For all those about to start radiotherapy.
Here are some good tips that I have been given and I wanted to share. It’s not rocket science and we all know it, but I found it useful.
1. Slap on the moisturiser, loads.
I guess if your skin is going to break down it will, but these things aren’t going to cause any harm either.
2. Drink loads of water. Good for keeping the skin hydrated at cellular level.
3.Eat loads of fruit and veg. Skin integrity is supported at the cellular level. Feed your skin.
4. Stretch and exercise as much as you can, before and after radiation.
You’ll be glad when those over baked muscles and lymph veins start to toughen up
Great that you can change your dates, if you get an interview.
Its a good point you made about staying positive. I think once rads has finished, I will really work on this.
Yes, it’s so sad how many of us get this terrible disease. I want to move forward quicker than I can, but it’s definitely baby steps. We’ve taken a hell of a knock.
Enjoy your day
Hope you get away lightly this time. Good for you 2 weeks post rad. Well done. Keep slapping on the cream!!!!!
It seems to be working.
I just want to get started now. I have been told too that should I get an interview for that job at the hospital it should be possible to change my rads time so that I can do the interview.
Hope your skin stays under control
Just saw your post where you are only going to use the word CURE. great idea. I was told that the more positive I was the better the outcome. But it has totally transformed my thinking.
Hope you enjoy Devon and Cornwall and good for you for getting away.
hope you get your start date soon. Yes. 4 people in the office. Yes there was a reason for my redundancy 2 years ago as the office was so horrible!. When I was offered the chance to get out I did. It was really strange as there was another lady there who got everything I got!!!
Mention your birthday when you go - they may start after your celebrations!!
Hope you are gearing up for your birthday and that you will thoroughly enjoy your day. Will be waiting to hear about when you start.
i don’t think Green People do an spf50 sadly, only an spf30. I have ordered x2 100 ml bottles, they’ve sold out of the 200ml. The price was the same.
You might find this link useful, I did! Good reviews and list of the most effective in ranking order.
I have been trying to find a non sticky natural spf50 and it looks like I am going to go for a Dead Sea magic spf50 organic cream. Holland and Barret sell it.
I won’t need the spf50 until I go abroad though. Will cover up until then.
AbsoluteAnnie, I didn’t think much about cancer either until like you, it hit me on the nose. I have three friends who have had it. One with stage 4 and doing really well after 6 years so far.
I was diagnosed 14th Nov, so just 2 weeks after you 🤗 It will probably be a similar date when I start RT, hoping I will find out Friday.
Wow, the 4th person in your office!
If they want me to start next week Sunnydaze, I will have to say no, it’s my birthday Tuesday and have things planned most of the week with it being my 50th. The only medical appointment I’ve accepted is a Muga (heart) scan on the Friday. I’ve been looking on the green people site, maybe I’m being stupid but can’t see a factor 50....do they do one? Xx
thats sounds awful. but keep putting pressure on your BCN until it is sorted out. Hope it starts to clear up fairly soon.
enjoy your break - you've earned it!!!
I start my rads 11th July - thought we were around the same. Like you I am not looking forward to it. just want it over and done with now and try to get back to some sort of normality. I know though that as soon as treatment finishes I will be worrying about every little ache and pain.
I was diagnosed 29/10/2018 and I reckon a whole year will have passed by the time I am out of hospitals. Always hated them and still do even though I cant complain. Most of the staff that dealt with me were kindness personified. I will truly never forget all their patience and kindness shown to me.
me always and forever independant but brought down to the realities of getting older with all this rubbish. Onwards and upwards ladies. thanks for all the useful information.
I am actually the 4th person in my office to get this and at 55 I am the youngest. I never gave much thought to cancer until it hit me right bang on the nose.
I bet you’ll be started on rads next week Dikat if your meeting is on Friday.
Glad your skin is holding up Drummerswidow, it sounds like you will get away with it. 👍
Yes, I’ve got a sun hat and a baseball cap to protect the old bonce when and if it’s sunny.
I agree about covering up for the rest of the year. I will have my swimming costume on in the water, but will cover up after that shorts and t-shirt. I’ll always put factor 50 on my breast irradiated area. I’ve always been careful.
Hi MaryKamille and Sunnydaze.
Sorry your rads have made your skin so sore MaryKamille. My skin is itching and under my arm is now feeling a bit uncomfortable. I’m 2 weeks post rads too.
