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Fast-forward Radiotherapy (1 week instead of 3 weeks)

31 REPLIES 31
Tamm
Member

Re: Fast-forward Radiotherapy (1 week instead of 3 weeks)

Hi and many thanks for your best wishes.  I need to get on top of the exercises....... although today I went for a lovely autumn walk on my own through local woods with my dogs..... the first time since surgery in April that I've had the confidence to walk alone and it felt wonderful.

There aren't many great things about loosing one's hair but I love taking my headwear off and feeling the breeze going though the fluff 🙂 

 

You take care too xx

11tolo
Member

Re: Fast-forward Radiotherapy (1 week instead of 3 weeks)

Hi all

 

just came across this thread which I’m finding helpful ,  I start my 5 sessions on Thursday and will be driving around 40 mins,   I will buy Aveeno and drink plenty water so thanks for these tips .  Any other tips or advice would be welcome! 

I am also trying to manage fears and anxiety about cancer coming back or spreading as I approach the end of treatment .  I was diagnosed January but didn’t get surgery until August due to Covid so my anxiety was debilitating at times .  I’m sure it will get easier in time .  

Best wishes everyone and thankyou for the helpful thread xx

 

Tamm
Member

Re: Fast-forward Radiotherapy (1 week instead of 3 weeks)

Hi LouJP

Radiotherapy finished on Thursday. Some swelling and redness but not uncomfortable thankfully? Like yourself I’ve ditched bras for the time being. 
I did have that glass of wine Thursday,  more to mark the end of treatment than to celebrate it I suppose. 
In many ways I’m probably more anxious about the future and unknowns  than I was during treatment. I even went so far as to get a second opinion from Christie’s as to whether I should have gone for a mastectomy rather than lumpectomy, 
I know what you mean by war wounds and reliving the diagnosis and treatment..... I’m finding it hard to move on. I think when I look in the mirror and don’t see a near bald head, I will feel more myself again. 
I was forwarded an article about feelings post treatment. I haven’t read it yet but will forward it to you. 
It’s hard not to dwell on what has happened and worry about cancer returning. I’m having counselling and in my last session I thought more about life’s uncertainties.... with or without cancer I don’t know what is around the corner. I’m trying to begin to think about how I want to live my life on the premise that my cancer won’t return or hasn’t spread.

I hope your war wounds start to heal and become less dominating. If I read some good stuff I will forward to you. 

Take care

Tam



 

Cree
Member

Re: Fast-forward Radiotherapy (1 week instead of 3 weeks)

Hi Tammy

so sorry ive been away from the forum for some time. I was like you wondering if I was making the right decision.Pleased you received replies from the members on the forum. I did have the 1 week radiotherapy but to be honest I was still wondering if I made the right choice what reassured me finally was there's always new evidence,research and procedures ,even for example year's ago to treat simple UTI we had 1 week of antibiotics now its only 3 days.

I did read the clinical trials and got some reassurance  from members who like us was in the same predicament. 

Mine went ok I had the skin reactions ,stiffness, swelling etc E45 and exercises became my best friends 🙂

Hope all went well with you. All the best.

LouJP
Member

Re: Fast-forward Radiotherapy (1 week instead of 3 weeks)

Hi

Glad you seem to be getting on ok - I think we are all different with creams that work for us - I carried on with the Diprobase which was prescribed when I had skin problems with chemo.

I am very small but am finding wearing bras not comfortable so have given up for now just feels something else that might irritate although I have purchased non wired ones - not sure my pretty push up ones will be getting any wear for a while to come.

Covid has certainly stopped interaction with other patients which I found difficult as it made you feel even more isolated.

Totally agree when you are feeling good, get out, do jobs etc. but when you are not so great - give into it and listen to your body.

My fatigue took a while to sink in and it's a very different tiredness - I had trouble through chemo sleeping so think finally my body is getting all the sleep it was deprived of a few months ago.

Enjoy that drink - finishing treatment is something to celebrate although it's quite a different kind of celebration and it's one I am still struggling with as the side effects remind you daily of what you have been through - like war wounds I guess.

