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The Radiation Room

Candi Cane
Posts: 161
Joined: May 2013

It seems there are several others that are going through radiation treatments now, besides me, and I thought we might like to post how we are doing, tips or hints or just anything.

I hope everyone will post on here if they have advice or tips for radiation.  So many of you gave me such useful information.

I am hating radiation now as I am so tender, so tired and pink.  My husband keeps reminding me of its purpose though, to "fry" any remaining cancer cells.   ( still not liking it )

Candi

 

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

We all hated rads Candi.  They were awful!  I remember having no idea of what to expect and after the simulation, tattoos and the techs showing my husband and I everything..I thought..Ok, I can do this.  Then after a couple of weeks, my exhaustion started.  Ugh..I was so tired and knew I had so far to go yet.

I always wore an underwire bra, but, had to stop wearing them during rads as the underwire irritates the skin.  I quit wearing anything after a couple of weeks.  I just wore big tops.

Are you burnt yet or just getting really pink? 

Angie

taylor manny
Posts: 114
Joined: May 2013

Great idea Candi to start this post.  I am done with rads and didn't burn badly, but, got burnt.  I do have to say that Aquaphor is probably partly what saved me.  That stuff is so good for keeping your skin soft, moist and supple.  I know, sounds like a commercial, right?  lol  But, it works. 

Good luck

Candi Cane
Posts: 161
Joined: May 2013

Taylor manny, I did get some Aquaphor and I have using lots of it.  I do think it might be helping. It's so greasy!  lol

Kobias
Posts: 115
Joined: Jun 2013

I have started radiation too and was given a prescription for Biafine and was told that aquaphor was also good.  Bought a big jar of it today.  It's so greasy that I am afraid it will stain everything.  Looking forward to being in this group.

 

survivorbc09
Posts: 4378
Joined: Jun 2009

Aquaphor will stain.  I wore my husband's old crappy tshirts, washed them in hot water and threw them away when I finished rads.  But, it is so good for your skin, so, use it if you can. 

Jan

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

bumping up for Debbie, Hoot Owl.  she is starting next week.

leeza

Candi Cane
Posts: 161
Joined: May 2013

Angie, Really pink and so tender.  From what I was told, it should be expected.  My radiation oncologist and the techs are really great.  They keep encouraging me to finish as I threatened to quit.  I was just joking, but, they took me serious.  I told them I wanted to get that diploma too bad!  lol 

I am wearing big tops too as I couldn't wear a bra.

Thanks!

Faith_In_God
Posts: 76
Joined: Mar 2013

This is my 3rd week of radiation (I am supposed to take a total of 30 sessions). My doctor told me to wear only cotton material from the first session (only cotton bras too). He also said that I should not use any creams until he checks to see if I really need them. I was also told not to use any soap (only baby shampoo), no sponges (no scrubing), no deodorant near the radiated area and I should only pat my skin really carefully.

I am a little tender, but my main problem is pain under my arm (where my lymph nodes that were removed used to be), I was told that that it is the area where the beam exits the body, and that is normal.  

I hope we all finish those sessions soon, I don't like them.

Take care

Faith

 

jlharris's picture
jlharris
Posts: 48
Joined: Apr 2013

Faith;

I am also going into my 3rd week or rads and I need 33 treatments. My dr. said that I could put on the creams/ointments before treatment but not alot and he never said anything about deodorant so I put mine on every morning. I am also feeling a bit of discomfort under my arm where I had three nodes removed. I sometimes feel real itchy inside and also have zapping and my doctor said the itchy is healing and the zapping is the nerves growing back after my surgery.

Yes I hope we all finish soon with no other issues. Then onto the next step, Tamoxifen...Yippee!

Jenifer

taylor manny
Posts: 114
Joined: May 2013

I was told to not use deodorant unless it was aluminum free.  The itching or funny feeling could be your nerve endings healing.  But if you start getting a rash, let your rads oncologist know.  There is such a thing as rads rash and they can give you something to clear it up.

