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What is radio therapy really like?

16 REPLIES 16
tweeks123
Member

Re: What is radio therapy really like?

Hi thanks for the comment Im sat here now having my coffee waiting to be called I will do my best to try get other appointments around school times I cant ask for much help off people to take my daughter to school as I have kept this quiet only my husband and sister knows about me so you can imagi e how hard it is for me .xx
CassieB
Member

Re: What is radio therapy really like?

Re choosing your own appointment times.

 

I think different hospitals have different systems - and sometimes the same hospital has a different system for different patients.

 

I was initially asked whether I'd prefer a morning or afternoon appointment but at the 'setting up' appointment  was given a sheet where each appointment was at a different time of day. My friend a month or so previously had the same time each day - both of us at Poole Hospital.

 

Another friend said that she preferred to drive herself to the appointments (80 miles each way) as she appreciated being quiet on the return journey.  Someone else chose to be driven and preferred her husband doing it as he tended not to chat whereas when friends drove her they wanted to talk. Personally I'm not a good driver so my husband took me each day and we used the journey to visit other places enroute, thereby making it more of an 'outing' day than a hospital visit.

 

What I'm really saying is that everyone is different and every appointment schedule is different.

 

Good luck today tweeks. If you're not happy with the planned appointment schedule do please tell the staff they may be able to change things around for you.

 

PS My appointments were rarely on time due to breakdowns, non-shows and other emergencies so I'd recommend you have a home backup plan in case you're not back on time.

tweeks123
Member

Re: What is radio therapy really like?

Thanks Sky for that website about radio therapy put my mind at rest I start mine this morning.X
tweeks123
Member

Re: What is radio therapy really like?

Hi Alice Im starting my Radio therapy this morning after reading on here I dont seemed to have been told much about it.Im going to be driving myself to and from the hospital about 2hr round trip. Everyone seems to be on about different creams do I cream my boob on the day I have my radio therapy ? And will I be able to pick my own times for appointments I have a daughter at junior school I need to sort out before I go and I have to be back to collect her. Xx
Pod-1
Member

Re: What is radio therapy really like?

Hi

 

Like everyone else - I had 15 sessions of radio. For me (and as some others have commented) - this treatment is a walk in the park and completely pain free. The most tiring part I found was having to come everyday for 15 days as I had a 1-2 hour train journey each way. But in the scheme of things - that was a minor inconvneiance.

 

The actual treatment itself is just a case of lying on a bed whilst the radiographers quote calculations to each other (they have to work out the angle of the laser at each point on your body & make sure it lines up with the tiny tattoos I was given). After about my 5th session - I could almost quote the calculations myself !! The radiographers will then leave the room whilst the machine does its thing. Nothing to be scared of. It doesn't touch you in any way shape or form - just beams a laser to the affected areas.

 

As for my skin - I was completely fine - no burns or blistering or anything like that. I used natural calendula cream which really helped. The hospital suggested E45 but I opted to go for something a bit more natural. Each place will vary on the advice for what creams to use - but just make sure you have a good nourishing moisturiser.

 

Good luck with it and best wishes.

Gerrard8
Member

Re: What is radio therapy really like?


@Sky46 wrote:
I'm due to have my penultimate 5th chemo session next week, the rads after the 6th treatment. I'm no really sure what to expect yet, can anyone enlighten me please?


Hi

 

Last chemo on 19th Dec then just finished my 25th rad session ( 5days a week for 5 weeks ). Used Diprobase all around area and under arm - had no skins issues apart from slightly itchy and not really experiencing any fatigue. Compared to chemo its a walk in the park!

 

Gerrard8
Member

Re: What is radio therapy really like?

Hi

 

Last chemo on 19th Dec then just finished my 25th rad session ( 5days a week for 5 weeks ). Used Diprobase all around area and under arm - had no skins issues apart from slightly itchy and not really experiencing any fatigue. Compared to chemo its a walk in the park!

 

alice45
Member

Re: What is radio therapy really like?

Sky, good luck with the rads. I would agree with all the advice you've been given by others. Moisturising is so important: I was told to use the moisturiser (aloe vera in my case, though all hospitals give different instructions) all over the breast, and for a couple of inches around - well below, and into the underarm area. I didn't blister or peel at all, though did have to endure the itchiness for a while... The skin problems are likely to continue for a couple of weeks after rads stop, so don't be worried about that. And tiredness isn't inevitable: although told by everyone that it was, I didn't suffer at all, though I did have an easy daily journey. I think if your journey to and from hospital appointments for rads is a long one, that can cause considerable fatigue.

