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  • Writer's pictureSurviving Breast Cancer

I'm Halfway There: Navigating Radiation


I am halfway through radiation treatment (15/30)! So far so good. I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Like everything, I was doing way too much research and preparing for the worst.

Radiation is a local treatment impacting just the area of cells being radiated (unlike chemotherapy). In my case, we are using radiation as part of my preventative care and to be extra sure that the cancer will not recur. By going through radiation, we are “killing” any residual, or leftover, rogue cancer cells that were not removed from surgery, or did not “die” from chemo.

Overall, I have to say, I am responding to radiation pretty well. The skin looks good and after 15 rounds, I’m not too red (yet). I like to thank my Italian genes for allowing me to tan well!

Outside of skin irritation, other side effects include fatigue. While I am managing this well, I do get tired and nap when I have to. If anything, just listen to your body as it knows best!

When going through radiation, it is important to speak with your doctor about the pros and cons. Like any treatment, a benefit analysis needs to be taking into consideration. In my case, because we are radiating on my left breast and lymph node area (which I did not realize goes up to your color bone!) a few key risk factors needed to be hashed out. For example, the impact radiation would have on my heart and lungs were a big concern for me! I am a very active person and plan on remaining active for a long time! Having heart and lung problems are not things I am looking forward to! Nor is the potential development of lymphedema, or other cancer in the long term. While there are a few risks to manage, I cannot lose sight of my initial goal which is to be cancer free and ensure breast cancer does not return!

As such, radiation and onward.


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