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Topic: After Radiation

Forum: Radiation Therapy - Before, During, and After —

What to expect from treatment and ways to cope with side effects.

Posted on: Mar 8, 2011 06:02PM - edited Mar 8, 2011 06:05PM by FireKracker

FireKracker wrote:

OK NOW WHAT DO WE DO?

I finished the Rads 3 weeks ago.Now What???

Kind of cream?deoderant?soap?exercise?etc.

How do we get back to our life before BC?

And how long is this process.I would like to hear from other sistas what they are doing and how they are feeling after the RADS are over.

Focktober!!!!Pink stinks!!!!
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Mar 28, 2011 03:54PM FireKracker wrote:

Thank you girls for the help here.BarbA--I know you did well but i had no idea how long it took you.you give us all hope.you too JO...

Sherry you and I are almost on the same page...still sore,still have tha V but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Val---welcome....gald the worst is over for you.please stay with us...im just hoping more sistas who finish the rads come here with more info in other issues after the rads.Like what creams are forever????soaps????deoderant?shampoos????there is sooo much we need to know after its all over...Thank you and God bless us all.huggggggggs K

Focktober!!!!Pink stinks!!!!
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Mar 28, 2011 04:08PM BarbaraA wrote:

Use the emu cream on the boob. It has anti-inflammatory properties (which kept me from burning- used emu oil). The cream is only 60% emu oil so it is not as greasy as the oil. I use extra virgin organic coconut oil on the rest of me. Love it! And I use Olay Regenerist on my face and chicken neck. The emu oil really worked and the cream is keeping on keeping on.

Sometimes you're the bug and sometimes you're the windshield. Dx 4/30/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 1/4 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Dx 11/25/2014, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, ER+ Hormonal Therapy 11/25/2014 Femara (letrozole)
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Mar 28, 2011 04:19PM FireKracker wrote:

I just knew that you BarbaraA have lots of good info....im using the emu oil under my arm and mixing the emu oil and the calendula gel on the boob.it seems to be working.im massaging it like 3x a day.it does feel sooo good.im also using the extra virgin organic coconut oil on my face AND taking a spoon daily for my stomach issues.it seems to be helping.im using utterly smooth cream on the rest of my body as i have been using that for over 10 yrs. now.its very light and has no parabins.soooooo i guess this is gonna be forever right??????

now for the soaps----my RO told me to go back to my regular products but im afraid of the parabins.like its in everything.huh....just tryin to do everything to keep the giant monster AWAY.

Focktober!!!!Pink stinks!!!!
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Mar 28, 2011 04:54PM Chevyboy wrote:

Hey little Granny...I forgot to mention....Do you have an Aloe plant?  I use that all the time on any burns, rashes, or sores....It really helps them heal fast.....I like the cut leaves better than any of the Aloe creams or lotions.... You can buy the plants pretty cheap, & then just cut a small piece off the tip, slice it open, into 2 halves, then rub it on any sore spot.  Then store the cut piece in a little baggie in the frig!  Cut off the little sharp edges, before you cut it open.   It will help you! xoxoxoxoxoxo
Don't walk ahead of me, I might not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not want to lead. Just walk beside me & be my friend. Dx 11/2009, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+
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Mar 28, 2011 06:23PM - edited Mar 28, 2011 06:25PM by painterly

Hi Grannydukes,

I recall reading some of your comments over the course of your treatment and, congratulations that you are now through with everything. I am like you an "older gal" (66) and couldn't handle an AI, although I gave it my best shot for just over 6 months, even cutting the darn pill in half towards the end of that period.

As for radiation, I had a pink and hot to the touch boob for several months and the skin felt very thick in places, also I had a very irritated nipple - I had to casually look around to see if anyone was looking and, if the coast was clear, give it a good scratch.

The creams that the breast cancer clinic recommended all contained parabens or petroliates so I knew that was a no no. As Chevy says aloe is great. I had heard of aloe vera being very good, so I got some Kiss my Ass body lotion (Kiss my face) with aloe and olive oil and used that it helped.

But it wasn't until this last winter that I noticed that the boob is cool to the touch and the nipple is no longer itchy. So perhaps it is a matter of time and to keep trying different lotions, maybe alternating them so that the skin doesn't become sensitive to one in particular.