This forum is invaluable and I've also rung my BCN team this morning and they reassured me that although my treatment has finished, I can still reach out to them any time I need it which was reassuring.

Good luck

xxx

 

LouJP
Member

Re: Fast-forward Radiotherapy (1 week instead of 3 weeks)

Hi

I think I got off very lightly with the after effects of radiotherapy certainly from a skin point of view.

A little discoloration, some swelling but am still tender also post surgery.

Fatigue has not been great but am managing it.

Was very thankful it was only 5 days as unfortunately the position of lying with your arms over your head has aggravated an old injury in my other arm so am now waiting an appointment again with the orthapeadic team.

Good luck.

xx

 

Tamm
Member

Re: Fast-forward Radiotherapy (1 week instead of 3 weeks)

Hi

I started radiotherapy therapy last Monday after a delay whilst I sought a second opinion about surgery. 

I will be starting the boost of 4 more days today. Touch wood,  last week I felt fine and my boob seems to be coping with it too. Sore on the first day and it’s a bit swollen but not uncomfortable. I think fatigue can start a couple of weeks after treatment, but as with the chemotherapy, whilst I’m feeling good, I’m taking decent walks and following a healthy diet (Although I may have my first drop of alcohol in 6 months to celebrate the end of treatment at the weekend 😃). 

After looking at other’s comments, I bought Aveeno Skin Relief and I’m putting  It on 3 times a day. The texture of the cream is lovely and soothing. I was using E45 to massage the oedema on my breast, but the Aveeno feels much better. Great on the over washed hands too! Also, I’ve avoided wearing a bra and kept to loose fitting clothes. 

 I’ve not seen another woman at radiotherapy (All men mostly having treatment for prostate cancer, so I’ve been sympathising with those who now get hot flushes because of their hormone treatment) and the mask wearing and individual booths at chemo day centre has meant no chatting with fellow patients. 

Although I only joined this forum towards the end of my chemotherapy, the advice was invaluable. I wish you all the best with your radiotherapy... the week flies by. 

Tam xx

August2020
Member

Re: Fast-forward Radiotherapy (1 week instead of 3 weeks)

Hi LouJP

After a mammogram at the end of July, a further mammogram on 7 August, biopsy and surgery on 9 September, I'm due to start radiotherapy on 26 October.

Having read your post I notice that you recently been through 5 day treatment and was wondering how you were doing following radiotherapy?

Best wishes

Tamm
Member

Re: Fast-forward Radiotherapy (1 week instead of 3 weeks)

Hi Lou jo

Many thanks for your reply. 40 minutes! I’m making sure I do the exercises as my shoulders are a bit crocked anyway.

Good luck with your radiotherapy and many best wishes. 

Tamm
Member

Re: Fast-forward Radiotherapy (1 week instead of 3 weeks)

Hi

Many thanks for the info and tips. The responses have been so reassuring and I will be going ahead with the 5 days plus boost. 

Yes treatment through lockdown has been odd...... it has taken my mind off cancer an awful lot but mixed with moments of extreme paranoia..... my poor  partner and daughter having to cope with my near hysteria on occasions! 

I will be purchasing some Aveena ... thanks for the tip. 

Stay well and best wishes. 

 

Tamm
Member

Re: Fast-forward Radiotherapy (1 week instead of 3 weeks)

Hi

Many thanks for the reassurance and info. I’m going forward with radiotherapy with much more confidence. 

Yes treatment through lockdown has been odd. In a way it has been a distraction from cancer and treatment  but the paranoia about c-19 and having to attend hospital has been hard to cope with too.  A tough journey for so many people. 

Cheers for the tip about Averno too....  I’ll be making a purchase. 

Take care and best wishes. 

LouJP
Member

Re: Fast-forward Radiotherapy (1 week instead of 3 weeks)

Hi

I had my planning session yesterday 40 minutes with your arms above your head no fun!

