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Apr 8, 2009 08:29AM CaliforniaCloud wrote:
**Most of you ladies will not have to concern yourself with my issue of blistering and peeling because your chemo treatment is complete, but I write this for the ladies who may have chosen to do to do their rads with Mammosite or 5 day external radiation. **
I had 5 days of external radiation prior to my chemotherapy. The radiation was a piece of cake with just a little "pinking." I faithfully used a creme called Radi-Guard. However, everything changed once chemo started. Apparently, I am having radiation recall which sets my radiation site on fire about 5 days out and continues thru day 10. My first chemo treatment turned my radiation site red with some blistering and peeling. The second chemo treatment resulted in my breast turning an alarming shade of plum and nearly the entire radiation site blistered and peeled.
I asked to be seen by the radiology oncologist after the first treatment, but the office said it was normal. I insisted on being seen after the second chemo treatment because I was sure plum was not an acceptable color. The rad onc blamed the med onc for radiation recall and told me I had to make the med onc aware of this. The rad onc had nothing to offer me other than aloe vera gel and Aquaphor.
Radiation recall, as I understand it, is chemo attacking the disorganized cells at the radiation site. This is seen more often when there is little time between the end of radiation and the beginning of chemotherapy. (For economic reasons, I needed to start my chemo right after radiology.)
The med onc agreed it was radiation recall and spoke of increased steriods for chemo treatment 3. In the meantime he offered me 1% cortizone cream.
Right or wrong, I have no idea, but the aloe vera gel seems to have more healing properties so I put the gel on and then cover it with a piece of plastic wrap. The wrap keeps the area constantly covered with the gel and I am pain free. If I take the plastic wrap off and the site dries out I am in pain.
For showering, I get a cold pack from the freezer, wrap it in a wash cloth, and hold it over the radiation site while I shower. I like warm showers, so this lets me enjoy my shower. To clean the rad site, I turn the water temp to cool and gently cleanse with Wal-Mart's Skin Cleanser.
Day 14 and I am finally able to shower without discomfort. My breast color is no longer plum, now it is bright red. Not pretty, but improvement nevertheless! I finally have the attention of the rad onc; I will see him again before next's chemo treatment, so hopefully both oncologist's will track this with a little more concern.
Good luck, Ladies.
"Courage is fear that has said its prayers" Dx 1/27/2009, IDC, <1cm, Stage Ib, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+Radiation Therapy 02/16/2009 3-D conformal external beam radiationTargeted Therapy 03/04/2009 Herceptin