Radiation Preparation

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hopeful in tally
hopeful in tally Member Posts: 56
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Can my "sisters" advise me about what to expect from radiation? I start in 2 weeks ... tattoo or markers? special deoderent? time off work? side effects? sports bras? Any bit of advice would be greatly appreciated!!

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  • bjmom1
    bjmom1 Member Posts: 152
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    treated twice with radiation
    Hi hopeful make sure your get plenty of rest. Take good care of your skin and drink alot of water. Also try to find deodarant that is aluminum free. Most drug stores care aluminum free deodorant. And try to keep your radiated skin out of the sun. Good Luck

    Barb
  • aisling8
    aisling8 Member Posts: 1,627 Member
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    bjmom1 said:

    treated twice with radiation
    Hi hopeful make sure your get plenty of rest. Take good care of your skin and drink alot of water. Also try to find deodarant that is aluminum free. Most drug stores care aluminum free deodorant. And try to keep your radiated skin out of the sun. Good Luck

    Barb

    not an expert yet
    Hello,

    Well, today was my 8th treatment. So far, so good. Getting a little pink, but not bad. Tired, but not overly so. I'd say use the lotions they recommend (mine have me using Miaderm and it's not oily and doesn't stain my clothes), stay out of uncomfortable bras, and use the aluminum free deodorant.

    I had one planning appointment where they marked me up with blue pen then tattooed three little dots. The following week I had a filming appointment. And they began radiating the next day.

    Everyone is very nice and, you know what, things could be worse...

    Good luck,
    Victoria
  • hopeful in tally
    hopeful in tally Member Posts: 56
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    aisling8 said:

    not an expert yet
    Hello,

    Well, today was my 8th treatment. So far, so good. Getting a little pink, but not bad. Tired, but not overly so. I'd say use the lotions they recommend (mine have me using Miaderm and it's not oily and doesn't stain my clothes), stay out of uncomfortable bras, and use the aluminum free deodorant.

    I had one planning appointment where they marked me up with blue pen then tattooed three little dots. The following week I had a filming appointment. And they began radiating the next day.

    Everyone is very nice and, you know what, things could be worse...

    Good luck,
    Victoria

    tattoo
    so you did the permanent tattoo? they suggested that to me because the ink from marker bleeds on to clothes and may not come out. good luck to you ... i will follow your lead so stay healthy!!!
  • aisling8
    aisling8 Member Posts: 1,627 Member
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    tattoo
    so you did the permanent tattoo? they suggested that to me because the ink from marker bleeds on to clothes and may not come out. good luck to you ... i will follow your lead so stay healthy!!!

    yep, tattoo
    They're just tiny dots, one on each side and one in the center on my chest, right between my breasts. Didn't hurt. Well, a poke.

    And I forgot to mention that I'm working, I just accomodate my schedule to work around it. I'm a morning person so I get up and do my walking then work then go to radiation at 4. I see no reason not to work (other than it's more fun not to:).

    Take care,
    Victoria
  • cindycflynn
    cindycflynn Member Posts: 1,132 Member
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    Hopeful
    I've finished 23 of my 30 rads so far, and it hasn't been bad for me at all.

    As others have recommended, water, staying out of the sun, and keeping up with the lotions (you can even start using the lotion before the rads to get a head start) is important. I found an Arm & Hammer deoderant without Aluminum, but have also heard that Tom's of Maine makes one as well.

    One of the best recommendations I saw on these boards (THANK YOU - TRACI!!!) was to go to Target (or Walmart, if you must) and buy a package of men's "A" shirts - the tank top style ones. They will keep you from getting markers and excess lotion on your clothing. They can also help to cushion a less-than-comfy bra. I've been wearing those pretty much every day, and at night to soak up the Aquaphor so that it doesn't get on my PJ's and sheets. I got 5 shirts for $12 at Target.

    I also saw a recommendation here for JustMySize bras from Playtex. Went online and ordered a few. They're very soft, but actually run a little tighter than I expected, especially since I ordered a size larger than I usually wear. They are an improvement over my regular bras, though, and at least allow me to wear some support at work. Sometimes I wear camis with shelf bras that I already had on hand - mostly on weekends.

    I am starting to get pretty pink, but not really uncomfortable yet. I had also started with just the Miaderm, which I do like, but when the color started to show up the nurse recommended that I use Aloe Vera gel with Aquaphor at night since it stays on the skin longer than the Miaderm. I've been doing that for the past week, and it does really make a mess of those undershirts!

    I have not had the fatigue problem at all. I actually feel much more energetic now than when I first started rads. I had a lot of muscle fatigue from the chemo that started to finally lift after a couple of weeks into the rads.

    I also have tattoos, although they left the markers (with stickers) on me for a while at first. Now it's just the tattoos, but I have a total of 5 of them.

