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  1. #1
    shawny
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    Radiation - how long after chemo?

    I have a question that I don't want to trouble the dr. with at this time. If all goes as scheduled, I will get my last chemo treatment on February 19. My 14 year old daughter Jill is on spring break the last week of March. Daughter Robin is planning a trip to Florida during that time, and I would love for Jill and I to be able to go. Here's the dilemma: How long after the your last chemo do you wait until they start radiation? I'm assuming that once you start radiation, it has to be every day for the specified period. I'm not sure if mine will be 4 or 6 weeks. I was hoping some of you would be able to enlighten me on the time frame. I'm thinking at this point that a vacation is out of the question.


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  3. #2
    walrys
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    Hi Shawny - I don't know the usual tx protocol for brca, but I did want to say I think you should trouble your doctor about the timing of your treatment. Vacations are AMAZING medicine! I can't stress that enough. It's so liberating to be a sight seer. You probably know that radiation does happen every single day once it starts, so travel would be unlikely.


  4. #3
    nala301
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    I'll second walrys....Vacations are soo important. And your doctor shouldn't think that you are bothering him. He is there to answer your questions. The chemo nurses are usually a great source of information as well if you want to ask them during your next round.

    I didn't actually end up getting radiation, but before that decision was made I had discussed it with my oncologist. He had said that they normally prefer a break between chemo and radiation so that you are completely recovered and will heal better from the radiation. I think he wanted me to wait 2 weeks. But it was also possible to start right away. In fact we had discussed starting radiation during taxol at one point. So I think there is some flexibility in the scheduling. Definitely talk to your doctor and see what you can work out.
    ~Nala
    Breast cancer survivor!
    Matthew David 8/23/05-11/7/05-our beloved little man
    K.M.-12/16/07
    J.N.-3/27/10


  5. #4
    GingerIL
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    Hi Shawny,

    Definitely speak with your oncologist about the timing of your radiation. It will not be a bother AT ALL. This is what they are there for! I was constantly going over dates with my oncologist because I had a few trips planned after treatment and I wanted to make sure that the timing was going to work out. I can still see the very large calandar on my oncologist's office wall--I think a lot of his patients asked him about dates!

    Just to let you know what my timing was like--I finished chemo on Nov 20, 2005, and I left for a trip to California the following week to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family. I started radiation on December 5, so just two weeks after finishing chemo. I could have started a little earlier, but they really wanted to give me at least a two week break to let me get my strength back.

    My radiation oncologist ended up prescribing seven weeks of radiation (and yes, it is five days a week), so I finished on Jan 20, and by the middle of February, I was off to Colorado to go skiing. My energy was back and I was surprised at how good I felt--particularly given the altitude that I went to!

    Looking at your schedule, it is possible that you should wait until you get back from your trip to start your radiation. It will depend on how many weeks of radiation you need. My doctors really did not want me traveling immediately after radiation because they were concerned that my body would be too run down.

    Bottom line--ask your doctor. You need to have something to look forward to after treatment, and this trip with your girls sounds like just the ticket!

    Hugs--
    GingerIL

    7 year battle with IF/Immune Issues
    Surprise Miracle Princess born 12/16/03!!!
    Breast Cancer Survivor!


  6. #5
    SuzCa
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    Ask your onc to plan the radiation around the vacation. Promise to go out and play in the sun and get some "primer radiation". I'd guess h'ed be all for it. Vacations are good for you. I put off chemo for one week so I could go on vacation in Palm Srings. It was just what I needed to prepare for the next phase of tx.
    DD Sophia, twelve, in middle school, wants to be a computer programmer.

    Breast Cancer Survivor - In Support of all of our survivors.


  7. #6
    Cheri
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    Definitely bother him! I had my mastectomy in between my chemo and radiation so I had a bit of a break. I had like 3 weeks before my surgery, then a few weeks after I began radiation.

    Vacations are wonderful, definitely ask about it!

    Cheri & Johnny, 10 years old- IVF miracle
    Breast Cancer Survivor since 2/4/05- 6 years!!!!!!


  8. #7
    MaryK-MN
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    You need to talk with your onc about the timing and what will be required for your cancer. Every one is slightly different and the treatment is planned according to your DX, stage, etc. My mom's radiation started about 4 weeks after she finished chemo. They said plan for 4-6 weeks of daily treatments. She had 37 treatments so it was almost 7.5 weeks.

    The vacation would be lovely and I hope it fits in your treatment plan!

    Mary
    *****************
    Mary
    J (12/22/92)
    S (3/8/00)

    "I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles." — Audrey Hepburn


  9. #8
    shawny
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    I spoke to my doctor before my chemo on Monday. He couldn't be definite with the time-frame since he refers me to another doctor for the radiation. But he thought it was possible. So my daughters and I are keeping are fingers crossed. I could find a nude beach and start my radiation early. But being on this steroid for nausea has not made me a nude beach candidate!

    P.S. I'm going to try to stay off the nachos. But I'm going for comfort right now. I think I'm entitled. But it seems like a double whammy to have cancer and be gaining weight.

    But on a brighter note - a vacation to Florida in the spring is sure something to look forward to!


  10. #9
    walrys
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    Thanks for the update, Shawny - I was wondering how you were doing. I hope you can work things out for the vacation.

    I had to give up my normal eating routine while on chemo - couldn't tolerate fresh veggies and meat and had to eat white carbs like toast and rice and plain pasta. That plus steroids plus antinausea and pain meds plus less exercise and I plumped out. My oncologist was delighted with my weight gain! He said the meds are designed for weight gain and weight gain during chemo is a sign of success and health.

    I think it's very important to not fight your body right now - if it wants to gain weight then (as my yoga teacher would say) "simply observe it and love it." Ha ha ha! Hard to do, especially when you're clothes are tight and you're bald to boot, but your body needs all the love, understanding and TLC you can give it right now.


  11. #10
    shawny
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    Thank you Mary. It's nice to know I'm not alone. I'll try not to fret about it so much. After all, it's insignificent in the big scheme of things.


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