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nosurrender

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Reply with quote  #21 
Stacy, when they do your sim they are very careful and map exactly where your organs are. They usually miss the heart- it is the lungs that can get caught in the field.
If you ask for IMRT radiation, that is a narrower beam.
Think of regular rads like a hose spraying, IMRT is as if you put a nozzle on the hose and made the stream very narrow.

My second round of Rads they gave me IMRT because my organs were too close to the field.

The first time I had  rads they did hit my lung. I wound up with some scarring that caused asthma. But it is under control with singular and some inhalers.

Mary, you can make it happen with the valet..... You can hang around inside after your treatment and then leave after 8 when he comes on duty.
There are a million tricks up my sleeve for ya!

Kay, I hate when the machines break down... I have never heard of anyone getting rads who didn't have a bum machine!


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Limner

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Reply with quote  #22 
  Gina, don't you think I would be wiser to hold out for an MD? 
 
I asked my tech women if they were going to zap my vital organs by mistake, and they said they had many precautions against it.
 
Our machines go down here because of electrical storms.  It seems to work out best with the early AM appointments - On time, and less problems, though I must say they get them straightened out right away.
 
My spirits and energy have improved. It is kinda funny - I go in every weekday morning for a quick 15 minute session.  At the same time there are a few breast cancer women in their cotton 'gowns", and there are also a few guys sitting there in the same outfit waiting to be treated for prostate cancer.   Something ironic about that.

Love, M


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nosurrender

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Reply with quote  #23 
hmmmmm.... hold out for an MD......?
Well, IF you can find one who is worthy of you!
Mary, someone once told me I should hold out for only two types of men... I am thinking that it may apply to YOU.
She was a second mother to me and a wonderful artist. I adored her. She was the embodiment of Auntie Mame.
One day she said to me,
" Darling, you were meant to marry an artist or a king!"
I think if she met you, she would say the same to you.
Love,
g


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SapphireSky

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Reply with quote  #24 
Stacy ~ My cancer is on the left side this time, and when I had my initial appt. with the radiation oncologist I expressed concern about the radiation affecting my heart this time.  She said that it really has to do with the shape of your chest wall and pulled up an old CT scan they had on record to show me.  Then she also showed me that it would probably miss my heart totally!  Like Gina, I have a small amount of scarring from the first time around in my right lung and had to do follow-up CT scans every 6 months for 2 years to keep an eye on it.  It never changed and I still have it.  They are super careful about that stuff.

Hope your sim appt. went well this morning.....mine is this afternoon.  I will be starting this week, too.  I am opting to do a newer course of ratiation that will be 20 treatments at a higher "dose".  I will then be done in 4 weeks instead of 6 and can start hormone therapy.  Apparently I am a good candidate for it since I did not have many rad side effects the first time I was treated 6 years ago. 

Was interesting to hear about having rad treatments on your stomach, and I am sorry you won't be able to do that because you just sounded so darn excited about it!

I have been having some pain in the arm on the side where they took out 7 nodes this time.  I need to find out about that when I go in for my simulation today.

Mary ~  Woohoooo....you are halfway done!  I am encouraged that you are doing so well. 


I have tried to pull myself out of thinking so much about cancer everyday so I have been MIA for a couple of weeks.  Now that radiation is going to start I am forced back to reality.....   I missed reading all of your posts!   

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nosurrender

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Reply with quote  #25 
Hiya Sapphire!!!

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Limner

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Reply with quote  #26 
Oh, Gina, we are incurable!  yeah, musicians are my artists of preference.  However, two artists does not make for a stable situation, it will have to be The King!   Glad Prince Charles did not wait for me like I wanted him to when I was 10.  things have fizzled with Alejandro since I changed to earlier appts. - if that is all it takes, no matter. I saw him this AM when I left & he was kind of grumpy.  He's not opening my door, parking the car, and touching my hand returning the keys anymore.  the moment was sweet & inspiring, but it is gone - perhaps over-analyzed to death by yours truly.  

But it is nice to think about something besides cancer and all it's concerns, right, Sapphire?   The Dr. said all is well today with the radiation treatments.  I am getting an awful lot of dark "freckles", more like moles, "hyper pigmentation" she said.  Sun damage, we call it here in Florida.

peace - Mary


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wedsnthings

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Reply with quote  #27 
Hi All,

I have been in the forget out cancer for a moment mood also but.... My itching and pealing will not allow it. Does not hurt one bit but it does look painful. I thought I had 5 boost but I have 8. All is well though and I will have the last on Thursday!!!! Where are any of these men you ladies are talking about??? I must be traveling in the wrong circles!!! Hope everyone has a good evening.

