Radiation burn

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Rague
Rague Member Posts: 3,653 Member
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
How do you tell if there is infection in a radiation burn? A particular look, what? The biggest open area (approx 4" X 4" now) is pouring (anything I put on is soaked within a minute or 2, I do have mepilex to put on it but but can't keep it in place) yellow liquid that is still basically clear. There had been a 'blister' (about 25 cent size) that broke during the night. There are a couple of lines that are red running through it - not away from it. Due to nerve damage, there is no pain in the biggest/deepest area. There is also 2 other areas that are getting worse - along middle of chest about 1" X 3" - it's open but not as deep yet. And along neck is about to open in and area about 3/4" X 1" - didn't even know that area was being radiated. The smaller ones are starting to hurt quite a bit. Last rads was on Wed.

I'm not taking a chance - have a call into my PA but I think she's off today so if she is I'm going to the Urgent Care Clinic to be safe.

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  • MyTurnNow
    MyTurnNow Member Posts: 2,686 Member
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    Rague, I don't know the
    Rague, I don't know the answer to your question but you are doing the right thing in calling your doctor or going in if she is not available. Good luck to you and please let us know the outcome.
  • mimivac
    mimivac Member Posts: 2,143 Member
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    This sounds painful
    Infections are usually accompanied by fever or other symptoms, but you don't want to take a chance. Good call on seeing a doctor right away. I hope it clears up soon and that you can have a restful weekend. Hugs.

    Mimi
  • Rague
    Rague Member Posts: 3,653 Member
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    PA called back and she was
    PA called back and she was in but wanted me to go to the CCI and see rads Dr. Mine isn't there today but saw one of the others. He said that doesn't appear to have infection now but due to the size of the areas, he put me on 10 days of Keflix and gave me some Vicodan. If it's not doing some better by Mon. call or if gets worse over the weekend call - he's the oncall Dr this weekend.

    Glad I called and went - I feel better as do Hubby and Son.
  • cindycflynn
    cindycflynn Member Posts: 1,132 Member
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    Rague said:

    PA called back and she was
    PA called back and she was in but wanted me to go to the CCI and see rads Dr. Mine isn't there today but saw one of the others. He said that doesn't appear to have infection now but due to the size of the areas, he put me on 10 days of Keflix and gave me some Vicodan. If it's not doing some better by Mon. call or if gets worse over the weekend call - he's the oncall Dr this weekend.

    Glad I called and went - I feel better as do Hubby and Son.

    Glad you went in!
    That sounds just awful. I hope what the doctor gave you does the trick and you're feeling much better soon.

    (((Gentle Hugz)))
    Cindy
  • susanleeann
    susanleeann Member Posts: 58
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    Rague said:

    PA called back and she was
    PA called back and she was in but wanted me to go to the CCI and see rads Dr. Mine isn't there today but saw one of the others. He said that doesn't appear to have infection now but due to the size of the areas, he put me on 10 days of Keflix and gave me some Vicodan. If it's not doing some better by Mon. call or if gets worse over the weekend call - he's the oncall Dr this weekend.

    Glad I called and went - I feel better as do Hubby and Son.

    so glad you appear to be on
    so glad you appear to be on the right track. hope you are even more better by monday
  • survivorbc09
    survivorbc09 Member Posts: 4,374 Member
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    MyTurnNow said:

    Rague, I don't know the
    Rague, I don't know the answer to your question but you are doing the right thing in calling your doctor or going in if she is not available. Good luck to you and please let us know the outcome.

    Rague, go to the emergency
    Rague, go to the emergency room if need be. Let us know how you are doing.
  • natly15
    natly15 Member Posts: 1,941
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    Hope you are feeling better
    Hope you are feeling better today.
  • survivorbc09
    survivorbc09 Member Posts: 4,374 Member
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    natly15 said:

    Hope you are feeling better
    Hope you are feeling better today.

