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Avatar universal

Radiation therapy and fatigue

I have two questions.

1.  If one has clear margins following surgery would you still follow up with radiation?
My surgeon recommended surgery and then radiation therapy but someone has since told me that doctors advise everyone to have chemo or radiation.  How necessary do you think radiation is?

2.  How debilitating is the fatigue from radiation therapy?  Both during and after.

6 Responses
739091 tn?1300669627
I'm 53 and I had 7 weeks of daily radiation. I worked through all of the seven weeks of my daily treatments and had a fatigue issue one time at the grocery store. About a month after treatments were over, I started to get a lot of energy, to be more like myself before cancer.

I chose radiation upon my Doctor's recommendation. I had stage 3 invasive cancer w/2 nodes involved. Given the same circumstances, I'd choose it again. I don't know if that helps you or not.

I trusted my doctors. Best wishes to you.
Avatar universal
Dear Sue

Thanks for your comments.  

I guess it is difficult, if not impossible, to predict how radiation therapy will affect each of us.

I did/ do trust my surgeon.
I had complications post surgery (with the anaesthetic and then an abscess) and contradictory views/ opinions have confused me.
I am now not sure what is best for me both short-term and long-term.  (I find it difficult making a decision when there are no significantly noticeable symptoms.  Yet.)

Your post highlights to me the potential dangers of not having this treated now.

I have an appointment with the surgeon next week so I'll raise my concerns then.  I think your comments do balance things out a little for me.  I suppose it is easy for people who have never experienced cancer or for those who took prophylactic measures and so don't feel as threatened by it to make critical comments.

I am desperately sorry for your own diagnosis.  I hope you are well now.

Best wishes to you too.
739091 tn?1300669627
Hi again,

The one thing I found out for sure during all of this process is this.. the surgeon has a function, the hematology oncologist has another function, the radiology oncologist has even another function. Each is an "expert" in their own field. I asked the same question to each of my Doctors and was surprised that I would occasionally get different/opposing answers because, it wasn't their specialty! That said, they were unanimous on my chemo/surgery/chemo/radiation treatment, no wavering there. You never said what your diagnosis was, so your circumstances could be very different than mine. You mentioned clear margins. When I had my mastectomy, he modified the mastectomy (kept removing tissue) until he found healthy tissue (clear margins) and then took a little of that too, to be on the safe side. Ask your surgeon all the questions you have. I took a notepad with me and also a tape recorder. I was determined to not miss anything that was said.
I wish the very best for you. And don't worry about me, I'm doing very well. :)
Avatar universal
I'm glad you're doing well.
Good on you for being so proactive in your own health care.  You have a great attitude.

I'll take my list of questions and I'll trust my surgeon.
I've been depressed since surgery so I'll try not to let that cloud my judgment either.

Thanks again for your support.

739091 tn?1300669627
Has your Doctor's office offered you a chance to talk with their social worker? They are there to help navigate through the cancer maze. They listen really well and jump right in with suggestions and solutions. The other thing I want to mention is support groups. When you've been given the scare of your life with the "C" word, it's so important to know there are others out there going through it with you. Or have gone through it and can offer suggestions or just hugs. My sister and I went through chemo at the same time and regularly compared notes... and photo's of our magnificent baldness!
She had non-hodgkins lymphoma so we had some similar treatments (chemo) and some that were off the charts different. I also made friends with so many of the people and nurses while going through Chemo. I was there for several hours each treatment and I listened and learned and shared and laughed and cried with them.
Any time you feel depressed and need to talk, you will have my ear and everyone elses ear here. You need a shoulder? No worries. We understand what you're going through. You can do this. Whatever your decision it will be right for you. :)
Avatar universal
Hi Sue

My post didn't send before the site was being up-dated.

No, no social worker except to give me a cushion pre-surgery for post-operative.

My breast issues haven't been a priority as I've had so many other things going on.  It was a priority for a short period while it was infected.  It's a difficult situation to be in.

You must have a really close relationship with your sister.  It's inspiring how you can turn a potentially negative situation into something so beautiful and special.

Thank you for all the support, encouragement and information.

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