External radiation - MaryMoo

Radiation Associated with Breast Cancer. Posted on September 9, 2012 View this journey (5 Experiences)

I had daily radiation for 6 weeks. The actual radiation didn't hurt at all. I did not feel a thing. The harder part was mental - going every day (except weekends) for 6 weeks felt like an eternity. I was the first appointment of the day and it was very close to my house, but it felt like a ball and chain after a while. One of the nurses was a bit cranky, so I decided I was going to tell her a different joke every day to try to get her to laugh. After a while, she caught on and asked me why I was doing this. I told her that I figured she probably had a lot of challenging patients - kids, old people in pain, etc. and that I wanted her to start off her day with a laugh and that hopefully she would look forward to coming to work to hear a joke. It made a huge difference and she was never cranky with me anymore. I also hired a yoga teacher (thank goodness I could afford this) and she came to my house every day after radiation. We first did Qi-gong, a Chinese technique that is said to remove the extra, negative energy. After that we did yoga and meditation. I am very fair skinned and prone to sun burns. My skin did not even turn RED during six weeks of radiation nor afterwards. My radiation oncologist (MD Anderson Cancer Center) said she would not have believed it unless she had seen it with her own eyes. I think this was instrumental in allowing my reconstruction to proceed as well as it did (see my post on reconstruction surgery). The thing I was NOT expecting was that several weeks after radiation, I started feeling very tired. Four years later, I am still struggling with fatigue. So, some people will tell you they "prefer" radiation over chemo, but that's not always the case. I have NO residual side effects from chemo and I would more chemo if I could have avoided the fatigue and tightness from radiation. The good news is that it slowly gets better every day.

Painless Experience: Strongly Agree
Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree

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