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radiation question

heart-in-hand
Posts: 92
Joined: Sep 2012

I am thinking of not moving forward with the radiation treatments because of the cost. I am already reeling from the medical bills for chemo and haven't got the bill yet for the surgery. My question is this: Is it a possibility to skip radiation? I had chemo then a lumpectomy. As soon as I heal they want me to start radiation therapy, but now I am wondering if it really does anything because of so many people's recurrences? Any thoughts?

I am experiencing depression again so I am not sure if that is contributing to this defeatist attitude.

Kay

teresa41's picture
teresa41
Posts: 453
Joined: Jun 2009

I had a lumpectomy in 2009 and radiation i was told radiation is a must have when you have a lumpectomy.i dont think you can skip it.

Teresa

disneyfan2008
Posts: 5435
Joined: Oct 2010

so sorry you dont' have coverage...I was very fortunate my plan covered 100% surgery and radiation.

I wish you the best...

Denise

Ctine70's picture
Ctine70
Posts: 150
Joined: Sep 2012

Hi Kay,
I had a lumpectomy in July and currently in Chemo. My doctor told me that radiation is a must with a lumpectomy even if you had chemo.
Wish you the best
Hugs Christine

MAJW
Posts: 2515
Joined: May 2009

Go with the radiation....give yourself every chance of NOT having a recurrence......Don't worry about the cost...you can't put a price on your life...also contact the financial people where you're having treatment...make an appointment and lay it on the line about your finances...you'd be surprised what they can do for you...some may even write off what you can't pay or what insurance pays, if you have even minimal coverage...or none at all...they may just take that...my Mother always said "They can't draw blood out of a turnip!"....

Please have the radiation if your doc feels you need it....he knows best.....keep us posted...you know we care

Hugs, Nancy

AngieD's picture
AngieD
Posts: 504
Joined: Sep 2011

Kay, I was also told the same thing. Even though I had chemo before the lumpectomy with clean margins and clear lymph nodes, I could not afford to skip radiation. So, it did not even feel like a choice. Please talk to the social workers at your cancer center. They will have lots of resources and helpful ideas.
Angie

DianeBC's picture
DianeBC
Posts: 3888
Joined: Jun 2009

Kay, please have the rads. Call and talk to the social worker at your cancer center, talk to your oncologist, talk to anyone that can help you. I know some cancer centers will allow you to pay just what you can, others have money set aside to help pay for someone in need. Just don't not have rads...please.

CypressCynthia's picture
CypressCynthia
Posts: 4011
Joined: Oct 2009

Kay, please do the radiation. My younger sister opted out of radiation and had a local recurrence within 5 years. I am not saying that you will but the research is pretty clear that, if this is recommended for you, it is very important.

Go to the hospital where you will be treated and ask to speak with your case manager. S/he may be able to help accommodate a payment plan or find other resources.

And please don't let the depression get out of hand because it can affect your recovery.

Big hugs and prayers.

sdukowitz
Posts: 250
Joined: Nov 2011

I would go with radiation too for the same reasons mentioned in the above posts...someone should be able to help you from the center you go for treatment... with a payment plan and American Cancer Society "patient navigator" ... don't be afraid to ask for support and help with financing it will lesson you worrying about that aspect good luck and prayers! Sue D

Mittensandmedwick
Posts: 85
Joined: Jul 2012

I can not tell you what to do. I just finished 33 rads treatment. I had negative lymphnodes and clear margins. I was told by the surgeon, rads Dr, and another person that they got all mine out with the surgery, but had to do the 33 rads. As other people said there is financial help available. Best of luck to you. You are among many supporters

Patricia

Mittensandmedwick
Posts: 85
Joined: Jul 2012

I can not tell you what to do. I just finished 33 rads treatment. I had negative lymphnodes and clear margins. I was told by the surgeon, rads Dr, and another person that they got all mine out with the surgery, but had to do the 33 rads. As other people said there is financial help available. Best of luck to you. You are among many supporters

Patricia

Mittensandmedwick
Posts: 85
Joined: Jul 2012

I can not tell you what to do. I just finished 33 rads treatment. I had negative lymphnodes and clear margins. I was told by the surgeon, rads Dr, and another person that they got all mine out with the surgery, but had to do the 33 rads. As other people said there is financial help available. Best of luck to you. You are among many supporters

