Posted by Charper on Dec 26, 2019 11:01 am
Posted by Essjay on Dec 26, 2019 9:00 pm
There is quite a bit of evidence that hormones increase the risk of come breast cancers - the pill, HRT, etc. But women have to decide what risks they are prepared to accept. Menopause is difficult to cope with for many women, and the benefits out weight the risks in many cases. Be prepared to be told that you can’t take any hormones now as you are high risk for future breast cancer. There are other treatments for hot flushes though - clonidine for example, which I used to treat migraines as well as terrible night sweats, sleeplessness and restless legs. Worked a treat. My oncologist told me that some local estrogen products such as the Estring are suitable for me to maintain my vaginal health, even if I can’t take HRT. I haven’t explored this with my doc yet, I’m a bit doctored out at the moment!
hope the swelling goes down over the next few days - how are the range of motion exercises going?
Posted by ashcon on Dec 27, 2019 7:50 am
So glad to hear of your peaceful Christmas break, and of your recovery!
You ask a great question, and raise a good point about the possible need for more awareness on this topic. Essjay also makes some great points about benefits outweighing risks regarding hormone supplements or therapy in some cases for some women.
In your case, the supplement you took may or may not have been a factor, especially (say) if your pathology report comes back as indicating your BC was negative for that hormonal factor (ER or PR) or even comes back as triple negative.
I applaud you for considering this as a way to help other women at least become more aware of the potential risks of things like this!
Thanks for keeping us posted - I do read all your posts even if I don't respond to all of them.
Enjoy the rest of your holidays!
Posted by Runner Girl on Dec 27, 2019 10:34 am
Glad to hear your healing is coming along and that you had a peaceful Christmas time.
I applaud you for wanting to write a letter to warn women. But there's more than just the hot flash herbals that can cause problems. I learned from my oncologist that there are many other things we are using that are estrogenic also - like Cold FX. My cancer is ER+ and HER2+ so it is estrogen driven. The oncologist has given me a list of all of the supposedly safe herbal supplements that are estrogenic and that I MUST avoid. The other thing to avoid are Parabens - they can act as estrogen in the body and have been found in breast cancers.
It's quite scary the number of "good" things out there that really aren't, depending on your situation.
Posted by Charper on Dec 28, 2019 11:31 am
Posted by Charper on Dec 29, 2019 6:47 pm
Posted by mc2 on Dec 29, 2019 7:19 pm
It is hard to beleive that three months ago I was waiting for my post-op pathology report and googling myself out of my mind. I feel further along the healing continuum now. You will too. The operation was a big step - you did it!!! keep it in mind. Hope this helps a bit. Sending big hugs.
Posted by Charper on Dec 29, 2019 9:58 pm
Posted by Essjay on Dec 30, 2019 8:49 am
best wishes Essjay xx
Posted by LPPK on Dec 30, 2019 9:09 am
Focus on your 2020 intention of getting better and living life to the fullest..
Posted by ashcon on Dec 30, 2019 9:32 am
Wise words from both Essjay and mc2 .
I think lymph node involvement gets a lot of bad press based on antiquated stories from the 70's and 80's.
Yes, it means the cancer has spread beyond the site of origin, but that doesn't mean it's not just as treatable as if there was no lymph node involvement.
I had positive lymph nodes at time of surgery, then more flared up while I was doing chemo.
A second surgery after I was done chemo removed the remaining nodes. Good news:they all came back negative for cancer, which means the chemo did its job. And did it well. I'm coming up to 2 years of being in full remission (touch wood!)
With that said, everyone's case of breast cancer is different, I know.
I do hope your nodes are clear, but if they are not, please know that your doctors have a great handle on courses of treatment. Especially for hormone positive breast cancer.
Reminder.. You came into this game not being prepared at all for being told you have cancer. And look at how well you have accepted the diagnosis and treatment plan so far!
You will handle this next step just as well.
And the step after that.
Thoughts about possibly dying from this disease are something we all think about.
When I have those thoughts, I entertain them for a bit, but then I put them aside and tell myself "today I feel fit and strong. And at my last follow up appointment the doctor gave me assurance that there is no indication that it has returned or spread."
The only time you will have to worry about not seeing your son graduate and marry, or not growing old with your husband is if the doctors say "we've exhausted all options and there's nothing more we can do."
And you are so early in your treatment. You are nowhere near that point.
