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November 2017 Radiotherapy

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Community Champion

November 2017 Radiotherapy

Ladies

 

Starting a new thread for ladies who are starting their rads in November xxx

292 REPLIES 292
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Thank you Helena

 

I am peeling nicely now and more and more lovely new pink skin is coming to view on a daily basis. 🙂

 

Thank you Helena for all the support and advice you offer on this forum, very much appreciated.

 

Merry Christmas to you too and all you lovely brave ladies.

Community Champion

Taggie25

 

I think you have finished rads today so we are ringing the bells here for you today, congratulations on finishing your active treatment

 

Helena xxx

 

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Community Champion

Pill Pala

 

good hear from you and that you are improving, it is really reassuring for the ladies who are following after you to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel

 

Have a wonderful Christmas and all the very best for 2018

 

Helena xxx

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Just thought I'd give an update on how things are now for me.

 

It is two weeks today since my last rt session.  The skin on my fold is now regrowing and is nice and pink, instead of the ugly black line and open wounds.  Around it is still very dark and peeling, so is the actual breast itself.  Not very comfortable, but bearable.  I'm still very tired but then I don't sleep very well either which doesn't help.  All in all it is improving and I wanted to reassure those still going through it that better days will come.

 

I have contacted my bcn regarding my mirena coil and am waiting for her to get back to me after discussing the options with my consultant.  My GP surgery is also on the case.

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Member

Thank you Helena, I will, I forget the water sometimes, especially at work , but I know I must. I’ve been good today. Xxx
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Community Champion

Kimi

 

Yes the effects will carry on for two weeks after you finish treatment but then they should ease off.

 

You need to keep up the regime of fluid, moisturise and getting plenty of rest.

 

Helena xx

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Member

Thank you Ladies. I’ve had a couple of evenings of Champagne to celebrate end of treatments. Snow not a problem down here in the South, rain today! Feeling the obvious tired, but do drink water as well as Champagne!! My worse symptom, & it’s not much compared to some of you, is a dry, rashy & itchy area around my collarbone where I had one of the doses of RT, but got Medihoney from Consultant & told to keep up Aloe Vera gel which I’m doing, & must keep on for several weeks as apparently RT keeps working its stuff. I hope you sort yours out Pili that sounds uncomfortable. Good luck for those still doing rads, it has been a long haul, but it seems to have gone really quickly now I’ve finished, & nothing compared to chemo, so fingers crossed you’ll all be finished soon. Lots of love & luck. Xxx
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Well done Kimi xx

 

Thank you everyone, I do feel reassured.  Symptoms are still getting worse though.  Guess it was to be expected.  Top half of breast is now turning red, bottom half still a blotchy mess and the whole thing hurts like anything!  Finding it really hard to do much, even sitting still is painful.  Painkillers don't seem to be helping much either.  Got about another week to go before things will hopefully start to get better.  Can't wait.

 

 

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Community Champion

Kimi

 

Not sure what time your last rad session is today but am ringing the bells for you now, hopefully the snow has not caused you any problems with having it.

 

Hope you are doing something nice to celebrate, it has been a long haul when you have 20 sessions but you have done it, well done.

 

Helena xxxx

 

 

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Community Champion

pill pala

 

Oh that is good news and a relief for you xxx

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Oh Good Pil pals...so glad for you.....x

 

Moijan🤗

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Community Champion

What a relief pili pala - thank you for sharing the advice Now if anyone else reacts it makes the whole situation less scarey. x
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Thank you everyone for all your replies and concerns.

 

Saw my GP this morning and she reassured me that it was ok, she had seen this before.  Phew!!  Have to admit I was so relieved!  Regarding the spots on the other breast she said that it could have been affected by the rads too.  She took a swab from the broken skin at the fold to check for infection as a precaution.  She also adviced me to take painkillers regularly during the day.

 

I do now smother both breasts with diprobase.

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Community Champion

Hiyer Pilpala,

 

Im not sure why it would affect the other side....but I tell you what it could be something really different that you are doing post treatment that you didn't do before. The bra could be tighter on that side and rubbing, as you have inserted a dressing in the other rt side? Are you wearing a different material and style of bra ? Is the underband too tight? Are you using a cream on both sides? Are you wearing a cropped bra top which allows skin under the breast to remain damp? I guess what I'm saying is, don't panic lol

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Community Champion

pill pala

 

How did you get on today at the docs?