Sunnydaze. It’s funny how we all get different information with the Radiotherapy. I was told to cover up for the rest of the year and then to use factor 30 at least. Enjoy your holiday. It will be good to get away from it all. The scarves is a good idea. Don’t forget your hat!!!
Thanks for the info MaryKamille
Always useful to know what to look out for. I have an appointment with Radiotherapy on Friday. Really hope I get a start date as it’s 6 weeks since surgery and I’m fed up with being in limbo and not being able to make plans xx
Thank you so much for updating .
You poor thing, that does sound really sore. I hope your skin starts to heal soon. You are right, It certainly isn’t easy.
I have got 3 more rads to go.....Fingers crossed that my skin can hold it together, it’s tender now and goes red when I have a shower. I will just have to wait and see how bad it gets. I will definitely continue to put on loads of cream. The radiologist told me to keep the cream in the fridge today, so I’m doing that from now on.
I wasnt originally scheduled for rads, so we went ahead and booked a holiday for the end of June, that’s why my rads finish hard up to the start of my hols!
i hope I don’t have to spend any time in A&E in Devon and Cornwall, at least I’ll still be in the UK!!!
Good luck with the healing Mary Kamille. I wish you well and I let you know how I get on 😫
Just come back from an unscheduled appointment at the hospital (although I phoned first). I am 12 days after the finish date for Radiotherapy and my chest is (as described by the Radiologist nurse today) 'very red'! More concerning is the blisters forming, on the part with the least flesh underneath, and one of which has opened up.
I haven't worn a bra since Radiotherapy began and certainly can't see myself wearing one again for quite a while. I keep to cotton tops, as advised.
We were told not to use Betnovate (I already had some for skin problems) and given Diprobase cream to use twice a day throughout the treatment. If your Rads were in the afternoon, you could put it on after your shower first thing, as it would be absorbed by treatment time. I didn't have itching problems at that time, it really came on towards the last week of treatment.
On the last day (13th June) I saw the consultant and he gave me Hydrocortisone Cream to use on the itchy bit (the part that would later blister as it worked out) and continue with the other one for a bit with the other parts. He warned me that the Rads treatment continues working for 2 weeks after you finish and then reaches its peak with side effects etc.
Now, after the hospital visit today, I am on Flaminal hydro cream as the blister which opened is weeping.
Maybe I have just been unlucky. Don't leave it though if you get itching, soreness or signs of lumpy bits - that's the blisters starting to form.
Hope everyone else is getting along fairly smoothly. None of this is a walk in the park, is it?
I have got eyebrows too, and some fluff on the head. Wonderful!
I felt that I had got over the finishing line with chemo, only to start with rads and that has definitely pulled me down, but everyone is different on this rollercoaster.
Apparently, I have to cover up carefully for two months and I will. My health is something I no longer take for granted. When I go abroad in September and October I should just about be ok, but not to wear a bikini, only swimming costume.
I will definitely have fun in the sun, but I will be extremely careful too about sun exposure etc. I’ll find this quite hard because I’ve always loved the sun and tan quite easily.
At least I have this information to keepsafe
Disappointing about the v necks Sunnydaze but good idea from G re the summery scarves. All this 💩 takes away the carefree attitude you should be able to have on holiday but guess most of its in the planning and once you are packed and enroute you can relax!
Thanks for the information around sun cream, useful to know. Will you be ok to revert back to your v necks come September. Did the radiologist say it’s ok to do so 2-3 wks past your rads when the skin should be settling down again? Although, I’m keen to get started on rads and get it out of the way, starting to feel down about the prospect of it all!
Have a wonderful holiday xxx
That is a great idea. I would never have thought about wearing a scarf. Love it! I’m going to treat myself to a couple of light weight scarves.
Yesterday, I was so peed off, I went into TKMaxx hunting for pretty high necked dresses and tops. I found a couple of quite nice things 🤙
I was quite upset when the radiologist showed me how high I had to cover up yesterday. Sometimes I don’t think they fully understand the impact and why should they? It’s not happening to them. I think it’s just something else we have to live with.
Cancer the gift that keeps on giving.... The only “C” word I’m going to use now is “CURED” and Ive got to train my brain to think this, somehow. I think I need to do some positive reading about something life affirming.
My GP told me that going away from our homes for a few days is really good for us because the brain compartmentalises problems so a change of scene really does help, the brain doesn’t take those problems with us. It’s good to float about and just relax!
