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Radiotherapy time?

Posts: 32
Joined: Feb 2013

What is, on average, the duration of each Radiotherapy session, please?  I am referring to just the time under the machine.

After ten long weeks, my sister commenced yesterday, it was a huge day for her, the worst part being the insertlon of the chemo line (?pic line), that did not go smoothly but is in and running.  I have to wonder if being very thin makes getting a line in more difficult, maybe veins and arteries and not as good?

When can you expect to feel the side effects of the radiotherapy, the burns in particular?

Thank you all for your kind assistance.

mp327's picture
Posts: 4126
Joined: Jan 2010

I'm glad your sister's treatment is now under way, but sorry to hear the picc line insertion didn't go so smoothly.  It could have been made more difficult by the condition of her veins or her size, but I really don't know for sure. 

As for time in the machine, I'm not sure, but I would guess mine was about 20 minutes, once they got me correctly positioned.  My first side effect that I could attribute to the radiation was itching and it seemed to begin towards the end of week 2.  Burning began about a few days later.  I experienced pretty severe burning, which I hope your sister can avoid.  I wish her all the very best and hope you'll keep us posted on how things go for her.

Posts: 32
Joined: Feb 2013

Hi mp327,

Thank you for you kind wishes, it is a great relief to me, selfishly, that treatment is under way, the wait has been stressful.  The sooner it starts, the sooner it finishes!

During insertion of the line a nerve in the arm was hit twice, she still has tingling in her finger.  It must have been a pretty scary experience, just the thought of it makes me shudder, let alone being the one feeling it.

The radiotherapy took about 20 mins, as you said.  Apparently the chills set in as it was cold and the shakes started, trying to keep them under control was the hard bit but fortunately she was so scared of moving that that did not happen.

I am hoping to talk her into chatting with you guys but I don't think she has ever been on a blog, it would be so good hor her.

Hope you are well.

Posts: 1122
Joined: Aug 2012

I hope all goes well for your sister. I had trouble with the port insertion, and ended up with a picc line, which was fine. I had burns, but not until the end of treatment and they were relatively minor, compared to the descriptions I hear on this site. I learned early on not to use lotions on the skin to be radiated. Any residual lotions make burning worse. Many who burned badly here used lotions liberally. I recommend that your sister use a handheld shower and Dove for Sensiive Skin Body wash. Also, a sitz bath is helpful to soothe. Wishing the best for your sister and do encourage her to use this site for info and support!

Posts: 379
Joined: Jan 2013

I'm glad your sister's treatment has started.  I hope you will stay here and that she will join us.  I didn't start actively reading and posting until after my treatment was over I think mainly because I was so freaked out I was just trying to get through each day without thinking too much about what I was going through.  I think I would have been better off if I had joined in earlier.  Now I know how much information and comfort you can get here so I encourage your sister to come.

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