Best wishes, A

 

Sky46
Member

Re: What is radio therapy really like?

Hi ladies thanks for sharing your thoughts, it puts my mind at ease! Chemo seems to have lasted for so very long, I've suddenly got nearer to the end and decided to have a little panic about the radio, as I haven't given it much thought before! It's so nice to have a place to ask questions when you think about them! Thanks and hope you are all doing well! X
Nimbus
Member

Re: What is radio therapy really like?

Just to say, it fell into a routine like going to work each day, and this impression was enhanced by often seeing the same people in the waiting room. It was nice to chat with people and learn to emulate their philosophical, friendly outlook. Though one day I came into the waiting room and they were swapping horror stories, which I could have done without.

 

J

SML1903
Member

Re: What is radio therapy really like?

Hi. I had my last of 18 rads on the 22nd December. I found once I got into the routine it was easy. The staff were mostly very pleasant and always asked how I was and if I had any problems. I was a bit shocked at first when I had to take off my gown in front of a rdiolgrapher who was about my sons age but soon got over it and have to say he turned out to be the nicest although they were all nice. I think the worst time was when I had to wait for nearly 3 hrs but that was a 1 off. Mostly I was not kept waiting for long and sometimes was in and out before my appointment time. I did get problems with my skin breaking down under my breast but the gel dressings they gave me worked really well. I have suffered from tiredness but find a nap when I can has helped. Good luck. SML

Jan-65
Member

Re: What is radio therapy really like?

Hi I finished my rads beginning of October, I had 15 sessions and like everyone else has said the actual treatment is a doddle, no pain, just lying back for 5 minutes or so.  However I did suffer quite a bad burn under my breast which took about 2 months to completely heal and still today the skin underneath is quite itchy. It really is the travelling to and from and finding a parking space which is the worst part of the whole thing.  If you have got through chemo you really wont have a problem with radiotherapy.

 

Very best wishes

Jo_BCC
Member

Re: What is radio therapy really like?

Hi Sky46

 

Here's the link to BCC's publication regarding radiotherapy I hope you find it helpful.

 

http://www2.breastcancercare.org.uk/publications/treatment-side-effects/radiotherapy-primary-early-b...

 

And the link to the area of this website where radiotherapy is discussed:

 

http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/breast-cancer-information/treating-breast-cancer/radiotherapy/how...

 

Take care,

Jo, Moderator

CassieB
Member

Re: What is radio therapy really like?

I found the daily tedium to be the worst thing about rads. I had to travel over 40 miles each way for 15 days so we made an 'outing' of it and tried to stop off somewhere different each day. I was fortunate in that it was during the spring so the scenery was beautiful and I played spot the bluebells while OH drove.

 

Another frustration was that my appointments were all at different times of the day and frequently delayed. The actual treatment was a doddle - after they've lined you up and disappear the machine makes a few noises and moves around - I worked out which noise I thought meant it was actually doing its stuff rather than maneuvering (? sp) and reckoned it took 10 seconds from two angles.

 

I didn't suffer from exhaustion but did have a slight burn towards the end of the treatment. I creamed up straight after treatment before putting my clothes back on. I was wearing my normal bra and used a muslin nappy liner to prevent the bra band from rubbing on my sore place. It seemed to work well.

baylissa
Member

Re: What is radio therapy really like?

The actual Rad sessions were Ok , just a bit tedious having to go every day. I found the fatigue afterwards difficult.Each week I look at what I can do and realise its a little bit more than I could do the previous week. Its a slow process for me but I know I am getting ther

Wendyy
Volunteer

Re: What is radio therapy really like?

Sky, finished my rads at the end of November. 15 normal and 5 boosts. It's a little bit tedious going everyday but fortunately my rads dept kept pretty well to time. I had 2 CT scans for planning the treatment when they marked me with 4 pin prick tattoos. The actual treatment is absolutely pain free. Lying on a bed, 2 or sometimes 3 radiographers line you up into the correct position. Set the machine going and leave you whilst the machine buzzes around you. From what I see each department has different suggestions as how to look after your skin so take their advice. Towards the end of the treatments I developed a small burn under my boob which was prescribed Flamazine cream for. I viewed it as a small price to pay for keeping my boob. It's all healed now. Be prepared for radiation fatigue, it came on for me after the rads finished but just dealt with it by resting when I needed to, the housework could wait 😄. Hope this helps xx
Sky46
Member

What is radio therapy really like?

I'm due to have my penultimate 5th chemo session next week, the rads after the 6th treatment. I'm no really sure what to expect yet, can anyone enlighten me please?