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List of what to do/get/pack to prep for Radiation Therapy

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  • DanielHunt
    DanielHunt Member Posts: 1
    edited December 2017
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    Thank you so much guys for sharing such useful and important tips.

  • Jmhm1
    Jmhm1 Member Posts: 3
    edited December 2017
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    Question, please.... I carry stress in my shoulders/neck due to job etc. and the position of arms over head holding bars during radiation tx is seriously painful in shoulder muscles. 8 of 10 Any recommendations? I advised both therapists & dr...both gave me shoulder shrugs & recommended pain med before tx or said “it will get better”. :/ Are there specific exercises that will get to these affected muscles. I cannot miss more work for massage appointments.

  • Goofycat
    Goofycat Member Posts: 9
    edited December 2017
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    I would try googling some physical therapy exercises for that area. I have found some in the past. I carry stress the same areas but was lucky enough to have the time for a massage. Don't hang onto the bars to tightly it will make it worse. Found that out the hard way.

  • IHGJAnn49
    IHGJAnn49 Member Posts: 408
    edited December 2017
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    I was rear ended just before rads and it sprained my left neck, shoulder and wrist... Having my arms up, didn't take long, and it is doable..

  • thesedays
    thesedays Member Posts: 2
    edited December 2017
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    I plan to start my treatments (16 whole breast, 4 boost at the end) this week, and my RO didn't give me any special advice about deodorants, and that I should use vitamin E oil, which I picked up today.

  • Towardshealth17
    Towardshealth17 Member Posts: 8
    edited January 2018
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    I met with my RO tday and was told to limit my green tea consumption to one cup a day and the same for pomegranate juice or the equivalent arils. They are both anti-oxidants.

    Crystal deodorant roll on was recommended, Eucerin Original Healing Lotion and Dove body wash for sensitive skin.

  • batsy
    batsy Member Posts: 5
    edited February 2018
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    Preparing for my second meeting/first run-through with my RO and I'm very grateful to this conversation for helping me with the questions I should ask. You all are awesome :)

    At our first meeting I asked about the prone position and the RO said he only approved it in large-breasted women because of the breasts' tendency to move to the sides when we're lying on our backs. My breasts are smallish but they too will head for the hills when I'm on my back, and I can clearly feel my ribs through them. So for any of us with smaller breasts, are you having rads in the prone position? It looks so much safer to me.

  • Towardshealth17
    Towardshealth17 Member Posts: 8
    edited March 2018
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    Hi Batsy. My breasts are pretty small but my RO had me bend over and was satisfied that I was saggy enough (haha) to make the prone position feasible for me. So it can be about other factors besides size.

  • GreenEyes81
    GreenEyes81 Member Posts: 66
    edited May 2018
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    So...if you had a mx prior I imagine prone would not be used? Nothing their to move around. lol

  • Osthedia
    Osthedia Member Posts: 3
    edited June 2018
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    Coconut oil, along with two others. Beleaf that I needed to cover a full range of moisturizing effects. I am extremely fair and did not blister but received apermanent tan in the effected area.

  • Gemini_girl
    Gemini_girl Member Posts: 26
    edited July 2018
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    I will be getting my 25th and last radiation on Monday, July 9. My skin is very red and I feel swollen inside (only right side is being radiated after a bilateral mastectomy). I’ve been using all natural products so far. My question is, will a PS do more fills (I have TEs) after radiation? My initial PS (who was terrible) said she would. Or, does it depend on my skin? I wanted to go bigger and at this point, have a terrible cosmetic result, a real botch job. Any insight is appreciated.

    Thanks

  • Gemini_girl
    Gemini_girl Member Posts: 26
    edited July 2018
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    cat lady - would you recommend Johns Hopkins? I’ve been keeping my eye on them for after radiation when it’s time to switch out TEs for implants. I do need some corrective surgery thanks to my first, not so great PS.

