and Mrsorangecat
Felt quite lost today - you get so used to having your life mapped out with appointments and things - that when there is nothing or the routine changes - it's like - now what? lol!!
Today another beautiful bunch of flowers arrived from my sister and her family - without fail - after every chemo treatment and now radiotherapy completed - it has made me cry everytime and I love them all dearly!!
🏁🎉💐Well done on completing your treatment 🍾🍾🍾🎉
Sooo pleased for you, how are you feeling as I know you still have the next few weeks to get through but hope that not having to attended hospital every day must be a relief 😀
Big hugs Jo x