Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Radiation #1

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!


  1. I'm glad that you are now on "phase 2" of your treatment and that you are making plans for how to spend the rest of the day. It is such a "short" treatment and you realize that if you are early in the day you have the remainder of the day ahead of you. With any luck, your skin will withstand the treatment. I had 36 hits (30 regular and 6 boosts) and my skin withstood it quite well. Wishing you the same ♥

  2. Beth: You're off to a great start! I only had some sunburn toward the tail end of treatment, so hopefully yours will go well too. Take time each day to do something fun, like you're doing with your dad. If you're like me, this part will be a breeze!

  3. Well Beth, soon you will be done with your treatments. The time will go fast and Nov.3rd will soon be here.I had 28 hits.
    Take care and have a "Happy Thanksgiving".We have a lot to be thankful for:)

  4. congrats on this next step - one step closer to being done :) yay!

  5. You're through the chemo, and that's the hard part. I 'reacted' and it hurt. I kept a bottle of aloe vera in the fridge, and it was very soothing. Try keeping your lotion there if you find that you're having problems.

  6. I have just finished radiotherapy last week. I have had sun burn type feelings but only towards the end of treatment. I don't know if you had a lumpectomy which is what I had; My nipple has been affected the most, it feels the way it does when you start breast feeding and they havent toughened up yet. I have discovered using breast pads (for lactating women) with a huge dollop of E45 cream or diprobase helps, it stops rubbing and keeps the cream on the skin.

    You will sail through it I am sure. Good for you making plans for days out and stuff, such a positive step.

    As for me? I start herceptin next week!