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My Next Step – Radiation

Posted on August 16, 2008

Yesterday, I had my radiation consultation which is the next step in my breast cancer treatment. I was told at the beginning that radiation would be necessary for about 6-7 weeks following completion of my chemo. Unfortunately it’s every day, five days a week, and I live 80 miles round trip from the nearest Hospital that provides radiation. Oh, boy and gas is so cheap these days…

Anyway thankfully I’ll be done before the weather gets bad and the snow hits up here. So that’s at least one good thing. I’m trying to focus on the positives and keeping my spirits up. Of course the biggest positive of radiation is that it’s killing off any remaining cancer cells and hopefully putting a final end to my cancer ever returning.

So I return next week for my simulation and to have my form made for radiation. Apparently they scan my body and create this form which my head and arms will rest in while I have the radiation. The form is custom made for me so that I am in the exact same position for each radiation treatment. I’m told that the treatment itself takes only about 10 minutes and even with undressing and prep time, the whole appointment should only take about 30 minutes.

The main side effects that they shared with me were that my breast skin could get red, burn, peel, and maybe blister a bit. They have some very good prescription gel that I will be able to apply which takes care of most problems that I may experience. Fatigue is very common and increases with subsequent treatments. I was told most people don’t experience too much fatigue until latter stages of the daily treatments.

Some long term concerns which of course are downplayed are lung irritation and scarring. Radiation to the left breast may increase the long-term risk for developing heart disease and heart attacks. Unfortunately I am getting my radiation on the left side so this worries me. One other issue is of the ribs on the radiated side, they are more susceptible to breakage if you’re ever in a car accident or sustain a bad fall on that side.

Anyway that’s about all the news I have to share about my upcoming radiation. I will know more after my simulation but I’m trusting God to give me strength and peace through this next step of my treatment. Yes there are scary concerns with all cancer treatments but then what’s the alternative. I have made the choice to fight and fight I will. With all my might and with all my soul and all my heart!

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18 Responses to “My Next Step – Radiation”

  1. Kamrin
    Aug 16, 2008

    My neighbor went through the same treatments, and I can only say that she says she feels great now. It is a hard road, but once the race is won, it is so worth it! Peace and speedy recovery to you!

  2. Knelley
    Aug 16, 2008

    I hope that you’ll find the most difficult thing about your radiation treatments will be the daily drive. Really. For me, it was pretty easy. Good people, quick zaps (you don’t feel a thing and wonder what good it could possibly be doing!), and back in the car. Just some red, raw skin at the end, but the creams they gave me were great.

    You’ll be fine. It’ll be over before you know it! I’ll be thinking of you.

  3. SewIknit2
    Aug 17, 2008

    Good luck with the next, and hopefully LAST, phase of this difficult journey.
    Wishing you all the best throughout it and lots of positive thoughts and cyber hugs!
    ps LOVE the latest few projects you’ve been working on!

  4. Lynne
    Aug 17, 2008

    God be with you as you face this next hurdle in life’s race.

  5. Amanda
    Aug 17, 2008

    I just wanted to wish you luck with your treatment, and give a suggestion that may help with the expense of the gas, or possibly hotel room for a few nights if needed. I am involved with the Relay for Life through the American Cancer Society and I know they have programs to help people with the cost of traveling for treatment. You can probably get more info at their website or by calling 1-800-ACS-2345. Hope that helps and that your treatment is successful and relatively side-effect free.

  6. Anita
    Aug 17, 2008

    Travel safe every single day and radiation wipe out those bad guys!! God bless you!

  7. Millie Smith
    Aug 17, 2008

    Will be saying my prayers for you and wishing you the best of luck in your treatments. It sounds to me that you are really a fighter and you will fight every step of the way, not only for yourself-but also for those that really love you. And even tho we have never met, you give us all life and hope, but also are a friend to all of us-and we want you to fight to be there for us, if ever need it. Thanks for keeping us all up to date with everything and also being honest with us, as we all would wonder why you have not done any new patterns to share. Good luck and God is with you every step of the way.
    Love Millie

  8. Andrea
    Aug 17, 2008

    You are a brave lady! I agree what else can you do? I wish you all the best with this new stage in treatment and really hope that your main goal of beating this is in sight. Keep going.
    Take Care

  9. Cindy
    Aug 17, 2008

    Thank you everyone for your words of encouragement. I appreciate all your comments and suggestions.

  10. Katherine
    Aug 17, 2008

    Maybe you have thought of this but here it is anyway. I am sure you don’t want to be away from home for a full week for the next few weeks but have you asked to see if there are any low cost places to stay close to the place you get your treatments? It might be worthwhile to find a place closer for the duration. 80 miles round trip is lots of gas. For me that would be about $600 for 6 weeks. Best wishes to you. I love your patterns!

  11. Stefanie
    Aug 17, 2008

    I’m not so sure that I would be handling the situation as well as you seem to be, but I’m sure you’ve had time to do all the screaming/hair pulllng I would be going through!

    I hope that everything works out for the best!

  12. Cindy
    Aug 18, 2008

    Thanks everyone for the good thoughts and ideas. I’ll have to see how the radiation goes as far as staying in town or coming home. I’m a real home body and if possible, want to come home each day. Also I work in the opposite direction and plan to work 6-hour days during my radiation. I guess I’ll just take one day at a time in this newest leg of my journey.

  13. Bobbie
    Aug 18, 2008

    You are such an inspiration to everyone. I love your recycled crochet and knit projects but I love your personal story more. My prayers are with you as you go through the radiation.

  14. Joining you in prayer and wanted to tell you how much I love ya! *THANK YOU!* for your encouragement and prayers and for sharing sooo very much with us! (((((HUGS))))) sandi~excited to make a paper bag mailer now~only with tape since I can’t sew….

  15. Nicole
    Aug 22, 2008

    80 miles! You should learn a new language on the commute. Something fun like Japanese or something. Grins. I start rads next week. Get my tatoos on Monday. I’m a lefty side too. Bleah. But we have to do what we have to do, right? *hugs*

  16. Trish
    Aug 28, 2008

    I will keep you in prayer. Also, Please refer to the website, For some Very Interesting and Helpful Information.
    This Website/ Dr. has done wonders for me personally…
    God Bless You, Trish

  17. Condo Blues
    Aug 29, 2008

    My husband is a runner and runs our Race For The Cure every May. Unfortunately I didnt’ “meet” you online until after our Race or we surely would have had your name on his race bib as an extra “Go Cindy! We’re rooting for you!” show of support.

    So this weekend my husband is running a 1/2 marathon relay (2 guys run half of the race as a team effort), it’s not a charity race (a lot of the 5Ks he runs are) but that doens’ t matter I asked him to put your name on his bib and run it for you anyway.

  18. Aimee
    Aug 29, 2008

    I just want to wish you health and ease during your radiation. Big hugs!!!

    And thank you so much for your plarn expertise. Your blog really got me started, and I’ve enjoyed my own journey with plarn.

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About Me

Hello, I’m Cindy or aka RecycleCindy. Welcome to my blog site that is dedicated to recycling and crafting. I love to crochet and create crafts and other useful things from recycled materials. I share many free tutorials and patterns for creating recycled projects as well as other handmade items.

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