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Radiation Side Effects

akpatterson
Posts: 12
Joined: Feb 2001

I just completed 4 AC treatments! Yea!! I will begin undergoing radiation treatments in a week. I was very fortunate that I did not return to work during my chemo. However, I will have to return to work the week I begin radiation. My radiation oncologist said that the most common side effect is tiredness. I would love to hear if anyone experienced any other side effects? And would I be better off scheduling my radiation late in the afternoon so that I can go home and rest or first thing in the morning? Thanks for any input. I know that I'm in the home stretch!!
Angie

24242
Posts: 1417
Joined: Mar 2001

Hi Angie,
I think you would be right to go with having it in the afternoon so you can go home and relax, catch a nap. I had mine in the morning and found the rest of the day hum drum. You are right, you are in the home stretch and look at how far you have come. Amazing isn't it.
24242Tara

isaiah4031
Posts: 243
Joined: Jun 2001

Angie,
I have one more radiation treatment (25 total). I am amazed at how tired I am. I sometimes take 3-4 hours naps during the day. My treatment has been at 7:00 am and I am usually good until about 11:30 am, then I need to nap. I get up around 3:00 and am good until about 7:00-8:00 pm. Then go to bed. The other side effect I have had is a very tender breast in the beginning. Now it is a very nicely suntanned breast...(of course, the other side isn't!) The areola area is now larger than the other side and the pores seem larger. I was told that in some cases the skin may breakdown, but that was rare. It didn't happen with me. Anyway, I am going to have chemo in three weeks. 4 treatments of A/C. (I guess I'm doing things backwards...) I always feel like I'm under this huge microscope when I'm getting my radiation. It's 60 seconds of just lying there and then I'm off for home. I am glad I didn't work then, but I am planning to while undergoing chemo. I am a teacher and I know that I am supposed to stay away from sick people, but I love my job so much.... Take care. Sorry this was so long. (I should've e-mailed you instead...) God bless you and He will see you through.
Love, Jayne

mjdp2's picture
mjdp2
Posts: 142
Joined: Nov 2000

Hi Angie,
I had my treatments in the afternoon as my treatment center was 40 miles from my home. I was pretty lucky to not feel fatigued. I also applied pure, clear aloe vera gel to the treated area when I got home to heal the skin. I obtained this from the hospital pharmacy. Just make sure you don't have any applied before your next treatment. I had 32 treatment in all. My 4" square tan faded after about 6 months. The treated breast is a bit firmer than the untreated one. Also the radiation seemed to "disable" some of the sweat glands so it felt hotter to the touch than the untreated one. After 2 1/2 years the sweat glands seemed to have restored themselves. One recommendation I have is when you go have your "charting" session that you wear long pants as the room was kept cool for the machines and you might get chilly laying there for an hour while they play tic tac toe on your chest!! Radiation was the easiest part of my treatment. God bless you as you near the end of treament. Margaret

janet01
Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2001

Angie - I was diagnosed in Nov 2000 with bc. I had a 2 cm tumor, no node involvement. I too went thru 4 AC treatments as well as 33 radiation treatments. The side effects I experienced during radiation was fatigue. Unfortunately, I had to work thru chemo and radiation. I was able to schedule my radiation therapy at about 2 in the afternoon and adjust my work schedule to come in early when I had more energy and go home and rest after my treatments. The radiologist checked my skin every Monday and was amazed that I didn't have more redness. I'm pretty dark complected and don't tend to burn in the sun. I began experiencing redness and discomfort around the 5th week. The nurse gave me a gel that I applied to the affected area (under the breast mostly) and that cleared it up in a few days. As the nurse and/or radiologist has probably told you, you won't be able to wear a bra once you begin treatments. I found a great camisole from Barely There that gave me support (C cup size) and didn't rub in the radiated spots. I wish you lots of luck during your treatments. Just listen to your body...if you feel you need to rest, rest. Feel free to contact me via email (lungj@hcc.cc.md.us) if I can be of any more help. My thoughts are with you.

Janet

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