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Dec 13, 2018 12:05AM
Dec 13, 2018 12:09AM
I just finished a whopping 30 sessions of radiation and the radiologist upon check-up said my skin is actually faring better than most, and despite and hour drive there and an hour back I did not get fatigued. So happy to share what worked for me!
1. This site is amazing and I found a lot of tips through this site, and joined a “radiation starting in Nov" thread that was super helpful for support along the way, and feeling not alone in this.
2. 100% pure aloe vera gel (I used Fruit of the Earth) morning and night!
3. Miaderm - invented by radiologists - which I applied immediately after treatment when I would go change back into my normal clothes.
4. Listened to audio books, called friends, scheduled necessary work calls or listened to music to make the long drive over and back seem quicker.
5. Stayed hydrated! Brought a bottle of water with me to treatment, had my fruit juice or sparkling water drinks on the drive over and back too.
6. Got to bring my little ESA support dog Domino to treatment with my every day - I just asked in the first week if that was allowed and they said as long as I had the paperwork, yes! She became famous there. During actual treatment she sat with the radiation therapists outside the room, but was with me on the drive to and fro and in the waiting room and set up and changing rooms. And is a possible reason I didn't feel fatigued. If you have a qualified support dog, I think it doesn't hurt to ask, made such a difference for me!
7. I still took hot showers. Honestly that helped with the itching
Here is Domino at the hospital with me:
All that said, I didn't skate through this with no side effects at all. I got a blister where my bra rubbed the underside of my breast and a couple radiation scratches (burns?) where I did not apply the lotions because I didn't know they were treating that area. So lessons learned. Also I know I'm not out of the woods yet and was told to keep applying the special lotions for the next 2 weeks, and I've just added Aquaphor to the after care routine.
Hopefully this pic is allowed so you can see my skin, which is mostly just tanned and hopefully gives others some encouragement that it's possible to get through this with little to no side effects! And if you get SE's the RO said it generally heals 4-6 weeks post treatment so there's a light at the end of the tunnel.
Looks all shiny due to aloe vera - this is after 30 sessions of rads. Right breast (left side in this pic) is the treared one, compared to the other non treated breast. Skin is more 'leathery' and you can see the veins more on the treated side, but all in all not bad and not burnt. Hoping the texture heals more and morewith lotioning and time.
9/7/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 2/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH)
9/18/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel
10/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)