 

jlharris's picture
jlharris
Posts: 48
Joined: Apr 2013

Faith;

I am also going into my 3rd week or rads and I need 33 treatments. My dr. said that I could put on the creams/ointments before treatment but not alot and he never said anything about deodorant so I put mine on every morning. I am also feeling a bit of discomfort under my arm where I had three nodes removed. I sometimes feel real itchy inside and also have zapping and my doctor said the itchy is healing and the zapping is the nerves growing back after my surgery.

Yes I hope we all finish soon with no other issues. Then onto the next step, Tamoxifen...Yippee!

Jenifer

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

If you take any vitamins, be sure and let your rads onco know this.  Many of us were told to not take any during treatments.  I think some were allowed certain ones, but, can't remember which ones now.  lol

 

Rague
Posts: 3305
Joined: Aug 2009

I was told no "multi-vitamins" during rads (and chemo) but was given approval during both to take D and B complex.  I deal with SAD so during fall/winter it is important for me to take D even with using my light box.  I've also taken B complex for years as I feel better with it.  1/2 way throught 12 weekly Taxol, I started having problems with keeping K (potassium) levels close to normal, (still do after 3+yrs) so K was approved.  Comtinued with calcium also as huge family HX of osteoporosis and started Femara a week after starting rads.

Winyan -The Power Within

Susan

Candi Cane
Posts: 161
Joined: May 2013

Jennifer, I am glad to read that you aren't on tamoxifen yet.  My radiation oncologist said he didn't want me on it until after I was done with my treatments.  I wish I could remember why, but, that's what he said. 

Rague
Posts: 3305
Joined: Aug 2009

We are each unique and our DX is ours and ours alone - what is right for one is not necessarily 'right' for another,  Our Drs are also unique so all do not do (or recommend) the same TX.  I started rads 1week after end of 12weekly Taxol.  I also started Femara a week after starting rads.

Winyan - The Power Within

Susan

Kobias
Posts: 115
Joined: Jun 2013

They told me today that I could also use Calendula Gel.  They said it wasn't as greasy as the Aquaphor.  I haven't gotten any yet, as, I wanted to see if any of you have tried it.  Has anyone?

 

survivorbc09
Posts: 4378
Joined: Jun 2009

Calendula gel is good and so is aloe vera 100% gel.  The aloe vera is greasy where as the calendula isn't.  Keep plenty of it on your skin and I mean a LOT!

Jan

Candi Cane
Posts: 161
Joined: May 2013

I'll ask about using the calendula gel too.  Thanks for posting about it.

Start again tomorrow :(

Pink Rose
Posts: 495
Joined: Nov 2012

Be sure that the nurse or your rads onco is checking your skin every week.  The techs aren't really watching for this and you need to make sure your skin is holding up.

I just wore a camisole when I felt I needed too.  Gave up trying to wear a bra early on.

Rose

JJDS
Posts: 259
Joined: Apr 2013

Get as much rest as possible.  Going to bed early, taking an afternoon nap, anything to help you to feel better.  Your body will get tired from the treatments and from the daily going.

JJ

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

I don't know how many of you will be finishing soon, but, remember to keep using your creams even after your done for a few weeks at least.  Your skin is still "cooking" and you still need to take care of it.

Sue :)

moriak's picture
moriak
Posts: 2
Joined: May 2013

Yesterday I finished my last Taxol on a DD schedule (after 4 months total ACT)! They told me they wanted 3-4 weeks off before starting RADS so that the taxol is totally out of my system.  I'm a bit bummed about this as I have 33 sessions as I won't finish until about 9 days before my wedding weekend. (Start July 8: End Aug 21 Wedding Sept 1)  I'm hoping that I have enough energy to have a great time!  I do have the summer off while on RADs which is great, but I start school meetings 5 days after my radiation stops.  I guess I won't know how fatigued I'll be until I start (and get into the 3rd week or so?)  I also am worried about the skin and wearing my wedding dress, and how much my reconstructed breast will be affected.  Unfortunately, moving our wedding date just didn't make sense.  We had many pieces in place already when I was first diagnosed, and it also seemed like a great celebration of life and love when I'm finished with my treatement.  Thank god we did not pick Memorial Day, which was one of our original options!

 

I'll keep checking back here for advice. Hadn't heard about the vitamins and will definitely ask my radiation onc.

 

Thanks!

