Season 2 Episode 2 - Radiation Therapy (breast cancer radiation treatment)
Let’s talk about radiation and how everyone from your doctors to women in the support groups says this treatment is “easier” than chemotherapy. Shauna felt she was being lied to, while Rosalina felt burned out from trying to get to the finishing line of completing treatment.
At the beginning of the episode, we provide education on what radiation therapy is, why it was recommended for our treatment plan, and what the process is. Rosalina and Shauna received external beam radiation, the most common type of radiation for breast cancer.
Rosalina completed radiation on November 16 and Shauna on December 1, 2021.
Meet Rosalina and Shauna, two young millennials living on separate coasts who share real stories about their breast cancer diagnosis. We created this podcast to bring awareness of this disease to young women and create a supportive space where no one is alone on this journey. We dive deep into our treatment plans, journeys, struggles, and mental health while navigating life in this “new” normal. With every episode, our mission is to educate, empower, connect, and bring laughter. We are open and honest about our experiences and committed to learning and growing right alongside you. Welcome to our community! Join us for new episodes every Thursday! Any questions or thoughts, contact us through email@example.com or follow us on Instagram, @tyftspodcast. Visit our website at http://www.tyftspodcast.com Special thanks to Brooke Chislock @Soul_Designco for our cover art.
Let’s talk about radiation and how everyone, from your doctors to women in the support groups, says this treatment is “easier” than chemotherapy. Shauna felt she was being lied to, while Rosalina felt burned out from trying to get to the finishing line of completing treatment.
At the beginning of the episode, we provide education on what radiation therapy is, why it was recommended for our treatment plan, and what the process is. Rosalina and Shauna received external beam radiation, the most common type of radiation for breast cancer.
Rosalina completed radiation on November 16 and Shauna on December 1, 2021.
[00:01:17] Radiation Experiences
[00:06:20] Radiation Treatments are All Different
[00:20:45] Shauna’s Radiation Experience
[00:26:23] Rosalina’s Radiation Experience
[00:28:33] Saving Your Skin During Radiation
[00:45:51] Radiation is NOT a Breeze
[00:56:16] Bone Pain
[01:01:11] Done With Active Treatment
Shauna’s Spotify playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/79lQQprrXRRzOAIYlYOwqX?si=bcd4079edcc84cca
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[00:00:00] Shauna: I just completed 16 rounds of chemo with a grand total of 20 weeks, like five weeks. Seems like a breeze. And the oncologist and radiology oncologists and everyone in the support groups tell you, radiation is a breeze. You’re gonna handle this so well. Well, somebody fucking lied to me because I was not, I was not handling anything. Well,
[00:00:18] Rosalina: radiation was tough and it’s another treatment do you have to go through? Your skin is being agitated, like you can’t wear bras, you have to apply cream constantly, and you’re getting burnt and you’re seeing yourself in the mirror and you’re like, fuck. Like, this looks horrible.
[00:00:37] Shauna: Hi everyone. Welcome to season two. This is Shauna
[00:00:41] Rosalina: and this is Rosalina. And we’re your hosts for To Young For the Ship Podcast. This podcast is not just about boobs, but a journey with cancer. We are young millennials open about giving you a raw and unfiltered look into our lives. We are in no way medical professionals, nor are we offering medical advice.
[00:01:01] Rosalina: Any medical references are cited directly from public websites or from our personal diagnosis. Some topics and stories may be triggering to those who are fighting, have fought or have loved someone with cancer.
[00:01:17] Start of Show[00:01:17] Radiation Experiences
[00:01:17] Rosalina: Hey, I’m Rosalina.
[00:01:19] Shauna: And I’m Shauna.
[00:01:20] Rosalina: In today’s episode, we’re going to talk about radiation and our experiences, but first we just want to get you to learn about what radiation therapy is. For anyone out there that doesn’t know, radiation therapy uses high energy x-rays to destroy cancer cells. And the reason why Shauna and I need to get radiation is just to help lower the risk of cancer coming back. So again, as I mentioned, radiation is done to destroy any cancer cells that are still left on our breasts or our lymph node area after surgery. In terms of which breast they treated, my cancer was on my left side, so they had to treat radiation on my left breast and my lymph node area.
[00:02:10] Shauna: They treated my right breast cuz that’s where my, uh, cancer side was. Um, they treated that and my underarm as well. And also I think it’s just important to note that, yeah, you know, not every breast cancer patient needs radiation. You know, we needed it because we had infected lymph nodes. I think it’s important to note that, you know, not everyone needs radiation.
[00:02:35] Rosalina: Another reason why I needed radiation is because after surgery with my final results of the pathology report, my margins were positive. So it was positive near the skin where the red bump was, radiation was in my cards. Because even though my breast surgeon is going to cut out the, the remaining skin that’s in between my two scars, um, where they sense the positive margin is they still think that radiation. Was best for me to eliminate any cancer cells that remain on that section. My treatment plan was seven weeks because of the positive margins.
[00:03:25] Rosalina: My treatment was scheduled to do 28 radiation on the chest wall and lymph node area where the remaining eight was a booster dose on the scars where I had my positive margin. That’s why mine was a little bit longer, but I ended up actually just doing 33 scheduled radiation treatments instead of 36. My oncologist said that because Dr. Baker, my breast surgeon, is going to go in and cut out that remaining skin in between my two scars, that she felt like 33 was enough. For my treatment. Another thing to note is that you go every single day, Monday through Friday,
[00:04:12] Shauna: every day you’re at your cancer center. I mean, it is annoying to say the least.
[00:04:19] Rosalina: Yeah, it is very annoying and luckily for me it was only like a 20 minute bus ride or if I ever get an Uber, it’s just only like a 10 minute drive. So it’s the super close and convenient. But I know that there are a lot of women out there that their cancer centers are far, so I, I really feel you ladies out there that have to drive in every single day just to get treated for 15 to 20 minutes and then have to go back on that hour or two hour drive.
[00:04:53] Shauna: Yeah, I can’t even imagine. I mean, I complained about my 15 minute drive, you know, to and from. Yeah. You know, my appointments and I can’t even imagine having to do that every day, you know? Yeah. For 25 sessions, I, I can’t even imagine. So I actually had about five weeks, well it was five weeks, it was 25 sessions of radiation as well, where mine was the chest wall and my underarm where the lymph nodes were removed, like right. I have a scar under my armpit from where I had surgery. So there’s like literally like a line, you see where the radiation stopped and started. What was the date that you finished?
[00:05:32] Rosalina: My date was November 16th.
[00:05:34] Shauna: Yeah. I finished, uh, December 1st. To give a little context, it is now December 11th, 2021, about two weeks after finally finishing active treatment.
[00:05:45] Rosalina: Yep. And I am four weeks.
[00:05:48] Shauna: Woohoo. I know, right? Finally. Fucking, finally. Yeah.
