Radiation Therapy

Busybee523 Member Posts: 2 Member

Hello everyone!

I'm Dana W! I'm new to this forum. I was diagnosed back in May; I found a lump in my right breast. I finish chemo next week and will be starting radiation therapy in January. I was wanting to see if any of you have experienced radiation therapy and if you could tell me a little about it. I'm hearing horror stories AND good stories. I'm told I have to do "mapping" first, then I do six weeks of radiation every single day. Any thoughts or suggestions? Any advice or shared experiences are appreciated!!!   Thank you!!!!!


  • catlady2
    catlady2 Member Posts: 50 Member

    Mapping is a bit tedious, but necessary. In my case it took about 45 minutes and my arms were tired of being in the same position. You will most likely get some tiny tattoo dots on your chest and armpits that will be used to line up the beams for the actual radiation sessions. The room is kept dark during the treatments and in my case there was soft music playing in the background. The radiation sessions themselves are pretty short-takes longer to get undressed and then redressed than the actual beam session. Think of the beam as a search and destroy mission seeking out any residual bad cells and zapping them.

    Take care of your skin!! Also look for a soft cotton bra, or go braless to decrease rubbing. I had problems with my skin blistering. I followed the advice from my doctor for care, but my skin kept getting worse and worse. Turns out I was having an allergic reaction to the calendula cream they had told me to use! Once that was figured out my skin slowly improved. Expect to look like you have a severe sunburn, but if it goes beyond that don't be afraid to ask for a different sort of cream to use. I know one person who ended up going to a dermatologist for advice on what to use since recommendations from the radiation oncologist were not effective.

    You may also have fatigue associated with the radiation treatments. Don't forget to rest and recharge the best you can do.

    You are on the last leg of your treatment! We are all on a path that we did not choose. In my case there has been no recurrence (so far) and I am grateful for that!

    Take care and let us know how you make out!

  • Busybee523
    Busybee523 Member Posts: 2 Member

    Hi catlady2!

    Thanks for the feedback! You gave me a lot of good information! I haven't regularly worn a bra in seven months LOL. I heard it can hinder the lymphatic flow, so I slip on a sports bra only when exercising. I've bought several products already to help with any skin trouble I may encounter during radiation such as coconut oil, Vaseline with cocoa butter, Eucerin, and I plan on utilizing the farmers market up the street to buy aloe vera branches for pure aloe vera. I heard aloe vera is very soothing to the skin after radiation. Question: did you lose any hair during radiation? I lost all my hair after my second chemo treatment but it's now starting to grow back. I'm afraid it will fall out again when I start radiation. but YES, last leg!! I'm praying all goes well.

    Thanks again for your feedback and positive vibes! I'm so glad to hear you've had no recurrence!! Thats awesome!