Thanks for the top tip G xxx 😘😘😘
Hi Sunnydaze, this is the problem isn’t it, even doing nice normal thing, things to look forward to things, things that should be carefree things, they just don’t feel this way because of all the physical factors as well I guess the mental ones but I think switching off the mental ones for a duration is doable and would be a darn sight easier if the physical factors weren’t so prevalent. I think you need to think that last year you couldn’t imagine ever getting to the stage of going on holiday and you bloody well have. That is amazing in itself, I really help you get to feel how you should feel when on holiday.
Just on a practical level, could you take a couple of big scarves (summer ones obvs!) that you could wear with your lower cut tops a little on days when you aren’t perhaps out all day enjoying the weather? I have found draping these over dresses and tops has been quite useful in covering up as well as taking attention off the boob...I also have one by the front door in case someone knocks as they don’t need to see me braless in a vest top (minimal clothing when in house as too darn hot!) 😱
Anyway here’s to what I hope is a much deserved break, G x
Oh I’m sorry to hear this Pastamissus and thank you very much for sharing this info. I’ve got four more rads to go and I am moisturising like mad, but these things are outside of our control I guess. 🙁. Did you use steroid cream as well as moisturiser Pastamissus?
I will let you know how my skin gets on. My shoulders are feeling stiff right now on both sides and I have just been reading that rads heighten your chances of developing Lymphoedema! 👎 So i have to be Uber careful around cuts and grazes etc.
Im going on holiday on Friday, just to Devon and Cornwall, but the radiologist has told me I have to cover up the entire field of irradiated skin. So these means no v necks, just crew necks. T shirt height, which is disappointing because all of my favourite tops have lower necks.
I am also going abroad later in September and October, so I have been researching sun creams. I personally did not want one with any chemicals, so I found this one that a friend with breast cancer also recommends. It gets good reviews, is very effective and is all natural. Of course it is double the price of ordinary sun cream, 👎so of course that is a consideration, but given I now have a higher chance of getting skin cancer I personally decided I wanted to get a mineral/organic sun cream. This is the name of the company, if anyone else is interested is
I think I’m going to have a permanent pigmented patch. Been slapping on the cream. 🙄🙄
Re:radio - I thought I had escaped, got to the end of my 3 weeks and skin was very slightly pink, but nothing worth talking about. Then over the next two weeks it became like sunburn, I had a few small blisters but was red and a bit sore. After 2 weeks it all settled down, but skin is pigmented now. Keep moisturising!
Sunnydaze and drummerswidow
thanks for useful advice re Zometa (drummerswidow) and rads (Sunnydaze) I dont start rads until 11th July but I have been told it will be very tiring. CT scan on Tuesday so will get times and dates then.
What is this weather doing! could we not have a bit of sunshine in the middle of this cursed treatment.
I think my first appointment was for the scan and tattoos. It’s pretty straight forward if that is the case.
The cream doesn’t smell at all! I saw that in the reviews too and was a bit puzzled by it. It’s got a bit of a non- smell like lanolin or aqueous cream, but given the amount of cream you have to apply the zero base probably works out at reasonable value. It might be cheaper elsewhere other than Amazon or they might give you it on prescription if you ask? I reckon you need a litre of cream to see you through, whatever cream you go for. I recommend it though, no nonsense soothing cream. Your skin does take quite a hit and your lymph nodes feel tender too. I’m starting to feel the tenderness this weekend ( 2 weeks in and it’s not peaked yet)
The steroid cream is also really good and I don’t know why they don’t give it out in England too. Different policies for different trusts I suppose.
The hospital told me to apply the zerobase twice a day and the betnovate before I go to bed. I have 5 more rads to go and my skin is looking good, considering, but it’s all relative of course.
I was a little worried about the effects of rads because I’ve had a reconstruction, although it has shrunk my breast a bit, (not that anyone else would really notice.) It’s also made my breast feel a little bit harder when I lie on my stomach. This is apparently because it hardens scar tissue. Maybe it’s easier if you still have a natural breast?
I have found rads quite hard going, not physically, but emotionally it’s pulled me down, but that’s just me, everyone is different. The long term side effects are another worry too, but there’s nothing I can do about that. I just mutter the old mantra, it’s better than having cancer....Goodness ladies, the things we have had to endure..,
Thanks for the info re rads Sunnydaze, really useful especially about the zero base cream. It gets very good reviews. Only complaint seems to be the smell! How many times a day do you apply it?