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SapphireSky

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Reply with quote  #28 
I found out yesterday during simulation/mapping appt. that I will start radiation tomorrow.  I am sooooooooo not looking forward to it, but really ready to get on with it.  Also, they are using my old tattoes so I did not have to get new ones....yay!  Not sure how that will work exactly, but one of those questions on my list when I actually see the doctor for a weekly appt. during treatment.  Those buggers really hurt the first time!  I feel like I am a total wuss, which could explain why I never wanted to get a regular tattoo. 

Natalie ~ Two more days.....two more days.....two more days (chant with me!).  So awesome that you will be done with rads!  Itching and peeling does not sound comfortable in any way, but I am glad to hear it is not painful at least.

Hmmmmm....Mary.....how about Beauty Marks instead of hyper pigmentation?

Stacy ~  Thinking about you today as you go to your first radiation treatment!  I am getting ready to hop on the bus with you, girl!

Back at ya, Gina

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The other is as if everything is."

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SapphireSky

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Reply with quote  #29 
I started radiation yesterday.   I realized today that I am so grateful for the way things are going, but mostly for the people I will have to see everyday as I go through treatment.  The receptionist who comments on what cute sweaters I am wearing each day, or the appt. person who greets me by name even though I have only seen her three times, or the technicians giving me treatment who put up with my lame jokes everyday and are so, so helpful. 

The symptoms have kicked in already.....a  super hot breast and feeling kind of itchy!  Feels like I have a space heater in my bra!  I had to take a nap this afternoon, maybe from the stress of it all and probably not because of fatigue already....yikes! 

Mary, you are my inspiration as you are doing so well with your treatments.

Stacy, hope you are doing okay!  Let us know how your first treatments went! 

Natalie, I am clapping for you because you were done with radiation today!  High five yourself!  I hope the peeling and itching are done with very soon.

{Hugs} ladies! 

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"There are only two ways to live your life.
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The other is as if everything is."

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Limner

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Reply with quote  #30 
Hi Radical Women, One Treatment at a Time   God knows I can only take so much.  I had a melt-down in the waiting room yesterday morning, the TV was on too loud, and the poor poeple in their nightgowns were wagging their tongues about Sotomajor being a "racist" and out came a surprisingly strong rebuttal - 

I saw my dermatologist yesterday, too, for a regular sun-skin check up, as well as the hideoso mosquito bite reaction I had over the weekend.  I have an auto-immune skin weirdness (bullous pemphigoid or BP) from the lymphoma.  The breast cancer chemo stopped all the skin reactions for over 7 months, a real blessing in disguise, but the mosquito bites brought it all on in full force. 

Natalie, et al - Anyway, the good Doctor noticed the "radiation rash" on my chest, and told me to use Clobex on it.  I have just been using Calendula oil and lotion, and I have to say the Clobex stopped the itching.  I already had some Clobex for the skin condition from last year.  It is by perscription only, and expensive, but the MD will often give you a 45 dollar coupon and then it is only 5 bucks.  Clobex is a relatively new topical anti-inflamatory.  The Dr. said Biafine was for burns, as opposed to this type of radiation rash. 

So, I wonder - he also gave a script for a MONTH of tetracycline and Nicotinamide (niacin) 500 mg for the BP.  Reading the tetracycline, it says to stay out of the sun- wonder if this applies to radiation, too- ?  Must ask. I don't usually like taking antibiotics unless nesessary - never took one for a whole month!     

Stacey, how is it going?

Sapphire, yes, our attendents are very sweet and efficient, especially my valet - I might go back to 8:00 AM appts just so he can park my car for me -   the weekends are good for the breast to calm down.  Good night, dear friends - Love, M


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wedsnthings

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Reply with quote  #31 
Ladies,

I am finished!!!!!! It has been a long haul but I am finished. You all of us that thought we would never be done let me say that I know I'm done but it hasn't sunk in yet. I'm grateful and thankful and I hope that everyone that is in process will have as smooth a ride as I have had. Best to you all!!

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NATALIE
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Reply with quote  #32 
Congratulations on your perseverance and strength, Natalie!  yea!  You deserve some kind of special wonderful treatment of your choice as a positive closure to a long ordeal.  Love, M

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wedsnthings

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Reply with quote  #33 

Mary thank you and I am in process of planning a trip somewhere and very soon.


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StacyL

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Reply with quote  #34 
Well, it has been a busy, loooong week.
Rads is going well, so far. I'm not sure if it's fatigue, yet. But, last night I couldn't make it past 9:00 and the kids were at grandmas....I wanted to watch a rated R movie, but couldn't stay awake, it felt like my heart was pounding in my head, like when I was taking A/C, not nearly to that extreme, though.
I did go to the gym after rads yesterday, first time since Oct. It felt soooo good, I made sure not to overdo it. I walked a little over a mile and a half, 30 min. and did some light weight lifting...

I am sick of the drive already, an hr. one way to get a 10 min. treatment. My left arm is sunburned from driving. Actually, my whole left side from my nose over on my face and down my neck, even the thigh part of my leg. It's pretty funny.