[00:05:51] Rosalina: I know. Kinda going into the beginning and what happens before we start treatment. So after we finish chemo, I scheduled my CT scan about three weeks after
[00:06:08] Shauna: I met with my radiology oncologist a week after my last chemo session, and she scheduled my CT scan for two weeks after I had finished chemo.
[00:06:18] Rosalina: Yeah. Yep, yep.
[00:06:20] Radiation Treatments are All Different
[00:06:20] Rosalina: And during that CT scan appointment, basically they’re scanning the area of your body to be treated with radiation. They just capture a lot of images during our scan and just design the best and most precise treatment plan for you, and just mapping out where they want. Your chest wall to be treated and your lymph node area, they just try to ensure that your treatments will target the area of concern and have it planned out. So then every radiation treatment that you go to, they know exactly what area to treat
[00:07:02] Shauna: right, and it lines up exactly where it’s supposed to be so that none of your other organs are damaged as well. Your lungs, your heart, my right side was radiated Rosa’s left side was, and that’s close to the heart. So, yep. Not only do you have the risk of damaging your lungs from your radiation, you had the risk of damaging your heart. So they wanna make sure that lining you up. I mean, I had tattoos done so you know, when I had gone into treatments, they basically lined up my tattoos. With the lasers and that’s how they got the most precise points. You know, what needed to be radiated on my body.
[00:07:41] Rosalina: Exactly. So during that CT appointment, so a couple things that they did for me is that they tried to get me positioned, they had me lift up my arms up holding like a handlebar, and then they also had me turn my head to the right. So then when I start getting radiated, obviously is for none of my face or my throat to get radiated. Radiated as well. And another thing that they did for me is some breathing techniques. Okay. Breathe in hold. And then breathe out. And the reason why I have to do these breathing exercises is so the heart doesn’t get damaged when I’m breathing out. The heart is pushed back when the radiation machine starts radiating my chest wall. It doesn’t harm the heart in any way. So that’s why I do these breathing exercises because the heart is near my left side, the breast, my left side is being radiated. So there’s that. So I had to do a little bit more.
[00:08:49] Shauna: Yes, you did. And you know, I also had to turn my head to the left actually, because your thyroid can be affected.
[00:08:56] Rosalina: Yep. And another thing that is cool about, um, these machines that they use. So when I had to do like these, like breathing techniques, they mentioned to me, if, you know, I’m not holding my breath all the way, the machine would stop radiating. So, That’s great. And I feel protective in a way that I’m not expanding all the way when I’m breathing. My heart is not going to get damaged because of that.
[00:09:26] Shauna: I did not have any breathing techniques throughout, uh, my radiation and, you know, you had started before me, so I remember, you know, you telling me you were having a difficult time doing the breathing exercises, right? So I was expecting that, you know, going into it, that I was gonna have to be holding my breath and doing all these things and they never asked me to. So I remember like my first meeting with my, um, my radiology on college, why am I not holding my breath? Am I doing something wrong? They’re not asking me to do this. Because I genuinely thought like, you know, after speaking with you and hearing like you doing all these things, I was like, my experience is completely different than that.
[00:10:01] Rosalina: After they capture all the images and the scan during your first appointment, they just review it with the doctor and then that’s when they start scheduling your treatment plan. So they ask you the time that you would like to come in, whether it’s in the morning or evenings. And for me, I wanted mornings. I wanted to go in before work. I didn’t wanna worry about telling my employer, Hey, I have these doctor’s appointments Monday through Friday and I need to leave work at this time. Most days I was coming in at eight or eight 15 is what they scheduled my appointments.
[00:10:44] Shauna: So yeah, so once I was mapped out, I actually ended up in my radiology oncologist’s office and she showed me like a 3D image of my upper half. Oh yeah, which was like the hollow version of my upper half. And it was really like, interesting to see. I mean, I was also like mortified. I felt like just even based off this 3D image, like I needed to lose like a solid 10 pounds. Um, but you know, it showed the exact points of like the radiation and how it would go through my body and what was being radiated and what it looked like from the inside.
[00:11:21] Shauna: And I really, it gave me like a way better context of like what was actually going to be happening after that. You know, she had asked me about my preference on appointments and I originally had said mornings I knew I was gonna start going back to work. I’m also a morning person, so for me, I just wanted to get it over with and just have it done first thing in the morning and not have to worry about it. But unfortunately, the first two weeks there was only evening appointments available, and then there were three weeks afterwards were morning appointments. So I originally started off in the evening, which was not ideal for me.
[00:11:57] Rosalina: After my CT scan, I just met with the nurse and she was just kind of explaining to me of how many times a day I should apply lotion, what type of lotions I should use, not exposing my skin to the sun, not taking vitamin C or E, just because they’re antioxidant, it could interfere with your radiation. She was just explaining, eating like a well-balanced diet and drinking a lot of water. That’s what they told me. But with you, Shauna, you had something different, right?
[00:12:35] Shauna: My nurses didn’t say anything about the vitamins. They knew I was on a multivitamin, didn’t. You know, mentioned that I needed to stop taking it or anything. You know, all my medications were listed in my MyChart, so they knew everything that I was putting in my body. They did give me clen cream. They told me that that was like the cream that they recommend.
[00:12:55] Rosalina: They also gave me that too. Yep. They gave me a sample. Yeah. Which
[00:12:59] Shauna: was nice. Yeah, they gave me full bottles, not bottles, tubes. Yeah. And they provided lot for me throughout my entire radiation because those tubes are expensive. The clen cream is expensive.
[00:13:13] Rosalina: They’re like $10.
[00:13:14] Shauna: Yeah. But when you’re using it like we are we using it. Yeah. Right. So yeah, you’re right, you’re right. Now, I mean there, there was like a week that I think I went through like two tubes, and I’m also doing a clinical trial for a caffeine cream. Which is supposed to help also repair the skin.
[00:13:33] Rosalina: How long are you doing this?
[00:13:35] Shauna: That I will be doing for six months? I was like very gungho about doing the clinical trial. I’m like, yes, I’m down. If it could help somebody else, I’m also willing to try anything at this point, I mean, to an extent. So, um, doing it for six months, they give me a big tub of cream that’s instructed to use it with the clonal cream on my skin in the morning and in the evening.
[00:13:55] Rosalina: And then you have to write down what you’re eating too, right?
[00:13:58] Shauna: Yeah, yeah. So because it’s a caffeine cream, um, I also need to document how much caffeine I have throughout the day, every day. Just caffeine.
[00:14:05] Rosalina: Not what you eat,
[00:14:06] Shauna: not what I eat, but if I eat chocolate, chocolate has caffeine in it, you know, if I have a soda that has caffeine in it, so I need to document that. If it has caffeine in it, I have to put it down and I have to put how much I had. So it’s been kind of hard. I’m like, you know, if I had like a chocolate chip cookie, I’m like, all right, well I had one chocolate chip cookie. I don’t know how to count that, you know? So I had also asked, you know, when I found myself really burning.
