RE: Radiation Tips and Experiences
Thursday, February 28, 2008 10:25 AM
I finished rads January 21st (and quit smoking the week before woo hoo).
My advice is: go without a bra whenever possible, all the time if you can. Get some cami's with a shelf bra in them if you need some support.
Pure aloe, from an aloe plant. Cut the aloe leaf off and slice through it lengthwise, and the juice will just be there ready to smooth on. I have a sunroom which is a bit on the cool side in the winter, so the aloe felt nice and cool. You could cut the leaf and wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge to get the same effect.
That worked really good until the last 2 weeks of radiation, and then I moved on to a product they sell at the pharmacy behind the counter called "RADIX". This has a ton of lidocaine in it along with aloe and really helps with the pain from the burn.
I am rather large chested, so I got terribly burnt along the side of my breast and underneath. When I was at that stage, I could barely put anything on it. The onocologist recommended I use the magic mouthwash (benedryl, maalox and lidocaine) they gave me for gargling during chemo for mouth sores. I applied it GENTLY with a cotton ball to the blisters and burns.
Hang in there. Radiation sucks, there is no burn worse painwise, it hurts more than a bad oven burn on the wrist. The onky will keep you in pain meds, JUST ASK if you need them. The last 2 weeks I shed a lot of tears from the pain, but now I can tell you that I survived the ordeal! Again, if you are small breasted, you probably will not have the same problems I did. The onky said the reason I burnt so bad was because of the size of my breasts, and when I laid on the table for treatment it sort of folded on itself and therefore got a double dose on the side and underneath.
REST as much as you can. My appointments were at 2:15 daily for 33 sessions, including boost, and it was a PITA breaking up my day every day, but while you are in treatment, you need to listen to your body and rest as much as it tells you too.
I still tire easily, but my oncologists both told me it would take me about 1 year from the day of diagnosis for me to feel back to normal completely.
One last thing, and I am sorry if this doesn't sound upbeat, but this entire cancer ordeal was really hard on me...when radiation ends, I crashed emotionally. My doctor prepared me for this right before I started the boost treatments. He told me that most women feel sort of, not abandoned, but well, you are in daily contact with a RN, and the radiation techs, and you see your doctor once a week, and all of a sudden you are done and alone, and for me, that was when I realized what I had gone through.
I think when we get the diagnosis, we are so busy waiting on labs, waiting on pathology, and then plugging along doing whatever needs to be done to insure that you kill the beast, that the truth of the word "cancer" really doesn't hit you. When I finished rads, I sort of stopped dead in my tracks and said "whoa"...I cried, sobbed actually, for days afterwards. And then I joined a Breast Cancer Support Group. I couldn't have gone to any meetings during treatment, I wouldn't have had the strength, but let me tell you, once I got there, I felt totally normal and realized everything I was experiencing emotionally was ok.
Best wishes...hang tough. Its 33 days. Then you are done :))
(oh my gosh did i just vent?) lol[sm=whew.gif][sm=whew.gif]<--------this is me now on tamoxifen freaking hot flashes
Karen Sandoval age 51
IDC RB Stage 1 gr 2
lumpectomy RB 8/31 1.1mm clear margins
HER2- ER+ BRCA1/2 negative!
A/C DONE!! 11/13
Rads DONE! 1/21/07 Tamoxifen 5 years visit my blog! http://karen826.vox.com