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Chemo completed - now on to external radiation

cindy0519
Posts: 173
Joined: Nov 2015

Hi ladies!  I had my last chemo treatment 3 weeks ago and have been taking attempting to take a bit of a break from all things cancer related as I recovered from the chemo cycle.  I had to have this transfusion in the hospital so a desentization process could be done for both Taxol and Caroplatin as I had allergic reactions (rash) to Taxol during cycle 4 and Carboplatin during cycle 5.  The entire infusion took 15 hours!  And I did have another reaction to the Carbo (rash) at the very end of the last part of the infusion.

I am set to begin external radiation when we return from a trip to Disney in mid April.  We are going to take a week and celebrate no more chemo and our 17th wedding Anniversary.  I am also attempting to do both a 5K and 10K while we are there.  I had initally sign up to do a Challenge (10K and Half) but don't think I have the stamina to complete the half  and still be up to starting radiation when we return so I will only be doing the 5K and 10K.  I rented a scooter so I can use that during the week to help maintain stamina and strength - we usually walk 13 miles a day while there according to my FitBit and don't want to totally deplete my slowly rebuilding strength before starting radation by walking all week - so a scooter it is :) .

I am schedule to start radiation the day after we return from Florida, April 21.  Any pointers or things I should do to prepare?

 I am taking a probotic (Klien Labs with 25+ billion CFUs per capsule) that my nutritionist recommended after doing some extentsive blood, urine, and stool testing.  My body was totally depleted of good flora and a lot of vitamins and was not processing protein at all.   I also had one bad baterica that we are treating with a natural source rather than more antibotics which will only continue to destroy good flora.  So I also take daily digestive enzymes, lipoic acid, berberine (for the bad bacteria), magnesium, B2, B6, B12, C, and Omega 3's.  Wow! That feels like a lot when typing it as well as taking it but it has made a marked improvement on how I feel.  

I'm at a total loss as to what I might need during radation.  I have read a lot of things about aquafor but also a lot that says don't use anything.  My radiolgist made no mention of anything, and I of course forgot to ask.  Any suggestions and advice would be most appreciated!!

 

ncg007
Posts: 134
Joined: Nov 2015

Cindy...congratulations on completing chemo and being able to take a break! sounds like you've been through a lot.  I had 28 external rounds of radiation and really had no issues or burning from the treatments except for diarrhea.  Taking the probotics will minimize that, but keep some Imodium on hand.  Keep hydrated and if needed, the BRAT diet helped me.  Hope your treatments go well and enjoy FL!

cindy0519
Posts: 173
Joined: Nov 2015

Thanks so much Ncg007!  I have some Imodium and the oncologist did say diarrhea is likely though I'm hoping the probotics and other supplements will keep it to a minimum.  Did you have any skin burning?  I have very sensitive skin and sun burn very easily.  My oncolgist didn't think this was a big deal but I wonder....

Kvdyson's picture
Kvdyson
Posts: 789
Joined: Jan 2016

Hi Cindy, I finished 28 external beam radiation treatment on 3/11/16 (photon, 3D-CRT). My biggest recommendation is to go to every treatment with a full bladder. Not full to the point where you feel an urgency to pee, just enough that you feel full. My rad-onc told me that a full bladder sits upright in the treated region and helps to ensure that the beam only hits the intended targets.

The probiotics that I learned about from this forum were extremely helpful in ensuring minimal diarrhea symptoms. The Imodium AD was helpful in the few times that I did have a bout. There were also a few times that I felt nauseous when I let myself get too hungry during the day. Angel mints took care of those few occasions. I experienced no burning on my skin at all - just a little bumpiness almost like my skin was starting to become thicker from the treatments. That bumpy feeling has gone away now that the treatments are over.

I hope your experience is as uneventful as mine was. Good luck to you and please keep us updated. 

cindy0519
Posts: 173
Joined: Nov 2015

Thanks Kvdyson! My oncologist did say to have a full bladder for both my planning session last week and for each treatment.  I too am having 28 sessions.

Hoping all of mine are uneventful as well! 

ncg007
Posts: 134
Joined: Nov 2015

Cindy...I had no skin burning or irritation, but I don't have sensitive skin.  And also as Kvdyson noted, I always drank a minimum 4-8oz glasses of water prior to as directed by radiologist to keep bladder lifted and out of the way.  

Soup52's picture
Soup52
Posts: 903
Joined: Jan 2016

I had no problem with burning either. I think I altered my diet too much practically eliminating all fiber. The result was constipation. I then started probiotics and used stool softener so too. I guess I had the opposite problem of most.

Gardena
Posts: 102
Joined: Jan 2016

Congratulations on completing frontline chemo. I finished my up in February and took 4 weeks off treatment... it was bliss.  Then I started emrt external radiation - today was the end week 2. It's going quickly and for that I am grateful. 

A couple of things I've learned so far...

Drink the same amount of liquid each time before treatment.  I drink 32oz of water and no food in my stomach prior to each treatment.  Water needs to be finished a half hour before treatment or will be in stomach not bladder during treatment. 

My radiologist therapists offer warm blankets prior to treatment. I was still cold and therapists put one over my arms that are placed above my head - awesome and I stay toasty. 

Each day a scan is done to make sure everything aligns up inside. I also get 2 xrays a week to ensure alignment.  I was worried about the "extra" radiation at first,  but was told the scans & xray are calculated into the overall grey (grey=measurement for radiation) for the entirety of treatment.  Might want to double check w your radiologist this is true for you.

Besides tiny tattoos on my abdomen,  the radiation therapists draw on my skin each day as they align my body. 

I was told to not take extra C, A, E vitamins. Was told if there is c, a or e in multi that was fine, but no extra.

Was told to not use any lotion and no parfumed soaps. 

Lastly, I meet w my radiologist oncologist once a week to go over whatever needs going over.  I feel very well taken care of.  

Have a wonderful trip and much success on the next phase of your treatment. 

 

cindy0519
Posts: 173
Joined: Nov 2015

Gardena,

I have been told many of the same things as you on my radiology onco hasn't said anything about stopping the vitaimin C I am taking. Maybe because of the testing I had done that confirms my body is incredibly low on it???? Not sure but I will ask the question again when I see her before treatment start just to be sure.

Funny you say your tattoos are on your abdomen.  I have one on each hip and one in the center of my pelvis bone (just above the bone) thats it.  I can't recall the machine they will be using but will ask again when I go the first day.  It seems these three markings are the only thing they need for alignment though they did say I need to undress and gown up each time for this machine rather than being able to simply lower my pants to my knees.

Wishing you an uneventful finish to your radiation!

 

 

cindy0519
Posts: 173
Joined: Nov 2015

Gardena,

I have been told many of the same things as you on my radiology onco hasn't said anything about stopping the vitaimin C I am taking. Maybe because of the testing I had done that confirms my body is incredibly low on it???? Not sure but I will ask the question again when I see her before treatment start just to be sure.

Funny you say your tattoos are on your abdomen.  I have one on each hip and one in the center of my pelvis bone (just above the bone) thats it.  I can't recall the machine they will be using but will ask again when I go the first day.  It seems these three markings are the only thing they need for alignment though they did say I need to undress and gown up each time for this machine rather than being able to simply lower my pants to my knees.

Wishing you an uneventful finish to your radiation!

 

 

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