I have 5 sessions starting 3rd sept.

I was aware of all the studies and it does appear to be the norm so am accepting it.

Both my surgeon and oncologist seemed to promote it so feel do trust them.

Good luck

x

Tamm
Member

Re: Fast-forward Radiotherapy (1 week instead of 3 weeks)

Hi

Thank you so much for replying to my post..... with the responses I‘ve had. I feel reassured that the 5 days is doable and I will be going ahead with it. 

I too have found making decisions really difficult and have put my head in the sand somewhat. Just starting to ask more questions now. 

best wishes to you and thank you again.

 

 

forgottenviola
Member

Re: Fast-forward Radiotherapy (1 week instead of 3 weeks)

Hi Tamm,

I had the 5 day treatment instead of 15 at the end of May.  I was told that it was the new way forward for most people as a study was about to announce its (positive) results when Covid hit and the NHS decided to go with the findings anyway. If you Google Fast Forward Radiotherapy you will get several responses.  I just took my oncologist's word for it and was glad it was only 5 days when it happened although I have fond memories of the week actually; I got to drive fairly empty roads (25 mins for me) and meet 2 new friendly people  (RT nurses) every day during lockdown when I wasn't going anywhere else!!!

I used Aveeno cream as advised and had some skin peeling after 3 weeks plus fatigue which I was unable to monitor as I have M.E./Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  I hope you have a phone number to call to ask your questions; it's never too late. Good luck!

Wings
Member

Re: Fast-forward Radiotherapy (1 week instead of 3 weeks)

Hi

i should have had 5 weeks radiotherapy. Covid changed that but I was told the one week fast forward course would be the new normal and would have been brought in soon to the Uk anyway.  America had been doing this for some time. I was given the option of continuing with the longer Treatment so I was not put under pressure.    As for trials on this way of doing things, I think there is info on the net. 

  • I have found having to make decisions re my cancer treatment stressful and in the end I trusted my oncologist.  Ask the questions of the experts, if the reassurance is there and you feel comfortable with what has been recommended then you have done your best. 

I wish you well with your treatment.  Xx

Tamm
Member

Re: Fast-forward Radiotherapy (1 week instead of 3 weeks)

Hi 

I can see your message is from April and I’m now in the same position. I went to sign radiotherapy paperwork on Monday and was told the therapy would now be over 5 days rather than 15 based on good evidence.......... I couldn’t think of any questions to ask about this evidence but I’m very wary that there probably isn’t long term data as to the safety of doing it this way...... I had a grade 3 stage 2 cancer so will also be having a boost of an extra 4 days. 
Were you told this is a clinical trial? What did you decide?
Hope all has gone well.

DarleneL
Member

Re: Fast-forward Radiotherapy (1 week instead of 3 weeks)

Good wishes to you all!  
I am in Texas and my Radiation treatment is still 25 days. That was the plan pre Covid-19 and my Radiation oncologist didn’t offer an alternative treatment. I finished 6 rounds of chemo on May 26 and today I had my first radiation treatment.  The doctors here recommend Aquaphor and/or aloe vera. I was also given a prescription for Mometasone Furoate cream to apply daily. Hope these help because I am not looking forward to having my skin burn. 

CoffeeBean
Member

Re: Fast-forward Radiotherapy (1 week instead of 3 weeks)

Thankyou and good luck with your continued recovery 💐

Wings
Member

Re: Fast-forward Radiotherapy (1 week instead of 3 weeks)

Coffee Bean

I'm pleased to hear your Radiotherapy has finished.  It goes so quickly doesn't it.  Rest is important with lots of cream on the boob and surrounding area.  If you have any side effects that concern you ring the contact telephone number you have been given to discuss.  I rang my radiotherapy nurses when my boob seemed to be getting more irritated after using E45.  All sorted with a recommended change of cream.

