Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Got the call last Friday to start Tuesday morning, so yesterday was the 1st radiation treatment. First thing I learned was that I am not doing 25 treatments, I am doing 20 (16 to the whole breast, and 4 'boosts' which are targeted to where the tumor had been). So that gives me a bit of breathing space to complete this before my 'girls getaway'.
I go every day, except weekends and holidays, so I should finish on Nov 3rd.
First time took about an hour and a half, with meeting the doctor first, then the treatment (which takes longer the first time) and then meeting with someone after to discuss skin care. Future treatments should be much quicker, as the actual radiation part is only two 90 second blasts. I should be in and out in 10 minutes.
The most common side effects are sun burn (varies between people) and fatigue. And there is also a 1/2000 chance of the radiation causing sarcoma, a different type of cancer. Of course, they reminded me that chemo also had a small chance of causing leukemia. Obviously they have determined the risks are worth it.
They recommended using Glaxal Base, a moisturizing cream, on the affected area, 3-4 times/day, starting day 1. Other than that, they just say to let them know what problems occur and they can recommend something specific for that (dry, itchy skin, burns, blisters, open skin, etc.). Sounds fun (not).
Really though, I have no worries going into this. I am planning to drive myself everyday, and then do something while I'm out. Today, I am going for lunch with my dad.
Have a great day everyone!