    I'm sure you'll do fine. Just keep coming here to ask questions and we'll be here to help you along the way!

    Cindy
  • hopeful in tally
    hopeful in tally Member Posts: 56
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    Hopeful
    I've finished 23 of my 30 rads so far, and it hasn't been bad for me at all.

    As others have recommended, water, staying out of the sun, and keeping up with the lotions (you can even start using the lotion before the rads to get a head start) is important. I found an Arm & Hammer deoderant without Aluminum, but have also heard that Tom's of Maine makes one as well.

    One of the best recommendations I saw on these boards (THANK YOU - TRACI!!!) was to go to Target (or Walmart, if you must) and buy a package of men's "A" shirts - the tank top style ones. They will keep you from getting markers and excess lotion on your clothing. They can also help to cushion a less-than-comfy bra. I've been wearing those pretty much every day, and at night to soak up the Aquaphor so that it doesn't get on my PJ's and sheets. I got 5 shirts for $12 at Target.

    I also saw a recommendation here for JustMySize bras from Playtex. Went online and ordered a few. They're very soft, but actually run a little tighter than I expected, especially since I ordered a size larger than I usually wear. They are an improvement over my regular bras, though, and at least allow me to wear some support at work. Sometimes I wear camis with shelf bras that I already had on hand - mostly on weekends.

    I am starting to get pretty pink, but not really uncomfortable yet. I had also started with just the Miaderm, which I do like, but when the color started to show up the nurse recommended that I use Aloe Vera gel with Aquaphor at night since it stays on the skin longer than the Miaderm. I've been doing that for the past week, and it does really make a mess of those undershirts!

    I have not had the fatigue problem at all. I actually feel much more energetic now than when I first started rads. I had a lot of muscle fatigue from the chemo that started to finally lift after a couple of weeks into the rads.

    I also have tattoos, although they left the markers (with stickers) on me for a while at first. Now it's just the tattoos, but I have a total of 5 of them.

    I'm sure you'll do fine. Just keep coming here to ask questions and we'll be here to help you along the way!

    Cindy

    thank you
    Thank you Cindy ... you offered many helpful hints that i am very grateful for. I will definately check out the shirts ... and the bras ... and I will not fret so much about the tattoos. They will be our mark of honor! I love this website and I am so thankful for all the input. Hugs to all ......
  • hopeful in tally
    hopeful in tally Member Posts: 56
    Options

    Hopeful
    I've finished 23 of my 30 rads so far, and it hasn't been bad for me at all.

    As others have recommended, water, staying out of the sun, and keeping up with the lotions (you can even start using the lotion before the rads to get a head start) is important. I found an Arm & Hammer deoderant without Aluminum, but have also heard that Tom's of Maine makes one as well.

    One of the best recommendations I saw on these boards (THANK YOU - TRACI!!!) was to go to Target (or Walmart, if you must) and buy a package of men's "A" shirts - the tank top style ones. They will keep you from getting markers and excess lotion on your clothing. They can also help to cushion a less-than-comfy bra. I've been wearing those pretty much every day, and at night to soak up the Aquaphor so that it doesn't get on my PJ's and sheets. I got 5 shirts for $12 at Target.

    I also saw a recommendation here for JustMySize bras from Playtex. Went online and ordered a few. They're very soft, but actually run a little tighter than I expected, especially since I ordered a size larger than I usually wear. They are an improvement over my regular bras, though, and at least allow me to wear some support at work. Sometimes I wear camis with shelf bras that I already had on hand - mostly on weekends.

    I am starting to get pretty pink, but not really uncomfortable yet. I had also started with just the Miaderm, which I do like, but when the color started to show up the nurse recommended that I use Aloe Vera gel with Aquaphor at night since it stays on the skin longer than the Miaderm. I've been doing that for the past week, and it does really make a mess of those undershirts!

    I have not had the fatigue problem at all. I actually feel much more energetic now than when I first started rads. I had a lot of muscle fatigue from the chemo that started to finally lift after a couple of weeks into the rads.

    I also have tattoos, although they left the markers (with stickers) on me for a while at first. Now it's just the tattoos, but I have a total of 5 of them.

    I'm sure you'll do fine. Just keep coming here to ask questions and we'll be here to help you along the way!

    Cindy

    thank you
    Thank you Cindy ... you offered many helpful hints that i am very grateful for. I will definately check out the shirts ... and the bras ... and I will not fret so much about the tattoos. They will be our mark of honor! I love this website and I am so thankful for all the input. Hugs to all ......
  • TraciInLA
    TraciInLA Member Posts: 1,994 Member
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    Hopeful
    I've finished 23 of my 30 rads so far, and it hasn't been bad for me at all.