[00:14:29] Shauna: I’m a big mm-hmm. Believer in Aqua four, like a, I love it. I have tubs of it. I have tubes of it everywhere. I use it on my lips. I use the, the spray bottle on my skin, you know, in the winter when I’m really mm-hmm. You know, dried out from the winter. I just love it. So I had asked, and my radiology oncologist said she loved Aqua four. She actually prefers that over the Clen LA cream, even though she didn’t mention it to me at first. But, uh, so I use that actually all through radiation, still using it. Now,
[00:14:58] Rosalina: another thing that my nurse mentioned, applying deodorant on this side that’s getting radiated. So she was mentioning that like, your skin can get affected and, you know, it’s your choice if you wanna apply deodorant or not. I made a joke, it was like, I don’t even sweat on that side. Another thing that my nurse mentioned when I apply cream, I shouldn’t apply. I think it’s like, Two to three hours before I’m getting treated because we don’t want any residue on the skin when it’s getting radiated. It needs to be clean.
[00:15:34] Shauna: They told me that as well. And they also told me to use a gentle body wash Yes. And a moisturizing body wash. So I use Dove and I use um, like a pH balance, clean body wash to clean my skin and get the remaining lotion off. Like before I would get outta the shower and then reapply. But I did also have to wait three hours, so that was helpful in the morning as well. Mm-hmm. Because I would shower and then just shoot right there and then apply my creams after radiation.
[00:16:02] Rosalina: Right. Yep. Same for my body wash. I just use a Trader Joe’s brand and I think it has like aloe in it, so it’s like, you know, moisturizing. Yep. Mm-hmm. So for me, during my sessions, they recommended applying lotion twice a day. But you know, I was a little bit overachiever and I did three times because I was like, I’m not fucking around. When I met with my radiation oncologist, I was terrified. I was terrified of radiation because of what I saw in the support groups of women who shared their pictures of what this skin looked like, and I was like, oh my gosh, this looks horrible. I told my radiation oncologist of like things that I saw and what this happened to me, like how can I prevent this from happening? And she is so nice and I love her to death. Like she’s actually my favorite doctor.
[00:17:01] Shauna: I loved my radiology oncologist too. I adore her.
[00:17:04] Rosalina: Yeah. Dr. McClusky is the breast cancer medical director of UCLA in Santa Monica. So she only treats breast cancer patients, so that’s her specialty. She basically mentioned to me that like, you know, she’s done this for over 15 years and she will tell me that I am going to be taken care of, and that at any moment she sees my skin is going into the direction where it might be like peeling and wet, peeling, I guess what I should say. She’s going to be there and make sure that, one, we prevent that from happening, or two, she knows exactly what she needs to do in order for my skin to heal. So I trusted her.
[00:17:49] Shauna: I went in the opposite of what you were. I walked in being like, this can’t be worse than chemo. You know, I, everyone says, oh, radiation breeze. Radiation breeze. So I kind of went in there being like, I am not nervous. Like let’s just do this and get it done so I can be done. She actually was the one that told me not to look at the pictures on the support group before I was even able to bring anything up. She was like, I know some women are posting about their experience with radiation and the burns are really bad. She said nine times out of 10 her patients don’t ever get that bad. Like what yours said. We monitor you. We are constantly looking at your skin. The radiology techs as well are looking at your skin. So I meet with my radiology oncologist on Tuesdays and you know, if anything happens between Tuesday to Tuesday, the radiology texts will have you be seen immediately. So that was, you know, definitely made me feel like a little like, okay, like there’s a lot of people monitoring me and not, I’m not that nervous.
[00:18:49] Rosalina: When I started treatment, I remember speaking to my nurse and saying, can we just make it a thing where if I am going to be assigned to a male tech, that there’s always going to be a woman tech there as well. I was just still like very vulnerable in the sense of just like exposing my breasts to men who I don’t know like that. I think like I, you know, I don’t really expose my breasts that way, so I just felt like there’s a woman in there. I just feel like a little bit more comfortable and that’s valid in that sense, and that’s just me, and that’s just who I
[00:19:30] Shauna: am and that’s so valid. And you just wanna be, mm-hmm. This is an uncomfortable experience and you wanna be as comfortable as possible, and that’s very valid.
[00:19:37] Rosalina: Yep, exactly. The radiology techs who helped me throughout this process. They are so genuine and they do such a great job. And I think after this whole experience, like men or female, like they’ve, they’ve done such a great job. So I just wanna point that out there that like, it’s not that I didn’t think that men wouldn’t do a good job, it’s just I needed to feel comfortable. And once I started to see them every single day, that’s when I started to realize that like, they’re here for me. They’re here to treat me. And they’re professional. And they’re professional. Yes, they’re professional. Exactly.
[00:20:15] Shauna: Yeah. Yes. I’m the opposite. I mean, at this point I feel like all of New York City has seen them, and I just don’t care truly. Especially in a hospital, you know, I, maybe I would feel that way in front of like other people, but like in a hospital, like in a professional setting that way I’m like, I don’t care. Like. This is, they see these on everyone doing this, you know, how many times a day, like nothing I have going on in their hair is gonna shock them. And I just said that. I was like, I don’t care.
[00:20:45] Shauna’s Radiation Experience
[00:20:45] Shauna: When I was going to my evening appointments, I had two male techs. And I, I don’t know, I just, I, I don’t know if it’s my defense mechanism to just be an idiot every time I walk in, like if it’s like a nervous thing, but I’m an idiot every time I walk in there.
[00:21:00] Shauna: I first night and I like get on the table and I have a playlist of, I call it my feel good playlist. It’s on Spotify. Mm-hmm. I’m gonna link it, you know, so our show perfect because it’s, it’s been like years in the making of just songs that started off, I was like a playlist I listened to at 7:00 AM and I was like in a really bad mood and like needed like a little pick me up session before I walked into work. And I have like a couple of friends that follow it now and they add songs and it’s just become this like epic playlist that I love. And it’s everything. I mean, what, who’s on it? It’s Tina Turner and like oldies and like, it would be, I don’t know, I think there’s a Justin Bieber song on there. It’s just any song that, for me felt good and I wanted to hear it, you know, so I walked in and, and, Like I said, I don’t know if I had, I don’t know if I just even mentioned this, this is again, chemo brain, but it’s, they’re not, like, some of the songs are not like popular mainstream songs, like they’re songs that aren’t on the radio.
[00:21:56] Shauna: Right. So, yeah. You know, I walked in first night undressing and it’s cold in there and you’re getting on this like basically gurney to lay down and you have like, no, my arm is above my head in the, like a holder? Yeah. Holder Uhhuh, you know, to keep my hand, yeah. Over my head. And mine basically was the shape of like an my arm and my arm was like placed in it to like hold it above my head. And then, so that was my right hand, that had to be up. And then my left hand I had to put in my pocket. So, uh, you know, I’m just like situating myself. And like, I walked in and there was like a Tom Petty song that I absolutely love playing and I like noted it. I was in my head, I was like, oh, I love this song. Like maybe this is some like good vibes, you know? And. So by the time I get on the table and I’m like all ready to go, I like can hear music playing. And I, I realize like it’s this Fleetwood Max song, um, it’s called Silver Springs. It’s like the best breakup song of all time. It’s amazing, but it’s not like a popular Fleetwood Max song.