 

Wishing you well with your recovery

 

Wings

 

 

CoffeeBean
Member

Re: Fast-forward Radiotherapy (1 week instead of 3 weeks)

Well that’s me done I have today finished my 5 day fast forward radiotherapy and I feel this is the way to go initially I was having 20 sessions which was very daunting but necessary, but due to the Covid 19 virus it was reduced to the fast forward. I do feel tired and my boob is tender but my recovery time will be sooner which has to be good. Overall I am glad this was my way forward.

CoffeeBean
Member

Re: Fast-forward Radiotherapy (1 week instead of 3 weeks)

Thank you so much for your kind words and linknwhich I have read and found very informative there was so much of exactly how I have felt here’s to next week when I start the next part of my journey x

forgottenviola
Member

Re: Fast-forward Radiotherapy (1 week instead of 3 weeks)

Dear Wings,

Sounds like you have it all under control and I wish you well.  I've just started reading the following article though I have yet to  start RT or trastuzumab.

http://www.workingwithcancer.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/After-the-treatment-finishes-then-what...

Wings
Member

Re: Fast-forward Radiotherapy (1 week instead of 3 weeks)

Hi CoffeeBean

 

All went well with my one week of radiotherapy.  I am retired so could rest. I would say you will need to give yourself time to heal, lots of Aveeno with oatmeal or something similar.  I used E45 to start with but my boob didn't like the lanolin in it.  

 

After the Radiotherapy my collar bone, boob plus under boob and under arm needed lots of cream.  I put it on after the Radiotherapy whilst I was in the hospital and more when I got home.  Drink lots of water.  If you are going to have any side effects they can happen for up to 2 weeks after the Radiotherapy and hopefully improve after that time.  My skin is still very sensitive and I am careful when showering, no rubbing of skin and no direct shower on to the chest area.

 

As for going back to work, allow yourself time, you will be tired and it's quite strange when the treatment finishes and there's no investigations or treatment.  The time you will need off will depend on what your occupation is.  If I had been working, I would have taken off 4 to 6 weeks off.  I am feeling much better now but still suffer with fatigue, I think with all that has happened in the last 5 months, I deserve to take it easy.

 

Sending you hugs and love ....  Hope your radiotherapy goes well with a speedy recovery

 

 

CoffeeBean
Member

Re: Fast-forward Radiotherapy (1 week instead of 3 weeks)

Hi I am due to start my radiotherapy next week for 5 days instead of the 20 I was first going to have and while your account is positive I wonder how long did you have away from work hope you are continuing to feel better

Wings
Member

Re: Fast-forward Radiotherapy (1 week instead of 3 weeks)

Cree

I hope all goes well for you with your radiology, the NHS staff are wonderful at reassurance and kindness. I was informed by radiology nurses that the 1 week treatment was going to be the new normal, it had just been brought forward due to the coronavirus.  Raise any concerns you have with your oncologist, I was lucky my oncologist listened and tried to answer all the questions I had. I had a small notebook with my list of issues I needed answers too, she laughed when I produced my notebook, pen in hand, ready to take down her answers! She said having a notebook was something she would use.  She didn't always have the answers to my questions, but she was honest. 

The next step for me is hormone therapy, an issue as I had a DEXA scan which showed osteoporosis in my spine and the tablets prescribed are not good for bone health.  More decisions on the way forward!

The thing I am concentrating on now is trying to have less stress in my life, to not worry about everything and anything, in the past I spent far too much time and energy worrying about things I had no way of changing!  In my case I feel the high stress levels I had been going thro in the last 3 years impacted  on my health.   I am going to try to relax a little, give myself time to heal,  as now I want some peace.

To all of you going thro breast cancer I send you strength and love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cree
Member

Re: Fast-forward Radiotherapy (1 week instead of 3 weeks)

Wings...Thank you for sharing, and your advice much appreciated. Given me some reassurance. Will take this on board going forward. Best wishes.

Wings
Member

Re: Fast-forward Radiotherapy (1 week instead of 3 weeks)

The trip to hosp daily for 5 days was not the cause of my fatigue.  My husband took me so I could just relax on the journey there and back.  I have found hosp staff always try to put a positive spin on things, I appreciate they are only trying to reassure as they realise most of us going thro this scary journey are bewildered by what is happening to us. 

