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Sun problems

CypressCynthia's picture
Posts: 4014
Joined: Oct 2009

I live in Louisiana-land of hot as hades summers--always in the 90's, lows in the high 70's or 80's and 70% humidity.  Think sauna!

Usually, we head to the mountains in the summer.  This summer, on chemo, I am not ready to go anywhere.

My oncologist warned me that on my regimen (perjeta, herceptin, taxotere) I should be extremely careful going outside.  So, to go outdoors, I wear SPF 50 and I very big UV blocking sunhat.  I am olive complected and I do wear sunscreen daily, but I have rarely ever burned.

OK, here's my problem, if I am out in the sun (with hat and sunscreen) my face gets very burned and swollen and, even worse, I feel nauseated.  It is almost like a weird allergy to the sun.  My extremities and chest are untouched.  But my eyes and cheeks are swollen and red still this am after a short walk on Saturday.  Yesterday I felt awful.  By the afternoon, less nausea, so I went mall walking.

I went out just long enough for Cindy Lou to get a brief walk this am, but even that made me nervous.  So torn because I love to walk.

Danny's best friend owns a ranch in Mississippi that is on a beached bayou with lovely large roofed docks with fans and water slides.  We are scheduled to go there on the 4th with Katherine, Aaron and Bella.  But, I have to tell you, I am scared to death.  Maybe I can wear a burka.

No easy answers here, but I guess just needed to ventilate my frustrations to someone who would understand. 

jessiesmom1's picture
Posts: 874
Joined: Jun 2010

I was never on Perjeta or Herceptin but I did have 12 rounds of Taxotere. At the beginning of those rounds I felt OK and went outside to talk to a neighbor. I was out there about 15 minutes when my husband said, "You had better go inside. You are as red as a beet." I felt fine but did indeed look alarming. It scared me so I was exceedingly careful of any time in the sun after that. As if we need anything else to make us feel isolated. . . .Now we can't even be out in the sun. I do get your frustrations. A burka sounds like a fine idea. Your 4th of July plans sound lovely. You will just be careful and participate as best you can.


MrsBob's picture
Posts: 77
Joined: May 2013

Since starting Xeloda in April, I noticed I burn very easily. I have been off for a few eeks and still get red fast. So i am pasty pale ths summer :-( We took a vacation in May to Vegas and I thought I was going to burn to ashes everytime we got in the sun. I stayed under an umbrella at the pool and mapped out shade everywhere we went. I love to get a tan but those days are probably over. I have also noticed an increase in sun spots (or liver spots, either one). But, all in all its still possible to enjoy the outdoors...just have to figure out what works. I hope you enjoy your trip! Sounds really nice :-)

Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2809
Joined: Jun 2010

I was told to avoid the sun because of Taxotere.  One day I was really cold and couldn't get warm so went outside to sit in the sun for a few minutes.  I thought I was being careful.  I had sunscreen on my face and a hat on.  I got burned on my face.  Everything else was fine, tho.  I'm fair and do burn relatively easily, but this was crazy.  I had lots of skin issues while on Taxotere. 

I don't thnk you need a burka, but definitely protect yourself and try and stay in the shade as much as possible.  Take an umbella with you.  You should be quite the Southern Belle with your parasol. 


coco2008's picture
Posts: 420
Joined: May 2013

I'm feeling a bit stronger today so I thought I would take the dogs for a walk tomorrow morning before it got too hot.  I forgot to pick up sunscreen before starting chemo., but I didn't think it would be a problem if I only stayed out for half an hour.

Thanks to your post, I have changed my mind.  You have saved me from a terrible mistake and a lot of pain.


CypressCynthia's picture
Posts: 4014
Joined: Oct 2009

What is really weird is I never, ever burn and I had on one of those wide-brimmed hats UV protected too) and sunscreen.  

I am going to play it by ear and talk to our friend.  I may have to spend some time indoors, because, even the shade, is hot and intense down here.  Or I may just send Danny and have him take photos.  Not sure. 

And my face is red, hot and painful!  The only thing that helps is steroid/aloe cream and advil.  Everything will depend on how bad my face feels next week.

Looks like mall walking for awhile.  I would try night walking but the bugs are really bad.

I think I have turned into a vampire...Lol.

SIROD's picture
Posts: 2199
Joined: Jun 2010

Your plans for the 4th sound lovely.  Just stay in the shade.  I wish that I could send you some cool Maine air.  However, it was hot here today in the 80's.

Reading all these posts, I now know why I had such a red face while doing just a little weeding on Sunday.  Guess I will have to watch the sun though I am not one to seek it out.



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