Emotional about DCIS and Potential Fatigue

JanieStoke_Trent Member Posts: 4
edited February 2019 in General discussion
I really empathise with a comment I read on this forum recently "I don't want to think of this as a big deal, but for some reason it kinda feels like a big deal." I was going to add my comments to that thread but that would have been hijacking someone else's discussion, so I thought I would start again.
I was recently diagnosed with DCIS. I had a lumpectomy 2 weeks ago and pathology is good - only DCIS, clear margins, etc. The only thing left is 6 weeks of radiotherapy. I'm feeling very emotional about it all and worried about the potential fatigue. I live 90 minutes away from the hospital and I'm planning on driving down 2 days a week and staying at my daughter's house (only 15 minutes from the hospital) for the other 3 days (I'm currently there two days a week anyway babysitting my grandchildren, aged 4 and 1). Is this practical? I've read a lot about fatigue after Radiation Therapy. How common is it? Will I be able to cope with the children if we stay at home and don't go out? I'm 56 by the way. My daughters have both just returned to work after maternity leave so they can't get time off, and my husband works overseas (new job) and is only home 1 week out of 4.
Or does this all come under the heading "how long is a piece of string"?


  • Sister
    Sister Member Posts: 4,960
    Welcome @JanieStoke_Trent Rads do make you tired but many women go about their lives pretty much as normal with the treatment.  My own experience was last year.  I wasn't working during treatment and have I have 3 kids (at the time, one at primary school and two at high school - both miles from where we live and on opposite sides of town).  I had 6 months of chemo so was already feeling pretty wrung out by the time rads was due 3 weeks later.  My treatment was a higher dose over 3 weeks.  I would drive 30kms to drop my youngest off, 10kms to drop the other 2, 7 kms in to the city for my treatment, then 40kms home.  Sometimes I would do the shopping on the way home but mostly I tried to keep things to a minimum.  I did get tired but it was very manageable.  I didn't have any severe burns but did get sore and red a couple of weeks after rads finished.
  • kezmusc
    kezmusc Member Posts: 1,544
    Welcome @JanieStoke_Trent,

    As we know everybody is different.  You may not suffer the fatigue at all or it may be minimal.  I had 30 rads, worked, ran my farm , life as normal really (well as normal as it get's through this).  Took off camping straight after a couple of my appointments along the way. 

     I had no issues with fatigue at all with radiation.  Not too bad in the skin department either up until the last week or so.   It's just another one of those things along the way that you won't know until you get going.  Fingers crossed you are perfectly fine.

  • Sarnicad
    Sarnicad Member Posts: 318
    Hi @JanieStoke_Trent I finished 6 weeks of rads in early December after 3 months of chemo and returned to work part time at the same time as starting rads. I was tired more at the end than the beginning, it accumulates as you go, but I started from a very low base following the chemo. 

    It will very much be a suck and see situation - is there any reason why you couldn’t stay with your daughter the whole week if it gets too much as you go along through the course of treatment?  Can you time your treatment so you get hubby home for 2 of the 6 weeks?

    skin wise I had a very small amount of skin split late in the treatment but the clinic was fabulous with ensuring they watched it and the nurses sorted out dressings and care as well. The key was moisturise moisturise and more moisturise 
  • JanieStoke_Trent
    JanieStoke_Trent Member Posts: 4
    Thanks everyone
  • Zoffiel
    Zoffiel Member Posts: 3,374
    Hi Janie. 
    As you say, strings come in various lenghts--but they are still strings. You may ''only' have DCIS, but it's still bloody cancer; just thinking about that without doing anything  in the way of treatment  is exhausting, so give yourself a bit of mental space and worry about things only if they happen.
    I had radiotherapy after nearly nine months of surgery, surgery and chemo. I was pretty buggered before I started, but was still able to do the 190km daily round trip without issue.
    Perhaps it was relatively easy compared to what had come before, but I didn't mind the drive and the treatment itself wasn't too bad. OK, I resembled a BBQ chook by the end and stray dogs would follow me down the street salivating, but worse things have happened.
    I think you are braver than me if you'll mind children ***shudder**" so you are likely to be just fine. MXX
  • Riki_BCNA
    Riki_BCNA Staff Posts: 323
    Hello  JanieStoke_Trent BCNA has recently developed some information for women with DCIS in our My journey online tool (link below) that you might find helpful.

    Dont hesitate to contact the BCNA Helpline to speak to a cancer nurse Monday to Friday on 1800 500 258 if you have any questions. 
  • Chelley59
    Chelley59 Member Posts: 55
    Ive just finished radiotherapy. I worked 4 days a week. There were days when i just went home and crashed on the couch for a nap...but mostly i cruised through it...hope you do too xx