I need input please on what radiation is like,any advice .

ppurdin
ppurdin Member Posts: 1,181
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Hi,the Dr. ended my Chemo early because of my allergic reaction.So I am starting Radiation soon.What is it like when they mark you and what are things you can not do when you are doing radiation?I appriatte your replys.(Pat).

Comments

  • MyTurnNow
    MyTurnNow Member Posts: 2,686 Member
    Hi, Pat. Congratulations on
    Hi, Pat. Congratulations on being done with chemo. I am in the starting phase of radiation, too. I went last week and they did a CT scan and marked my body at the same time. It's my understanding that I will go back one more time to have the mold made that the arms go in and also adjustment for actual beam. I am waiting for the call from my rads onc to come in for this session. I was hoping to start next Monday, in order to be finished by the end of the year, but if they don't call soon that won't happen. Hopefully, someone who has actually been through this process will respond because I'm giving you my best understanding. We'll go through this together with TraciLA and a couple of other ladies. Good luck.
  • ppurdin
    ppurdin Member Posts: 1,181
    MyTurnNow said:

    Hi, Pat. Congratulations on
    Hi, Pat. Congratulations on being done with chemo. I am in the starting phase of radiation, too. I went last week and they did a CT scan and marked my body at the same time. It's my understanding that I will go back one more time to have the mold made that the arms go in and also adjustment for actual beam. I am waiting for the call from my rads onc to come in for this session. I was hoping to start next Monday, in order to be finished by the end of the year, but if they don't call soon that won't happen. Hopefully, someone who has actually been through this process will respond because I'm giving you my best understanding. We'll go through this together with TraciLA and a couple of other ladies. Good luck.

    thanks for your reply myturnNow
    Hi,I am going to call the radiologist Dr. this morning.They called me yesterday.like you I was hoping to be done with it by the first of the year.But by stopping chemo I am moved up about 6weeks.so I am happy about that.that is what is wonderful about this sight their is always someone going through the same things.Thanks again and keep us posted on how your doing.Love and Prayers.(Pat).
  • CypressCynthia
    CypressCynthia Member Posts: 4,014 Member
    my input
    Here is my experience: after chemo, radiation was a piece of cake. It was scary during the treatment because I felt so isolated. I received some pinpoint tatoos for them to mark me but I couldn't really feel that. I had radiation in 1987 and also this past year. In 1987, all I was left with was a sunburn. This year I had some fatigue and queasiness--not nearly as bad as chemo. Everyone is different though. If you have fair or sensitive skin, you may end up with more of a sunburn. Ask the radiology staff what they recommend for preventive skin care--very important as prevention is better than treatment. As far as what you can not do, I would avoid putting any perfumes, powder, etc on the affected area. Also, avoid sun exposure and any activity that would cause excessive sweating. Avoid hot water and tight fitting clothes or bras. Many recommend using an unscented, lanolin-free cream such as aquaphor, lubriderm, keri-lotion or aloe vera (100%) 2-3 X day during treatment. But do not use any cream for at least 4 hrs prior to treatment. If you have any skin problems or other symptoms, call the radiology dept right away. Hope some of this helps.
  • CypressCynthia
    CypressCynthia Member Posts: 4,014 Member

    my input
    Here is my experience: after chemo, radiation was a piece of cake. It was scary during the treatment because I felt so isolated. I received some pinpoint tatoos for them to mark me but I couldn't really feel that. I had radiation in 1987 and also this past year. In 1987, all I was left with was a sunburn. This year I had some fatigue and queasiness--not nearly as bad as chemo. Everyone is different though. If you have fair or sensitive skin, you may end up with more of a sunburn. Ask the radiology staff what they recommend for preventive skin care--very important as prevention is better than treatment. As far as what you can not do, I would avoid putting any perfumes, powder, etc on the affected area. Also, avoid sun exposure and any activity that would cause excessive sweating. Avoid hot water and tight fitting clothes or bras. Many recommend using an unscented, lanolin-free cream such as aquaphor, lubriderm, keri-lotion or aloe vera (100%) 2-3 X day during treatment. But do not use any cream for at least 4 hrs prior to treatment. If you have any skin problems or other symptoms, call the radiology dept right away. Hope some of this helps.