Glenis

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Mar 28, 2011 07:19PM Sherryc wrote:

This is all great info thanks everyone

Sherry--lump left breast 9/30/10. No chemo, Zometa-6tx over 3 years.Oncotype score 23 with 14% recurrence rate. 34 rads. No family history, BRCA neg. 48 years old @ diagn. BMX/TE 3/26/2012, Exchange surgery 8/21/12, Revision surgery 11/27/12 Surgery 5/12/1997 Lumpectomy: Left Dx 9/27/2010, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 9/30/2010 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 12/3/2010 Hormonal Therapy 2/7/2011 Surgery 11/3/2011 Lumpectomy: Right Surgery 3/26/2012 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 8/21/2012 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Surgery 11/27/2012 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Mar 29, 2011 04:35AM BarbaraA wrote:

Wow, Glenis. I have had 'mastiitis' three times since October. Now I suspect it is just my breast changing from the rads. I went to see my breast surgeon last week and he said we would just watch it and if it gets hotter or worse, I go back to see him. So I think I did two rounds of antibiotics for nothing. Oh well. I feel like a fungus AND I developed thrush so more meds. Yell

Since last week, no real change one way or the other.

Sometimes you're the bug and sometimes you're the windshield. Dx 4/30/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 1/4 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Dx 11/25/2014, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, ER+ Hormonal Therapy 11/25/2014 Femara (letrozole)
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Mar 29, 2011 08:18AM painterly wrote:

Hi Barbara,

Your radiation was more recent than mine. I had mine in August 2009. I never thought my boob would get back to feeling normal again, so was very relieved that it did, though it took over a year to do so.

I forgot to mention in trying different lotions that Victoria from Downunder (Asschercut) swears by organic rosehip oil. So I used that too.

Glenis

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Mar 29, 2011 08:40AM lestwin wrote:

I guess I am now in the category having finished rads on March 16th, 2011.  I burned pretty bad on the upper skin above my left breast (where the cancer was), second and third degree bleeding, pus burns but I used an anti-biotic cream to start (bactiban, as I am allergic to almost everything) and then the RO gave me silverdean?  It worked miracles and within a week my skin had healed and now it is just tanned, although a bit itchy at times.  I have even stopped using the aquaphor but I think I should continue maybe.

 Personally, even with all my allergies I think I got through very well.  No fatigue and I'm 68 and already on meds for a rare blood leukemia, incurable too, so all in all I had a pretty good treatment period.  Now it is on to Arimidex, but, it is going to have to wait because we are rewarding ourselves, DH and I with a cruise and no way will I deal with SE's on that.

I was supposed to see my RO Friday (day before cruise) for a skin check but I cancelled this morning because I am healed up now but they said I had to see him within a month of treatment.  Is this normal?  Anyway, I said no, I will make a 3 month follow up only.  I am seeing my MO after the cruise for both the breast cancer and the leukemia condition (very rare, 1 in 1 million get it and it chose me).  I feel I need to take control, I made the decision of no to chemo, yes, to rads and Arimidex but I don't want to have constant appointments with doctors.  I do see the MO every 3 months anyway before all this crap started.

Dx 11/30/2010, 1cm, Stage IA, 0/21 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 29, 2011 01:54PM FireKracker wrote:

Hey Barb---what is mastitis????with all the reading i did on this stupid BC i never checked that one out.

glad to see more sistas giving more info.AND getting back to what ever we can call the new NORMAL.

Someone mentioned that there is a thread after the rads.I had no idea.does anyone know if its like the same thing with the same kinda questions.

Im still lookin for the shampoos,hairsprays,are there parabins in the hair dye,nail polish????

am i getting a little overboard with this??????

just remember im not doin the meds.soooo i have to do as much of the other things that i can.

Hello again to all my rads sistas.God bless.huggggggs K

Focktober!!!!Pink stinks!!!!
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Mar 29, 2011 02:19PM FireKracker wrote:

I just checked the after rads threads.they are all different.lets hope we can keep this going and get all the quality info we all need.im gonna read some of those other threads more carefully and see if there is info we can use.I think we have a good thing going.

