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Radiation Therapy Radiation Therapy

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  #1  
Unread 03-17-2003, 03:37 PM
Radiation Therapy

I need some advice/information. My Dr. just informed me that I will need Radiation Therapy for 5 days a week starting after my initial post-op visit in 4 weeks. Does anyone know what kind of side effects to expect. He seems to think I will be able to resume work and take the therapy. I had a complete hysterectomy for stage one uterine cancer but there was some "involvement" in the muscle of the uterus that he has identified as high risk and therefore necessitates the radiation therapy. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks....
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  #2  
Unread 03-18-2003, 09:17 AM
Radiation Therapy

Kimshira,

I am sorry that you have the need for radiation, but you have come to the right place for questions and support!

I had 5 weeks of radiation also. It will be hard for me to give you lots of info because I had chemo along with the radiation. Here is what I believe to be true, keeping in mnd that I am trying to seperate out the chemo effects vs. the radiation effects.

The radiation itself is a very simple and painless thing to go through. It is inconvenient because you have to make daily trips to the hospital. I experienced diarrhea starting in about the 3rd week, and it was easily controlled with over the counter medications, although my doctor offered Rx meds if needed. Many people talk about the fatigue associated with radiation and they say that frequently sets in around the 3rd week as well; however, I was wiped out from the chemo anyway, so I don't know how that works. On the days when I wasn't so wiped from the chemo, I felt okay and probably could have worked if the job wasn't too physical.

I'm sure more people will be here soon to share their experiences as well. The treatments affect everyone differently, but I would think that if you plan for extra rest in the evening and on the weekend, and otherwise take good care of yourself, you probably would be able to work, at least through the first 3-4 weeks!

Good luck -- keep us posted.

Joanie
  #3  
Unread 03-19-2003, 09:40 PM
Radiation Therapy

Hi,

I was diagnosed with stage 2A endometrial cancer and underwent 25 external radiation treatments and 3 internal treatments. My radiation began 6 weeks post-op, the same day that I returned to work full time.

I developed diarrhea after the second week of treatment, but this was easily controlled with immodium. Shortly after that I had bladder irritability, which was also controlled with medication.

I found the fatigue to get worse as the treatment progressed, but napping for an hour or so after work really helped. I took the day off for my first two internal treatments (but could have worked) and an additional two days off due to some blistering of the skin that made wearing pants very uncomfortable. Other than that, I worked from 9:00 a.m. until 3:45 p.m. and then left for my treatment.

The radiation itself is painless, and the radiation techs were very professional, compassionate people. You will be closely followed by a radiation oncologist, and they will work together as a team to help make your treatment as pleasant as possible.

Please feel free to email me if you have any questions,

Jan
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  #4  
Unread 03-20-2003, 02:22 AM
Radiation Therapy

Thanks for your reply...I have done more research and it appears that I will
be having external treatments. Do you recommend taking the therapy in the evenings after work...I was considering an early morning schedule and then going to work but I azm concerned about the fatigue..Any suggestions on combatting that element of the treatment.

Bless you, hope you are doing well.,..Alice
  #5  
Unread 03-20-2003, 07:17 AM
Radiation Therapy

Hi,

You probably won't find out you daily appointment time until they do your simulation, and may not have a lot of control over the scheduling of your treatments. It was easier for me to have the treatment after work and then go home. The only thing I didn't want to do was to have to go to work in the morning, leave for my appointment and then return to work.

Fatigue associated with radiation therapy is an almost universal side effect. I don't know how much of it is due to the radiation, or to the psychological wear and tear of having to have the therapy every day. If you can rest as much as possible after work and on the weekends you should be fine.

Jan
  #6  
Unread 03-20-2003, 07:23 AM
Radiation Therapy

Jan:

How are you doing...Did the Radiation take care of your problem? I hope you are OK...
Thanks for your input...I will do an evening schedule if at all possible because
I am sure that the fatigue will be a factor and going back to work will not be good because of physicality and mental work that it requires....All the Best...Alice
  #7  
Unread 03-20-2003, 03:47 PM
Radiation Therapy

I've heard wonderful stories of employers being very understanding when people are going through treatment of this nature. A friend's husband was allowed to close his door and take naps without fear of getting in trouble. They also reduced his workload considerably. He'd been a longtime employee and was well-liked. Can you talk to your HR department about maybe having some special arrangements made during your treatment? I wouldn't want you to over-stress yourself trying to keep up work appearances.

I used to work in Corporate America -- and was in the Silicon Valley for the rise and fall. I worked 80-90 hours per week for nearly three years. And you know what I have to show for it? Nothing. And now, having just been diagnosed with cancer, I realize how shortsighted I was to have put my body under so much stress for nothing.

Sorry to be so vocal. I just think it's important to take care of your HEALTH first and foremost. Work is not the most important thing. I think it took me a while to realize that. And that fact has been hit home pretty hard in the past few weeks.

I hope your treatments are painless and not too awful. Good luck!
  #8  
Unread 03-20-2003, 03:58 PM
Radiation Therapy

Thanks for your response...You are absolutely right...I have an equally demanding
position and I will be making adjustments when I go back. It's been in interesting
time and your HEALTH IS IMPORTANT AND SHOULD COME FIRST...I hope all
turns out well with your diagnosis...and I will say a prayer that the Lord wraps
his arms around you and carries back to good health...Alice
  #9  
Unread 03-20-2003, 08:25 PM
I have a desk job...

let me say first. I worked almost through the whole treatement, and I think if I really wanted to I could have worked through the whole thing. Once the diarreha got too bad during the fourth week, I went ahead and took medical leave. But this was because, after my radical hysterectomy, I have no control over my bowels, whent they want to come out they do, without any assistance from me. So, I didn't want to embarrass myself at work, and decided it was time just to stay home. After the sixth week, I had an implant for three days, so I went ahead and stayed home a total of four weeks.

I wouldn't say that fatigue had anything to do with it, as someone else said, if I took a small nap, I set my alarm for 45 minutes. I would wake up refreshed and ready to make dinner get the baby ready for bed etc.

I had my treatments in the morning around 10ish. I would go to work at 7:00 a.m. leave for my radiation, come back, work, leave for lunch, and then work til 5:00. I have a flex schedule where I work 9 hour days, and take every other Friday off. Of course, that Friday, I would take a longer nap, but I still got up early, to take my daughter to day care.

So, for me radiation the worse side effect wasn't fatigue but diarreha.

's and 'ers to you...
  #10  
Unread 03-21-2003, 04:37 PM
tammy

may i ask you a question about your cervical cancer i was also diagnosed at stage 1b

my email address is hellokitty [email protected]

my name is brenda thanks tammy
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