I did it. My radiation was done at MD Anderson, a satellite at Presbyterian here in Albuquerque. I give them 5 stars. Thorough, expert and thoughtful.
I had the three week plan which is double the dose of the six week plan. Fifteen treatments and then five more as a burst. First you go in for a simulation where they determine the coordinates for the beam. They do a CT scan and they make a mold so your arm and body stay in the same exact place each time.
My routine was to enjoy my mini road trip to the East side. Good music and turbo and stick. Showed my cancer card when I arrived. Made a Kurig coffee. Checked on the gold fish(no longer in residence). Changed into a gown. Visited with my fellow cancer patients. Greeted my favorite cancer machine techs. Lay on the table, bare the boob(by this stage this is no problem), arm in mold. Position checked. Everyone leaves except me and the machine(friendly for a machine). I got two zaps. One then the machine moves and I get another. Five minutes. Done. Change say good by.
There is a Trader Joe near by. Good chocolate, real angel hair pasta, fresh flower bouquet for $4. Very friendly place.
For half the treatment I did tai chi two days a week and silver sneakers classic two days at Defined Fitness. It was good for me. Then fatigue set in and I could hardly move. Fortunately for me I like to read. I was able to continue my drive over. The coffee gave me the boost to drive back.
For the boost they make new coordinates and a new mold with another CT scan. The boost is a one zap procedure but the zap is longer.
My skin became red and dry. I did have two areas of my incisions that had not fully healed so they stayed inflamed during the treatment but are now healed. A dear friend sent me aloe gel. She had found it helpful for her breast cancer. It was a big help for me. I wore a sports bra during this time.
I did end up with lymphedema. Mild. Went to PT for it and used a compression sleeve for a while. Still have a little.
My medical oncologist put me on an aromatase inhibitor, anastrozole. It’s for 5 years. Systemic treatment to prevent recurrence.
It is almost a month since I finished treatment. I am just beginning to get energy back. Feels good. However, a call Friday scheduled me for my RAI treatment. I will be radioactive March 13th. It is another story to be continued another time.