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Raw Neck-Posponed Radiation

DJG1
Posts: 122
Joined: Jun 2010

Hello Everyone,
Today I went for my 29 of 33 treatment. Because my neck was litterly red raw flesh, the tech had me see the doctor before hand. He suggested we suspend the treatments until next wednesday. Needless to say I was quite happy as my neck is beyond a mess. He suggested I quit using the prescribed Maiderma cream and get some coconut butter oil. He did give me my first pain medication, Percoct. Not Sure if I can even sallow them. Was wondering if anyone else had the treatment stopped for a week? Can my neck heal in a weeks time? I have done really well until this week. I thought I would graduate on Election Day, but I guess that will not be the case. I am pondering if I should just be a drop out instead. I would appreciate any input or advise anyone has. THanks,
Deb

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8103
Joined: Sep 2009

My neck didn't get unbearable, just pretty discolored, dry and peeled, inside was much worse.

More than likely you can't taste much at this time so this should be tolerable. uring my treatment, I would take a percocet and dissolve it in a little water and drink that down when needed.

Your neck will more than likely dry up and heal enough in a week or so to get you through the last few sessions...unless it's absolutely unbearable and you just can't stand it though, I'd try to bear the pain and knock those last few out, staying on schedule...but then, I'm not you, and definitely not a medical professional.

Very best to you, and hoping for a quick healing to get it done.
John

Pam M's picture
Pam M
Posts: 2194
Joined: Nov 2009

Deb,

Sorry to hear your neck's gotten worse. Is Mederma the only med they've prescribed for your neck? When mine got worse, they switched me to Silvadene (can't recall spelling). Was glad you did so very well earlier in treatment. Hope you get some relief soon. Dunno about dropping out - my gut says "stay and suffer", but I have no idea what I'm talking about. I think Ratface here did some research at one time on stopping treatments early - I'm sure he did. Do well. Let us know. There's also a wrap that comes in sheets that you put in the fridge that's supposed to be magic - can't recall the name of it, though.

GraceLibby's picture
GraceLibby
Posts: 88
Joined: Jul 2010

Deb -

My doc gave me some wrap sheets that had a Vaseline type substance that I put on my neck then wrap in gauze. Helps to keep the area moist. I also use Aquaphor during the day and just keep the stuff slathered on except during treatment time. Deb, you are so very very close. The call is yours, but I'd keep going. Also, I'm surprised that they *just* now gave you stuff for your neck and pain.

luv4lacrosse's picture
luv4lacrosse
Posts: 1409
Joined: Jul 2010

I never had my treatment suspended, but I am one week post and finished with a neck that was bleeding in several places. Look at me today and you would never know how bad it was just one week ago.

You should be fine.

Mike

DJG1
Posts: 122
Joined: Jun 2010

Thanks to the input from everyone. I know today is not the time to make a decission about continuing treatment, espically when the pain is so bad. I will give it till Tuesday and then decide what to do. To answer a few questions, yes the taste buds are shot, so the taste of the medicine is not an issue. Even when I crush up the pills, it still feels like something is stuck in my throat. I can still sallow, but always have that sinsation that something is stuck. I think it is due to the throat being so inflamed from the radiation. and yes, this is the only pain med. the doctor has prescribed. I really have not needed much up till now. I did take a couple of pain pill left over from teeth extraction earlier when needed. I have been very fortunate up till now, and only hope this is just a temporaty setback. I do have concerns about the veins in your neck. They are very sore to the touch where the neck is so burnted. Is there any chance of damage to the veins in your neck? Anyone have any inoformatin on this?

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8103
Joined: Sep 2009

They should give you a prescription for liquid meds as well...ask for them. They usually only last short term (10 - 20 minutes), but long enough to allow for some water, Ensure, and then the dissolved percocets...

I had the magic mouthwash of xxxcanes, also liquid hydrocodone and oxicotin....

Insist they give you some liquid meds and numbing solutions....

JG

Army_Guy's picture
Army_Guy
Posts: 53
Joined: Oct 2010

The protocol I went through called for radiation twice daily (6 hours apart) for 28 days (56 treatments in all). Needless to say my neck (and throat) took a beating! They gave me a one week break and during that time I slathered my neck in Aquafor all day, every day. It healed. I am 10 weeks post-treatment and you would never know my neck was in such bad shape from radiation "sunburn". I say don't drop out...gut it out. You'll make it through okay.

Dave

D Lewis's picture
D Lewis
Posts: 1547
Joined: Jan 2010

If the rads oncologist says "Get up off that table! See you in a week!" ya gotta go.

