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What Do You Think Of Offering Rad Tips For Those That Are Just Starting Treatment Now Or Soon?

Ritzy's picture
Ritzy
Posts: 4384
Joined: Aug 2009

I know when I started rads, this board was unbelievable in the tips and help that I got, so, I thought we might throw out a few tips for anyone just starting.

First and foremost though, do only what your own rads oncologist suggests. These tips are just what we did, per our own rads oncologist's approval.

For mine...Use your creams from day one if your rads oncologist prescribes some and continue to use them for awhile even after you are finished with rads as you are still "cooking". I used Aquaphor to keep my skin moist and I used the prescription Biafine for any burn that I might get. I went thru a lot of Aquaphor. I mainly used it at night and put on one of my hubby's old tshirts, as, it stains bad. So, I knew I could wash it in hot water or just throw it away when I was finished with rads.

Sue :)

DianeBC's picture
DianeBC
Posts: 3888
Joined: Jun 2009

I didn't use any deodorant and used Dove soap. I never rubbed the area that was getting the rads, but, just gently let the soap off of my wash cloth drip over it.

Good luck to those starting rads and keep posting to update us on how it is going.

madsters1
Posts: 120
Joined: Oct 2011

THANK YOU ALL for the tips! I wrote them all down.I'm still in chemo (1st treatment). I start rads in Jan or Feb. Sure glad I got these tips from you all,as usual my oncologist has minimized radiation. She said people don't get burned from it. That was "back in the day" Now I'm freaking out!! I JUST get used to this horrible phase (chemo and a week from losing my hair) and find out that what I thought and was told was a "piece of cake" really isn't. Burning, cellulitis, braless (well all things aren't bad:), creams, do's and dont's etc etc. She told me waaay more than I needed to know about every aspect of cancer and barely mentioned the processes I'd be going through!
Sorry guys I'm ticked. It seems there's something around every corner. Question: Is there EVER a time when you are truly done? No more "unexpecteds" ( barring of course recurrence). That, you can't keep looking over your shoulder and around every corner for.
Any testimonies out there to say "there IS an ending to the invasions,the endless procedures and the unknowns or untolds about them"?

52262
Posts: 5
Joined: Jun 2012

I like your honesty and feel the same way about:What other bad symptom am I going to have. Then all the warnings of if you fall in the future your ribs on the left side will be more vulnerable to fracture because of the rad treatment. So we also have to watch our every step to not get a painful rib fracture. I know it gets to feel like a pain all the time you know your skin is getting more painful. I really don't look forward to rad treatment. I have missed two months of working just because of the chemo and now the rad Dr wants me to take more time off because of my shift time. She must be concerned about how much rest and sleep I will be getting.

Megan M's picture
Megan M
Posts: 3001
Joined: Dec 2009

Rads are very doable 52262. Just think of it as killing the cancer cells and ridding your body of any cancer. I know it isn't easy, but, there are a lot of great tips here to help you and always talk to your own rads oncologist about any side effects you are having. We will help you!

Hugs, Megan

52262
Posts: 5
Joined: Jun 2012

I like your honesty and feel the same way about:What other bad symptom am I going to have. Then all the warnings of if you fall in the future your ribs on the left side will be more vulnerable to fracture because of the rad treatment. So we also have to watch our every step to not get a painful rib fracture. I know it gets to feel like a pain all the time you know your skin is getting more painful. I really don't look forward to rad treatment. I have missed two months of working just because of the chemo and now the rad Dr wants me to take more time off because of my shift time. She must be concerned about how much rest and sleep I will be getting.

Alexis F's picture
Alexis F
Posts: 3604
Joined: May 2009

Bumping this up as I see some are starting rads soon.  There are so many great tips and experiences from the other pink sisters that I hope you can use some of them.

And, just ASK, if you have any questions. 

I had rads and had boosters at the end by the way.

 

 

Lex

madsters1
Posts: 120
Joined: Oct 2011

THANK YOU ALL for the tips! I wrote them all down.I'm still in chemo (1st treatment). I start rads in Jan or Feb. Sure glad I got these tips from you all,as usual my oncologist has minimized radiation. She said people don't get burned from it. That was "back in the day" Now I'm freaking out!! I JUST get used to this horrible phase (chemo and a week from losing my hair) and find out that what I thought and was told was a "piece of cake" really isn't. Burning, cellulitis, braless (well all things aren't bad:), creams, do's and dont's etc etc. She told me waaay more than I needed to know about every aspect of cancer and barely mentioned the processes I'd be going through!
Sorry guys I'm ticked. It seems there's something around every corner. Question: Is there EVER a time when you are truly done? No more "unexpecteds" ( barring of course recurrence). That, you can't keep looking over your shoulder and around every corner for.
Any testimonies out there to say "there IS an ending to the invasions,the endless procedures and the unknowns or untolds about them"?

