It was good to hear the experiences of others about this after sharing my own. I have just finished my course of radiotherapy and have a couple of things I can add that might help. Firstly, I started to manage my embarrassment by being curious and asking questions about what was being doing and appreciating the work that the radiotherapists do in other words putting the spotlight on others. I agree it helps during the bit when you are alone to do some meditation for example take your mind elsewhere on a wonderful journey that you have done or can imagine doing. Secondly, and this is another aspect of pain after radiotherapy, I have learned not to underestimate the impact of the tiredness it causes. I too had a session towards the end when the bulb went in the machine although I was able to get dressed whilst the repair was done. However, it meant the session took over an hour in total. I left the hospital and was probably not thinking straight and I ended up having an accident as I walked away from the hospital which resulted in me taking a very hard blow to my boob! The pain was like nothing I have ever known! It is so typical when you have a sore place or an injury somewhere on your body that you end up damaging it further. I now have signficant bruising, probably resulting in a haematoma, and have seriously compromised the good cells in my breast that are trying to heal themselves. All of this on top of the pain from the radiotherapy itself. I sound like Victor Meldrew's relative as I keep saying to myself "I don't believe it!". All I can say is, as you get to the end of your treatment, go careful out there!
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Keeping a breast So the radiotherapy is underway. I hadn’t realised that it was part of the deal with a lumpectomy. I had read stuff on the net that suggested with the benefit of more recent statistical assessment you could opt out. I tried to do this but at 58 I was told I was in the elderly category and the statistics did not really inform the decision it was just part of the process. After 3 sessions I now know it is a process that causes some pain and discomfort especially at night and a red hot boob that I could cook my dinner on every evening! For me the pain is psychological too. I am a very private person who would never undress in front of friends or family members but now I have to do so every day in front of complete strangers and each day different ones. Invasive breast cancer means invasive in more than one way. So laid bare on a machine you also feel laid bare in your self. Big loss of control of your body and if you are not careful your mind too. The panic that can grab you at anytime is unforgiving and it drives other emotional responses, anger, confusion and misery. This then leads to collateral damage as you lash out at others close to you and resent just about everyone else because they are not going through it. How do you cope with this? You give yourself a good talking to, read all the booklets on coping with cancer, radiotherapy and other treatments and get back in your dutiful, must be positive box. Keep a blog I was told. So I am doing so in an indirect way by sharing things in this forum
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