Kaleen

jlharris's picture
jlharris
Posts: 48
Joined: Apr 2013

Just wanted to say to all that are currently having rads have a great weekend with 2 days off!

Jenifer

Candi Cane
Posts: 161
Joined: May 2013

Hey Kaleen!  First let me say how beautiful you are!  Congrats on finishing Taxol and on your upcoming wedding.  I have to admit that I am exhausted.  I am hoping that when I finish that I get my energy back quickly.  I am not used to feeling like this.  My skin is really sore and dark pink.  I am still hoping that I don't get burnt bad.  I've been using my creams, drinking lots of water, resting a lot and avoiding the sun.  ( and I love the sun ) 

Wishing everyone a great weekend off too!  It will be nice!

Candi

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

Candi, it is pretty remarkable how your skin will heal after you're done and pretty fast.  Ofcourse, I am just speaking for myself here, but, that was my experience.  I was really amazed that even during the boosters, how much the other area started to heal. 

I just wish no one ever had to have rads ever again!  It really is a barbaric treatment, in my opinion.

Good luck,

Sue :)

Candi Cane
Posts: 161
Joined: May 2013

I hope so Sue.  I am really red and so sore.  What are the boosters like?  I will have them at the end according to my radiation oncologist? 

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

I can tell you a little about the boosters Candi.  They are targeted only to the area where the tumor was.  That's why the rest of your skin will start healing as it isn't being treated anymore.  And, they are a different type of radiation, not so strong I believe.  I hope I explained them a little for you.

Diane

Candi Cane
Posts: 161
Joined: May 2013

Thanks for the information Diane.  My radiation oncologist briefly went over it with my husband and I, but, said he'd explain it more when it got closer to the time that I would be having them.  It will be so nice for the rest of my chest to start healing. 

I've started getting kind of hoarse, but, no sore throat really.  Wondering if it has something to do with rads.?.?

Thanks again Diane.

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

You will start healing Candi on your chest except where you're getting the boosters.  I hope the area getting the boosts won't get any worse. 

Sue :)

Candi Cane
Posts: 161
Joined: May 2013

Thank you Sue!  I hope so too.  Just be glad to get the boosters started and then done! 

 

Kobias
Posts: 115
Joined: Jun 2013

Mine did say no vitamins.  That is something I wouldn't have thought to have asked.  It does make sense why we aren't suppose to take any.

 

Kobias
Posts: 115
Joined: Jun 2013

I am getting more tender under my arm too Faith.  I didn't know that is where the beam exits.  I learn so much on here.  I can't wait to be done. 

Kathy

grannabeth
Posts: 91
Joined: Apr 2013

I had radiation treatment #27 of 33 today. I was wondering if anyone has had some skin slough off and been left with a very raw red sore spot. Mine is in my arm pit. I did see my onco nurse after treatment today to ask what I could do for the pain and if there was something better I needed to put on the raw spot.  She suggeted to continue with the Aloe and Aquaphor, plus ibuprofen.  So far this afternoon I have had very little relief.  If anyone has ad this happen?  I guess the one good thing that this has just now happened is that tomorrow is my last day of whole breast irradiation and Friday I will begin my boosts so my armpit should not get anymore zaps.  Any clue as to how long this will tke to heal?

Candi Cane
Posts: 161
Joined: May 2013

My arm pit is doing better than the rest of my chest.  I am sorry this is happening to you.  Have you tried Biafine?  It is especially for burns.  It is a prescription, so, you will have to have your radiation oncologist write a prescription for you. 

I am still tender, sore and getting redder or dark pinker or just not good :(

Hope someone can help you more.

grannabeth
Posts: 91
Joined: Apr 2013

I had radiation treatment #27 of 33 today. I was wondering if anyone has had some skin slough off and been left with a very raw red sore spot. Mine is in my arm pit. I did see my onco nurse after treatment today to ask what I could do for the pain and if there was something better I needed to put on the raw spot.  She suggeted to continue with the Aloe and Aquaphor, plus ibuprofen.  So far this afternoon I have had very little relief.  If anyone has ad this happen?  I guess the one good thing that this has just now happened is that tomorrow is my last day of whole breast irradiation and Friday I will begin my boosts so my armpit should not get anymore zaps.  Any clue as to how long this will tke to heal?

