Radiation & 2nd go at cancer

squarepants1983
squarepants1983 Member Posts: 1
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
My name is Jenn. I am 26 years old and just recently finished my chemotherapy for breast cancer the second time. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2005 when I was 22. I was diagnosed a second time May of 2009. I am going to be going to do radiation starting next week and I am kinda nervous. There are so many side effects that are scary. I had a double mastectomy in 05 and it said that it could cause a lot of pain and discomfort with implants and that I might have to have them removed. Also I am terrified of getting Lymphodema. Has anyone been through the same thing? I have had so many things go wrong already. I had 8 surgeries in 2005 due to complications and I know that when going through this it's not easy.
I am an active member in the ACS Cancer Action Network. I want to get the story out for young woment to get themselves checked and take care of whatever you need to regardless of your fear. But does anyone have any tips for me how to prevent some of the side effects?

Comments

  • DianeBC
    DianeBC Member Posts: 3,881 Member
    Jenn
    Hi squarepants and welcome. There is a thread on here that is for Radiation Questions and Answers. Perhaps, you might post what you wrote there and you will get a bigger response.

    I had radiation after a lumpectomy. I really wasn't scared, just nervous because I had never had it and the unknown is bewildering. lol My rads oncologist and team met with me first to go over my treatment plan and how they would zap me, showed me the room, the machine, the computers, everything, so that I was familiar with what was going on. They gave me creams and I used them from day one and still do, as I haven't been done that long. The only side effect really is you may get a lil pink. I think it is rare that someone really burns bad anymore. The machines are so precise and so different. And, you can't wear a bra. YEA! lol It is tiring, for one, you are going everyday for probably at least 5 to 7 weeks, except weekends. And, it does zap your good blood cells somewhat, so, you need to get lots of sleep. Hope that helps you. Anything you want to know, just ask. Don't be afraid of rads.

    Hugs, Diane ♥
  • Tux
    Tux Member Posts: 544
    Welcome, squarepants. I am
    Welcome, squarepants. I am a little more than halfway done with rads & have had few ill effects. The radiologists are so kind & helpful--I am actually going to miss them when it is over. My skin is a little pink & sore, but that's all. They did tell me to switch to mild soap for showering & laundry, but I already use the mildest possible due to allergies.
    They told me to switch to cotton bras and that has helped me be more comfortable. Also, they have given me special cream to use.

    I have been warned of tiredness, but so far none has occurred. I am leaving my job a little early each day to get there on time (Mon-Fri).

    I know that if my skin gets irritated that the radiologists will catch it & help me do something to get over it.

    If you have not had your "simulation" appmt. yet, I should warn you that it will take a while--nearly 3 hours for me. I did get a little chilly from not being able to move around.

    Good luck-keep us posted on your progress!
  • mlmjt1
    mlmjt1 Member Posts: 537
    Hi Jenn
    Just wanted to welcome you to the boards. I always feel so bad when I hear of so many young women dealing with breast cancer. There is no way I could have dealt with this diagnosis at age 22. I am 52 and struggle. You sound like you are one strong women.

    I didnt have radiation. I am going thru chemo right now so I cant help you with that. I can tell you that lymphedema can be managed. You can speak to your md about getting an occupational therapy referral to teach you lymphedema massage but I am not sure that they would want you to do massage on skin that is having radiation. I do know you can get compression garments to manage it, but again compression may not be what you want on fragile skin. Speak with your doc about it.

    You will find alot of support here for you. There are lots of women who have done or are currently going thru radiation who can advise you. Please keep checking cuz I know they will greet you.

    Hugs
    Linda T
  • Eil4186
    Eil4186 Member Posts: 949
    Welcome. So sorry that you
    Welcome. So sorry that you must go through this again. Don't worry about rads. It's not too bad. Compared to chemo, its a walk in the park. Good luck and keep us posted.
  • dbs1673
    dbs1673 Member Posts: 203
    Fighter
    First welcome and So noted what a fighter you are! I did not have chemo but I did have a double mast with expanders and radiation. Not having chemo to compare it to, I have read what the sister here have to say and I believe the radiation is "easier". I had fatigue, but I believe I was "sick and tired" of the whole ordeal. The redness was doable, the itching I found remedies for, and the people I will always adore and keep in my prayers. I worked full time throughout my radiation, exercised and went to yoga faithfully. I had my low points but saw how I was doing something to fight this beast away and that gave me strength. My expanders help up well ( I didn't think I was going to need radiation at the time of my mast but you know those darn final pathology reports get the veto). I am blessed to say I have not had any lymphodema. My complictions came with the exchange from expanders to implants. Just had those done for the second time and hoping for beter results. I can only imagine walking in your shoes but I'll be glad to walk beside you and answer any questions I can. Stay strong, look forward and breathe!

    dawn
  • lolad
    lolad Member Posts: 670
    Wow
    Im sorry you have to endure all this at such a young age. Im 36 and thats young enough and here its your second time around and still so young. Thank goodness you have kept up on your checkups and kept going to your drs. You sound like you would be a good spokes person for a young group of woman, because proof in yourself is that it could happen at any age. Do you happen to carry the brac gene? Im going for my genetic test next month to find out. I have an 11 year old daughter i worry about. My grandmother passed away from breast cancer, so i hope i dont carry the gene. Keep your head up and continue your fight in educating young woman, like you said no matter what the fear may be. It will save many lives and let me know if there is something i can do to help you in any way. Ill join in with you. Take care and keep me posted.

    laura
  • Kylez
    Kylez Member Posts: 3,761 Member
    lolad said:

    Wow
    Im sorry you have to endure all this at such a young age. Im 36 and thats young enough and here its your second time around and still so young. Thank goodness you have kept up on your checkups and kept going to your drs. You sound like you would be a good spokes person for a young group of woman, because proof in yourself is that it could happen at any age. Do you happen to carry the brac gene? Im going for my genetic test next month to find out. I have an 11 year old daughter i worry about. My grandmother passed away from breast cancer, so i hope i dont carry the gene. Keep your head up and continue your fight in educating young woman, like you said no matter what the fear may be. It will save many lives and let me know if there is something i can do to help you in any way. Ill join in with you. Take care and keep me posted.

    laura

    I am so sorry that you are
    I am so sorry that you are going thru this again. You can do rads. The worst part is you may get a little burnt, but, not bad. They have all kinds of prescription creams for that and they will help you. It wouldn't even be like a sunburn, not that bad. They will take care of you. And, the zapping goes very fast, probably about 3 minutes each time. Just get lots of sleep. Most people work while getting radiation. Keep us posted on you!

    Kylez ♥
  • Akiss4me
    Akiss4me Member Posts: 2,188
    Hi Jen
    Adding my welcome as well. I am towards the end of my Radiation treatments. I have been posting each day for all to read and go through my experience with me. Most important, everyone reacts differently. I am extremely fatiqued (more than I expected) but my skin held up well. I found that I could not use any of the lotions, but 100% Pure Aloe has worked well for me. Cancer definitely has no age discrimination. Most side effects can not be prevented, but treated. Hang in there and we will be here to walk through with you. Pammy