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!