[00:22:52] Shauna: And it’s my favorite song. And I, I think I was so stunned because like, it’s not a song that plays on the radio, it just like seemed to be to me like such a sign. And I like looked at the technician to my left and I like, I look at him and I go, you know, this is my favorite song. Right? And he just like, kinda like side eyed me and he is like, no, I didn’t know that. I’m like, yeah, of course he didn’t, he doesn’t know me. Yeah. So, you know, just like it, that was week one, you know, of me. Just like I felt like I was an idiot, but whatever. Then the next Monday was the day after Halloween and I walked in and. They’re nice, they’re friendly, you know, it’s two men and I get on the table again and they’re like, how was your weekend?
[00:23:38] Shauna: How was Halloween like, did you dress up? Like what’d you do? And I was like, at that point I was already annoyed of having to go every day. It, that really took like a toll throughout radiation of having to be there every day, valeting my car, getting my car back, making sure I was there, you know, on time for my appointment. Getting there early sometimes and being like, can they take me so I could just go home? Like it caused a lot, a lot of stress. And I think it was like my fifth radiation I think at that point. And I was, I was over it at that point, week one. And so, you know, they asked me about Halloween and if I dressed up and I just like looked at the guy dead in his face and I go, no, I didn’t dress up.
[00:24:16] Shauna: My life is pretty much a horror show. I didn’t feel the need to dress up. And he was just like, alright. Like they didn’t know what to say to me. And I don’t know why I kept saying all these things to make everyone in the room uncomfortable. But I did. But it was weird. Every time I would go to like radiation, I would hear songs off of this playlist, and I swear to God, at one point I asked. The morning technician, cuz I started to go in the mornings two weeks after, like if they were hacking into my Spotify.
[00:24:46] Rosalina: Oh my god. What did she say?
[00:24:48] Shauna: The guy, the guy said, oh, sorry, yeah, him. She said, yeah, yeah. What did you say? No, we’re not hacking into your Spotify. I was like, okay, see you tomorrow. Okay. Yeah. Okay. I dunno why like walked in there and was like such an idiot. But I felt comfortable from the jump with my original technicians. And then when I switched to the morning, it was a male and a female. And the female was so fun. She played some r and b song one day, an old r and b song, like nineties.
[00:25:15] Shauna: And I knew, I was like singing to it and she’s like, you know this, like, I looked at your birthday, like you shouldn’t know this. And I was like, I know all of this.
[00:25:21] Rosalina: Was she older?
[00:25:23] Shauna: She had to be like maybe late thirties, early forties. Like not that much older than me. Yeah. But yeah, so she was like pumped in the morning. She was like, I can play like all the good music with you. She’s like, I wish, like I had known this like early on when I started seeing you in the mornings, cuz like we could have had like some really good times. And I was like, oh, I love that. Oh my gosh. She was, that’s a good experience. Yeah. She and she was like, at by, you know, by my last one. She’s like, I’m gonna miss you. Aww. It was nice. Yeah. Yeah. Um, but all the radiology texts were, I mean, fantastic at nyu.
[00:25:58] Rosalina: Going into radiation to get treated also took a toll on me. Just like waking up, like having to get dressed. Going there takes 15 to 20 minutes, then like going back and have to like start my day, and some days I was fine, but then there were other days where I’m just like, oh my gosh, I’m just like itching and my skin is just agitated and I don’t feel like myself.
[00:26:23] Rosalina’s Radiation Experience
[00:26:23] Rosalina: It was a lot during those. Six and a half weeks that I had to go to radiation. Basically what happens is when I go in, they actually gimme a card with a barcode where I could just, um, sign myself in. Once I scan that, it basically tells them that I’m here and then I go through the doors and then there are three dressing room areas. And sometimes what happens is when those rooms are full, I basically go up to the nurse at their desk and like, Hey, can I just change in this room? Because the dressing room area is like all booked out. So sometimes I would just need to wait in another room for them to call me to get like treated. So like sometimes that happens and it, it get like a little annoying.
[00:27:05] Rosalina: Essentially you get undressed from the waist up and you have to wear a gown and basically you’re just sitting there until they call your name and then once you walk in, so they basically set up every patient. Like with the mold that they use of your upper body with all the treatment plan that they need to do for you. It’s very unique for each person. So they have to set it up before you come in, which could take, you know, like a few minutes here and there. So anyways, I walk in and they pull out this mold of my upper body and place it on the table. So then when I lie on my back, it is the mold of how I should put my arms up and everything like that.
[00:27:48] Rosalina: So I lift up my arms above my head, and then I have to turn my head to the right and then they do this like breathing exercise just to make sure that each time before I get radiated, that I’m set up correctly and then they leave the room. And then I hear them through the speaker when they say, okay, breathe in, hold and then breathe out. And it could take like a few seconds for like the machine to turn on and, and it is actually pretty loud. The machine like starts on my whole like chest wall, then they go to the front area, then they go all the way to the left to radiate like my lymph node areas as well. And sometimes for me, take. 10 minutes.
[00:28:33] Saving Your Skin During Radiation
[00:28:33] Rosalina: It could take 15 minutes, it could take 20 minutes depending on like the setup. And also there are days where they need to do x-rays as well, which takes longer. So they just wanna take x-rays of your positioning, your organs and all that, just to make sure that everything like looks fine. Each time that I get treated, I go into the dressing room area and I have the cula cream with me, and I actually apply it right then and there. It was no joke. I would be very, very adamant about after I get done treated, I’m going to apply this cream. And then when I go home, when I take a shower, I’m just going to apply another cream. And then before I go to sleep, I apply another cream. So I was very consistent because I didn’t want my skin to be damaged. I didn’t want my skin to look so bad From what I’ve seen in the Facebook support groups.
[00:29:24] Shauna: Yeah, mine was similar. I mean, kind of the same. I would check in, go and get changed. I didn’t mind it cuz NYU had the best robes. I think I sent you a picture. Yes. I was like, do you have robes that are like this? Nope. Love it. I’ll post the picture this week on our Instagram. But I loved the robes, so I didn’t mind that part. Um, and I would go in and I didn’t have any molds done of, of my upper body. My arm just went in like a, like a holster like I had talked about before, um, just above my head. And then I had to turn my, my head to the, the left. And um, and then I would, they would do radiation. And three days a week I would have to also get x-rays to make sure everything was still okay. And X-ray days were a little bit longer, but the days that I didn’t have x-rays, I mean maybe five minutes, you know, the actual radiation, it’s not long at all. Um, and then I would go back to the dressing room and I would immediately apply my cream still.
