Radiation after reconstruction

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deerello
deerello Member Posts: 22
I would really like to hear about anyone's experience with radiation after reconstruction and chemo. I've been told of very serious side effects that would reqire additional surgeries to correct. The radiologist gives me odds of there being problems in 1 out of three cases;that doesn't sound too good since I seem to get the worst of every case scenario. Thanks.

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  • TraciInLA
    TraciInLA Member Posts: 1,994 Member
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    Bumping up
    Doing my best to bump up all of yesterday's posts, past those of last night's spammers, so they don't get lost.

    Hope some of you who've had radiation after reconstruction might have some input and words of encouragement for deerello?

    Traci
  • VickiSam
    VickiSam Member Posts: 9,079 Member
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    TraciInLA said:

    Bumping up
    Doing my best to bump up all of yesterday's posts, past those of last night's spammers, so they don't get lost.

    Hope some of you who've had radiation after reconstruction might have some input and words of encouragement for deerello?

    Traci

    Like Traci .. I am bumping this post
    up. Hoping a Sister in PINK .. can offer some advise, or support of Deerello.

    Vicki Sam
  • laughs_a_lot
    laughs_a_lot Member Posts: 1,368 Member
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    VickiSam said:

    Like Traci .. I am bumping this post
    up. Hoping a Sister in PINK .. can offer some advise, or support of Deerello.

    Vicki Sam

    bumping this up again
    As you have not gotten too many replies.
  • Different Ballgame
    Different Ballgame Member Posts: 868
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    I had radiation after breast reconstruction.
    First, everyone has different skin which reacts differently to radiation. Also, there are many different radiation machines. I was told by my surgeon that it is not the machine but the skill of the radiation oncologist that is important.

    My breast reconstruction was completed in July 2008. In October 2009, I had a recurrence...invasive carcinoma...tiny, tiny growth on scar. Extremely rare because first cancer was 0 Stage DCIS. The recurrence required 27 radiation treatments and 5 booster treatments. Had slight skin peeling underneath the breast by 27th treatment. (Did not have chemo.)

    When you have a mastectomy,and then radiation... as times passes your breast becomes firmer/harder inside. I refer to it as "still cooking". Breast felt great, soft and supple, for 9 months after radiation. Breast still feels good but it is not as soft inside as it was prior to radiation. So, it slowly became harder/firmer up to 2 years after radiation ended. I have no discomfort. I am told that my breast skin looks great by all my doctors...radiation, hematologist, surgeon, and plastic surgeon. The firmness/hardness is scar tissue inside breast.

    This side effect to radiation does not happen when you have a lumpectomy. That radiated breast stays as it always was...soft and supple.

    I asked my plastic surgeon if it makes a difference when you have the radiation...prior to breast reconstruction or after breast reconstruction. He replied, "No." Radiation somewhat ruins the handiwork of the plastic surgeon. Prior to radiation, my reconstructed breast was as soft and supple as a real breast when you touched it. Now it is much firmer to the touch. The radiated breast does not affect how you look when wearing clothes.

    Be aware that some people burn badly while getting radiation and radiation needs to be stopped for a few days. I tell you this so that you know all that can or cannot happen to a person. While receiving radiation it is important to apply to the breast the cream that you are given by your radiologist.

    Some people get tired because of radiation. I did not get tired and I attribute it to exercising...I walked 5 to 6 days, one hour per day.

    Good luck.

    Lots of Love and Lots of Hugs.
    Janelle
  • pamcb3
    pamcb3 Member Posts: 44
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    Radiation after reconstruction
    Hi,
    I had to have radiation added on to my plan. After a nine hour surgery, my cancer went from stage two to three and added 28 radiation treatments on to my 16 chemo treatments. I had the tram flap done. Luckily the radiation oncologist that is here is fabulous. I don't have any scarring. I have always had a hard area of the reconstruction which I assume is part of my stomach muscle. I was told prior to to surgery it would soften over time. I haven't completed the reconstruction yet. I had other troubles from taxotere that I am still dealing with....that's another story. I was finished with chemo and radiation dec.27, 2011. When I heard I had to have radiation added on, I thought, oh well it's in gods hands and out of my control.... I look fine in clothes but the area is still sensitive. As for the 28 radiation treatments, I slathered Eucerin cream on immediatly after treatments ant only had a little blistering near the end. I was surprised because I have sensitive skin. After the initial surgery I had developed a blister on the reconstruction and had to go in a hyperbaric chamber several times (yuck) ultimately I had to have a skin graft and heal before I could start chemo....so I guess you need to have faith in your doctors and let it happen.... Good luck to you. I am giving my self a break before I complete my reconstruction, I am sick of procedures and doctor appointments. I am working on re building myself mentally and physically and start to work a little. I am a hairdresser so I am having a bit of trouble with lymphadema....I hate wearing the compression sleeve but it is very necessary. At least I got a pretty one through lymphadiva!