Tomorrow i pick up my DIM and the 100% aloe.going to switch off.huggggggggggsK

Focktober!!!!Pink stinks!!!!
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Mar 29, 2011 04:33PM ToriGirl wrote:

What a GREAT thread Grannydukes!

I can't join until after April 11th....but in the immortal words of Arnold Schwartzenegger:

I'LL BE BACK!

Tori

"Sorrow carves the opening for joy later..." Dx 6/4/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, 1/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 29, 2011 04:40PM FireKracker wrote:

Tori--you can join anytime.if you need any infor WE HAVE BEEN THERE DONE THAT.

hope you are doing well.looking forward to hearing from you and do pass the word around.

hugggggggggs K

Focktober!!!!Pink stinks!!!!
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Mar 29, 2011 04:56PM Teklya wrote:

awwwhhh there you are are, hi all.  I hope this finds all well and getting thru the wealing without any major glitches.

take good care

Teklya

Take good care and just breathe. . . Dx 4/29/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/17 nodes, ER-/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 30, 2011 07:35PM Sherryc wrote:

Well the good news is the swelling has gone down just a bit from the Celebrex and the ice packs.  But I was having a horrible burning pain from my SNB site down into my breast along with deep stabbing pains yesterday so I called my BS and they worked me in this afternoon.  Basically she said this is not unusual but she would not consider it normal.  She is having me try a analgesic cream along with an older antidepressant that is suppose to work for pain.  If no relief then to a pain dr for a nerve block.  She said even if those things work she thinks they will only be temporary solutions and she wants me to consider having a MX, but right now I am too soon out of rads to do this.  Her wanting me to have a MX also has to do with my past benign breast disease that started all this 14 years ago and the fact that my follow up will require MRI which can be quite expensive.  So she felt like with everything together that a MX might be my best option.  I am not really upset by this, because I was worried about my risk of a new bc anyway and having to have so much follow up with the yearly MRI so I actually am kinda relieved.  Also the fact that she confirmed I was not being a whinny baby and this pain is real made me feel 100% better.  So we will go with the pain control for a few months and play it by ear.

Sherry--lump left breast 9/30/10. No chemo, Zometa-6tx over 3 years.Oncotype score 23 with 14% recurrence rate. 34 rads. No family history, BRCA neg. 48 years old @ diagn. BMX/TE 3/26/2012, Exchange surgery 8/21/12, Revision surgery 11/27/12 Surgery 5/12/1997 Lumpectomy: Left Dx 9/27/2010, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 9/30/2010 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 12/3/2010 Hormonal Therapy 2/7/2011 Surgery 11/3/2011 Lumpectomy: Right Surgery 3/26/2012 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 8/21/2012 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Surgery 11/27/2012 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Mar 30, 2011 07:46PM FireKracker wrote:

Im sooo sorry to read your post.

As I say on the other threads I think its time for a group huggggggggggggg for SHERRY.so ready.set...lets go....big hugggggggggg.We will be holding your hand.Ill be prayin for you that everything goes nice and easy.God bless.K

Focktober!!!!Pink stinks!!!!
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Mar 31, 2011 06:33AM BarbaraA wrote:

GD, mastitis is when your breast has an internal infection and it swells up and it hot to the touch. Never had that before until BC (the gift that keeps on giving).

Sometimes you're the bug and sometimes you're the windshield. Dx 4/30/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 1/4 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Dx 11/25/2014, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, ER+ Hormonal Therapy 11/25/2014 Femara (letrozole)
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Mar 31, 2011 10:52AM Beanius wrote:

Wow Grannydukes!!! What a great topic!!! It's so nice to see you and so many of my friends from other threads too...Hey, we're all still here!! Yahoooooooo!!!!!

I'm 3 months post rads and just in the past couple days my boob has gotten really swollen. I got thru rads pretty easily, then the boob got quite pink. At my first follow-up with my oncologist at 1.5 months post rads she said the pink was quite normal and all was okay. Now it is swollen even more and hotter than the other one, but not much pink.

I'm so glad to read of other women's experiences and things to try. I'm going to do gentle massage and stretching. It sounds like what I'm experiencing is pretty normal, but it freaks me out!!! My oncologist is doing the tumor markers and my last blood work and all in Feb was normal. Torigirl - No negative thoughts is perfect!!! I have to keep pushing those thoughts out of my mind.