 

Helena xxx

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Community Champion

pill pala - I'm sure they're to do with the radiowaves having a good old dance around! I hope your GP can reassure you. x
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Member

Golly pil pals, sorry your having all this....sure some people might, but I haven't heard.

 

must be reLated tho, surely.

 

i recently, sixteen years later, got spots on my rad site.,..thought they were skin mets....Are only pigment due to rads....

 

Moijan💚💚💚

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Thank you Charys.
I now have small pinkish/red spots underneath my other breast! Is this normal at all?? Really hope my GP can shed some light on all this and put my mind at rest.
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Community Champion

Good glad you are seeing the GP, they will be able to tell if any infection or if the skin is breaking down where the blotches are....but dont be surprised if they are a bit mystified (as dont see rt after effects often) and send you to the team up there LOL

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Thank you Helena and Charys for your replies.  I do have dressings to put on them but they seem to be getting worse.  The whole bottom half of my breast is covered in them.  I have an appointment with my GP on Wednesday morning, I will mention it to her then.  It is reassuring to know I'm not the only one to experience this though.  Thank you.

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Community Champion

Hiyer, I can't find the actual thread, but it was someone who I've 'known' for ages on this site (trying to think back over a year now). She described blackhead like spots all over the rt area. I believe, thinking back, that it was dead/damaged hair follicles from the treatment. I personally had red and brown 'freckles' appear, loads of them which took about a year to disappear. At her time of asking about the black/brown spots the bcn didn't know what they were, which made her even more scared. Of course, I still think you do need to go back to your bcn and get some dressings for the area that is causing you problems where the skin is folding/touching and staying more 'damp', but I suspect the spots you are seeing are a combination of the pigmented areas like freckles and the damaged hair follicles. However, it would be worth getting a professional to have a look.....to be on the safe side.....as you could be describing something a bit different that needs a specialist skin treatment. 

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Ah now somebody else on another thread talked about this, red/black dot thing over a year ago....I'll see if I can find the thread....and come back here...

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Community Champion

pill pala

 

It might be worth contacting your rads team or making an appointment with you GP as they may prescribe the polymem dressing for you, they just help to create a barrier between your breast and clothes.  I do remember I had quite a few black dots, almost like blackheads but they went.  My breast did get darker/redder during the first week but then it started to settle down after that.

 

Helena xxx

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Hi all,  I finished rads last Wednesday and was also told it would get worse for the next two weeks or so before things get better.  Wheras the top half of my breast looks 'normal' the bottom half is covered in dark red/purple/black dots or blotches.  These are also on my chest where the breast rests.  It is not a pretty sight and was just wandering is this normal?  Anybody else experience this?  I am ok otherwise apart from the skin at the fold of the breast is splitting and quite painful and the inevitable fatigue of course.  Can't wait for things to get better and normal life can resume again!  It is so frustrating when I don't feel ill or anything yet I'm restricted to what I can do.

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Community Champion

Ablondmoment

 

OMG you just reminded me that they were exactly the same words that my rads nurse said to me and I had forgotten that.

 

I am sure your GP will be able to help

 

Helena xxx

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They said to sprinkle water on as if it's a Nan bread so that's what I've done lol. I've an appointment with my own doctor Tues so will have a chat with him and see if he can suggest anything. 

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Community Champion

Ablondmoment

 

Not that I think for one moment you havent done this, but when I had them I didnt realise I had to wet the patch lightly and I was putting it on the wrong way round.I had the lined area facing the skin :(.

 

Give them a call next week again if you are not happy and see what they suggest

 

Helena xxx

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Thank you Helena xxx
Looking forward to Christmas and New year New start.
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Member

Morning everyone.

I finished my radiotherapy Thursday (🛎🛎🛎) but I am suffering terribly with radiation burns on my breast. I'm so sore and itchy it's driving me to distraction. Rad nurse told me it will get progressively worse for the next two weeks and I may loose the skin from my breast completely 😐. I have been give Polymed dressings to put on but they're not really working. Anyone got any ideas how I can relieve this pain/itching.

