elyssa22 Member Posts: 1
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
I am new to the group. I am starting radiation on Monday after 24 weeks of chemo. Just wanted to get some feedback on experiences with radiation. I believe it will be much easier than the chemo. Also, any idea on how long hair takes to grow back?


  • live42day
    live42day Member Posts: 64
    I didn't have radiation, just the 8 chemo treatments, so I am no help about what to expect from rads. But, I can tell you that I had my last chemo treatment March 28, 2002 and when my son got married July 20, 2002 my hair was too short to go without a hat for the wedding pictures. About a week later I went with my own hair to work, but it was only about 1/2 an inch long. It helps if you get it trimmed up even when there isn't much to trim. My hairdresser was great, she would trim around my neck and ears and even it up. It doesn't grow in even and it can look pretty scraggly if you just let it go on its own.
    I hope this has helped a little. This is a good time to try a spiky do.
    Good luck with radiation.
  • lindatn
    lindatn Member Posts: 229
    Congs on finishing the chemo. I had radiation in late 2002. I found the daily running very tiring but the treatment is over in a hurry. The burning from radiation can be painful but ask for help right away if you start to burn. Aloe vera plants worked the best for me but you may not burn at all so don't look for trouble. Rest when you can but you know that already. You will find it easier then chemo plus the fact this is most likely the end of treatments. I marked it daily on the calender like a kid waiting for Christmas. Linda
  • krisrey
    krisrey Member Posts: 194
    Hi elyssa,
    I fininshed chemo September 24 and Rads December 30th. My first thought is..if you can get through the chemo..rads is nothing. It does get pretty tiring going every day, but it does go pretty quick. The actual session is less than 15 minutes. I pick a very early morning slot..7am so I could still get home to get my kids ready for school and so hubby could leave for work. This way there was no patient backup at all because I was the first one in. As far as the burning, my skinned did extremely well. I did wonder because I have faily light skin. I used Aquaphore (spelling?. I think part of the trick is applying it before you even need it. I started putting it on the radiated area from the first day. I did not really have any redness at all until the boost, which was the final 8 treatments out of 33. The good thing is that the Doctors and nurses keep a very close eye on you.
    As far as the hair. My last chemo was September 24 and my hair is pretty short and a different color, but I never wore a wig only a hat. I have been hatless for several weeks and it feels great. Like someone else said, keeping it trimmed by a hairdresser and going into a spike look is pretty cool! I got a new pair of glasses to go with my new hair..lol
    Hang in elyssa, and you will do great!
  • amelia
    amelia Member Posts: 56
    I finished my rad's last Oct. and had very little trouble with them. Directly after every treatment I applied aloe to the area, the stuff from a tube, and again several times a day. At night before bed I applied aloe from the plant. I did this every day and the only red I had was during the last week. I did get a bad oozing burn the last day because of something stupid. I placed a smily face sticker on my boob because it was the last treatment. I guess since it was not really near the area the were radiating, we didn't take it off. Well before I got home the skin around the sticker started to burn. By the time I got home you couldn't touch it, it hurt so bad. It oozed for several weeks and finaly healed. Let that be a lesson to you:"NO STICKERS" ;-) I thought my hair would never grow back. My last chemo,AC, was Aug.5th and today, 6 months later, I have hair. I'm not comfortable going without a scarf or wig yet, but real soon. The back is growing faster than the top and sides for some reason, but it is thick and not the strawberry blond I used to be. It's not real curly like some people get either. There was a time when I never would believe it would grow back. It really took a long time to start. Hope this info helps. God Bless, and lots of luck in your treatmets!! Amelia
  • DeeNY711
    DeeNY711 Member Posts: 476 Member
    I finished 8 cycles of chemotherapy on August 11, and my hair is close to 3" long now. I stopped wearing wigs when I returned to the gym on October 6, figuring that the wig would definitely fall off while I was using the machines and freak everybody out more than if I just went wigless. My radiation had to be done in 2 zones because I had a port removed from the middle of the area. We did the bottom half front to back and back to front first. Then we did the top straight down. During Zone 1, I applied pure aloe vera (I think over 99% with no fragrance) to the area Monday through Friday after each treatment. I did not learn until close to the end of Zone 1 that radiation continues to have an effect on the skin even during the weekend when I had no treatments or I would have continued to apply it daily. (Believe you can get Jason Cosmetics Aloe Vera gel at http://www.drugstore.com) My skin held up so nicely, the radiology oncologist decided to double up the last 3 doses. At that point, I developed a wow of a burn with split skin. I did not use aloe during zone 2 and had no problem at all. When you start radiation, you will still be dragging from chemotherapy. I was alarmed and upset that I did not feel a great deal better when radiation began, and my husband even had to drive me to treatments for about 3 weeks so he could drop me at the door very close to the elevator for radiation therapy. But although dragging, you don't feel yukky in the same way as chemotherapy makes you feel.