    As others have recommended, water, staying out of the sun, and keeping up with the lotions (you can even start using the lotion before the rads to get a head start) is important. I found an Arm & Hammer deoderant without Aluminum, but have also heard that Tom's of Maine makes one as well.

    One of the best recommendations I saw on these boards (THANK YOU - TRACI!!!) was to go to Target (or Walmart, if you must) and buy a package of men's "A" shirts - the tank top style ones. They will keep you from getting markers and excess lotion on your clothing. They can also help to cushion a less-than-comfy bra. I've been wearing those pretty much every day, and at night to soak up the Aquaphor so that it doesn't get on my PJ's and sheets. I got 5 shirts for $12 at Target.

    I also saw a recommendation here for JustMySize bras from Playtex. Went online and ordered a few. They're very soft, but actually run a little tighter than I expected, especially since I ordered a size larger than I usually wear. They are an improvement over my regular bras, though, and at least allow me to wear some support at work. Sometimes I wear camis with shelf bras that I already had on hand - mostly on weekends.

    I am starting to get pretty pink, but not really uncomfortable yet. I had also started with just the Miaderm, which I do like, but when the color started to show up the nurse recommended that I use Aloe Vera gel with Aquaphor at night since it stays on the skin longer than the Miaderm. I've been doing that for the past week, and it does really make a mess of those undershirts!

    I have not had the fatigue problem at all. I actually feel much more energetic now than when I first started rads. I had a lot of muscle fatigue from the chemo that started to finally lift after a couple of weeks into the rads.

    I also have tattoos, although they left the markers (with stickers) on me for a while at first. Now it's just the tattoos, but I have a total of 5 of them.

    I'm sure you'll do fine. Just keep coming here to ask questions and we'll be here to help you along the way!

    Cindy

    Credit where credit's due
    I originally got the men's t-shirt/undershirt idea from Jeanne on this board -- glad to see we're paying it forward!

    Every time my oncologist rolls his eyes when I mention this board (he's more familiar with other boards that all about horror stories and misinformation), I tell him about things like the t-shirt suggestion, and tell him, "Dude, YOU never told me that, now did'ya?"

    :-) Traci
  • Youcandothis
    Youcandothis Member Posts: 79
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    TraciInLA said:

    Credit where credit's due
    I originally got the men's t-shirt/undershirt idea from Jeanne on this board -- glad to see we're paying it forward!

    Every time my oncologist rolls his eyes when I mention this board (he's more familiar with other boards that all about horror stories and misinformation), I tell him about things like the t-shirt suggestion, and tell him, "Dude, YOU never told me that, now did'ya?"

    :-) Traci

    Cucumin and accupuncture
    Google univ of Rochester med school study on cucumin. My rad onc approved it and was surprised how well my skin held up. I'm big and took 7 daily. Also approved accupuncture I think it helped me fight fatigue which hit me hard around 4 wks. You'll do fine, and it's less than 2 mo total! Good luck.
  • laurissa
    laurissa Member Posts: 773
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    Hi hopeful
    Just finished day 12 today and all is well. I have been wearing sport bras, and the marker ink does get on your clothes. I've got tattoes, marker, and stickers. My pelvis is also being done, so I look like a road map north and south. You'll do fine.
  • jbug
    jbug Member Posts: 285
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    Hopeful
    Bumped up the radiation questions/answer string for you and others that are getting ready for rads. There are 2 strings as you'll see from the headings...lots of info from those that have gone before.

    I finished my rads in Jan, 25 regular treatments and 5 boost. I have tattoos, very, very small. I wasn't actually given a choice, but others on the site mentioned that they refused the tats and just asked to be remarked frequently or had markers secured w/whatever clear medical tape their center uses. You'll be given specific instructions for your radiation treatment by your rad onc and the nursing staff at the center. No deoderant that contains aluminum (most products)...there are some natural products you may be able to use, but you'll have to clear everything thru your rad onc. They will also provide some lotions, specific for use w/radiation (or the'll tell you what over the counter products you can use), you should begin using those right away. The exception to that is you shouldn't use any lotion for 4 hours prior to your treatment. Again, ask the clinic staff.

    Fatigue/discomfort/skin reactions vary for each of us. You'll likely read about some bad burns and you'll see that others didn't have much discomfort or fatigue. I was able to wear a sports bra for only about a week into treatment...i started to burn pretty early in treatment. I was able to get away w/not wearing any bra at all (bulky military uniform and small breasts helped!) When not at work, big tshirts and a sweatshirt over it. I worked full time until half way and then 1/2 days (thank God for a job that allows this!) until about 2-4 weeks after treatment was done. Fatigue was a real issue for me.

    Best advice from me is to take one day at a time, take a nap if you need it, and know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. And lotion, lotion, lotion!!!