[00:30:25] Rosalina: Yeah, yeah. The reasons why yours were shorter, cuz you didn’t have to do the breathing technique, which might took a little bit longer.
[00:30:31] Shauna: I did, yeah. Did, yeah. I think there was maybe one day where I actually, no, that’s not true. There was a few days once I started to peel and was, you know, the friction underneath my arm caused a lot of peeling and, um, right below my breasts, you know, like almost where if you were wearing like an underwire bra, like right where the underwire would lay mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. I had a lot, it was like raw. Mm-hmm. I had a lot of peeling there. Mm-hmm. Same. So once I, that started and, you know, I burned pretty badly by, I think I was by week four, you know, I had a little bit more of like a, an extensive process of like putting on lotions and, and things like that. So from then on I would wait until I. Had a little bit more time because in the morning it’s busy. You know, there’s people in and out of the dressing rooms, they’re knocking on the doors and it’s like a process. When you have more than one cream that you have to use, I would start doing it. Once I left, I would just get dressed quick and then once I got to work and I had a couple of minutes, I would like really apply the creams and, and everything else that I had to put on top over it.
[00:31:39] Rosalina: Yep. Yep. I think it was like the third week mark is when I really started to get red and I don’t, I guess like, because I was so scared of like how my skin was going to look and what the radiation oncologist says is that it will gradually start, you know, getting mad in the sense, so you’re not going to see the changes, you know? Right. Then, then there’s just gonna gradually start happening.
[00:32:08] Shauna: Did she mention the discoloration to you?
[00:32:10] Rosalina: So in her notes said that she did, I just don’t remember. So I think I was a little shock in the sense that like I’ve never been that summer before, right when my skin started to get worse, my skin was like black, like really, really dark. Like especially under the boob area where the armpit area was on top of like my chest wall. Like all of that was just like very, very dark. And I freaked out. I was like, holy shit. Like my skin, I’ve never seen my skin this way before. So I definitely was freaked out, but I didn’t stop wearing a brawl. I think until like maybe my four week mark is when it really started to get really bad.
[00:33:00] Rosalina: And then one time when I was getting treated and I was laying on the table before the tech started to position me and all that, she looked at my breasts and she went to the phone and dialed the number to like Dr. McClusky. She was like, can you come in here and look at her skin? And then Dr. McCluskey came in and my skin was raw. Dr. McCluskey was saying like, is it hurting you? Are you like agitated? And I was like, yes, yes, yes. And then she was like, okay, we’ll have a plan for you. I. Was very grateful for that tech. I don’t know, for me it’s like, man, she’s, she took her job so seriously, but also like looking out for me as well. That that is just so nice.
[00:33:45] Rosalina: And that’s when I started to realize I am in the best care. The team that I have for radiation is so great and they’re looking out for me. And I absolutely, absolutely love that. Like another thing that I wanna mention here is I was scheduled to see my radiation oncologist every Tuesday, but that doesn’t mean that that was the only day I can see her. I could always request to be her at any time during the treatment. It’s not that I was afraid to mention it to her, it was just more of like, I’m gonna see her that Tuesday. So I’ll just mention it to her when we get there. But I just love that the tech just took it among herself to just say, This looks bad, and I’m gonna call the doctor and we’re gonna figure this out because like, you know, I, I, I think also for her, like, she doesn’t want a patient to be treated when the skin is like so bad and she probably doesn’t want it to get to that point where like, I could no longer get treated, you know?
[00:34:45] Shauna: Yeah. Like, if you needed a break, they would’ve given you a break in between.
[00:34:49] Rosalina: Exactly. Yes. Yes. So
[00:34:52] Shauna: my radiology oncologist is Dr. Carmen Perez at nyu, and, uh, she’s a Latina and she, you know, when I had asked about the burning and the discoloration and, and things like that, you know, she, she put it in, into a perspective for me being like, you know, if I was going to be having radiation, because our skin tones are different, you know, my skin would definitely look darker than. What your skin would look like. You know, you would be like a little bit more red, more pink as to where, you know, I would be, like you said, almost like your skin was just so, so dark. You’ve never even seen it that shade before. So I knew that that was a possibility.
[00:35:36] Shauna: My first session, I was red, not red. I was like a really pink, like, to where it scared me. I was like, great. First day, I’m gonna be so burnt by the end of the week. And it didn’t, it stayed pretty consistently pink, and then very, very red. And then it did turn pretty dark. It was almost like, like almost like dead skin basically. It just was like the darkest shade that I’ve ever, you know, and I’ve gotten, I have a, a complexion, I tan very deeply in the summertime, but this was like a, I’ve never seen a, my skin be that color before. It probably stayed that pink until. Maybe just being done with three weeks. You know, I didn’t burn, I didn’t have any itching. I like was religiously applying, you know, applying all the creams. It didn’t have to where it was raw. And then by week four, I was raw underneath my arm. It was bad. And they kept asking me as well, like, does it hurt?
[00:36:38] Shauna: Is it uncomfortable? And it’s hard. I was like, it’s hard to tell. Like I have from my surgery. I have a pretty big scar and it’s numb just like my breasts are underneath my armpit. So I was kind of grateful for that in that situation because I, I didn’t get to feel that uncomfortable pain from it. But it also was scary because I didn’t feel the pain I started to burn underneath my breast. Like where that underneath your breath breast. Where like the underwire would be like on a bra. I mean, I stopped wearing a bra after my double mastectomy, so that wasn’t causing any friction for me. But that area hurt because it was underneath where my incision was. So I felt, actually felt that pain. And you know, like I could feel that burn and that was like very uncomfortable. So I started to, they call it peeling, but basically I was burnt. I didn’t have an appointment, but they sent me over to the radiology oncologist’s office and they took a look and they told me it wasn’t as bad. It’s just from the friction underneath my arm. And they gave me alvine cream, which is a burn cream.
[00:37:38] Rosalina: It’s an antibacterial.
[00:37:39] Shauna: Yes, Uhhuh. So they gave me that and they also wrote me a prescription for a, like a steroid ointment for the itch. Even though I wasn’t itching, I think they just gave it to me being like, you’re gonna be itchy soon. So just have that like on deck cause of how raw it was. They wanted me to keep it like even as warm, moisturized as the most I could possibly be. So they ended up giving me gauze pads with that ointment. It’s like, did you have that after your Um,
[00:38:06] Rosalina: not with the ointment. No, just, just pads.
[00:38:09] Shauna: Okay. Yeah. So no, they gave me these medicated, like gauze pads. Um, I had them as strips that I went on my incision line after my double mastectomy. I can’t think of the name of them at this moment, but it was basically just like a big rectangle that went like over my skin. And they gave me a bunch. And then they also gave me this like mesh. It was like a mesh top, basically they cut a hole and they made it like a one arm crop top. Basically it held the pads. They put gauze pads over the medicated goss pads. So like my shirt wasn’t covered in the medicine, uh, but basically like kept it close to the skin and to keep my skin like super moisturized.