 

Thanks

 

Debbie 

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Community Champion

anitajane

 

Wow, that is some journey, I didnt realise just how much you have actually gone through you amazing lady xxx

 

Dont you dare disappear on us though ladies coming on here need to know that regardless of how little or much is involved in their journey bc there is a light at the end of the tunnel and we are there as proof of this.

 

The progesterone thread on going through treatment, hormone therapy, is a great thread to be on, we have lots of fun on there and support each through the good and not so good times

 

Helena xxx

 

 

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Community Champion

Fab post, Anita. I also remember totting up the appointments & I also did a tour of the local hospitals in our area when going through this, but goodness, you certainly had quite a few more.
Hopefully the letrozole will be ok, many of us tolerate hormone therapy well or at least find any side effects manageable.
Do be kind to yourself after going through this.
ann x
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Thanks Helena, I was so looking forward to seeing those bells!!! As you say, the rads are very doable, but they do seem to go on forever and you are quite right, it’s not the treatment that wears you out, it’s the trekking to and fro that takes its toll. What a journey, as I head into the quiet zone of Letrozole (no serious side effects so far), regular screening and just a warm glow from the rads, I just had a quick recap of the whirlwind as I headed home today... From the shock of diagnosis at the end of July from regular screening to today I have had mammograms, ultrasound, biopsy, cervical smear, ovarian scan, colonscopy, contraceptive implant removed, lumpectomy, sentinel node biopsy, bone density scan and then 15 & 5 sessions of rads - wow what a journey!!! And I wonder why I feel tired tonight!!! I realise that my experience in comparison to so many others has been a total breeze as I was so fortunate to have been diagnosed so early and everyone I have met on my journey, both here on the forum and face to face with my medical team, have been simply amazing, wonderful people. The receptionist at the radiotherapy unit I have been attending has been so kind that when I finished today I presented her with a ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ mug. I’m sure she has no idea what a comforting welcome she provides to every single person who checks in each day, a lovely lady. I wish everyone on their journeys well on this forum and I’m going to keep checking in to make sure there are always enough hugs to go round. Have a good evening all. Take care Anita xxx
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Member

Well done Anita 🔔🔔🔔🔔🔔
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Community Champion

anitajane

 

Woo hoo,, thats it done, end of active treatment and I am so so happy to be ringing the bells for you mate.

 

Hope you are doing something nice to celebrate the end and the start of you getting back to your normal life, but as I always say, remember that the next two weeks you will still be having the effects of the rads, oh how mumsy am I!!

 

Well they are ringing very loud and clear for you now.

 

Helena xxx

 

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Member

Hi Helena
Time to ring those bells please. I’ve just finished my last session! Onwards and upwards from now on. Anita xx
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Charys,  Thank you for the links.  I wish we were given the information just a little bit earlier, and not left to "discover" it later.  After meeting with a couple of the people in the planning department I have come to terms with the radiation, though it was touch and go and I was ready to tell them to stop yesterday.  Number 7 later today.

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Thank you Helena

 

Fetched my dog and cat home from the kennels this morning, so good to see them again. 

 

Have been feeling very tired today, more than usual.  Gave in this afternoon and went for a lie down for a while, still tired though.  Have been drinking loads, even got some fresh air in, but it has really hit me today!  Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

 

All the best everyone xxx

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Following your comment about prescription charges, Pilipala, just to clarify for those of us in England, we do not pay prescription charges if we’ve had a cancer diagnosis. There’s a form to complete for a ‘medical exemption cerificate’ I got mine from my BCN, but the GP would also have them.

As I will be 60 in a few years, the one ‘upside’ of a bc diagnosis is, I will never pay prescription charges again - yay! 

ann x

 

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Ablondmoment

 

Yay you have finished rads today, thats it no more active treatment.  Hope you are doing something nice to celebrate, ringing the bells for you today

 

Helena xxx

 

 

 

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Community Champion

pill pala

 

Oh great to hear that you have arived home.