    I hope you're feeling better
    I hope you're feeling better too!
  • Cairmaid
    Cairmaid Member Posts: 64
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    Rague said:

    PA called back and she was
    PA called back and she was in but wanted me to go to the CCI and see rads Dr. Mine isn't there today but saw one of the others. He said that doesn't appear to have infection now but due to the size of the areas, he put me on 10 days of Keflix and gave me some Vicodan. If it's not doing some better by Mon. call or if gets worse over the weekend call - he's the oncall Dr this weekend.

    Glad I called and went - I feel better as do Hubby and Son.

    Infection scare
    My surgeon told me the same thing...infections are usually accompanied by a fever. I didn't have a fever but I thought I had a surface infection...which I didn't communicate very clearly because everybody I told thought I meant an internal infection. Since I had accelerated internal radiation with a balloon implantation, an internal infection would have been disastrous for a good healing result. The "hole" that was left in my skin when they removed the balloon was still draining three weeks later, and looked infected to me, so I went to the doctor. As she was reassuring me, she took out the white-ish plug that I thought was infection, with a cotton swab. Turns out, it was probably just some of the adhesive from the steri-strips that got left behind. The hole healed up and stopped draining two days later. Right church, wrong pew but got the desired result anyway :-)

    Don't anybody every hesitate to point out something that doesn't seem normal.
  • pinkkari09
    pinkkari09 Member Posts: 877
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    Glad your staying on top of
    Glad your staying on top of things, hope it's all ok, let us know!! I start rads tomorrow :(
    ~Kari
  • Moopy23
    Moopy23 Member Posts: 1,751 Member
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    Rague said:

    PA called back and she was
    PA called back and she was in but wanted me to go to the CCI and see rads Dr. Mine isn't there today but saw one of the others. He said that doesn't appear to have infection now but due to the size of the areas, he put me on 10 days of Keflix and gave me some Vicodan. If it's not doing some better by Mon. call or if gets worse over the weekend call - he's the oncall Dr this weekend.

    Glad I called and went - I feel better as do Hubby and Son.

    Glad, too, that you saw a
    Glad, too, that you saw a doctor on Friday and no infection.

    Hope you had a good weekend and your skin did get better.
  • Rague
    Rague Member Posts: 3,653 Member
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    Update!
    Welll - more area is broken open - probably at least 75% of the radiation area.

    I had an appt already scheduled with surgeon for follow up, so I went to it first and he was 'upset' with the burns and was on the phone to rads. Went straight there and saw my Dr. and the one I saw on Friday. (Also 'saw' all the RN's there and several 'Residents' LOL)

    All seem surprised that with the antibiotics and aquaphor that it had gotten as much worse. All thought that the best would be to use Sulfadene BUT I'm allergic to sulfa so that's out. The plan is to continue the Keflex and to do twice daily 30 min. soaks with Domeboro and slathering on Aquaphor between. Overnight I can't say that it's gotten any better but can't say that it's worse - so that's something. I'm scheduled to see rad Dr on Friday morn - unless 'something' happens.

    Any qustions - ask PLEASE!
  • Moopy23
    Moopy23 Member Posts: 1,751 Member
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    Rague said:

    Update!
    Welll - more area is broken open - probably at least 75% of the radiation area.

    I had an appt already scheduled with surgeon for follow up, so I went to it first and he was 'upset' with the burns and was on the phone to rads. Went straight there and saw my Dr. and the one I saw on Friday. (Also 'saw' all the RN's there and several 'Residents' LOL)

    All seem surprised that with the antibiotics and aquaphor that it had gotten as much worse. All thought that the best would be to use Sulfadene BUT I'm allergic to sulfa so that's out. The plan is to continue the Keflex and to do twice daily 30 min. soaks with Domeboro and slathering on Aquaphor between. Overnight I can't say that it's gotten any better but can't say that it's worse - so that's something. I'm scheduled to see rad Dr on Friday morn - unless 'something' happens.

    Any qustions - ask PLEASE!

