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Sep 8, 2009 09:48PM, edited Sep 8, 2009 09:54PM
So glad to find practical down to earth sharings here. In 2003 I had radiation to left breast. Astonishingly, I had very mild reaction - almost negligible. Astonishingly, because I usually react to everything. I attributed a lot of healing to fellow patients who early on urged me: no bras, cut-off T-shirts, aloe. I remember the doctor giving me samples of Aquaphor. I also remember the doctor taking the position "Don't worry about it. We have medicine to take care of reactions should they occur." Again, I still attribute the PRE-symptom approach of fellow patients to my recovery. No more symptoms for years.
JUMP TO early July 2009 (maybe it was late June).
I had been going to dermatologist for rash of unknown origin which basically was not on my breast. My breast started to itch. Still unknown origin. One morning before work I happened to see a shadow which I thought was a growth. As it happened overnight, I thought: Wow! What else grows that fast but cancer. Please understand I could not really see much as it was on the underside of my breast. My surgical oncologist squeezed me in.
In fact the dark shadow growth turned out to be a blister sac (I think the term is bulbous). It was about as big as a June Pea (vegetable). Things were definitely in the mystery mode. Shortly, adjacent blistering cycles started. I had an MRI on July 30 with negative results. On August 28, I had a surgical biopsy with negative cancer. My wonderful surgical oncologist referred me to the wound specialist in surgical oncology.
By today, the wound specialist appointment day, the blisters were very aggressive and mostly bloody raw as a lot sloughed off in the shower this morning and I could see definite changes going on below the skin where previous blisters had been and new skin was.
Because of the location and the fact that I had pulled out my old well worn = soft T-shirts from radiology days, I have had almost no pain. The wound specialist confirmed that I was experiencing radiation burn which undoubtedly had been going on all these years but surfaced now for whatever reason. I immediately thought again of the victims of the atom bomb.
I have been prescribed 1% silver sulfaiazine cream and Telfa pads (2x day) discussed in this thread. I was also informed that if I did not respond sufficiently, I would probably have the Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber treatment - another: "Wow! Like the divers."
So thanks for describing the boring time I might have to spend in the chamber That it might be for weeks was a surprise as during my appointment those things were left until that bridge needed to be crossed. Of course I looked up the chamber stuff on the Internet this evening but didn't get the helpful first hand experiential details shared here.
It was all your sharing and my fellow radiology patients' sharing that prompted me to enter this group and share what's going on with me. No one said anything about my changing from soap and water to saline which I will definitely do thanks to you folks.
To get a better idea of what a large part of my breast looks like, feel free to do GOOGLE searches (as I did so often). If folks want to save time, let me know and I will do a post at another time listing some of the more graphic URLs I found helpful.
I thought for sure I had cancer as the similarity was so close to pictures of untreated breast cancer and of Paget's Disease. After cancer was ruled out, I found bulbous similarities with pictures of a family of dermatilogical stuff with the acronyms EB and EBA and even ended up wondering if I had Impetigo. (The blistering has been decidedly more aggressive and with a more "serious" look since the biopsy.) These were on my list which I took to today's session and of which I was immediately assured were not the case.
Hope these sharings help others. Good night! I have to get up early for work tomorrow :)
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