I didn't realize it would take so long to heal. My lumpectomy was a year ago and my surgeon said that would take a year to heal completely. Now from rads I guess I'm looking at another year to heal from that? Wow!!!

I go in for my 6 month mamos in May (last ones in November before rads were "normal") and I'm really hoping this swelling calms down by then or I will need a lot of advil!

Big hugs going out to all of you and all my best wishes.

Beanie

"Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin." ~Mother Teresa
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Mar 31, 2011 11:02AM Sherryc wrote:

granny dukes-I don't know if it was here or on another thread but you wanted to know about creams and clenser that were paraben free.  Nuetragena just came out with a line called Nuetrogena naturals.  No harsh chemicals and pareben free.  I picked up the facial cleanser and am going to give it a try.

Sherry--lump left breast 9/30/10. No chemo, Zometa-6tx over 3 years.Oncotype score 23 with 14% recurrence rate. 34 rads. No family history, BRCA neg. 48 years old @ diagn. BMX/TE 3/26/2012, Exchange surgery 8/21/12, Revision surgery 11/27/12 Surgery 5/12/1997 Lumpectomy: Left Dx 9/27/2010, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 9/30/2010 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 12/3/2010 Hormonal Therapy 2/7/2011 Surgery 11/3/2011 Lumpectomy: Right Surgery 3/26/2012 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 8/21/2012 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Surgery 11/27/2012 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Mar 31, 2011 11:16AM BarbaraA wrote:

Also, GD, there is a website called www.cosmeticsdatabase.org where you can go lookup your products and they rate them.
Sometimes you're the bug and sometimes you're the windshield. Dx 4/30/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 1/4 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Dx 11/25/2014, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, ER+ Hormonal Therapy 11/25/2014 Femara (letrozole)
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Mar 31, 2011 12:11PM nicholewilliams wrote:

My Aunt had her radiotherapy last year. Her skin turned red and tanned. Her radio Onco adviced her to use evoskin cream from Evolife.No alcohol No side effects. She is using the cream from last 2 months and applied it twice a day, the product worked very well for her and provided her much relief from itching, redness and cracks. Now her skin looks good.

Hope this help and work for you! Want to share thanks to everyone for sharing their experiences. :)

Take Care

Nichole

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Apr 1, 2011 10:55AM FireKracker wrote:

Thanks sistas for all the wonderful info...keep it comin

here is a question????when i went to my onc. after tx.everything was also fine but i asked her this interesting question.WILL THE ARM/STITCHES/CORDING BREAST etch.bother me when the weather changes?????she said sure it can.i said for how long.She said it may always remind you.Thanks a lot for another gift..

does anyone feel differently when the weather changes????

and BarbaA.i guess i dont have Mastitis.

Beanus we made it....yay...God bless....hugggggggggs K

Focktober!!!!Pink stinks!!!!
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Apr 5, 2011 07:34PM Lee7 wrote:

Hi all,

I'm still in rads...but wondering where do you find Emu oil?   I'm using only 100%Aloe gel right now but I think I need something more!  I can't use Calendula or anything that has that in it.

Lee

Dx 10/2010, IDC, Stage IIA, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 5, 2011 08:14PM Sherryc wrote:

Lee you might try the internet or a health food store if you have one close by.  I used a prescription called XClair and it worked great.  Is expensive but my insurance covered it.  I continued using it two weeks post rads and then my RO told me start using a good vitamin E cream until I go back for my 3 month follow up with him.  That will be in three weeks.

Sherry--lump left breast 9/30/10. No chemo, Zometa-6tx over 3 years.Oncotype score 23 with 14% recurrence rate. 34 rads. No family history, BRCA neg. 48 years old @ diagn. BMX/TE 3/26/2012, Exchange surgery 8/21/12, Revision surgery 11/27/12 Surgery 5/12/1997 Lumpectomy: Left Dx 9/27/2010, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 9/30/2010 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 12/3/2010 Hormonal Therapy 2/7/2011 Surgery 11/3/2011 Lumpectomy: Right Surgery 3/26/2012 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 8/21/2012 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Surgery 11/27/2012 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Apr 6, 2011 04:26AM BarbaraA wrote:

Lee, I got the emu oil at my local health food store. It is by a company called Laid in Montana. I did not burn at all. Just has a tan breast. Worked like a charm for me and my radonc now has all his patients use it.