  • Spoonie77
    Spoonie77 Member Posts: 532
    edited August 2018
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    Just wanted to say thanks so much for this sticky post. Very helpful! I have my list and more questions to ask my RO.

    I'm scheduled to start my first of 30 txts in September, unless my Lump option for surgery in 2 weeks goes away when my BRCA results come in next week. Waiting for results is so hard! The results change a life forever, in more than one way!

    In the meantime, feels good to be gathering info and strategies to help me make it through surgery and on into the world of rads/chemo/endo therapy.

    What a whirlwind this all is, so thankful for this site!

    Hugs and healing to you all. <3

  • YangSainst
    YangSainst Member Posts: 69
    edited September 2018
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    Hello ladies here I just want to join in this topic as I will start Rads today supposedly but the machine in not working properly. You're lucky most of you we're been told what to do and what to put on your body on my part Nothing is told or said to me.. Youre tips here are more helpful than my medical practitioner or Doctor.


  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,094
    edited September 2018
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    YangSainst it's really a shame that many places don't seem to provide guidance, but glad you got it here Winking

    Good luck with your treatment! Keep us posted.

  • Utopria
    Utopria Member Posts: 182
    edited October 2018
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    Hello Ladies - I will be starting radiation treatment soon for a spine met. Do I need to stop eating supplements like EGg (green tea extract) and broccoprotect before rads? Amy advice will be helpful. Thankyou

  • NewToCancer
    NewToCancer Member Posts: 1
    edited February 2019
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    My breast cancer was on the left. They did a reduction of both sides. Then I had the radiation. I went in the morning, after which I went swimming at the Y. I told them what I was doing and one of the techs brought me a mask and snorkel, which helped a great deal.

  • morningdove
    morningdove Member Posts: 11
    edited March 2019
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    Thanks so very much for all the helpful information on breastcancer.org! I have my first radiation treatment this morning at 8:00 am and am so grateful to read this and for this site. So many are battling this and I join you in the fight!

  • Mary_Liz_Ann3
    Mary_Liz_Ann3 Member Posts: 2
    edited April 2019
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    This is so much good information but I’m upset that I didn’t search for this before as I’ve now had 7 treatments and none of the Cancer Centre information or nurse or oncologist told me about drinking extra water, eating protein or showering with back to shower head etc.. I’ll be following this from now on but may stop soon as I have never really wanted radiation ( based on lots of research on the type I had) and now they’ve never done partial breast radiation and have a lot of oronlems aligning me and having extra xrays because of that .

  • jackel
    jackel Member Posts: 2
    edited May 2019
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    Hello,

    Thank you for the prep listI am getting ready to start 6 weeks of whole breast radiation plus lymph node areas.

    Looking for recommendations for comfortable cotton bras and T shirts-not too expensive. I live in a warm climate so I am used to wearing tank tops, but will need to cover up when I'm in the sun. My plan is to go walk on the beach every day right after radiation.

    A friend gave me some Emu oil and will try Calendula and Aquafor too. I am still a little swollen and have lots of scar tissue from surgery- not sure how that will effect the radiation.

  • ingerp
    ingerp Member Posts: 1,514
    edited May 2019
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    jackel--just a heads up that you'll likely get markings that will bleed onto your bra. If you have any old, comfortable sports bras that would be best. You might want to treat yourself to new bras after you're finished. I found that it didn't matter so much what you put on your skin, just that you put something on several times a day. I had calendula cream, Aquaphor, and Desitin and would grab whatever was closest. Miaderm is mostly calendula cream and I don't think is worth the added $$.

  • jag51
    jag51 Member Posts: 10
    edited May 2019
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    I will start radiation tomorrow. Here is what I already have: Tom's aluminum free deodorant; pure aloe gel; and Dove unscented soap. I do NOT have any hook in front bras. Is that a necessity? Why? All the bras I have are sport bras, since I am a runner. Also I was told not to swim during radiation - b/c of chlorine? Not sure why. Sorry to sound so ignorant!