[00:38:47] Shauna: So I had that. So that’s when I talked about I wasn’t putting the medicine on right away. So after, probably like by week four, because I had such a process of, yeah, my caffeine cream, my calendula cream, my cine cream, the aqua four I was using, and then having the, the medicated pads and then this mesh top that I was wearing. I mean, it was like quite the process.
[00:39:08] Rosalina: Right. Yeah. So I also started going on the cine cream, which that clinic is, is super nice. And they provided me with the cream. I actually went through, I think like two or three little bottles. Once my skin started to get raw, they switched me over to the sine cream. So basically I was applying that cream under my breasts around the outer layer of my breast, and then my lymph node area. And then they provided me with pads just to put on top of the chest wall, and then my armpit area, and then a post-surgical bra. So then the pads could just be intact in place. And then also for my skin, not to get irritated because like sometimes when you’re wearing shirts that are open enough that like you’re. Skin on your arm gets in contact with the skin on your armpit. Like it could be really irritating.
[00:40:07] Shauna: That friction is horrible.
[00:40:08] Rosalina: Yeah. The friction yeah. Is horrible. Yep. And so it was nice to have pads around. So then that friction like, does it happen? And I can feel a little bit more relaxed. Yeah.
[00:40:20] Shauna: I loaded it, loaded the pads up with aqua four so that you know it like extra protected it. Underneath my armpit.
[00:40:29] Rosalina: So after I think two weeks of being on the silver D cream, which can be drying, so that’s why they said to not apply it more than twice a day. I did it in the morning, and then when I took a shower, I applied it at night. And then I also applied the aquifer as well. Yeah, basically I was applying the silver jean cream for two weeks and then I switched over to aquifer and just applying that. But I was just still wearing the pads because I just didn’t want any friction to be happening. Not that my skin was like super raw, like it was definitely healing, but I was just being very conservative and just not wanting my skin to react even more or just have any friction. So I just, wearing those pads, just um, as a precaution.
[00:41:21] Shauna: I actually like the pads. I don’t have one on today, but as of yesterday, that was like two weeks after radiation. I’m wearing it still because I also like the idea of it trapping Rin. Yes. Like keeping it. Yep. Mm-hmm.
[00:41:33] Rosalina: Yeah, that’s exactly why I, I did that. Yeah. When my skin was started to get really raw and I was started to get really concerned and I was just getting agitated and just sick of this treatment and wanting to be done and you know, just, there was just a lot of emotions going on and so. When my radiation oncologist like just saw my skin, she was just like, come see me before you start treatment and I’ll just monitor you like every single day and we’ll see if you just need a break or we’ll like switch over your plan. Cause I had like two different treatment plans. So one was to radiate my whole entire chest wall.
[00:42:15] Rosalina: And the other was just to boost the area where I had the positive margin. So once my skin started to get really raw, like on the outskirts of my breasts and then my armpit area, we kind of switched over to do the boosted treatment. It was nice that one, she saw me every day, so I felt even like, like way more comfortable. She was seeing me every day, like I felt like she cared. She wanted to take care of me. Again, she’s like my favorite doctor. Just the way that she approached every concern that I had. And when I was at my lowest point, cuz I was during radiation, I knew that I had a great doctor and she was just, she like monitored me.
[00:43:08] Rosalina: And again, she just like reassured me that like, we’ll get through this. Like we, we have a plan. Like, don’t worry. Like we, we have a plan for you. So, um, it was her, it was the, the nurses. The nurses were so incredible as well. I had two different ones that, um, just came to me and say like, Hey Rosalina, how are you doing? Do you need more pads? Do you need more cream? Like, I loved that. I loved that. Like they were also like, just. Trying to see if like, I needed anything and and they were so kind. Yeah. And, and so gentle. By the time that my skin was just really agitated and I was going on that cream, I basically was seeing the radiation oncologist every single day until the end of my treatment.
[00:44:01] Rosalina: And, um, the reason why she cut down my radiation treatment from 36 to 33 is just because she knows that Dr. Baker, my breast surgeon, was gonna go back and removed that extra skin that’s in between my two scars. Instead of being done on Friday. I was done on Tuesday. My mood just changed completely. I was like, fuck, I’m almost done. Like, this is so great.
[00:44:29] Shauna: Yeah. That’s like such a mood booster.
[00:44:31] Rosalina: Yes. I saw the finishing line where in the beginning I didn’t. And also I wanna mention so many people in my personal life, they mean so well. And I know that, but they kept mentioning, like, on my two week mark, on my three week mark, they were like, oh my gosh, you’re halfway there. Like, you got this. I’m the type of person that if I am like a week away from being done, like I’d rather hear that than I’m halfway done. I just didn’t feel that that was helpful in a way for them to say, I’m halfway done when I feel like I’m not right,
[00:45:04] Shauna: and like, I just wanna be done. Yeah. Don’t tell me I’m halfway there. I just wanna be done. Yeah, let’s talk about that when that happens. Exactly. I, I felt that a little bit as well. I really started feeling fatigue probably by week two, probably two and a half. I was exhausted. I was also experiencing some really horrific bone pan due to chemo and due to the Zoladex shot. So I was uncomfortable, like, not only was I exhausted, I was uncomfortable. And on top of that, I started back at work. I nanny, I watched two kids, two and four months old at the time when I started back. And that’s a lot. And I’m in New York City where I’m, don’t throw kids in a car. I’m walking up with strollers and bags.
[00:45:51] Radiation is NOT a Breeze
[00:45:51] Shauna: And I thought that there was gonna be like an ease into it. There wasn’t. And I was a wreck. I was just in pain, exhausted, uncomfortable, just done. I was sick of going to treatment. And granted, you are going every day in the grand scheme of things. Okay, it’s five weeks. I just completed 16 rounds of chemo with a grand total of 20 weeks, like five weeks. Seems like a breeze. And the oncologist and radiology oncologist and everyone in the support groups tell you, radiation is a breeze. Radiation’s a breeze. You are young and you’re healthy and you’re gonna handle this. You’re gonna, you are gonna handle this so well. Well, somebody fucking lied to me because I did not, I was not handling anything well, I wasn’t handling anything well.
[00:46:34] Shauna: I was a mess. By week three, I was so bad that I ended up having a full blown meltdown in my radiology oncologist’s office. It got to the point where I had said to the nurse and the radiology oncologist like, what is the point? Literally, that’s what I had said. What is the point? What is the point fighting if I’m just gonna feel like this? And it was bad. I mean, I’m not gonna lie, actually, it was probably worse than my chemo meltdown that I had after AC going into my fourth ac. Like it was probably bad. And it was to the point where the, the nurse was like, we want to have you talk to one of our psychologists. And I was like, well, I already have a therapist.