Sometimes you're the bug and sometimes you're the windshield. Dx 4/30/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 1/4 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Dx 11/25/2014, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, ER+ Hormonal Therapy 11/25/2014 Femara (letrozole)
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Apr 6, 2011 06:21AM Chevyboy wrote:

Kantalope!  Are you there?  You know I was telling you about the Aloe plant...I know the emu oil works very well also, but I just cleared up some awful sore spots on my leg.....by using a piece of the Aloe stem/leaf.....I just cut a little bit, slice it open, & rub the insides on any burn or sore...  Make sure you snip off the little "thorns" on the edges before you go rubbing it on anywhere...Wink

They have been using this for hundreds of years....and it really does work!   Hope you are doing better! xoxoxoxoxo

Don't walk ahead of me, I might not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not want to lead. Just walk beside me & be my friend. Dx 11/2009, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+
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Apr 6, 2011 07:32AM Beanius wrote:

Post rads I kept using aquaphor for about a month and kept putting it on lighter and lighter. It worked really well but you know it's so greasy. Then I just switched back to my normal body lotion. It doesn't have parabens or phthalates, but I wonder if I should be using something else. I wonder if there's a better product...any ideas would be welcome. My RO said there would be no follow up with him, so I am following up with my MO only. My next apt is a little over a month and I have to get my next set of mamos.

Big hugs to you all!!!

"Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin." ~Mother Teresa
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Apr 6, 2011 05:45PM FireKracker wrote:

Gee girls Im glad to see this thread come back to life.I guess i should go away for a few days again.glad to be back and catchin up

Someone told me to try amazon.com for the emu oil.its kinda cheep.i paid for 2 oz.20 bucks.but its workin.I wasnt lookin at price i was lookin for healing.gotta do some homework.

I bought the 100% alo gell and after i got it home it said for ingestion.so now i dont know if i should eat it or put it all over my body...help?????

Chevy---hi sista.i kill plants.really i do.and i live in a studio apt where i dont have room for even the smallest plant.sooo as much as i know it does work i better find something in a bottle.

I used the aquafor boy did i ruin lots of clothes.yea it does work but so does the emu.and it feels much better soft and smooth.check it out.

My RO told me to used my reg.cream also after 2 weeks but i tried the utterly smooth and it burned.i have been using that cream all over my body for years,still do but not on that breast.TLC for that boob.

I am 10 weeks out of the rads and i still cream 2x a day and still on and off the fatigue.the gift that keeps on givin...huggggggggs to all my sistas.God bless K

Focktober!!!!Pink stinks!!!!
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Apr 6, 2011 07:39PM Lee7 wrote:

Everyone,  Thanks for the info on Emu! 

Barbara, I'm looking for places locally so I can buy some of it quickly!  

Sherry,I can ask my Onc about the XClair, as long as it doesn't have any calendula in it. I was bummed to find out I'm allergic to it.  I hope I'm not to Emu Oil.....

Chevyboy, is that your cat? Too funny. Talk about relaxed.  

Beanius...the cat in your picture looks just like one of mine!  I bought Aquaphor but I don't want to use it because it seems too greasy. I'd never get it off for the next tx.  Maybe the Emu would work better for you too.

Grannydukes, sorry you're still wiped out after 10 wks..I guess the rads take awhile to recover from. I'm getting more nervous about that now that I'm more than 1/2 way thru the txs and starting to really drag.   Hang in there!!

Lee

Dx 10/2010, IDC, Stage IIA, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 6, 2011 07:52PM FireKracker wrote:

Lee-why dont you listen to chevy and get the aloe plant.that should not be too hard to find.that lady know a lot.and that plant has been around for ages.once you have that you can search at your leasure for the emu oil.

dont get me wrong about the fatigue after the rads.sure i do get it but hey its not everyday and not all the time.AND IT IS DOABLE...really it is...im just surprised when it kicks up still.

BTW the Aquaphor is not that hard to get off before tx.its sloppy on the clothes but it does wash off.i used it in the beg.and its good but sloppy.if you have nothing else use it.it does work and thats all that matters right now.right??????

Focktober!!!!Pink stinks!!!!

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