Corinna11's picture
Corinna11
Posts: 75
Joined: May 2011

I'll say this, I had 3 different onc's and they ALL sucked!! My surgeons were wonderful! The oncologists minimize everything and then if you have a symptom or side effect they didnt tell you about, they act all amazed like you are the only one who has ever had that side effect and you must be weird so you just stop mentioning them and suffer in silence.

I have gotten so much help from everyone here! Just nod your head at the dr and post here to get the real info that will help you. We have been through it so we wont make light of your concerns. Best wishes, you will make it too!!!

Cory :D

butterflylvr's picture
butterflylvr
Posts: 943
Joined: Apr 2011

Cory, it's funny you mentioned that because every I have a doctors appointment I seldom have questions to ask because this board filled me in on everything, every step of the way.

I would like to add, that I wore sports bras throughout my radiation. After each treatment I would lather up with my creams and put on my sports bra. It acted as a great barrier between the greasy creams and my outer clothing. I'd recommend buying them slightly larger then your current size so they aren't tight against your radiated site... Not to scare anybody, but near my incision site I bled a little bit near the end of my treatments, the bras also helped me keep gauze in the right places to prevent staining my clothes. Walmart has them like 3 for $10.

Good luck Rad students... graduation will be here before you know it.

Lorrie

sylvan
Posts: 66
Joined: Nov 2011

I bled a lot yesterday. It was my day to see the doctor so I hadn't put my bra back on. Good thing. I bled all over the place and had no idea. The nurse got it stopped.

The last few days I've been itching like crazy. Even lite scratching hurts. Today they told me to get some cortisone cream to rub on the itchy areas. It works great. I'm supposed to use it before my Recovery cream so that it has plenty of time to soak in.

Noel's picture
Noel
Posts: 3101
Joined: Apr 2009

My rads oncologist checked my skin everyday which I was thankful for, as, he knew what to look for and how to help me if he noticed anything out of the ordinary.

Noel's picture
Noel
Posts: 3101
Joined: Apr 2009

You are so right Cory. This site is a wealth of information. Thank you pink sisters!

Rague
Posts: 3310
Joined: Aug 2009

Last Thursday I found out that cataracts can be a SE of rads. Went to my eye dr for annual check up and I thought I'd probably get a new pair of glasses but no - I got an appt. with the eye surgeon. He's certain that fads are the reason as my last rads were early March 2010 and no family history of them.

Susan

bgail84
Posts: 2
Joined: Nov 2011

I am new on this site. I will start rads in two weeks. I was told to use nothing on area. Can I still use a cream or not? Am so confused by it all at times. Thanks for any advise.

Rague
Posts: 3310
Joined: Aug 2009

I was kept supplied with cream samples by the Rad RN. I was told no cream/lotion put on for 4 hrs before rad. Keeping the area moisturized was definately highly encouraged.

Susan

Angie2U's picture
Angie2U
Posts: 2993
Joined: Sep 2009

Your rads oncologist bgail84 will tell you what, if anything to use. He will go over that at your initial consultation. If he doesn't, be sure and ask him. I took a list of questions with me when I met with him, and, that was one of them.

Good luck,

Angie

jnl's picture
jnl
Posts: 3873
Joined: May 2009

Bumping up also for newbies

Ritzy's picture
Ritzy
Posts: 4384
Joined: Aug 2009

Thinking some might still be able to use this info, so, bumping up for them.

 

jnl's picture
jnl
Posts: 3873
Joined: May 2009

I never heard of this Rague. When is your surgery? And thanks for informing all of us about this.

Hugs, Leeza

CypressCynthia's picture
CypressCynthia
Posts: 3983
Joined: Oct 2009

Great tips here. One thing I wanted to add for newbies...not everyone has side effects from radiation. My effects were so minimal that they are hardly worth mentioning. First go-round in 1987, I had a mild sunburn. Second round in 2009, I had a little nausea. That was it!

DianeBC's picture
DianeBC
Posts: 3888
Joined: Jun 2009

Rads are different for everyone as Ritzy said. Some have side effects, some don't. Some have old machines, some have new ones. It all is different.

