Nickeming Member Posts: 11
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Hi, I am really down tonight. I have 9 radiation session left. the last 5 are suppose to be phase 2. Where they zero in on the surgery site and give heavy doses from what I understand. My concern is that the incision is so sore and almost looking like it could open anytime. I am scared what the phase 2 will do. My breast is very red, sore. swollen. 'they say that's norman'. Funny when you first start this they act like very seldom does side effect start to bother people. today the nurse while looking at my red breast say "yap about 80% get this and it can get worse". you know how that made me feel. I really want to run. I'm not sleeping at night very well and feel scared they will ruin a good breast because they must stick to protocol.
Just need to vent tonight.
Thanks so much for all your words to help me and so many others get through this mess in our life.
God bless you all and good night. Marliece


  • marysun
    marysun Member Posts: 39 Member
    Hey sweetie, I feel for you. People I talked to before I started the radiation said "it's a breeze" but I found it to be every bit as hard as the surgeries and the chemo. My breast skin also broke down by about the 20th session (I had 35 total, the last 10 the boost right at the tumor site). Gravity was my worst enemy as I couldn't bear wearing a bra and each time I would turn in bed, the wound would open. Not my surgery scar, but the weeping skin that was burned from the radiation. check with your doctor about the surgery scar, but I think that would be okay or they wouldn't continue with the radiation.
    Listen, you only have 5 to go. As soon as they stop with the radiation, your skin will begin to heal. Use the aquaphor, or aloe or whatever makes you feel better. You will heal, you will get through this. I am two years out of treatment. I feel pretty good. You will, too. Blessings.
  • mssue
    mssue Member Posts: 242
    Hi Marliece,

    I chose to have a modified radical mastectomy instead of a lumpectomy so I wouldn't have to have radiation.But I still had to have chemo,I know exactly how You feel when it comes to them (docs & nurses)giving You the Info up front.I remember asking about what I had read somewhere that certain types of chemo could actually cause another cancer later down the road-No One seemed to be able to give me any answers-NO ONE-that was until during my second treatment,when my Doctor came in and pulled up a chair only to inform me that the type of treatment I was being given could cause another cancer down the road.Talk about wanting to jump up and run,I was still hooked up.I'm not downing Doctors Or Nurses I thank God that we live in a time that we have people who go above and beyond to provide health care for all of us.I just wish they would elaborate a little further ,and up front,so that we know what to expect and can prepare for it .For me if I know everything up front scary or not -then I can make a reasonable decision,because I'm the one that will ultimately have to live with that decision.
    This has to be so hard for You to go through,but You're almost finished.Marysun is right You know-You will get through this,heal and feel better.Are they giving You something to help You sleep?If they aren't You may need to speak to the doctor,it is very important especially now that You get plenty of rest.When we are well rested and have a nutritionally balanced diet the healing process is also sped up.
    Take special care of Yourself and keep us posted.God Bless You!
  • epgnyc
    epgnyc Member Posts: 137
    Hi, Marliece. I was like you - radiation was definitely no picnic for me. Everyone (doctors, nurses and support group women) had said it would be a snap and it was anything but. I too ended up about 8 days before finishing with an open, bleeding wound, which was where my skin had broken down. What a mess. I had completed 6 months of chemo and missed only 2 work days (because of a high fever), but with the "oh it's nothing" radiation I ended up missing 4 days of work because I couldn't bear any clothing to touch the open wound. Like you, I was ready to throw in the towel and forego the final few radiation treatments, and my doctor and I discussed it at length. Like the other women here, I really encourage you to finish out your treatments. After much anguish, I finally did and I'm so happy I made that decision. I'm over 2 years out now and my breast is fine and you can't even see a scar where the skin had broken down. You have every right to feel down, you've been through alot. But you're strong and you've gotten through everything else and I know you can do these last few days! Good luck to you...you're almost there.
  • Debbie1064
    Debbie1064 Member Posts: 4
    Marliece, I finished my first 28 radiation treatments today and will have my first of 8 boosts tomorrow. The technician explained to me that it is called a boost, but it is actually a lower amount of radiation than they were giving before. It is just to the lumpectomy site.

    I haven't had any problems except for red and itchy skin. I'm so sorry this is so difficult for you, but you are almost done and your remaining treatments I believe are a lower dose of radiation than the prior ones.

  • inkblot
    inkblot Member Posts: 698 Member
    Hi Marliece:

    Just hang in there! You're on the last leg of the rads and sooo close to being done.

    My rad experience was not too bad. I didn't get any swelling, etc. but many of us do. We all respond differently and there's no way to know, in advance, just what our experience will be. Some of us burn more than others. Some have swelling while some don't. And I know what you mean about not being told all that "could" happen, prior to having the treatment. That seems very common though and likely, part of the reasoning is because no two of us have the same experience. And I know it's disheartening to find out later on that you're having one of the reactions that was never mentioned to you.

    My advice: Chin up, and see it through. If your skin does open, your radiation oncologist will address it. I'd suggest that you voice your concerns to him/her and get some feedback now, which may help ease your mind some, or at least give you some insight into how the doc may address the problem, if it does happen. That will give you some idea of what to expect instead of guessing and worrying.

    In the meantime, take good care of you. Keep your skin as healthy as possible, using what you've found to be most soothing and that works best for you. Not good, staying up nights worrying about what hasn't happened yet. And remember, "worrying about having a good breast ruined" is putting the cart ahead of the horse. YOU always have the final say. (I'd be very surprised if your rad. onc. took any action, if your skin did open, which would be negligent/harmful) As much as we're all good sounding boards and barometers for one another, it comes down to your doctor(s), your level of trust in them and your own final decisions.

    You can go online and find a lot of good info about breast radiation, complications etc., which may be helpful to you. Many such sites also have case histories and examples, common treatments for complications, etc..

    Hoping to soon hear that you're breathing a big sigh of relief, with rads done!!! You'll be amazed at how quickly your skin will begin to heal.

    Love, light and laughter,
  • Watercolor
    Watercolor Member Posts: 45
    Marliece, Possibly your problems with surgery site (lumpectomy?) are due to fluid retention in the area? I had lumpectomy for DCIS in December '02. During the surgery, doctor put in a drain which he pulled out a week later. (I don't know the reasons why some surgeons put one in and some don't.) I have had no pain or problems related to the surgery. I had 33 radiation treatments -- the last five of which were the "boost". No problems with that. Skin just got a little pink and dry. All in all, not a bad physical experience. (Cancer diagnosis still did a number in my head though.) Wishing you the best. Mary D.