    PS
    Aloe vera can cause an allergic reaction in some folks. You may want to avoid that one with your history?
  • jolenew
    jolenew Member Posts: 38
    hello, I went through the 6
    hello, I went through the 6 weeks of radiation, I had pin mark tatoos so the beams would be accurate, the radiation was not bad, I was tired and it left my skin tough and tanned ( to bad they couldn't tan my legs) but I used alot of aloe and wore loose fitting clothes. Everyone is different however. A women that was there at the same time was very, very burned. I think I was lucky GOOD LUCK TO YOU, jolene
  • Ritzy
    Ritzy Member Posts: 4,381 Member
    jolenew said:

    hello, I went through the 6
    hello, I went through the 6 weeks of radiation, I had pin mark tatoos so the beams would be accurate, the radiation was not bad, I was tired and it left my skin tough and tanned ( to bad they couldn't tan my legs) but I used alot of aloe and wore loose fitting clothes. Everyone is different however. A women that was there at the same time was very, very burned. I think I was lucky GOOD LUCK TO YOU, jolene

    Pat
    Hi Pat. I had the simulation where I got the little tattoos and they lined me up with the zapper machine. ( that is what i called it ) I had the regular rads and the boosters at the end. The treatment or zapping only takes a couple of minutes. You feel nothing while you are being zapped. I entertained myself by either listening to music or by watching the colorful laser lights in the room. They were cool. I loved my rad techs and my rads oncologist. They were and are great! I got pink at the end and a little red at my collarbone. But, no bad burn or anything. My skin is like baby's skin. It is soft and looks better than it ever did. I never tanned either, which they said I wouldn't with the new machine. My nipple area got very tender towards the end, but, you can get thru it. Good luck to you. There is nothing to fear. You will be fine!

    Sue :)

    P.S. Be sure and use your creams right from the start and use a lot of them. And, get lots of rest as they will tire you out, since they kill good and bad cells. Always ask your rads oncologist for what you should use and only use what he prescribes. I used biafine and aquaphor. Lots of aquaphor at night!
  • ainvista
    ainvista Member Posts: 7
    Piece of cake
    Radiation is so much easier to tolerate than chemo. You'll be fine. I finished chemo at the end of August & have 10 more rad treatments to go. My breast is pink like a sunburn & you do have to be careful not to get sunburned even in the area below your neck. My drs both recommended "Miaderm" to put on the breast several times a day. It's better than aloe which is soothing because it actually promotes healing. You can get it online at "www.miaderm.com", It was developed my radiation oncologists. Good luck. Just look forward. You've come a long way already & you're a strong person.....Andrea
  • Marcia527
    Marcia527 Member Posts: 2,729
    You have already gotten a
    You have already gotten a lot of good advice so I'll just add a caution. The radiologist should see you every week and when he asks how you are, don't say fine and run out of there. That's what I did and so no one questioned it when I got over done. Until a new technician told me the doctor should see me. Make sure he looks at the site every week.
  • mimivac
    mimivac Member Posts: 2,143
    Good point, Marcia
    My radiologist examined my skin every Friday during rads. I didn't really burn or feel much fatigue that I can remember. On my doctor's advice, I used pure Calendula lotion 3 times a day. For me, the staging process was annoying because they kept changing their minds about how to radiate me. Finally, they decided to use a novel approach that involved me holding my breath through the length of the beam. Because my cancer was on my lower left-hand side, they wanted to do all they could to minimize radiation on the heart or lungs. I had 7 boosters at the end and they didn't burn me much, either. People do react differently to it. Good luck. It's a process, but once you start it does go by quickly.

    Mimi
  • lanie940
    lanie940 Member Posts: 490
    I'm getting radiation now. I
    I'm getting radiation now. I had my 8th one today. I also feel occasional queeziness. I am just a little pink on one area of my breast. They remark my marks almost every time. It is so quick, they put a warm blanket over my arms, it feels so comforting. they always have music playing. I am very tired though. I take naps whenever I can.
  • MAJW
    MAJW Member Posts: 2,510 Member
    Rads
    Pat, radiation is nothing to fear......you've had chemo......radiation is much easier. Speaking from PERSONAL experience....I finished all 33 of mine last Friday...You probably will have what's called a simulation a few days before you start and a mold made to rest your head and arms in....this took over an hour....This is so that you are in the EXACT position EVERYtime ...The simulation was done with a CT scan, that only took about 30 minutes. I did have the permanent tattos..they are a tiny, tiny little ink mark, done with a needle....I had 4 of them....it's like a tiny sting...I was apprehensive the first treatment..but from then on, there was nothing to it....I did turn pinkish/red but not until the 4th week...I have experienced some tiredness, but not anything I can't deal with. For ME the worst part was getting up early and driving there.....the actual treatment is usually less than 4-5 minutes..my boosters were 40 seconds! USE ONLY WHAT YOUR Radiation oncologist tells you to use.....I was given first, RadiaplexRX and for the boosters they switched me to Biafine...both given to me by my oncologist and both by prescription only....