Deb

Noellesmom
Posts: 1317
Joined: Aug 2010

The doctors and nurses were amazed at how good Jim's neck looked. We used a product called "Udder Balm" (and we used the balm, not the cream) recommended by his radiation oncologist. It did very well. No burning. I rubit on his neck every night at bedtime. We are now two months post-treatment and the dry skin continues so we have not let up on using the balm. We buy this at Wal-Mart and the price is very reasonable.

Remember the effects of the radiation continue quite awhile after the treatment stops. Keep using whatever works for you.

cliff74
Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2010

DEB, I didn't stop treatments but boy I thought about it....Don't stop you are almost done. My neck got bad with the last 10 concentrated treatments, I ended up going to the dollar store and getting a triple antibiotic ointment for my neck. My neck on one side was very raw and would burn very bad when it started to dry out, I had to cut the neck out of my shirts because I couldn't stand anything touching my neck, the ointment kept it moist and bearable, it was greasy but a small sacrifice. I could not have it on my neck for treatments so I would shower and beat it to my radiation appointment and as soon as it was done I would apply it to my neck. I am two weeks post treatment and my neck is almost completely healed with no pain. I had 35 treatments and the last 10 were killers but they are over now I just have to wait till the 1st of the new year for a pet scan and see how the chemo and radiation worked. I know your pain but you are close don't quit now you only have 4 to go! GOOD LUCK

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5927
Joined: Apr 2009

Glad to have you here with us on CSN and glad to hear you are finish with your treatment, I hope you plan to stay and continue helping others who are just starting there journey.

All the best to you

kingcole42005's picture
kingcole42005
Posts: 177
Joined: Oct 2010

I'm on 18 of 33 and right under my chin is where the rads are directed and it is looking very angry. I have been putting aquaphor on it at night. Can't use it during treatment so I wash it off in the morning before my rad appt. My RO also suggested the udder cream, I haven't tried that yet. I also have been taking liquid morphine, I developed mucositis and have been unable to swallow. They don't have liquid percocet anymore my pharmacist said so they put me on the liquid morphine. Good luck to you and Happy Holidays! Shelly

ratface's picture
ratface
Posts: 1254
Joined: Aug 2009

Deb, you want to finish because the last week they typically change the radiation fields and levels to attack likely places the cancer might have spread, for instance the field will change to an opposite side at decreased levels in a "Just in case" or "mop up" operation. This also will give you some relief in the burned area. Follow the machine as it makes it's rotation and you will notice a different pattern and duration. The point is that you want to take advantage of the last week!

Pam is referring to 'Silver Sulfadiazine Cream USP 1%" It does work as it forms a thick layer on the skin and promotes healing. They prescribe this when it gets really bad. Ask your Oncoman for a script.

Mine neck was raw, scabbed and cracked. I wore oversized shirts to treatment. This treatment worked for me but it is a little painful to do. I used a spray bottle of hydrogen peroxide and let it sit on the area and foam up. I then blotted the area with tissue paper. The paper will get stuck to the scabs and help pull off loose skin and scabbing. I repeated this until the area was nice and pink and bleeding in several places. Once all the gunk is gone you can clean with water and apply whatever cream you are using.

"Xclair" radiation cream is fabulous but around $35 a tube. I think it's criminal that they charge so damn much but the stuff works great and is worth the money.

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8103
Joined: Sep 2009

I tried the liquid morphine (roxanal), couldn't stand it...made me nauseaous, and did nothing for my pain. I ended up just crushing and dissolving them in a small amount of water and would take them that way.

Best,
John

MJ70
Posts: 65
Joined: Nov 2010

HI Deb:

On my seventh week of rads ...i had to drop out for one week to heal my 3rd degree burns ...Had to have my wife put on jell pads used for burn patients and pulled a 4 inch tub stocking net that expanded over my head and cut openings for eyes.mouth arms.etc.....Had it go all the way to my waist.. Only way to hold these pads on...After a week i was ready to go again ..Just one of my old hard to remember memories.. Mel

D Lewis's picture
D Lewis
Posts: 1547
Joined: Jan 2010

Had my rads suspended for a week, somewhere around week six of eight. My neck was very badly burned, second-degree with areas approaching third degree. They told me if I had kept on, it would definitely have worsened to the point where I would be losing layers of skin. Ick. TMI. Anyway, the one-week hiatus was enough. They prescribed me a wonderful cream called Biafine, which I applied liberally several times a day. Within a week, I was ready to resume treatment. Didn't think I could possibly heal that fast, but I did.

Here's to rapid healing for you.

Deb

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