I have my first radiotherapy appointment this Friday, can’t remember if this is the ct scanning one or just to talk through process, was only told by the BCN Friday just gone but chemo brain strikes again!
Fantastic news about the hair. The eyebrows come back quite quickly once they start. My eyelashes appear to be coming back thicker, just very short at the moment. I’ve got my first little trim on Wednesday. It’s growing over my ears so just needs a little tidy up. I agree, a joy to see it all growing 💕🤗
I hope you do get a chance to go for the interview, if you’re feeling up to it. I would ask your radiotherapy department if you can cancel that day. My radiotherapy department cancelled one of my days to service their machine and then stuck the cancelled day at the end of my treatment, so it is possible to do this. I was actually glad to have a rest day.
Good luck with taking the zometa too. Sometimes I think we are powerless, we either take the drug or risk cancer coming back. Some choice hey!
To the ladies about to go through radiotherapy. Be warned you get through loads of cream. In Scotland on the NHS you are given a cream called zerobase, an emollient cream. I have already gone through a 500g container and will easily get through another 500g. It’s excellent cream and I recommend it. I know you can buy it on Amazon. I don’t think the NHS is any better in Scotland, it’s just how they choose to spend their budget, I suppose.
Also, if your skin is very tender ask for a topical steroid cream. Betnovate is handed out at the start of treatment in Scotland and there is a lot of evidence to suggest that application of a steroid cream prevents skin dermatitis. I think it depends on the policy of your trust, but worth bearing in mind.
I also wanted to ask the ladies who have already gone through radiotherapy what their skin was like during the two weeks after rads has finished. Does it get considerably worse during this time? I try to go with out a bra and wear a soft cotton t shirt when ever possible.
Finally, after 9 weeks of very long waiting my hair is really beginning to come through and my eyebrows too. It’s absolutely awful losing your hair, but it’s an absolute joy to see it begin to grow again, even if it is grey.
Enjoy your day ladies,
Sorry to hear about the tooth extraction. I have done a bit of reading re Zometa and am glad I’m having it.
You may be able to do the interview. It depends how tired you feel. Though I wasn’t happy with the Radiotherapy department they did alter a couple of appointments for me if I had appointments with the Oncologist or surgeon. Might be worth asking.
Looks like it’s going to be a reasonable weekend weather wise here. You’re right it does make you feel brighter in the sun 🌝🏖🏖
Drummerswidow sunnydaze Jayne1966 and anyone i have left out
Yes I think I will probably accept the Zometa - I have to have a tooth out next week and I think the oncologist is waiting for the results of my bone density scan.
The good news is that I have a bit longer to wait as my radiotherapy clashes with my next appointment with oncologist.
I am sad in a way as because I will be having builders in this means I cant start radiotherapy until 11th July which means I probably wont be able to do the interview for the job at the hospital (where I am being treated)
Still though the weather appears to be improving - even a few days sunshine alters my perspective.
Have a good week end
Saw my surgeon yesterday and he was very pleased to tell me that my latest MRI shows that it has all gone 🎉🥂 yippee !!! Still having surgery next month and rads but happy happy happy with that news 🤗🤗🤗 hugs to all LBxxx
That’s so funny, I’ve done all of the predict stuff too G, but I can’t remember any of the stats either and I’ve done it a number of times. I think this is my brain choosing not to remember. Selective memory can be useful at times with additional chemo fog!
Brilliant news gocat!!
With regards stats, I have been all over them, reading, entering data in online tools etc but interestingly I haven’t retained any of the numbers which is strange...it’s like I was a little detached from it but needed to go through the process!
Right, heading towards the end of the week ladies, two more sleeps and then a rest from appointments for us all 🙌
Pleased you’ve had some positive news gocat, what a relief 😅💕
Thanks for the link Sunnydaze 🤗
I don’t know how I’ve managed it, cos normally like to know everything, but I haven’t looked at stats once....way too frightened I think. I do understand that some of you need to do this though, especially if weighing up whether to have a particular treatment.
