Thursday, February 22, 2018

I Met My RadOnc

I had my first meeting with my Radiation Oncologist (RadOnc) last week.  Luckily, I really liked her, as I'll be seeing her a lot once radiation starts.

This was just an initial consultation, since radiation won't start until chemo and surgery (and possibly some physical therapy) are done.  That timeline probably puts the start of radiation around the end of August.  

I learned that I'll have 6 full weeks of radiation instead of the more standard 4.  I'll have weekends off to give my skin a break, but otherwise it'll be daily Monday through Friday.  Each treatment, other than the dressing/undressing/positioning, will take 10-15 minutes.  I'll be holding my breath for the treatments, 40 seconds at a time, to keep my lungs further from the radiated area. 

Also, Dr. Arzu wants me to be flat for radiation.  This means that after my mastectomy, I can't have expanders placed in preparation for reconstructive surgery.  My SurgOnc, Dr. Miggins, will need to make sure I'm completely flat to give the radiation team the best angle(s) to work with.  That will limit the options I have for reconstruction, but the focus needs to be on getting rid of the cancer at this point.  9-12 months after my skin has healed from radiation, the plastic surgeon who will handle my reconstructive surgery will use the best option available at the time - probably (hopefully) DIEP flap - to construct a new breast (or breasts) for me.

A lot of information to take in.  One more step to kill this cancer!  

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