    Thanks for letting us know
    Thanks for letting us know how you are doing, Rague. Was hoping the first round of antibiotic and lotion would help immediately, but it sounds like Keflex and the soaks with Domeboro are getting the healing started. Wishing you continued, fast improvement. And keep hanging in there, ok? -it's been a long ride for you, but the worst is over.
  • Rague
    Rague Member Posts: 3,653 Member
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    Thanks for ALL the thoughts!
    I saw Dr. P this morning. There is more areas sloughing and it all still hurts like Hades (well where there is feeling) and doesn't seem any better to me BUT he says it does look no worse to him and that by this time next week will be VERY much better. I guess he's probably right as I (the ALL of ME, not the burned area) do feel somewhat better today. So - refill on the Keflex, continue the Domeboro soaks and slathering on the Aquaphor (I'm allergic to sulfa so no Sulfadene).

    Some of the areas inside of the whole burn seem to be getting deeper. He still wants everything kept open but did say that will have to go to compression dressing/bandaging (I don't remember the exact word he used) in the future to reduce scaring in some areas.

    This too shall pass AND IT"S SPRING TOMORROW! YIPPY!
  • carkris
    carkris Member Posts: 4,553 Member
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    Rague said:

    Thanks for ALL the thoughts!
    I saw Dr. P this morning. There is more areas sloughing and it all still hurts like Hades (well where there is feeling) and doesn't seem any better to me BUT he says it does look no worse to him and that by this time next week will be VERY much better. I guess he's probably right as I (the ALL of ME, not the burned area) do feel somewhat better today. So - refill on the Keflex, continue the Domeboro soaks and slathering on the Aquaphor (I'm allergic to sulfa so no Sulfadene).

    Some of the areas inside of the whole burn seem to be getting deeper. He still wants everything kept open but did say that will have to go to compression dressing/bandaging (I don't remember the exact word he used) in the future to reduce scaring in some areas.

    This too shall pass AND IT"S SPRING TOMORROW! YIPPY!

    I am so sorry for all you
    I am so sorry for all you are dealing with, it sounds awful. I hope it starts to heal soon.
  • crselby
    crselby Member Posts: 441 Member
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    why did this happen?
    Dear Rague,
    After all this, have they explained why this happened? Most accelerated partial breast rads patients do not burn on the outside. Why did this happen to you? You could help lots of us sisters put down our worry if you could get an explanation. Good luck, I know you still have a ways to go on this healing. Hope it goes smoothly for you!
    ~~Connie~~
  • Cairmaid
    Cairmaid Member Posts: 64
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    crselby said:

    why did this happen?
    Dear Rague,
    After all this, have they explained why this happened? Most accelerated partial breast rads patients do not burn on the outside. Why did this happen to you? You could help lots of us sisters put down our worry if you could get an explanation. Good luck, I know you still have a ways to go on this healing. Hope it goes smoothly for you!
    ~~Connie~~

    Accelerated Partial-Breast Irradiation (APBI)
    I just googled APBI and found out something I didn't know. There are several methods to accomplish APBI, only one of which is the MammoSite Brachytherapy (internal balloon and radioactive beads) which I had. Other methods involve external radiation, in higher, shorter doses.

    It is very much possible to have an external burn, even with the MammoSite method. My radiology technician (the person who did the balloon position xray check every day) told me my burn was nowhere near as bad as women who have regular, external radiation. It was like a very bad sunburn. On my last day, my husband followed me into the treatment area to take pictures of "my crew" :-) Since he knew the nuclear physicist (the guy who did the actual treatment), hubby was allowed to watch from the same room the NP and Tech were in (I was monitored both visually and audibly during the treatments). He said the computer had a digitized representation of my breast and the monitor showed that the radiation extended beyond the surface of my skin. Not only did I get a burn, it was from the INSIDE.

    I found out from my onc yesterday that the thick/hard area behind my nipple is a common result of this treatment and may not completely go away. I can live with that. I just won't be able to take that job as an exotic dancer :-)
  • jnl
    jnl Member Posts: 3,869 Member
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    Glad your staying on top of
    Glad your staying on top of things, hope it's all ok, let us know!! I start rads tomorrow :(
    ~Kari

    Praying that you are doing
    Praying that you are doing better! Post and let us know.

    Hugs, Leeza