Natalie - I am sooo happy for you...BUT, how is that fair, we were on the same track w/ our chemo. oh yeah, I had my surgery in between. Anyway, can't wait to join you with being done. Congrats, baby

Mary - you are too funny, I would love to hand out with you in the real world...I look forward to your humorous posts, Thanks for that.

Sapphire - we will be on the same schedule...I don't think it's too soon for SE, I was very tired last night. My skin is a little red, but it doesn't hurt, Well, I slept in a t-shirt, only last night. I usually sleep w/ a sports bra on, but it felt a little like it was burning, like rubbing a sunburn, not bad, but I want to try to avoid any rubbing. Hope all goes well with you.

Gina - thanks for all of your advice about the organs, it worries me every time I get the treatment, I feel like I'm breathing too deeply, and what if I have to sneeze or cough.....  I'm a worrier. Can rads make me feel like I have a little acid reflux in my throat, when I'm eating??? I've felt like that a little and have no problems w/ it usually, I didn't think it would do that, it could just be in my mind....that is very possible
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Reply with quote  #35 

Thanks Stacy I'm waiting for you on the FINISHED LINE


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NATALIE
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Reply with quote  #36 
Stacey, great that you got to the gym, but a half hour is a long time if you have not done this since Oct!  Give your heart a break and build up slowly over a couple of weeks, esp. since you are doing rads at the same time - i am doing the same routine - rads and gym at the hospital - and of course I want results Now!  But i tell myself to be happy I got there at all and try to eat better every day, plus lots of water still.  Hey, we are trying to get rid of dead cancer cells  Watch that sun too, girl - rads make you more sensitive to UV rays.  All in all, it is just another thing your body has to get over.

The right side of my chest looks like someone left a big iron on it.  At least they are staying within the tats.  BTW, my friend Jim at work is from Decorah Iowa.  He said it is cold there ....
Did you ever get to watch your movie??  love, M



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nosurrender

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Reply with quote  #37 
NATALIE CONGRATULATIONS GIRL!!!!!! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hang in there Mary-  you are almost done!

Stacy, then they did my rads the second time, they did my collar bone and that zapped my throat and I had a sore throat and  trouble swallowing... so maybe it is the rads causing your discomfort.
I hear you about the drive.

Sweet Sapphire! Hang in there!!!!! Can you wear a cotton cami instead of a bra? Or a cotton bra?


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StacyL

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Reply with quote  #38 
Mary - thanks for the advice, I was so sore the past two days that I haven't made it back to the gym. I'll get there this afternoon, after rads.
It makes me feel "normal" finally. Back to the life I had precancer....

Natalie - I'll be there before ya know it.....CONGRATS TO YOU!!!

Gina - love ya girl....
SapphireSky

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Reply with quote  #39 
Ha....Gina!  My girls are a bit too big to just wear a cami.....I really have to wear a bra.  I have bras that I can wear through radiation that are cotton and comfy.  The heat reaction is the thing that I really forgot about.  It is not too bad today, though....thank goodness we get a rest from it on the weekends!  I found a new Vaseline Intensive Care product that I am using.....a 100% aloe gel moisturizer....feels great!  And VIC lotion worked wonders for me last time, so I was excited to find this aloe stuff. 
 
The fatigue has mostly subsided for now, after a couple of days at the beginning of treatment where it literally knocked me on my butt.  The rad onc told me this morning that sometimes the first couple of days can be tough, then it will go away only to reappear again later in treatment.  Ha....so totally different than what happened last time to me!

I am kind of struggling with a small 3cm seroma (sp?) under my arm that was has been causing my arm to sometimes ache and hurt along the nodes in my upper arm.  I know it takes time for this stuff to heal, but would like it to go away.......NOW!

Wow....I am proud of you guys for being able to exercise and get to a gym!  Amazing!  That is really cool!  Anything we can do to make our lives more "normal" through all of this.  I have tried to hold onto some of that, too.

Thanks for the reminders, Mary, about staying out of the sun and drinking more water than usual.

Day 4 down......16 to go!!!

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"There are only two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as if everything is."

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wedsnthings

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Reply with quote  #40 
Hi All,

I never really got the fatigue during rads that I expected but they have shown up now after its all over with. Could it be that I thought I could clean my  house (wall washing and all) like I used to??? Dad has come to town and I haven't seen him since last year before dx so I wanted things to look nice. I realize that was a bit much and it will be a little while before I get that kind of energy again. I can't imagine going to a gym right now but I never was a big workout person to begin with. I like to dance that's my workout. I'm ready to do that again.

G -  thanks for the info about the sore throat I had that also but was too afraid to even ask.

Stacy and Sapphire - it wont be long now.

Mary- your almost done too.

Have a good night ladies.


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NATALIE
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