My take on the fatigue is that for weeks I have been trying to hold it together, have been thro the diagnosis, biopsies, scans, 2 wide incission lumpectomies (after first lumpectomy  consultant not happy with margins) so needed to be sure!  Then the 5 days of radiotherapy with coronavirus in the mix. I also have lung disease bronchiectasis,  so fatigue is understandable. All this and finally  after weeks of hightened anxiety,  I'm at home with no hosp appointments!  Now is the time that my body has let me know it's ok to have fatigue, it's ok to rest and the wonderful thing is it's time to let my poor old body repair.  I do think the 5 days of radiotherapy has made me tired but it's all the other things in the mix that has contributed to the fatigue.  We have to be kind to ourselves.  I am retired so am able to rest.  I have accepted that I will have good days and some wobbly days.  I try not to worry about things I cannot change as this uses up energy I need to move forward.

I wish you well especially as you have ME in the mix.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

forgottenviola
Member

Re: Fast-forward Radiotherapy (1 week instead of 3 weeks)

Wings...thank you for such a straightforward account. So glad it basically went well, though you are still obviously suffering with soreness.  I don't like the fact that you said, "Fatigue is a big issue at present", as this is my life  with M.E.  My breast cancer nurse this morning said that the fatigue is down to the actual effort of getting to a hospital for 5 days in a row, as opposed to the actual radiotherapy...any thoughts?

Wings
Member

Re: Fast-forward Radiotherapy (1 week instead of 3 weeks)

Hi I was recently offered the 1 week radiology  instead of 3 weeks plus 1 week of boosters.  Apparently this will be the new normal format but has been brought forward to cope with coronavirus.  I too have lung disease and my oncologist was concerned 4 weeks of radiology would be too harsh.  I was concerned about reduced treatment time but did my own research online and decided to go with it.  I would add that I was not pressurised into this reduced format and could have continued with the 4 weeks.  

 

I have completed my 1 week of radiology.  I found it ok, I understand I probably had about 60% radiology in that week, so treatment was harsher but side effects were doable.  I had skin irritation, swollen boob and oddly more skin irritation on my collar bone area.  I had chat with radiologists as I was using E45 as a cream to help but unfortunately it turned out that my boob did not like this cream (lanolin??) So it made my skin irritation worse.  I went over to Aveeno lotion sensitive with oatmeal which was much better.

 

It's been 3 weeks since radiology.  My skin is still easily irritated, I have changed my washing liquid to Fairy (other brands are available).  Be careful when you shower as not a good idea to have full force of shower on boob.  Pat dry only and cream on the whole area also under the arm area.  Fatique is a big issue at present.  My boob area is painful, shooting pains come and go but I take paracetamol if needed.  Again doable.

 

So all in all I feel things went ok, I feel I made the right decision with advice from my oncologist. I have as an add on tweaked my diet to give me the best chance going forward.  I wish you well.

 

 

Cree
Member

Re: Fast-forward Radiotherapy (1 week instead of 3 weeks)

Thank you for your best wishes.

forgottenviola
Member

Re: Fast-forward Radiotherapy (1 week instead of 3 weeks)

Can be of no help here Cree, but following as have just been offered same!  Best Wishes !

 

Cree
Member

Fast-forward Radiotherapy (1 week instead of 3 weeks)

Hello

Newbie to forum.

Am due to start my Radiotherapy in May -had my planning opa etc informed of clinical trial which was positive But full data for 10 yrs not yet available  advised in view of COVID this is preferred way. 

Since I have been trying to gather as much information as possible..

Some articles stated the 1 week sessions would have been rolled out but brought forward due to COVID.

Am I making right decision of having the week instead of 3 weeks Radiotherapy? I am so confused(still processing diagnosis etc ) and filled with many "what if's?

Sorry for rambling..Appreciate any advice and has anyone completed the 1 week sessions, how was it?

Thank you