Starting rads mid September...

Hello folks…new to all this forum posting business but been having a browse of this site and everyone seems so supportive so thought I’d take the plunge. I’m starting radiotherapy on 14.09.15 and wondered if anyone else having rads at a similar time fancied sharing experiences, ideas, support etc…? I had lumpectomy and lymph node removal at end of June. Was offered chemo but doc said it was only likely to improve chances of cancer not coming back by 3%. Decided to forego it and go straight to rads and tamoxifen instead.

At the mo my biggest query is skincare. I’ve been using a random combination of pure coconut oil, aloe vera, tea tree and lavender oil on my surgery wound/scar and it’s worked a treat. I asked the oncologist and nurse about continuing with coconut and aloe vera whilst having rads and they both rolled their eyes and said basically ‘no’ and that I could only use E45. When I asked why they said it was because you can only use products with no chemicals, particularly no sodium laurel sulphate. After pointing out coconut and aloe are natural and have no additives they still said ‘no only E45’ so I realised there was no convincing them…but after reading threads on here I am tempted to break the rules…I’m thinking I’ll not use the essential oils but keep up with the coconut and aloe vera but just wash it off before I go in for the appointments. Curious to hear what anyone else thinks…

Also, I have been reading up on the benefits of fasting to help maximise the good effects and minimise the bad effects of radiotherapy (and for combatting cancer in general) and am going to give this a go through radiotherapy. I’ve dabbled in intermittent fasting before for health and fitness (before BC diagnosis) and since diagnosis have done a few short fasts so I think I could cope. Again eyes were rolled when I asked opinion on doing this. I offered to show them the research papers but they were not interested. I wasn’t surprised or cross but it would have been great if I had have been given support with this. I said that I probably would give it a go anyway and they said they wouldn’t stop me. Anyone interested should google ‘Victor Longo fasting cancer’ - he’s done very robust studies in mice and research in humans is showing similarly very promising results. You can find his research papers and also recent articles in the guardian (and possibly daily mail too) Talk about his ‘mimicking fasting’ for helping to prevent cancer. Also there’s a breast cancer prevention research centre in Manchester that advocates intermittent fasting and Dr Michael Mosely’s (of Horizon telly programme fame) intermittent fasting books (the fast diet) also quote credible research on cancer and fasting. Anyway, sorry for long post… I know my approach is not what is ordinarily recommended as the docs have to go by the NICE guidelines and research on such things is not as well established as the stuff in current practice. And hats off to them, they all are doing a grand job.
Anyway, would love to hear from anyone who’s had rads or about to go through it (even if you think I’m crazy with the coconut oil and fasting!) for support and encouragement and hope to be able to offer the same to you too. Oh and I won’t think you’re crazy if you DON’T do the coconut oil and fasting!
Look forward to hearing from you xxx

Hiya, I finishes Rads in June and used Aqueous cream throughout treatment and pure Aloe Vera towards the end when boob was getting hotter, the aqueous and e45 are purely to keep skin moisturised and help it not break down during treatment, I had no issues at all with mine, I only used aloe for a couple of days and the redness soon went, personally I found rads a doddle and had no side effects other than a pink boob, you don’t feel a thing and it’s over in a couple of minutes, bit like having an X Ray, I worked all through and felt fine, 

ive not read up on the fasting and haven’t come across anyone else on here yet who has mentioned it but there is no harm in trying! Xx Jo 

Hiya, I am starting Rads on tuesday 1st Sept. Bit apprehensive but sure it will be ok.  I received NO advice about creams etc so rang them, they said could wear deodorant but only one with no aluminium in, so guess I will be smelly in that armpit for a while, as tried them after surgery, and they dont really do anything lol.  The said can use E45 or Aqueous and I have both. Even said I can use on day before treatment, where I understood you had to wash it off before treatment.  Hey Ho expect we will find out.  I am not really interested in fasting or any alternatives, havent got the time or energy tbh but willing to support anyone else going through the same this month.


Val xxx

Hiya Jo and Val…
Good to hear from you! Jo, it’s encouraging to hear your positive experience. I’m quite nervous so it’s reassuring to read your words. I think I’m most worried about tiredness as I’ve been sleeping badly for the last couple of years anyway, the stress of my diagnosis has made this worse and then just started Tamoxifen and getting the infamous night sweats-so all in all I’m pretty shattered! I work about an hour’s drive away (on a good run) so had been worried about how well I’d cope fitting in work and treatment. I was offered early or late appointments to fit in a full day’s work but opted for a mid afternoon slot-then I can finish work earlier than usual and rest after if need be. It’s great they can be so accommodating. And maybe it won’t be as bad anyway? Val, I was wondering if we had to wash off any lotions and potions before rads. Wasn’t told anything myself. Deodorant wasn’t mentioned to me but I’ve stopped using any usual stuff (sprays, roll ons) since my op. Have instead been using an under arm bar from Lush -think it might be this one: -it smells lovely, fresh and citrusy. Despite the hot weather and tamoxifen flushes I think I smell ok! Had no complaints at least! Good luck for next Tuesday. Hope it goes well. Love Em xx

Hi Em and Val , i had no mention about not wearing deoderant and i did through out rads, wasnt having any on arm pit so i guess it didnt matter, i had all my appointments at tea time so went straight from work and cant say i was any more tired than usual, im a hopeless sleeper too! All in all found it no trouble and heres hoping the same for you both xx jo

Hi Em

if you can fast it’s supposed to be helpful,  I’d read up on it before treatment,  I also declined chemotherapy as I didn’t want to put myself through the trauma it can cause some people

apparently teatree and lavander are to be avoided during rads, will try and get the link for you

everyone seems to have different experiences during rads, mine finished on Wednesday and I am over the moon,  I didn’t have a positive experience and didn’t work throughout treatment

advice given was to use Simple shower cream or sanex 0% and only use deo on the side not being treated,  the lymph scar gets a blasting too

I generally didn’t eat until afternoon,  my appointments were early mornings and I felt slightly sick,  bit like morning sickness

check out the August thread and you will see a mixture of folks reactions and good luck!  