Patricia

Mittensandmedwick
Posts: 85
Joined: Jul 2012

I can not tell you what to do. I just finished 33 rads treatment. I had negative lymphnodes and clear margins. I was told by the surgeon, rads Dr, and another person that they got all mine out with the surgery, but had to do the 33 rads. As other people said there is financial help available. Best of luck to you. You are among many supporters

Patricia

Mittensandmedwick
Posts: 85
Joined: Jul 2012

Sorry for the posts going on so many times. My computer was acting up

Xo
Patricia

lynn1950's picture
lynn1950
Posts: 2573
Joined: Jun 2008

Depression seems to contribute to how we deal with all aspects of life. If you are feeling depressed, please don't wait to get help. Depression is a common and awful side effect of cancer and cancer treatment.

I think radiation is especially important for women with lumpectomies to make sure that every one of those stinking little cancer cells is zapped! The cost is scary. Speak with your patient navigator or hospital social services rep to get help. There is always a way to get the treatment that you need.

Reduce your chances of recurrence...get radiation! xoxoxo Lynn

heart-in-hand
Posts: 92
Joined: Sep 2012

I also talked with the BS about it and he said that I have a higher percentage of recurrence if I don't. But, why then are there so many recurrences anyway? I had to leave the other oncologist and hospital because of an insurance change and cancelled all the appointments. I will see the breast surgeon at that center one more time and oh boy is it going to cost me.

I have an appt. with a new radiation oncologist in a different center next week now. Its ok. I hope that this RO can direct me to a MO that he works with. In other words I don't have anyone to call for help...but the onc I did have was not available anyway so I look at it like that. I will have someone soon. I come here for help and advice. And I thank all of my pink sisters for helping me, especially during times of depression!

Love you all,
Kay
Ps: I have a bottle of anti-depressants but it made me ill, so I can't take them. It is just a mild depression, and caused as much by the company I work for as the state of my health!

Megan M's picture
Megan M
Posts: 3001
Joined: Dec 2009

I am so happy to read that you are going to have rads! Have you talked to anyone about some financial help? Please do! Your oncologist or rads oncologist should be able to put you in touch with someone there.

Good luck,

Megan

sdukowitz
Posts: 250
Joined: Nov 2011

Can you find a less stressful job! ANY JOB CAUSING YOU STRESS AND DEPRESSION IS NOT WORTH IT unless they have great medical benefits , which sounds like yours dont ...but I dont know the situation...... good luck and glad you decided on the rads... they arent that bad at all for lots of us chin up! Sue D

sdukowitz
Posts: 250
Joined: Nov 2011

Can you find a less stressful job! ANY JOB CAUSING YOU STRESS AND DEPRESSION IS NOT WORTH IT unless they have great medical benefits , which sounds like yours dont ...but I dont know the situation...... good luck and glad you decided on the rads... they arent that bad at all for lots of us chin up! Sue D

heart-in-hand
Posts: 92
Joined: Sep 2012

I am looking for another job because of the stress that they are putting me through there, but as we all know it is not easy. I need health insurance and there are few that offer it in the type work I am in. Also my pay has built over the years. I feel so trapped and unhappy. But aren't we all slaves to our work? I HATE it when people say find a job that you love and stick with it...because sooner or later you won't love it because of stupid nasty coworkers or arrogant owners. I love the work I do, just not the way I am treated. How do you separate the two? I just don't know. So, I face the day, lift my chin, try to encourage myself to do the best job I can..all the while keeping my options open and my heart lifted to God asking for release.

Oh the human condition! So fragile at best.

Kay

jnl's picture
jnl
Posts: 3873
Joined: May 2009

You need a hug Kay! ((( KAY )))

Love, Leeza

heart-in-hand
Posts: 92
Joined: Sep 2012

I want to just take your hug and hold on.

:-P
Kay

kacee999
Posts: 109
Joined: Oct 2012

I was initially told that I might be able to have radiation and skip chemo, but radiation was ALWAYS forefront on the list of must haves. Turned out my oncotype dx gene assay number was 38 (off the charts for potential recurrence) so radiation was strongly advised. Ask your doctor. Ask about financial help and what avenues you can take. This is your LIFE.

Megan M's picture
Megan M
Posts: 3001
Joined: Dec 2009

You could even contact the ACS and see if they can help or put you in touch with someone. Kacee is right, this is your life and if your doctor's feel you need rads, I know there is a way to help you financially.

Hugs, Megan

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