One day at a time one test at a time, one appointment at a time, my friend!
Posted by Charper on Dec 31, 2019 10:13 am
Posted by Charper on Jan 6, 2020 10:33 am
Posted by Charper on Jan 10, 2020 10:40 am
Posted by Essjay on Jan 10, 2020 3:03 pm
So at your radiation appointment you can expect to be examined and the radiation oncologist will go through the plan - how many sessions you will have, whether you need boosters to the tumour bed, and what the benefits to you are of radiation based on their modelling of your tumour information. They'll advise you on cream to use - start before your radiation sessions and go through potential side effects.
Then you will have an appointment to get all the angles lined up for treatment and you may have small tattoos on your chest, and then they will schedule you for your radiation sessions. ITs like a well-oiled machine in radiation - you turn up at your allocated time, put on a gown, go in and they are prepped for you and it takes very little time. The first session takes the longest but once they know how to set up the bed in line with the machine it will be smoother next time.
I found radiation pretty easy after chemo. I started back to work part-time after almost six months off, and I returned to my happy place (aka the gym)!
Posted by BonnieC on Jan 17, 2020 7:29 pm
i had my radiation planning appointment yesterday. I found out today that I must have 24 treatments with a boost. I was a bit disheartened as I was hoping to get through this quickly but I understand the reasoning behind spreading out my treatments. Just making my mountain a bit taller to climb.
My oncologist has told me NOT to use any creams until it’s determined that I have a rash or skin irritation. Is this common? What is other people’s experience?? I have only read that people recommend using the glaxal base cream before and during very liberally. I also talked to one of the radiation technicians who said all the radiation oncologists recommend this approach at our local cancer centre.
I’m also curious what are others experiences with radiation fatigue for a longer radiation treatment schedule.
Also wondering if there is any benefit to having my appointments in the morning or afternoon? I plan to work during treatment so I’m leaning towards mid afternoon. That way I can go home after as opposed to working all day after a treatment. Thoughts??? Any advice from those who have done radiation and worked during.
Thanks all ;)
Posted by Essjay on Jan 17, 2020 9:53 pm
once you get started on your sessions they will go quickly and the staff will be counting down with you!
The fatigue builds up - you won’t notice anything the first few weeks it’s later and after treatment finishes. I was fatigued from chemo and didn’t notice it being much different. I was working a couple of mornings and I would go to the gym each day - exercise was my medication for fatigue and it works somehow!
My treatments were all over the place in terms of times - the hardest were late afternoon - I was so tired by then and had to drive home an hour. My best time was early afternoon - I could work the morning. ( I did 3 mornings a week), or go to the gym and do errands, then have my treatment and go home.
You can always try a time slot, see how it works and ask for something different if it doesn’t work. You will likely see your radiation oncologist once a week and so your appointment that day will align with your clinic appointment.
Hope that helps Essjay
Posted by ashcon on Jan 18, 2020 6:56 am
I was told the same as you at my cancer centre about the recommended use (or lack thereof) of creams and lotions during radiation treatment.
But I went with the personal tips shared by the wonderful people on this site who had actual experience, and don't regret it.
I used glaxal cream quite liberally. Started using it 2 weeks before radiation to help build up the moisture in the skin. Still using it 2x day, 2 years later. Truth be told, any scent-free lotion that has "aqua" listed as its first ingredient is likely fine.
It was recommended to me to NOT put any lotion on 2-4 hrs before each radiation treatment. I was told the lotion in/on your skin may amplify the burning.
So here's what I did: my radiation appointments were always 1st thing in the morning, so I always "lubed up" the night before, then had a quick shower in the morning before my appointment to make sure my skin was clean and dry. Then, I took my lotion with me to the hospital and "lubed up" again in the change room after I had my treatment.
I'm sure you'll find many more tips in the discussion thread Let's Talk Radiation
As Essjay says, the fatigue hits you hardest about 2 weeks after the treatments are done and lasts for about 2-3 weeks.
In my case, my fatigue was still an issue 6 weeks on. As it turns out, I developed hypothyroidism shortly after my treatments were done and am now on medication for that.
Good luck with your radiation sessions! Get a calendar and put a big X through each day that is completed!
Posted by mc2 on Jan 18, 2020 7:49 pm
Posted by Charper on Jan 19, 2020 11:34 am
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