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I've been diagnosed w/ Stage 0 DCIS and will have a lumpectomy on 3/26, followed by radiation treatment.

Has anyone had experience with radiation therapy for breast cancer? Can you offer tips on dealing with the side effects (fatigue, skin irritation, etc.)? The thought of having an appointment M-F, for 6 weeks sounds fatiguing just thinking about it.

I may be eligible for the Canadian hypofractionalization, which is only three weeks long - as opposed to the 6 or 7 week long regular program. (I just have to have small enough boobs<g>.)

http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijbc/2011/321304/

Does anyone have experience with this? Or heard of this?

Many thanks,
PM
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Hi PolymerMom

The surgery and recovery were "routine" -I can put up with a little pain.

Whatever you do, DO NOT let anyone tell you to put any "cream, creme, or lotion" containing a petroleum product on the irritation that May result.

Other than that, I had to drive myself back and forth each day (about an hour+ each way) Toward the end I was so tired that I believe I was dangerous on the road, even though my road is/was lightly traveled. If you are getting tired, it would be best to have someone drive you.

I was also working as close to full time (40 hours) as I could manage, with the radiation treatments scheduled before my work day.
Will you have to work through this?

A/L
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I worked all through my radiation treatments. Yes, I was tired, (very tired), but I did make it through. Just don't plan on doing anything that requires major physical effort or staying awake for extra-long periods of time.

In terms of pain, the radiation doctor recommended washing with pure water and covering the area. She also approved the use of a Silvadene ointment that I already had. Definitely talk with your doctor about what to use.

http://www.rxlist.com/silvadene-drug.htm

If it starts to hurt tell your doctor. And good luck. Please keep us posted.

Nancy
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Will you have to work through this?

Nope, I'm retired - at a sprightly 66 yrs old.

PM
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The radiation doc gave me a list of what creams to use. The handout said they'd give me some when I started therapy.

I've heard about the fatigue. I'm planning on inventorying the freezer next week so I can give MDH a list of things he can fix, along with recipes. He does cook, but hasn't cooked supper for about 30 years.

Therapy won't start for another 3 weeks.

PM
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This is a lot more amusing in retrospect than it was at the time:

My list of things to avoid while on chemo included toast (which I ate every morning) and Coffee (any time and all the time)
I planned to ignore said list.

Then I discovered that these "recommendations" were actually Banned -
enforced not by the Dr. & nurses, but by the Chemo.

I survived on oatmeal & tea - and ice cream.

I'm Glad not to see chemo on your list!

A/L
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I'm Glad not to see chemo on your list!

You and me, both!

The interesting thing was that I was scheduled to meet w/ both the radiation doc and the chemo doc, even tho' the surgeon and everything I've read indicated that chemo was useless in a non-hormone-responsive case of Stage 0 DCIS. The protocol at the hospital said I should see both the RT doc and the Chemo doc.

I canceled the chemo appt. because it seemed like they were "padding the bill".

PM
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