 

If you are at all concerned you can always ring your rads team for advise,but also have a chat with your GP when you see them as well, good to keep them in the loop

 

Rest up now and just think no more rads 🙂 🙂

 

xxx

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HI Pecan,

I recall being shocked by being told that the radiotherapy could cause bone brittleness and fibrosis in an area of the lungs; mind it didn't for one moment change my mind about having rt. Those felt like small prices to pay for killing any stray cancer cells. It hadnt occurred to me that these side effects were possible before having the consent form given to me to sign, so I can see why you'd be concerned. This is apparently a rare side-effect nowadays though, the lung fibrosis, and my oncologist said it would possibly be up to 10% of one lung only. Now, if you are very jittery about the issues connected to the lung then you may NOT want to read the link below, however if you'd like more information there is a piece on Macmillan (link below) which talks about they treat any of these problems if they arise...

 

https://www.macmillan.org.uk/information-and-support/breast-cancer/coping/side-effects-and-symptoms/...

 

Apparently, the depth into the body and exact locations targeted are very much based on where the tumor was located, this is talked about in the link below from this site...

 

https://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/information-support/facing-breast-cancer/going-through-breast-ca...

 

Serious side effects are very rare, and the likelihood of them outweighs the gain from the treatment....

 

https://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/information-support/facing-breast-cancer/going-through-breast-ca...

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Thank you Helena, much appreciated.

I arrived home around 4.30 this afternoon. I have been told things will get worse, sore wise, before it all heals. It is getting rather painful actually.

I've been taking Letrozole since September but they stopped them last week for a few weeks break as I became unwell and quite depressed. I've suffered from depression for years anyway. I live in Wales so am lucky to have free prescriptions but thanks for mentioning it. I have an appointment with my GP booked for next Wednesday but was told the dressings I received today should last 4 weeks.

Thanks again
pili pala xxxx
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I do see what you mean pecan, but hopefully. Any rads which Went through the lung will dissuade bc from being there/  at a much later date...try to look on it as a bit more insurance......maybe?

 

much love,

 

Mx

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Community Champion

pill pala

 

Yay all done, I think you might be on your way home now but ringing the bells for you anyway.  Take care over the next couple of weeks as you will still be experiencing the effects of them.  It might be an idea when you get home to ask your GP for a prescription for more of the dressings.  Not sure if you are on hormone tablets and have got a medical exemption certificate, if you have then these will be free.

 

Safe journey home

 

Helena xxx

 

 

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Because Of my emotional problems and need for information I was shown my treatment plan and images today.  The onc had told me that the radiation would touch the ribs and lung, but I was a bit shocked to see the rays actually directed THROUGH the ribs, and the lung.  I'm a bit confused as to why my body couldn't have been moved to accommodate the size of my breasts, rather than have the radiation touching areas that don't need it.  I will be seeing a physicist tomorrow, and I will ask more questions from him/her.

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Thank you Helena

 

Had my last treatment at 10 this morning Woman Happy

 

Have been given some mepilex dressings to help with the soreness.  She said it is what they use on burn victims so hopefully they'll do the trick for me.

 

Will have my lunch here at the hostel and then pack up ready to go home.  Transport is due somewhere between 2-3 but needs to come from Liverpool first so there might be some delay.  Looking forward to going home now.

 

I wish all you ladies all the luck in the world and whether you're about to start or still going through rdiotherapy, just remmber you will get through it, the end will come and you'll be able to live again.

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Community Champion

pill pala

 

Yay we will be ringing the bells for you tomorrow and celebrating your going home.

 

My breast did get a bit sore in the fold but my rads team told me to go without a bra as much as possible which I tried to do when I was at home and it helped, but no way could I do it in the "outside" world.

 

Helena xxx

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Thank you so much for all your surport yes got new creams today so hopefully will help,yes I've celebrated with my husband we have both had a few wines and so looking forward to 2018  onwards and upwards 

thinking of you all X X 

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Haven't posted much so far.  I'll be having my last session tomorrow morning, then I can go home 🙂

 

I've been staying in the hostel at my cancer centre as it is just too far to travel every day.  Makes more sense this way.

 

My skin is ok so far just very sore underneath the breast itself, not sure if wearing a bra during therapy has helped with that at all.

 

Good luck to everyone else going through it, you will get there, we are survivors!!

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Community Champion

momo

 

I would not be surprised if it is combination of that and the constant to and fro to the hospital starting to take effect.  I know when I dont drink enough even now I will get a bit of fatigue in the evening.

 

Yay it will not be long before we are ringing the bells for you as well

 

Helena xxx