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How long after chemo do you have to wait before starting radiation?

sparkle1
Posts: 222
Joined: Jun 2010

How long after chemo do you have to wait before starting radiation?

Sparkle

Rague
Posts: 3388
Joined: Aug 2009

For me - it was one week after the last of my 12 weekly Taxol.
I had had 4 A/C every 2 weeks, then 2 weeks after it mod. rad. mast. then 3 weeks later I started the 12 weekly Taxol and right into 25 rads (no boosters) the next week.

Susan

sparkle1
Posts: 222
Joined: Jun 2010

I should have mentioned that I'm also a newbie to the site. I have stage 2A breast cancer and have had 2 chemo treatments thus far. My third of four treatments is scheduled for next Wednesday. I also have had to take the Neulasta shot for a low white blood count. After the first treatment I was given a neupogen shot in the wrong arm (the side of the cancer). This arm is still sore. Have anybody experienced this?

A week ago, I got a new job (after being unemployed for 8 months) so I'm very concerned after the 5 1/2 weeks of radition I'm scheduled to have. Do anyone have any advice on whether I should have the radition during lunch or after work? Will the radition make me tired? How long does the radition treatment last?

Thanks
Sparkle

MAJW
Posts: 2515
Joined: May 2009

Usually begins anywhere from 2-4 weeks following your last chemo...Everyone's
situation is different, keep in mind...I started rads 3 weeks after my last chemo....They wanted me and my body to have a "rest period" before starting rads...... You will have to go before you start to the radiation oncologist, if you haven't already......they will possibly make a mold, I had one, that holds you in place during treatment, so you don't move......it's painless, just time consuming to have it made...I also had 4 tattoos, these are pindots, they help in lining you up...then they do a "trail run".... My actual treatment lasted less than 5 minutes......I was in and out in nothing flat.....My last 7 treatments were boosters...they took less than 60 seconds....I was able to choose my time......I choose 8:00 am......I wanted to get it over and done with for the day so that the rest of my day was free and clear of "cancer treatment"....I left my house each morning at 7:35 am and was usually home by 8:30. The fatigue from radiation, for me, didn't set in until the 4th week.......I didn't even start turning pink until then.....for me the radiation fatigue was different from the fatigue caused by chemo...that was a feeling of just not feeling good, not bad, but not good.....chemo affects your white blood cells, radiation affects your red blood cells causing a different sort of fatigue....for me I could go a few days then feel like I hit a brick wall and had to lie down..this fatigue was more of a "weary" feeling. I finished last November......I still have some residiual fatigue......not like it was but I still get that brick wall feeling....My radiation oncologist said that for some people it can take as long as a year to feel "normal" again......I am much much stronger now but still get that weary feeling at times.....
Hope this has helped somewhat.....
I wish you well in the rest of your chemo and your radiation treatments.....hang in there....there is light at the end of the tunnel..

Peace be with you

Rague
Posts: 3388
Joined: Aug 2009

I never got tired during rads but then I had been so completely exhausted on Taxol that it would have been impossible to get any tireder and still been able to get there - got better every day/week.

I would say that I was 'on the table' for 5 - 6 minutes - all the time was not radiation but getting lined up right and the machine moving to the different positions took a good bit of the time. 20 min. should cover the time of getting 'undressed', rads, getting 'dressed'. (Where I went, you are given a locker and a cape and robe.) Only you can decide which works better for you - at lunch or after work or maybe before. If you start with one and it doesn't work out right - then change - noting is written in stone. I'm a "stay at home wife" so my time was not an issue for me - other than I don't do good at getting going early and I was doing it during the winter which is 'bad' here so I went at 10:45 to give me time to get going and for the snowplows to get the roads somewhat clear (I have 4X4's but sometimes the roads are closed to all travel).

Take care of your skin - you may burn. I only 'tanned' during rads but at day 23 i started getting a bit pink but not bad - but the day after 25 it was BAD over the whole area and took 6 weeks for the last scabs to come off the deepest area. That is not the norm to happen so don't worry about it - nobody came figure out what happened/why it happened with me but it did. Ask for creams and use them religiously.

That's about all I can think of now.

Susan

heidijez's picture
heidijez
Posts: 441
Joined: Mar 2010

i will hopefully be having surgery after chemo, and then radiation after that

chenheart's picture
chenheart
Posts: 5182
Joined: Apr 2003

I had surgery, then about a 6 week healing time, followed by chemo. My chemo started in May, ended in October~ I then had radiation about 4 weeks after that~ I finished everything by the 2nd week of December. I could tell you exact dates, but those are because they are indelibly etched in my mind, not that you need them! LOL

Hugs,
Chen♥

mariam_11_09's picture
mariam_11_09
Posts: 693
Joined: Nov 2009

I had an appointment with the radiation oncologist yesterday. I have 6 weeks left of Taxol. He gave me an appointment for the week following my last chemo to set up for radiation and said he would like me to start two weeks after that, total of 3 weeks after my last chemo.

I asked for more time in between (at least a month) and he said from a physiological point of view that would not be a good idea. He likes to do radiation as soon as possible after chemo but also to give me time to recover from the last chemo. I think I need months or years to recover from chemo but I get what he means.

I think each doctor and each situation is a little different but you get the idea and the range of time.

Best wishes to you.

Rague
Posts: 3388
Joined: Aug 2009

I saw Dr. P (rads dr) before my last weekly Taxol (I had seen him twice before) and he wanted a new full body CT to be sure what he was working with which they got approval, the appointment made for as soon as I could get up the 2 floors and had changed my chemo til after the CT was finished before I hardly knew what was happening. That was on Thursday, I went in for another scan of just the breast area and mapping at his office on the next Tuesday, WednesdayI went in for tattoos and sim and started rads on Thursday for 25 days.

I'm IBC so as it is very aggressive (mine had definately been aggressive) speed was imparative. I'm very glad that I went from one 'thing' to the next with very little time in-between. To me - I was fighting a battle and you don't take vacations in a battle. That's for after/later. That's just how I feel - it's right for me but definately not for everyone!

Susan

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