  • ingerp
    ingerp Member Posts: 1,514
    edited May 2019
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    jag--I bought a couple of front-close bras but ended up giving them away. I was fine putting on/taking off a sports bra. I believe the warning against swimming does indeed have to do with trying to be as kind to your skin as possible.

  • jag51
    jag51 Member Posts: 10
    edited May 2019
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    Do you suppose it would be alright to wash my hair before treatment? Or should I wait til I get home? Does hair gel or mousse interfere with treatment?

  • jessie123
    jessie123 Member Posts: 134
    edited May 2019
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    Jag --- yes you can wash your hair and put product on it before radiation. You can wear regular deodorant under the untreated breast arm if you want to.

  • Stitch
    Stitch Member Posts: 32
    edited May 2019
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    I just started, had my first rad yesterday.  My RO told me no amount of creams would prevent damage - rather they could give me something to relieve the symptoms if that does happen.  I have very thin, white skin.  He was STILL not worried about it and said preparation is not necessary and wouldn't help.  I get that, after reading another forum here where it was said that it's a loss of skin, not really a "burn".  But here I read that I should be moisturizing daily, except 4 hours prior to a treatment.  I'm so lost.  I am remaining positive, hoping for nothing too bad - as he made me feel it would be a breeze.  But then I read here that most ROs do say that to everyone.  I worry about the sharpie marker marks and clear adhesive tags coming off applying moisturizer 4 times a day.  I did invest in two front closing soft cotton bras.  They don't offer any sort of support, but I guess they'll be better than nothing if I do get uncomfortable, since all my other bras are wired.   I think a sling would also work well, as I'm prone to getting yeast under the girls in the summer.   

    Mine is on the left breast only, the rads coming from the sides.  I do the deep breath thing to get the heart out of the way.  

  • ingerp
    ingerp Member Posts: 1,514
    edited May 2019
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    Stitch--you probably won't notice any skin effects for the first few weeks. It can't hurt to start applying whatever creams you decide on starting Day 1, but I agree it probably won't make much difference. Also, I don't think it makes much difference what kind of cream you use--I used a variety of calendula cream, Aquaphor, and Desitin. I bought two front closing bras but gave them away. Just seemed more of a hassle than a soft exercise-type bra. If you have any of those, you might want to hold off buying new underwear until you're finished. The markings will stain your bra. I had to do the breath hold the first time around, and it wasn't a big deal at all. I'd count seconds while they were zapping me--two from each of two different angles. The longest one was about 17-18 seconds, the others about 11-12 seconds, and then two that were about 5 seconds. If something happens and you move out of position, the machine will stop automatically. When they re-start, it'll only be for the remaining part of that zap. I never had that happen--just don't worry too much about holding perfectly still.

  • Stitch
    Stitch Member Posts: 32
    edited May 2019
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    Thank you Ingerp! I had my 5th one today. So far so good! He said the last week of 4 will be a boost to the tumor bed only.

  • shoobie40
    shoobie40 Member Posts: 1
    edited May 2019
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    I had a lumpectomy to my left breast on March 29 and developed an infection shortly after. My breast was aspirated 3 times before radiation began leaving me with an indent from the aspirations. I am on radiation treatment 6 of 15 total treatments. I currently have a swollen breast and feel some hardened areas of scar tissue from the abscess. I have been reading that if you have radiation you can't get the breast fixed... such as fat grafting to fix the indent. Does anyone have any experience with this? I don't want to have any more radiation if this indent can not be fixed. I would discontinue radiation now if this is the case. I don't speak with my oncologist until later in the week.

  • mountainmia
    mountainmia Member Posts: 857
    edited May 2019
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    shoobie40, contact your oncologist now, before more rads. Don't wait until later in the week. I don't know the answer to the question, but you deserve answers before going forward.