[00:47:12] Shauna: I see her once a week. And they’re like, no, we want you to see like one of our people. It was like that bad of a meltdown. I was miserable. I did, I felt like somebody lied to me. I felt better on tax than I did doing radiation. And also too, this is our second time recording. Let’s, let’s just tell everyone, this is our second time recording this episode because I was such a mess when we recorded The first one that I, I had asked, can we redo this once I’m finished? Because I was in no shape to be recording that episode a few weeks ago.
[00:47:42] Rosalina: That is just what we’re going through. Like th this is real. This is us being like our antic selves. Like radiation was tough. If I had to compare, I felt like a little bit like myself during radiation, then chemo, like I didn’t know who I was. It was very bad. But during radiation, I felt like maybe I was getting, you know, myself back a little bit in a way. My boyfriend also kind of noticed as well. But radiation was tough and it’s another treatment. Do you have to go through? Your skin is being agitated. You can’t wear bra, you have to wear like oversized shirts, you have to apply cream like constantly, and you’re getting burnt and you’re seeing yourself in the mirror and you’re like, fuck. Like, this looks horrible. And you can’t expose your skin in the sun. You have to be worried about covering yourself fully. Here’s the thing that my radiation oncologist told me when I saw her again, like three week post-treatment, I did ask her, I said, should I still be conscious about not exposing my skin out in the sun?
[00:48:48] Rosalina: And she says that, you know, I want you to have a good quality of life. And obviously, right, don’t overdo it, but like you could just apply SPF F and your skin would be fine as long as you apply that. I did ask her like, should I still keep applying lotion for the next year or so? And she says that it doesn’t hurt to do that, um, especially until you swap out your expander. She says that like, I don’t have to use aqua four. I could just use just regular body lotion that I’m using right now. But I will say what I love about like my body is neckline and my collarbone one of my best parts about my body, I guess. So I love wearing v-necks. And by not. Wearing V-neck. That was one of the parts where I didn’t feel like myself in the sense of like, on the outside at least.
[00:49:41] Shauna: Also too, you’re, you’re applying so much like lotion and cream that like I ended up buying just a couple of haes, like t-shirts cuz I didn’t wanna ruin any of like my nice shirts.
[00:49:50] Rosalina: I did too. Yeah. When you mentioned that when we were like talking, um, through tech messages, I was like, yeah, that’s actually a good idea. Just like buy just cheap shirts just to get rid of. Yeah. Yeah. Especially when you’re applying Aqua four. Aqua four is like very thick and, and greasy. Um, it can get all over your sheets. It did for mine one time. Yeah. Uh, yeah.
[00:50:16] Shauna: So yeah, same, same for me. I, at that point, I mean I was in like, kind of like hoodies and like sweatshirts, like things that were like looser. Um, That just like covered like the ugly t-shirt I was wearing. So I think it’s different. You know, you are in California, I’m in cold ass New York right now, so I didn’t feel like my clothes, I didn’t feel like I wasn’t myself, but internally I felt like I wasn’t myself. I mean, I’m, you know, two weeks out now and I’m still, I’m exhausted. I mean, I definitely feel better. I think I’m in a better head space too. I mean, I had a lot going on the month of November. A lot. I moved, I started going back to work. At the beginning of that I was finding an apartment, going to radiation every day. I bit off more that I could chew. I’ll just say that we had finally moved and we’re in our new place and settled and I settled back at work, you know, the best way I can and not going to the hospital or the cancer center every day has also been like a big mood changer.
[00:51:18] Shauna: You know, I, I don’t feel like I need to rush there, like need to be somewhere. So I, I’d say mentally I’m in a really good head space of. Big picture of chemo, you know, chemo and radiation and like active treatment being done. I’m like, is starting to finally set in. It hasn’t yet for me. Um, yeah, but I’m starting to get excited.
[00:51:39] Rosalina: When I completed radiation that whole week, I did something every single day. Like Brian and I went to two concerts. We went to like a hockey, hockey game. I know.
[00:51:54] Shauna: I dunno how I was like literally, like I, I think I was crying to you being like, I, I am like the, in the worst place in my entire year that basically, Yeah, I didn’t even feel like this, like during ke, like chemo was hard, but I didn’t feel like this much like despair almost like as I did throughout radiation. And then you’re like at concerts and I’m like, I’m falling asleep at like seven 30. How are you out? I don’t even know how you did it.
[00:52:22] Rosalina: That’s so funny. To be honest, I just wanted to be able to just sleep in and not be having to wake up around like 7:00 AM you know, I completed my active treatment so I no longer have treatment where I need to do it for like a month, two month, three months, whatever. Like that’s all finished. And so I was really excited.
[00:52:43] Shauna: You rode the high? Yes, that’s what I did. Rode the high. Exactly that my, like week after chemo I was on cloud nine for like a solid probably week and a half. I was so pumped that chemo was done, you know, cuz I really thought that that was gonna be like the hardest part. And it was hard. Chemo was very hard, especially 16 rounds of it was very hard. But, um, So I rode, I think I rode that high aft, you know, after chemo. And you did it after radiation.
[00:53:10] Rosalina: Brian took me out to dinner and, I don’t know, it was just like a sense of relief that like I was done and I didn’t have to fucking think about doing these type of treatments for like a couple of weeks and months. Like, I’m done doing chemo, I’m doing done doing radiation. Now I can live like a semi, semi, yeah, normal life.
[00:53:33] Shauna: I think if I wasn’t so tired, I probably would’ve been a little bit more amped up. I, I was just fucking tired.
[00:53:44] Rosalina: Well, also like, I mean, what you just mentioned, like you were working, you know, you’re moving, like, I feel like that sticks a lot.
[00:53:52] Shauna: Oh yeah. I, I don’t know. And I, I can’t even say I did it to myself, you know, I. Everyone told me I was gonna breeze through treatment. So I was like, okay, I can start going back to work. You know? And we like had to get out of the place that we were in before it was just too small for our things. And you know, when I had gotten my apartment, that was, I was living alone and now Matt was back in New York and we just like had to move. And this place kind of, you know, we didn’t have like a time limit where we had to be out, but we had, we wanted to be out as soon as we could. So it just happened to be that we found that place. And then it was a November 15th move and it was a lot. I’m glad it’s done. And you know, I feel good now. Like, I feel like had I found a place for December 1st Yep.
[00:54:42] Shauna: I would’ve finished my last treatment and then moved later that day. It happened how it was supposed to happen, but it was a lot in, in the mix of it. But yeah, I don’t know. It hasn’t fully, I think because, you know, my skin is still healing once I’m, maybe once I’m healed a little bit, like then it will kick in. I’m hoping because like I am excited that it’s done, but it just hasn’t hit yet. Yeah, I mean, I’m, I’m getting there. I think maybe in a half a week, maybe it’s full week and I’ll be in good shape. It says that, yeah, I’m just gonna keep being crazy with the pads and whatnot.
