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Breast cancer radiation .
eulamax posted:
After much thought I decided on a lumpectomy & radiation. I have had the surgery and now wondering if the radiation is absolutely necessary (dreading it). I am 81 yrs., have had chemo therapy twice and radiation once for Non-hodgkins lymphoma. (Been in remission 10 years). I've been told radiation will be 5 times a week for abt 6 weeks. I had the previous radiation following the chemo and really don't know which one caused the side effects I experienced. Can anyone guide me regarding surgery without radiation. Lymph nodes were negative, margins are clear, do not have breast cancer gene, estrogen & progestrone receptors are negative. I have 5 children & 6 grandchildren and they and my husband are my wonderful support team. I am quite active and am considering refusing the radiation.
georgiagail responded:
If this helps.....

You and I sound like we're in the same boat medically. I had my lumpectomy; margins were clear as were the lymph nodes. My oncotype test put me low risk (7 out of 100). I was estrogen positive though.
I am 61 years old and the stats I was told in terms of recurrence was 6 percent without the radiation and 3 percent with.
I am undergoing 33 radiation treatments (5 times a week); nearing the end, thank goodness (have finished 24 treatments). No changes to the skin of my breast but I have to tell you that the fatigue noticed over the past 2 weeks is a real killer. Nothing has helped with this and it's been difficult dealing with this.

Is this the side effect you underwent previously?

pgnimkoff replied to georgiagail's response:
I had radiation 15 years ago after lumpectomy with lymphnode removal: 5xweek for 6 weeks. It is very tiring; one must keep up their nutrition and get a lot of rest. During the final weeks, I had to work part time. I think I returned to work too early. And I've just posted a question about recuperation, and what is ideal time return to 'normal' schedule.
I might add that one doesn't look
eulamax replied to pgnimkoff's response:
In reply to georgiagail, I think my side effects (esp. fatigue) was caused by both the chemo and radiation together. That's why I am wondering about the fatigue from just radiation after surgery. Considering my age, I can't imagine going through that again. Will see the oncologist today. pgnimkoff, Thanks for the input, it reminded me how very tired I was and will help in my decision. Going to see the oncologist tomorrow, I depend heavily on him, he is a great doctor.
jenna291 replied to eulamax's response:
I had 33 rounds of radiation 6 years ago, but I had chemo first, then lumpectomy then the radiation. With radiation I was back to work and going for it at 4pm every day for 6 weeks, that was really tough.

I drank ensure thru the treatments and rested as much as possible. I think just the having to go every day is totally exhausting. I think your doctor will be helping you make the right decision for you - everyone is so different.

good luck with the decision and let us know ~
eulamax replied to jenna291's response:
Just came from the oncologist. Told me lumpectomy with radiation recurrance is 5%; without radiation is 40%. Guess I will start my radiation next week. Will count my blessings instead of complaining. Will be checking with the rest of you. Thanks for your advice and support you have given me already.
jenna291 replied to eulamax's response:
Hi eulamax, while the radiation treatments seem long at about 6 weeks, you will get thru them! I used to count down the days on a calendar.
Just remember to get plenty of rest and if people offer to help, say yes! Eating right and staying hydrated is super important to combat tiredness.
Wishing you all the best and keep us posted with any questions you may have.

~ jenna
eulamax replied to jenna291's response:
I have had radiation treatments for 2 weeks now. Just now beginning to feel tired. Other than that having no problems. Working on having a better diet; any recommendations for guidance in that area? Have purchased a book and has lots of detailed information but think it is also trying to sell suplements. Just need something a little more simple. Thanks for all your help
jenna291 replied to eulamax's response:
I tried drinking a "boost" or "ensure" every day, plus lots of water. Lean protein is good, like chicken. I also ate a lot of pasta, fortified when possible.
I liked luna bars for snacks and little bags of almonds. Bananas, berries in cereal, soups. I never took supplements. I did take a nap every afternoon. It is amazing the routine of having to go for the radiation can be.
good luck and hope it goes by super fast ~
georgiagail replied to jenna291's response:
I'm a registered dietitian and I simply followed my normal eating pattern and tried to focus on going to bed a bit earlier. No supplements for me either. Three meals plus, if I wished, small snacks between meals. I liked fruit before and so I took advantage of what was still available. I have backyard chickens and they get treats every evening. Watermelon for them, watermelon for me....

eulamax replied to georgiagail's response:
Well, I'm back again with good news. Finished my 6 weeks of radiation and radiologist said I should feel quite a lot better by the first of the year. I've been done 3 weeks now and already starting to feel better. I had minor affects from the radiation, lotion provided worked well. I do get very tired when I overdo which is often. My body hasn't caught up with my brain which tells me I can do this and that. Hope this is encouragement for anyone facing radiation.
rachael67 replied to eulamax's response:
Thanks, Eulamax! Encouragement is always good!! Glad to hear you are doing well!

Just when the caterpillar thought her world was over, she became a butterfly! Don't give up five minutes before the miracle!!

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