I think this is a great post to give information from other's experience's that might possibly help someone just starting rads.

Dwwilburn's picture
Dwwilburn
Posts: 19
Joined: May 2011

For me, radiation was easy. I have an olive complexion and I sorta wonder if that helped. I didn't use any special creams or anything. My body just seemed to handle it okay. But that was just me. People asked me if it tired me out? I told them I was just coming off chemo and had so many side effects from that, that I really didn't know if I was having side effects from the rad.

For me, the drive to the treatments was a one hour one way. I had friends drive me to catch up with them and we sort of made it a little party.

Kylez's picture
Kylez
Posts: 3765
Joined: May 2009

Just a reminder for those that finish to keep those creams on and still be careful with your skin. I used mine for a long time afterwords.

And, let your rads oncologist know right away any new problems you might get.

BetsyJane's picture
BetsyJane
Posts: 127
Joined: Aug 2011

Thank you pink ladies for all your great tips. So far, I've had no problems with radiation (except maybe a bit more tired at night).

I put Aveeno on immediately after rads (in the dressing room) and Aquaphor at night before bed. I do want to add to the comments that in the afternoon, I smooth on some gel (from my aloe vera plant). I just snip a piece of the plant the night before, put it in the frig and the gel is nice and cool (and very soothing) when I put it on.

There are fantastic people working at the radiology place I go to and my radiologist doctor is the BEST!

The days are really flying by and the best part is I have made friends with everyone at the radiologist group in the meantime.

18 Treatments DOWN; 15 TO GO!

Betsy

Ritzy's picture
Ritzy
Posts: 4384
Joined: Aug 2009

Soon we will be celebrating your graduation Betsy!

Sue :0

Melaniedoingwell
Posts: 80
Joined: Nov 2011

I used only Neutrogena Rainbath for - oh wait - I still use it. My lymphedema specialist had a list of soaps to NOT use - their ph is wrong. She said this one was fine. Even Dove can cause problems and Ivory is among the worst to use!

Good idea to use the lotions and creams from the get go. I used one with cooling properties and it was so nice!

I finished on October 17th (2011) and I am noticing some minor side effects still coming up. I had stopped using the lotion - back on track with that!!

susie09's picture
susie09
Posts: 2933
Joined: Jul 2009

I wish this had been around when I had rads. LOL There isn't much I can add as I think you've covered about everything.

I do want to say that after you are done with rads, your skin will clear up pretty quickly. I know it might not seem like it now, but, it will.

Good luck to all of you with rads! Ask all the questions you want as it looks like you've got some terrific pink sister help going on here.

♠♣ Love, Susie ♠♣

survivorbc09
Posts: 4378
Joined: Jun 2009

Yes, I used my creams for probably months after I finished rads. My rads oncologist told me to. Glad you are back on track Melanie!

Jan

Kiantae
Posts: 29
Joined: Feb 2010

I am fair skinned and burned pretty badly. It was painful to put the lotion over the burned area but I knew I needed to do it. I bought a silicone basting brush used for cooking and my husband used that to apply lotion every night. It was soft and spread the lotion over the area with very little pressure. Sounds crazy, but worked wonderfully and my husband was relieved that he was not causing me more pain.

Ritzy's picture
Ritzy
Posts: 4384
Joined: Aug 2009

Kiantae, what a great idea using the silicone basting brush! Thanks!

Sue :)

Ritzy's picture
Ritzy
Posts: 4384
Joined: Aug 2009

Bumping this thread up for Mary who is just starting rads! Hope you get some helpful hints here! And for any others just beginning. Lots of great help in this post, but, always check with your own rads oncologist before doing or trying anything that is suggested.

Sue :)

GrammyKaren's picture
GrammyKaren
Posts: 97
Joined: Dec 2011

First time rads 33X I did not take it seriously enough and was having money problems so I kept asking fro samples of aquafor.
My sternum burned horribly and became very weepy and that happened because I was stupid. Apply liberally and gentley pat your self there , after 2nd week I never wore a bra (just a tank top under my sweaters) til I was all finished.
I learned hard way. Water too and rest.