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

If you've got a raw red spot Beth, your rads oncologist needs to help you.  You don't want that to get worse even though you're almost done.  Our skin heals pretty quick once we're done, but, I don't know about something like you've got now.  I never had that happen.  Since you are starting boosters today, I hope you will see some improvement quickly. 

Good luck with the boosters!  Let us know when you're done so we can all celebrate!

grannabeth
Posts: 91
Joined: Apr 2013

Angie2u, I appreciate your advice. I do see my rads onc on Monday and will defintley talk with her about the spot.  It is some better today, so I keep piling on the Aquaphor. Will most certainly let everyone know when I finish my boosts. It will be celebration time then.

Kobias
Posts: 115
Joined: Jun 2013

How did your booster go today Grannabeth?  I heard they are faster.  Is that true?  How is your raw spot?  Any better at all?

June Bugs
Posts: 169
Joined: May 2013

Kobias, the boosters are a lot faster.  It seemed like I just laid on the table, got all set up by the techs, they left the room and in a couple of seconds, I was done for the day. 

grannabeth
Posts: 91
Joined: Apr 2013

Kobias, thanks for asking. Yes, it was really fast, especially after the set up.  Raw spot is somewhat better. Not as red and raw, so I'm hoping for continued improvement. I am thinking it is the friction of my arm movements against the new skin underneath that is causing the raw spot, so keeping lots of Aquaphor on it.

Kobias
Posts: 115
Joined: Jun 2013

I am glad that the raw spot is better.  Hopefully it will improve quickly now that you aren't getting boosters in that area, or, are you?    I been putting on lots of Aquaphor too.  I am all greased up right now  lol 

Good luck with the boosters!  When do they end?

 

Candi Cane
Posts: 161
Joined: May 2013

Very happy that you are better too!  I start boosters next week.  Mentally, I am feeling better, just knowing that the end is near.  Just wish my skin felt better.  Red and sore! 

Hope you all had a good weekend off!  We can do this!

 

Kobias
Posts: 115
Joined: Jun 2013

Will you be starting boosters soon Candi?  I wish I was that close to the end :( 

Candi Cane
Posts: 161
Joined: May 2013

I start the boosters next week.  I think I am officially burnt.  Not peeling or anything, just red, hot and so sore.  Hate to whine about it, but, I hate this.  I will be so happy to finally be all done and to get on with my life. 

How are the rest of you doing with rads?

Candi

Faith_In_God
Posts: 76
Joined: Mar 2013

One more general Rads, then I will start the boosters next week. No peeling too, just red, hot and sore. The pain under my arm is worse, the Rads technician spends some time to find a position for my arm  that doesn't hurt much. My arm's range of mobility (especially raising it upwards) is decreasing because of the Rads induced edema. I am taking anti-inflammatory meds for that.

My Rads Oncologist told me to use Biafine cream 2x daily (6 hours before Rads minimum), and it is quite effective.

I can't wait to finish Rads and I hope Tamoxifin would be kinder to my body than Chemo and Rads.

Take Care

Faith

jlharris's picture
jlharris
Posts: 48
Joined: Apr 2013

I have nine more treatments, with the last five being the boost. I am sore and burnt but with my olive skin color I am turing real dark. Under my arm is the worst but doable.

Good Luck to all that are in their last days of rads and Good Luck on the Tamoxifin.

Jenifer

Candi Cane
Posts: 161
Joined: May 2013

I start my boosts next week Jennifer.  I am the same, burnt and sore, but, I think I will be ok.  Enjoy your weekend off everyone and I wish you all the best of luck!  Thanks for your support and help!

Candi

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

Good luck Candi with the boosters and to the rest of you too!

Cheryl 1
Posts: 42
Joined: Jun 2013

Biafine is the best if you don't have a severe burn.  It's a skin saver!

Kobias
Posts: 115
Joined: Jun 2013

Whine all you want!  Rads are hard and it is awful what they do to our skin.  I know the big picture is for our own good, but, right now, it's hard to focus on that.

I've started taking naps even, I am so tired.

Kathy

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