Timeline on treatment

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Chelley59
Chelley59 Member Posts: 55
edited November 2018 in Newly diagnosed
My treatment seems to be taking so long... I hear of people that were diagnosed well after me are almost finished radiotherapy.... I was diagnosed in August have had a 2nd lumpectomy to get the margins...still havent a date for radiotherapy ....will be seeing my surgeon again this week i guess for pathology on the tissue taken ....then hoping for the go ahead for radiotherapy although its getting so close to christmas i wonder if it will be postponed till after christmas due to public holidays.... is there anyone else that feels like their treatment is taking forever..... is this normal ☹
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  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,574
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    Hi @Chelley59  - you have to heal from the 2nd lot of surgery before the rads can start - so you went back to the starting block (sort of) for the 2nd lumpectomy.  Your surgeon will be able to give you a rough idea, depending on the amount of surgery that you had.     Rads can be anything from 4 weeks even up to 12 weeks post op .... and with Xmas looming, it may be put off until Jan, as the public holidays may impact the rads (usually it is Mon-Fri for 3-6 weeks depending on the recommendation) and they don't want you to miss a couple in the middle due to public holidays ..... 

    Mine was 'detected' in Nov & being rural, didn't get MG & US until early Dec (which was undecided) so had a core biopsy on Dec 27th, diagnosis of cancer on Jan 5.  Couldn't even SEE a surgeon until Mid January (as they take Xmas holidays as well!) and had surgery Jan 17th.  My rads was finished the day before Good Friday (tho my Rad Onc said I could wait until 3-4 weeks after if I wanted to do it after my holiday to Norfolk Island.)  I chose the earlier date so I could enjoy my hols after the rads had finished.

    There is no 'strict' guideline.  But the waiting is still the pits!   :(

    Take care, all the best for your ongoing treatment - hope you have some specific dates after you see the surgeon xx

  • Chelley59
    Chelley59 Member Posts: 55
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    Thanks Arpie wouldn't it be nice in an ideal world...xxx
  • sjd_barra
    sjd_barra Member Posts: 26
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    I was diagnosed 30 days ago and have only just got an appointment to see a surgeon this Friday.
    Luckily my life is super busy, no time to think about it. 🙁
  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,574
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    Welcome to the forum @sjd_barra  ... All the best for your appointment on Friday!  Do you have someone to go with, as support and a second set of ears??  take care x
  • Chelley59
    Chelley59 Member Posts: 55
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    I welled up in tears when i finally got my first appt....sjd_barra...hoping all goes well for you xx
  • sjd_barra
    sjd_barra Member Posts: 26
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    Thankyou @arpie. I will go alone.
    I don't want to worry others. I don't feel like I could handle their distress and mine as well. My parents, my 3 daughters, my brothers. I don't want to cause them any undue pain until it's absolutely necessary.
    It's ok. I am just worried about the waiting. 
  • Chelley59
    Chelley59 Member Posts: 55
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    Sometimes its important to have that 2nd pair of ears...it does get to a point when its information overload and you need that 2nd person to just remind you what was said x

  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,574
    edited November 2018
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    @sjd_barra ... my sister in law came in with me (my brother & husband came with me but not 'in with me') - she was terrific - and even had a couple of questions to ask of the surgeon.  She came to my post op appointments too.   Maybe see if you can record the conversation for later use if needed.  As @Chelley59 says .... information overload is definitely what happens in there!

    You may be surprised at how family & friends 'step up to the plate' upon hearing the news.  On the flip side .... they may be very upset at you not telling them, too!  :(   

    When you go for your results after surgery - I would definitely recommend someone else to go with you.  It can be a very emotional time - and you may still be recovering from the surgery and unable to drive, depending on what you are having done ....

    All the best xx
  • Wonk
    Wonk Member Posts: 61
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    Hi @sjd_barra welcome to the site, you’ve come to the best place for support, not that any of us ever thought we’d find ourselves here.
    I understand where you are coming from with not wanting to worry others.  I wanted to hear the diagnosis myself, on my own.  I had an inkling it was going to be bad because the doctor kept saying she was very concerned during the biopsy. I knew I had to hear it myself first and then choose when I was going to share it.  Because once you share it with a loved one, you’ve then changed their life too.  Everyone loves you and cares and you will work out when to let them know. I waited to tell my children 2 days before surgery, because they were in the middle of exams.  The doctor told me to use the words ‘treatable’ breast cancer, which I found helpful. As you become more knowledge about your surgery and treatment plan you will find it easier to share, because you will feel slightly in control again over this horrible diagnosis.  Remember everyone is here for you, and the beautiful ladies here got me through those early days.
    Sending you hugs xxx


  • Zoffiel
    Zoffiel Member Posts: 3,372
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    @sjd_barra I think we handle breast cancer diagnosis and treatment the same way we handle any significant stress in our lives. Some people want to surround themselves with support, others--like myself--prefer to go to appointments and treatment on their own. Some of us are younger than others, but we are all grown ups and have developed out own ways of dealing with complications in our lives.

    Yes, sometimes we do need help, but if you are inherently independent learning to accept that help with grace is yet another difficult lesson. You need to do it in your own time and I totally understand your keeping quiet until such time as you can answer the inevitable avalanche of questions and advice with something more considered than 'I don't know yet.' Mxx

  • sjd_barra
    sjd_barra Member Posts: 26
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    Thankyou @Zoffiel and @Wonk for your comments. I know in my life I am very shy and a wallflower. I like to give rather than recieve. My family will support me, but in the meantime I will gather my own strength the only way I know how and that is by keeping my cards close to me. It's one way of making sure others opinions and emotions don't control me.
    All will be well.
    I trust the science.
    Just not the waiting.

  • Flaneuse
    Flaneuse Member Posts: 899
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    @Chelley59 unfortunately, treatment is often a long road. Regardless of what your treatment plan is, you are going to be in the BC zone for some time. It's not something that can be dealt with quickly and then you go back to "normal".

    Everyone's plan is different, depending on their situation. Mine: Friday 30 will be my first anniversary of diagnosis. 20 days later first consultation with surgeon. 8 days later medical oncologist, when her advice triggered me to refuse surgeon's desire for me to have chemo first. Then followed a heap of scans etc. and Hormone Blockers (Letrozole) for about 5 weeks while I waited for surgery mid-Feb. Chemo started 3 wks later - I did 20 wks. A few weeks' break (during which I took Letrozole again) then 25 days of radiation. It was a long slog. Now on Letrozole again until whenever. Implant changeover surgery will be in March-ish.

    We all have our own particular pattern of treatment and reactions. But usually there'll be someone on this forum who understands what you're experiencing at any time. Just share. Wishing you strength.
  • Mjheke
    Mjheke Member Posts: 78
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    @Chelley59, I had my surgery on the 5th of November and am now not having radiotherapy until the New Year for exactly that reason. Ideally my Radiation oncologist said I would start on the 17th of December, however that has been postponed and I will be starting 2nd January for 5 weeks. 
    I hope you get some clarification soon. 

    Take care,
    Michelle xx
  • Chelley59
    Chelley59 Member Posts: 55
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    Im seeing my rad onc friday...so hopefully can go straight into it...prepared to have to wait tho...it will just mess up my income protection....il bw going back to work....are you planning on working through it?....
  • Mjheke
    Mjheke Member Posts: 78
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    Unfortunately I have not a lot of choice. I do not have sufficient income protection 😞