Hugs,Karen

Megan M's picture
Megan M
Posts: 3001
Joined: Dec 2009

Bumping up for the sisters just starting

MsGebby's picture
MsGebby
Posts: 659
Joined: Oct 2011

because by the end of week 3 you will most likely feel fatigue. Drink lots and lots of water or sports drinks. Keep your skin moisturized. I use the Aquaphor on my lips too. They have gotten so parched. I just started week 5, have 12 more to go. Doc ordered 36 treatments. The boosts start at treatment #28. Make sure the techs are checking your wounds from surgery. I found out today that the cut from the nodes is separating. I may have to stop treatments until it heals.

I wear mens ginny tees under my tops and to bed. It protects clothing and bedding from getting stained. And the tees are soft enough so as not to irritate my booby.

That's it from meeeeeeeeeeeeee

jnl's picture
jnl
Posts: 3873
Joined: May 2009

You will soon be done Ms Gebby! Great advice!

Leeza

Kylez's picture
Kylez
Posts: 3765
Joined: May 2009

who is just starting rads.

DianeBC's picture
DianeBC
Posts: 3888
Joined: Jun 2009

I have read on the board lately where there are several pink sisters just starting rads, so, I thought they might benefit from this great post. Hope it will help someone.

Diane

StaceyPMD1121's picture
StaceyPMD1121
Posts: 65
Joined: May 2012

Thanks to all my pink sisters for the great Rad tips. I wrote them in my journal. I start chemo on June 8th for 6 cycles every 3 weeks to be followed by rads. I also made my chemo drugstore list from discussion on scared of chemo. I will continue to tell the cancer pts. at my breast center about this site so they can receive this priceless info from the pinkveterans.

Peace,Blessings,& Hugs,
Stacey

AngieD's picture
AngieD
Posts: 504
Joined: Sep 2011

Thanks SO much for getting this thread back up now. I start rads next month, so I'm taking notes and looking for any other tips, tricks or hints. Knowledge is power, and you ladies do have the knowledge and are so wonderful about sharing it.
Angie

Lynne Logan's picture
Lynne Logan
Posts: 105
Joined: Jul 2011

Hi,
I was unable to finish my 1 last rads due to severe burns. Just like I couldn't finish my last infusion. I'm very sensitive to this stuff.
I do have one little trick if any of you get to the weeping, nasty stage. I was given a surgical bra and some sheets of Nu Gel but that seemed to cut off all air and made the burn too moist. I was prescribed Silvadine to prevent infection, which is messy to use. It has the consistency of Noxema!
Anyway, the best trick I discovered was to use either incontinence pads or sanitary napkins for wound dressing. The adhesive strip holds the pad in place inside a surgical bra or sports bra. No more having to change tops or bedding!
Lynne

Alexis F's picture
Alexis F
Posts: 3604
Joined: May 2009

So sorry Lynne that this happened to you. Sending you healing thoughts and hugs!

That is a great tip and I know many that had burns used Silvadine.

Lex

Megan M's picture
Megan M
Posts: 3001
Joined: Dec 2009

Ouch Lynne. I know this does happen to some. How is your skin doing now? Is it better?

DianeBC's picture
DianeBC
Posts: 3888
Joined: Jun 2009

Seeing as some pink sisters are starting rads now, I think they will love all of this advice and tips.

Attygirl's picture
Attygirl
Posts: 121
Joined: Jun 2012

Starting rads soon and I'm taking notes!
Thanks so much for sharing...all of you!

susie09's picture
susie09
Posts: 2933
Joined: Jul 2009

I just read some posts where some pink sisters are starting rads and thought this would be so helpful to them. It seems many really found good tips and advice in it.

Good luck to all of you starting!

desertgirl947's picture
desertgirl947
Posts: 435
Joined: Oct 2012

My RO had me start right off with a cream -- Miaderm.  I have other friends who used other things, but they also started right out with treating the area.  I did end up having some problems with burns, but my RO/nurse had me use Silvadene on the area affected for parts of the day and then carefully clean the area with diluted hydrogen peroxide every time I made a change -- whether to apply Silvadene or to just let it "air."  I quickly healed.

I was thankful to be able to stay on schedule.  My RO staff did a great job keeping tabs on my skin and how it was reacting.

Megan M's picture
Megan M
Posts: 3001
Joined: Dec 2009

Several on here that did burn used Silvadene.  Always make sure that your skin is being checked daily, either by the nurse or your rads oncologist.  Keep lots of whatever you're told to use on it.  I used, I think, tons of Aquaphor and I know it helped. 

 

 

DebbyM's picture
DebbyM
Posts: 3294
Joined: Oct 2009

Bumping up for SK12.  There are so many good tips and hints here for you to read and go over with your own rads onco.

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