    Just think, this is the LAST part of your journey.......YEAH! And it did go by faster than I thought it would......
    I wish you the best
    Nancy
  • terpsi
    terpsi Member Posts: 33
    radiation
    Hi Pat,

    I think everyone has covered what's important to know. I'll just add: drink lots of fluids and allow yourself to rest, nap, sleep as you need it. It does knock your energy for a loop. Be kind to yourself.

    The marking and simulation usually happen so fast--for me, I was like, you mean you're done? And then, the radiation treatments every day are even faster than that. That's the good part about it :) My only problem with the tat was they wouldn't give me the flaming sword.

    Hugs,
    donna peach
  • Kylez
    Kylez Member Posts: 3,761 Member
    MAJW said:

    Rads
    Pat, radiation is nothing to fear......you've had chemo......radiation is much easier. Speaking from PERSONAL experience....I finished all 33 of mine last Friday...You probably will have what's called a simulation a few days before you start and a mold made to rest your head and arms in....this took over an hour....This is so that you are in the EXACT position EVERYtime ...The simulation was done with a CT scan, that only took about 30 minutes. I did have the permanent tattos..they are a tiny, tiny little ink mark, done with a needle....I had 4 of them....it's like a tiny sting...I was apprehensive the first treatment..but from then on, there was nothing to it....I did turn pinkish/red but not until the 4th week...I have experienced some tiredness, but not anything I can't deal with. For ME the worst part was getting up early and driving there.....the actual treatment is usually less than 4-5 minutes..my boosters were 40 seconds! USE ONLY WHAT YOUR Radiation oncologist tells you to use.....I was given first, RadiaplexRX and for the boosters they switched me to Biafine...both given to me by my oncologist and both by prescription only....

    Just think, this is the LAST part of your journey.......YEAH! And it did go by faster than I thought it would......
    I wish you the best
    Nancy

    You can do it Pat. Rads are
    You can do it Pat. Rads are different than chemo, but, still a treatment that you have to take care of yourself too. At my simulation, I had already had the CAT scan to help my rads oncologist with my planned treatment. Then, I went to the cancer center and had the simulation, which included the small tattoos. They just felt like a little prick and one can barely see them. Then, I went everyday, except weekends, for my radiation treatment. We drove 1 1/2 hour each way, but, it was worth it to fight bc. So, I have never regretted the drive at all. And, it gave my husband and I a lot more time together. :) And, I liked that! You lay on a metal table in the room by yourself, but, the techs can see and hear you. And, mine even played music for me if I didn't have mine with me. It goes fast. The machine moved around me and it only took a few minutes. They put a blanket on me because the room is always cold. It took longer to undress. I never burnt, got pink, maybe dark pink in a couple of places from the boosters. But, no burning, no peeling, no blisters or anything like that. I used the Biafine and the Aquaphor. That is what my radiation oncologist recommended. And, my skin looks so good! And, it feels like a baby's behind! I never tanned like some said they did. We have all done it and so can you.

    Oh, and, my rads oncologist saw me at least once a week if not twice. His nurse looked at my skin everyday. Make sure someone keeps an eye on you too.

    ♥ Kylez ♥
  • LaurieJA
    LaurieJA Member Posts: 5
    Radiation
    Hi - I completed radiation several months ago, and I was afraid that the tattoo "mark" would hurt - honest, you don't even feel it! A mosquito bite is worse. Your doctor will give you a list of do's & don'ts during your treatment. Everyone's reaction is different, and mostly I just felt a little more tired at the end of the week. Do talk to your doctor about what you can do for skin care, because you may eventually feel like you have a sunburn. Good Luck; I'll be thinking of you!
  • tasha_111
    tasha_111 Member Posts: 2,072
    LaurieJA said:

    Radiation
    Hi - I completed radiation several months ago, and I was afraid that the tattoo "mark" would hurt - honest, you don't even feel it! A mosquito bite is worse. Your doctor will give you a list of do's & don'ts during your treatment. Everyone's reaction is different, and mostly I just felt a little more tired at the end of the week. Do talk to your doctor about what you can do for skin care, because you may eventually feel like you have a sunburn. Good Luck; I'll be thinking of you!

    No Problemo!
    Rads was a breeze after chemo.............I used to get there and come back so fast that my lovely Cancer Society Driver said to me........."Hey, I have not had time to drink my coffee...go have some more treatment!" Anyway they were so nice and well organised and the treatment lasted less than 2 minutes. The burn was bad, but it went away after a couple of weeks after treatment was over........... Try not to be scared, the techs were wonderful and the whole experience was well dealable with. Wishing you well. Hugs Jxxxxxx