    Blessings...
    Julie
  • God Heals
    God Heals Member Posts: 11
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    FInished Radiation so here's my advise...
    Like everyone else has said... Because I had a double mastectomy I wore tank tops, they were great, soft and protect your clothes... LOOSE fitting clothes are a must... you want the area to breath... this will be important now that the weather is warmer...

    Yes, use the lotion they give you and use it often... more the better was what I was told...

    Tom's of Maine is an excellent deodorant... Corn Starch baby powder...

    I did the tattoos... I have exema thus my skin is sensitive...

    I got pink, then red at the end... now I am pealing... all good...

    REST... REST... WATER... WATER... enough said!!!

    I had chemo, then surgery before Radiation, I decided to take Short Term Disability during recovery and radiation... I am glad I did... first week back I worked 1/2 days... now I will go to full days... see how it goes...
  • God Heals
    God Heals Member Posts: 11
    Options
    jbug said:

    Hopeful
    Bumped up the radiation questions/answer string for you and others that are getting ready for rads. There are 2 strings as you'll see from the headings...lots of info from those that have gone before.

    I finished my rads in Jan, 25 regular treatments and 5 boost. I have tattoos, very, very small. I wasn't actually given a choice, but others on the site mentioned that they refused the tats and just asked to be remarked frequently or had markers secured w/whatever clear medical tape their center uses. You'll be given specific instructions for your radiation treatment by your rad onc and the nursing staff at the center. No deoderant that contains aluminum (most products)...there are some natural products you may be able to use, but you'll have to clear everything thru your rad onc. They will also provide some lotions, specific for use w/radiation (or the'll tell you what over the counter products you can use), you should begin using those right away. The exception to that is you shouldn't use any lotion for 4 hours prior to your treatment. Again, ask the clinic staff.

    Fatigue/discomfort/skin reactions vary for each of us. You'll likely read about some bad burns and you'll see that others didn't have much discomfort or fatigue. I was able to wear a sports bra for only about a week into treatment...i started to burn pretty early in treatment. I was able to get away w/not wearing any bra at all (bulky military uniform and small breasts helped!) When not at work, big tshirts and a sweatshirt over it. I worked full time until half way and then 1/2 days (thank God for a job that allows this!) until about 2-4 weeks after treatment was done. Fatigue was a real issue for me.

    Best advice from me is to take one day at a time, take a nap if you need it, and know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. And lotion, lotion, lotion!!!

    Blessings...
    Julie

    Military
    Julie

    SO glad to hear the military took care of you...

    I am retired USAF and work for a contract company who have been wonderful with me...

    Keep healing and thriving, because you are a survivor!!!

    Marnie
  • carkris
    carkris Member Posts: 4,553 Member
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    God Heals said:

    FInished Radiation so here's my advise...
    Like everyone else has said... Because I had a double mastectomy I wore tank tops, they were great, soft and protect your clothes... LOOSE fitting clothes are a must... you want the area to breath... this will be important now that the weather is warmer...

    Yes, use the lotion they give you and use it often... more the better was what I was told...

    Tom's of Maine is an excellent deodorant... Corn Starch baby powder...

    I did the tattoos... I have exema thus my skin is sensitive...

    I got pink, then red at the end... now I am pealing... all good...

    REST... REST... WATER... WATER... enough said!!!

    I had chemo, then surgery before Radiation, I decided to take Short Term Disability during recovery and radiation... I am glad I did... first week back I worked 1/2 days... now I will go to full days... see how it goes...

    I am on disability got very
    I am on disability got very debilitated from chemo and my job is intense. plus I have peripheral neuropathy. I so want to go back to work though. I like to work. I am onday14 getting red and a little burny. they dont want you to use miaderm after mastectomy. they tape my skin so the folds dont get irritated, the scar is getting bolus radiation every other day. and I use aquaphor, going to add the aloe. just to try to keep ahead. the bra is starting to irritate so will move to the camis. the ink they use stains, and I do have tattoos but they write on me too. They put a tattoo on me mid chest , irritates me to no end hate looking at it. so far I love where I go tho, the techs are awesome and upbeat. and it sure beats chemo(so far). I also use the tee shirt idea from tracy and Jeanne. also mild soap no rubbing no sun and no hot baths/showers
  • Rague
    Rague Member Posts: 3,653 Member
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    tattoo
    so you did the permanent tattoo? they suggested that to me because the ink from marker bleeds on to clothes and may not come out. good luck to you ... i will follow your lead so stay healthy!!!

    Yes - tattoos but not what
    Yes - tattoos but not what most think of 'tattoos'. I didn't really ask and somehow I thought that there would some kind of an X or a cross - not (at least for me) They did 3 single small dots, 1 on each side and 1 at the bottom center (at least I think it's centered). When they did the simulation, they used markers to be sure that they were placed right and then did the dot tattoos when Dr was satisfied that it was right.

    Susan