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Radiation Starts Tommorow WED OCT 30th!!!!!!

bebe1976's picture
bebe1976
Posts: 60
Joined: Jul 2002

Dear Sisters,
I write to you in fear of what to expect in the 7 weeks to come while my radiation is taking place. I am also on the last leg of treatment aside from Tamoxifen which I will still be taking and am very fearful of letting go. I have seven weeks to go through the process of realizing there's not going to be anymore treatment aside from Tamoxifen and need some coaching on how to deal with the anxiety. Please pray all goes well in the coming weeks.
Thanks,
Jenn

ksfc
Posts: 252
Joined: Apr 2002

Hi Jenn,

I thought radiation was a breeze compared to chemo. I got quite a burn under my breast, right by my collar bone, and at the lymph node incision, but that didn't start until about the 5th week. At one point, they went to the boost (which is usually the last few treatments to the tumor site) and let my skin rest a bit. The doctor gave me some great cream - they called it sulfadine- and the burns healed beautifully. Before that I had a prescription steroid type cream. Use whatever they suggest religiously. It will really help. I went braless or just wore a leasure type bra around the house and actually laid with a fan to dry up the areas that were burned. They were a little uncomfortable, but never that bad, and they didn't stop me from doing normal things. It was hard to get used to being done with treatment. I think it's comfortable to know that you're doing something to get well, and when it's done, you feel kind of lost. Of course it's been such a big part of your life. One suggestion I would have is don't push yourself. I'm 2 months out of rads, and I still lay down many afternoons and rest a little. I pace myself and have allowed myself to very gradually move back into a more normal routine. Treat yourself well. You deserve it! Diane

jmears
Posts: 270
Joined: Jul 2001

Wow Jenn ... I looked at your bio and see that you are such a young woman. I am so sorry you have had to go through all this. You do have some positives ... estrogen positive and stage 1 are so treatable. Your diagnosis is similar to mine but I was stage 2 and I was 42 when diagnosed in 2000. I obsessed about getting the cancer back after I finished the treatment ... I am on Tamoxifen but still felt like I was not being proactive. I finally went on Zoloft because my obsession was effecting my life so much. That woked wonders and I recently switched to Effexor which keeps me in reality and helps with Hot Flashes. I know I can get cancer again ... and if I do I know there is and will be new treatments ... and the love and support I had before will be there again ... but to worry now is to waste my life. It's a hard battle and for as many of us out here it still feels like you are alone when you go through all this. When I felt hopeless I tried to remember that things always change and we adapt to the new normal. Again my heart goes out to you going through this and I wish you the best. Radiation is a breeze ... I missed going when I was done ... I had met some other ladies getting treatment and we would have our morning coffee together before I went on to work. Good luck!!! Jamie

nasa2537
Posts: 317
Joined: Apr 2002

Hi Jenn....for me, radiation wasn't all that bad. At the end, it looked like I had gotten a bad sunburn, but it didn't hurt like a sunburn does. I got a couple very small blisters under my breast, which healed up nicely by using the Aquaphor ointment my radiation onc gave me. I did get some fatigue, but nothing that a half- to one-hour nap didn't take care of...I just took it a little easier when the fatigue hit. I too had the fear of the end of treatment....suddenly, you're not doing anything actively any more to make sure you don't get it back. A book that helped immensely with that is called "Living Beyond Breast Cancer," by Marisa Weiss. It deals with all the emotional baggage we carry with us very well. The tamoxifen hasn't been too bad, either, and it's been almost a year for me. I had nasty hot flashes and night sweats, but my husband read in Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book that taking 800 IU of Vitamin E daily helps some women. Fortunately, I am one it works for. I now have maybe one hot flash a week, if that. I have been dealing with some insomnia, but some generic benadryl when I can't sleep helps a lot, and it's a pretty safe thing to take....it's what's in all the over the counter sleeping aids. I asked my oncologist about it, and she said I could take it, and the nice thing is, it's not habit forming. I will be praying for you. You CAN get through this and come out on the other side in one piece! God bless, Cyndi

hummingbyrd's picture
hummingbyrd
Posts: 965
Joined: Sep 2002

Been there, done that. My worst 2 panic attacks was w/ my first chemo and my last. I too was afraid of rad - ask a lot of questions. Turned out it wasn't bad. Remember what has gotten u this far w/o going insane. For me it was the concept that I live 1 day at a time. I realized after treatment that's still how I need to live, not because of cancer but because that's the way life is, we all are only promised today, cancer or not. Think of the sniper victims, 911, car accidents...
Matthew 6:34 Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Pray for strength and faith and tell Satan, by the power of the Lord, to get under your feet...were u can stomp out his deceitfulness.
Phillipians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
I memorized passages that comforted me and as I was being 'zapped' I would close my eyes and receit them, it helped me a lot. God bless, you'll do fine. Hummingbyrd

kat02
Posts: 76
Joined: Nov 2001

Jenn,

I pray that things went well for you today. I always find the unknown to be the worst part of this journey. Once I have been through a new treatment of procedure, I usually feel relieved.

Love, hugs and prayers,

Kat

shirlann
Posts: 235
Joined: Oct 2001

Hi Jenn, it is perfectly natural to feel "safe" with the daily visits. Then, they say, so long and it is a shock. Well, in one way of course it is good news, but we all felt deserted, and scared too. If you get too down, try antidepressants. they are not addictive and you can get off them when you get your feet under you and a little time passes. Nothing changes, you just don't give a damn. Nice feeling. Gentle hugs, Shirlann

heavenlee's picture
heavenlee
Posts: 113
Joined: Apr 2002

Hi Jenn,
First of all, I wish you the best for the next 7 weeks. I am in the same boat you are, I am almost done with chemo, 2 more sessions and i MIGHT have radiation and Tamoxifen. I am getting very anxious to have chemo over, I have cried to my doc and she says she sees that alot with the ending of treatment, didn't really say what to do. I am just dealing with it I guess. I am scared but happy at the same time. Very strange. Keep us informed. I am interested to know how your rad goes incase I do have it. God Bles
Angel

24242
Posts: 1417
Joined: Mar 2001

The first thing is realizing the anxiety level and I recommend getting into some physical training whether it be walking program or yoga, just something to give your body an outlet. I have also spent the last year making me the priority and working out because of the risk factors that this helps to control. I am in better shape now than I have been since even before the bodybuilding days. I am an all round fit woman again something I was thinking was never to be but with allot of hard work and getting through depressions. I recommmend going to support groups that too helps us have a place to connnect with others I have found this to be this most healing.
I love this site, but chat is empty I need to connect and communicate with those I have around as support. This board a place to get things off our chests so they don't drive us nuts, cause we are going round and round in our minds with it. Relaxation and calming anxiety, all about learning to cope with all we feel. We are worth it each and everyone of us.
Be good to yourself,
Tara

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