Hope everyone gets a good nights rest 🤗💕
Hi everyone. Been good news week for me so far. I had 2 scares checked out. One was post menopausal bleeding. Had ultrasound scan and was recalled to have hysterscopy on Monday, but consultant is happy there is nothing untowards 🙂 Secondly had check up today for new lump I found near my recon scar. Had ultrasound scan for that today and its been decided the lump is just fat necrosis.
whilst having rads today at the hospital Macmillan had a stall there The Macmillan ladies gave me this free recipe book. I’m posting the link here because it’s a really excellent cook book, with quick healthy and mouthwatering recipes. I’m very happy because I love cooking 😍
I think you can either download the book on line, by clicking on this link ( if it works) or even better order a free copy. I think it’s fab!
Good luck with making decisions re; zometa. It sounds tough. These drugs are forced upon us, often with unpleasant side effects and we just accept it, in fear of the cancer returning again. 😘
I’m glad you didn’t let your reading spoil your day Drummerswidow. I love your defiance btw.
AbsolutelyAnnie , you didn’t upset me at all. Its just a reality we have to face. I hope you are ok?
Sunny daze, absolutelyannie and MaryKamille.
My Oncologist was quite keen for me to have the Zometa. Spoke with my dentist and he said that the jaw damage was extremely rare so I decided to go for it. I think everyone’s treatment plan is so individual.
As for the chemotherapy, my percentage was 11%. Both the Oncologist and her registrar said that if it was them they would have the chemo. I haven’t let my reading spoil my day though!
I’m off to a Bosom Buddies meeting this evening! Should be interesting. I’ll let you know how I get on.
Good luck with the Radiotherapy planning xx
Marykamile your mobile phone number. You will need to have WhatsApp installed for it to work x
I am in the same position as you over Zometa. I had not realised at first that it is the same thing as Zoledronic Acid. I am seeing dentist tomorrow to OK me for it. She's dead against, already said, because of the possibility of jaw damage. But that is rare and there is no alternative to Zometa - so I have been told - for bone protection and repair. At least my oncologist put off starting me on it with my 6th Chemo and allowed me to wait until all treatments were finished before I make my decision and only after I have seen my dentist again. I think I will have to go for it.
I don't look at stats but when I had my Radiotherapy (now finished) there was a leaflet in the waiting room which another patient drew my attention to. It said that Chemo gives on average a 2% better outcome but Radiotherapy is 16%. That upset me for a bit - why all that suffering for 4 1/2 months on Chemo, for so little return? - but now I have calmed down and I am just going to ignore it all.
In the end we have to trust the oncologist I suppose and they do look at us as individuals with unique problems.
I had a letter today from Gynaecology and my ultrasound on 11th June shows my ovaries are still looking OK and she is happy to let it rest. Meaning close the file. One more issue I won't worry about!
Hope Radiotherapy planning goes well for you and you get your schedule soon. xx
Thanks for your message here. I am going to sound really thick, but what do you mean by my 'number'?
Will do it if I know what it is and I can work out what I have to do! xx
I'm definitely not going to look at stats. Too frightened already and need to be positive.
Sorry I hope I have not caused you any hassle. I am guilty of bringing the stats here as I am weighing up the risks against the benefits of taking Zometa.
I was guilty of bringing stats on here. I was trying to weigh up whether I should take the Zometa that oncologist wants me to take. It would reduce the risk of recurrence by 2% in my case compared to 7% hormone and 8% after chemo. I am trying to get away without Zometa but as I have thinning of the bones already it may be a good idea for me.
Totally agree it is not a good idea to look at the stats.
Off to my radiotherapy planning meeting today.
I know, it pulls you down looking at stats Drummerswidow and takes you to a dark place. I think we have to learn to shut it out , go into denial and live, some how !
Big hug to you girl xx
Also Shi, thanks for the advice, don’t worry, I know you have put our best interests at heart, but I would not compromise our safety in any way.
Someone said something about percentage of survival with certain treatments. I can’t remember whether or was on here or something mentioned in passing to me. This forgetfulness is getting on my nerves!
Anyway me being me, I looked at the Predict site for my scenario. Well that has the potential to ruin my day! I always say I’m not a number so really wished I hadn’t looked 🙄🙄🙄😳😳.
All I can say is I’d better be feeling better soon. I’ve got a lot of bucket list to work through in a short space of time!
Hi sunnydaze, just a reminder to pm marykamille on any meet up plans or anyone else who can’t whatsapp, not on this page as it’s open to the world. Keep safe ❤️💕💕✨✨Shi xx