If you want specific side effects for me pm me and I will let you know xx

sheena xx

Hi em

it’s foodforbreastcancer, com with lots of other helpful stuff x

Hi all,


I’m expecting to start rads mid Sept - I had a lumpectomy on 15th August in Maidstone Hospital. I’ve recovered really well from the op but I’m feeling a bit worried about the radiotherapy.  I’ll be driving myself from Tunbridge Wells so I’m hoping that I won’t get too tired as I don’t want to ask anyone for lifts, though I have some friends that would be happy to help if they weren’t at work on the day in question.


two other things are bothering me though… I haven’t told my parents yet.  They live miles away and are 77 and 83.  They have had to contend with my dad having an operation recently and I’m sure that my mum will freak out even when I tell her that my prognosis is very good.


im also going through a difficult divorce, with my (very well-paid) ex refusing to pay as much as my lawyer thinks he should. I can’t afford to take the legal process any further so I think I will be stuck with accepting a poor settlement.


I have a nice boyfriend but we’ve only been together for a year (I was dumped two years ago!) and I’m worried that the strain of all this will be a bit much for him to cope with so this has been a difficult few months!  


I hope you’re all coping as well as you can… It’s tough, but I reckon we can get through it ok if we can share things here and keep our sense of humour…  (I have got one, though it might not have sounded that way when I was moaning on just then!) xx


Hi Vitaminmun,


I am starting 15 sessions of rads on the 15th September, just one day after you and I would appreciate someone to compare notes with.  I am going to The Christie Hospital in Manchester. Where are you going for treatment? I am going for my planning meeting on the 7th September.


I had two lumpectomies, one in the middle of June and then one 3 weeks later in July as they did not get clear margins the first time round.  I did not have to have any lymph nodes removed but as they found a couple of specks of microinvasive cancer I have to have rads and I have been prescribed anastrozole.  I am not too keen on taking tablets but I am giving them a go and  I will see how I get on with them.


I have been using E45 on my scar and it has healed well but looks a bit untidy but I suppose it didn’t help having to have 2 operations one on top of each other.  I am going to buy some acqueous as someone I know is having rads at the moment and said that it is very good and then I can try both if need be. I have still got the remains of a couple of stitches but the GP has told me that they will come out eventually and to ignore them.


I have arranged to go away with my daughter and her husband a couple of days after I finish rads so I am looking forward to that.  I am trying to focus on other things whenever possible and as my oven conked out yesterday I shall have think about a new kitchen in the long term but I think that I will buy a mini oven just to get me through the next few weeks.


I don’t fancy fasting but I would be interested to hear how you get on.  I can’t go without food for long periods as I get migraines but it does seem a very interesting idea and one that I would like to read about. 


I am hoping that there are going to be some more ladies joining us who are having rads in September.



I did use aqueos cream during my rads, had no chemo, my oncologist said im so petite and slim he wouldnt risk giving it to me as it would make so little difference and to be honest it could because of my size do more harm than good.  Since rads finished ive used Aloe Vera, which i have found the hest, i use the organic lotion from Boots, I think i can remember the hospital telling me not to but i ran out of it this week and didnt use if for a day or so and my breast and under arm where nodes went started feeling sore, now backto using it feel fine again,so think that proves its good,.So my advice is use it.


I dont think i personally would fast, i only weight 7 stone anyway, i put on half a stone after my rads finished but it was a half stone i lost after my hysterectomy 7 years ago, and everyone says i look better for it, ok ive gone from an 6 to an 8 but for someone in 60s i dont think 8 is bad,lol So as i couldnt afford to lose any weight, fasting isnt something id do.Have read about the ,man you mention, he seemed genuine so maybe something in it.   June

P.S those of us who started rads in August but are continuing into September have started a September thread for anyone who would like to join us there,it’s September Sizzlers.

Well I now won’t be starting rads in sept as I saw the consultant this afternoon and I need to have another op as they didn’t get a clear margin, despite the lump being even smaller than they’d expected. Luckily the lymph was clear though, so I can’t complain. Still, it’s a bit of a blow as I assumed that I’d be fine.  Ho hum!

Hi everyone,

I started rads a couple of weeks ago and wondered how any other ladies having rads at the moment are going on.  I’ve done 9 of 15 and finish a week on Monday.  So far I am not really tired but I am lucky in that my daughter can drive me to the hospital and some days she can wait for me and on the others I catch two buses home.  I usually break the journey home in town and get a snack and a cuppa.

Are there any ladies at the same stage of treatment as me and is there anyone taking anastrozole? I would like to compare notes with someone.