[00:55:17] Rosalina: When I did my follow up with my radiation oncologist, she was like, how’s your skin looking? And I was like, great, it’s healing. It’s, it looks way better than what it did before. And that’s what I’m like happy about. If, you know, if my skin wasn’t healing and it was still block, like I would still be concerned. So that’s actually another thing is, um, you need to follow up with your radiation oncologist two weeks after you’re done with radiation so they can monitor your skin and, and see if, you know there’s anything they need to do back a month. Oh wait. Oh, you go back a month? Mm-hmm. Okay. Nevermind. So for me it was they two weeks
[00:56:02] Shauna: they told me. They told me, yeah, they told me I could come in if I had like skin concerns, but they’d see me in a month. Okay. Which is fine. I was like at that point I’m not trying to come here for a while. Yeah.
[00:56:16] Bone Pain
[00:56:16] Rosalina: I know you mentioned about bone pain and I also want to say that as well, in the beginning of radiation I did feel stiff around my hip area. Um, and I thought just like walking it off would help. It did and then it didn’t. So I, every time I would sit down and then like stand up, that’s where like I just feel the pain for a few minutes. I’ll be like limping in a way and then I’ll be fine walking. But I actually found out when I met with my medical oncologist, so it’s because of the Lupron.
[00:56:57] Shauna: Yeah, so I got switched to Lupron because they thought it was the Zoladex and my, my ankles. When I get up, my ankles don’t move, they’re stiff. I’m like, I have to like waddle until like, they loosen up a little bit. My hips are in shambles. Like I, yeah, they’re so uncomfortable. My kneecaps just click all day long. I’ve been waking up, my hands have been really stiff. It’s also getting very cold here. It could just be a mix of chemo, the injection, and then now just the weather have chronic Lyme. So I had joint pain even before cancer. So I think it’s just like a whole total combination. And I’ve started, uh, Gabapentin, which is for nerve pain. Um, even though I don’t have any neuropathy or any nerve pain, there’s nerve endings in your bones. So my oncologist has had me on that, and it, it takes the edge off. I’m not gonna lie. It definitely helps, but not like I need it to work for me. So I go back at the end of the month and we gotta, Go back to the drawing bar and figure this out because I’m really uncomfortable. Like I’m actually dreading after we’re done recording Yeah. Standing up off this couch because I’m not gonna be able to walk for, mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.
[00:58:09] Rosalina: A little bit. One of the things that my medical oncologist did tell me, um, which is what you hear all the time, is exercise. Um, which could like relieve the pain a bit. And that’s kind of what I read in the Facebook support groups too, that, you know, um, these women who did have joint pain when they started exercising, like they didn’t feel the pain as much as I did before. Um, but again, like everybody’s different and you know, that that’s what they just told me, you know?
[00:58:48] Shauna: Yeah. And I mean, I’m back at work. I’m walking seven miles a day, close to seven miles a day. If not seven miles. And once I’m going, I’m fine. You know, like once I’m in like a stride of walking around the city, I’m, I’m okay. Like, granted, I’m so, like, I’m uncomfortable, but it, it definitely, once I’m going, it feels better. But it’s just getting up to start going is the problem right now. Yes. Yep. Uh, so, you know, uh, hopefully I’ll get there. We’ll find mm-hmm. You know, a solution, whether it’s more exercise or a trip to the rheumatologist or I don’t know. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. But I’m praying, you know, I’ll have some answers by the end of the month on how to move forward.
[00:59:32] Rosalina: Yeah. Yeah. Another thing, um, that Brian has, has mentioned is like, you know, I, I don’t show that like I’m in pain. That is just who I am. And, and I think maybe you’re. Also this way, Shauna, like, you don’t like, kind of express how much in pain you are. I, I just like deal with it and obviously like this is not for everyone and I don’t recommend it at all. But that’s how I just cope with life ever since I was young. Like I just dealt with things.
[01:00:17] Shauna: I also have a really high pain tolerance, never. Yeah.
[01:00:20] Rosalina: Me, me too. Yes.
[01:00:21] Shauna: Yeah. Like realized I think up until probably this year actually. Mm-hmm. And, but even though I’m not expressing it, you can see it. Like, you can see, you can see it, you can see that my body is just not, my joints are so locked up. Like I, I’ll go from sitting and standing in, like, I’m not walking like a normal person. Yeah. Yeah. So you can see, you know, even though I’m not expressing it, like it’s, it’s showing. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. And it’s showing too in my mood because, you know, when you’re out, when you are in pain, like you’re not, I’m not gonna be in my best self. Mm-hmm. You know, and especially in the evening after walking seven miles, you know, like, my, my body hurts and I’m coming home and I’m tired and I’m cranky and I just, you know, don’t, I don’t wanna talk or I don’t wanna, I just wanna go to bed, or, you know, it, I, it’s showing in other ways even if I’m not expressing it
[01:01:06] Rosalina: right. Yep. I agree. Yeah. But,
[01:01:11] Done With Active Treatment
[01:01:11] Shauna: but on a positive note, we’re done, we’re done with active treatment. I know. Yes. Super positive. And it’s, for me at least, like in the beginning of my diagnosis, I told Brian, I was like, I just wanna be done by the end of the year. You know, we’re able to be done and like within the next year we can even though, like obviously we have to deal with this for the, for the rest of our lives, but live in the moment as much as we can.
[01:01:45] Rosalina: No, absolutely. And I mean, my. I don’t know. When, when is your cancer anniversary? Is that like the day that you finish treatment or is that the day you’re diagnosed?
[01:01:56] Rosalina: It could be any day. Well, wherever day you, I dunno.
[01:01:58] Shauna: Well, January 5th is the day I went and got my biopsy and they told me then and there that they thought it was cancer. So that’s coming up. You know, I have less than a month until my one year mark of this horror show has started. And you know, I, I remember, you know, once they had told me that, and I remember being like, I, I’m praying to God, you know, waiting for my biomarkers to come back, being like, please don’t let this be, please don’t let me be her too positive. Like it’s gonna add so much, like it’s gonna add a year. I’m gonna be doing this for a year of my life. Treatment’s gonna be a year of my life. And I mean, I’m not her too positive. And it’s been a year of my life. I just finished December 1st. It’s almost a year and it’s just looking at. The whole, I mean, it’s taken a year of your life and a year of your life, and it’s like I am grateful to be done.
[01:03:00] Rosalina: Thank you all for listening and supporting our podcast. Sharing our stories with you has been incredibly healing for both of us, and we hope it helps other women in their journeys through breast cancer.
[01:03:12] Shauna: Ladies, if you enjoyed this episode, please share it with your friends and fellow Rusties, help us reach more women by subscribing and rating us on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and now on YouTube. You can follow us on Instagram at t y fts podcast and email us TFTs podcast gmail com. We love hearing from you guys, so shoot us a message, Google link, any resources from that episode in our show notes.