I am ecstatic! After changing to the Polymem dressings just over a week ago the burns are disappearing almost before my eyes and more new pink (not red) skin is starting to appear almost daily. The new sores which kept openng up around the margins of the dressings have dried up and peeled now revealing lovely new skin too and it is altogether much more comfortable. Even the dressings are nicer to wear, much less bulky so I can wear proper bras and almost forget they are there. I just wish I could have tried these dressings sooner, it could have saved weeks and weeks of suffering.
Seeing my onc tomorrow and in a way I'm quite disappointed he will not have seen the burns I had as I think he might have been better informed when discussing rads with other ladies if he had.
What about you, Katy?
I'm glad you are feeling a bit better Katy.
12 weeks on from last rads now. nurse recommended changing to PolyMem dressing so we will see how that goes after a few days. the dressings are less bulky so at least I look a bit less lopsided! Still have a lot of heat at times and some sharp pain in the breast. Just wish I knew what was going on inside as I can't help freaking out when it hurts.
I'm quite annoyed at myself for letting this get to me as I can normally take it all in my stride. Feeling really yuck right now.
I don't want to worry anyone about to start rads. They tell me this is an extremely rare reaction and most people are back to normal in 6 weeks.
Sorry you are still suffering too Katy.
I do take a multivitamin daily. Had flu jab this week. I wear a soft seamless bra to help keep dressings in place.
I have called the radiotherapy team again at the request of my GP practice nurse who says they are very concerned that the area of soreness seems to be spreading. I still have a lot of heat. She thinks my skin may now be reacting to the adhesive in the dressings. Anyone else had that happen? I'm awaiting a call back from a nurse at the radiotherapy unit and hopefully they will agree to see me again for some advice.
I am just totally fed up. Sick and tired of being sick and tired.
I've had an awful week with other health issues and just not coping very well with everything else on top of this.
Another update - 10 weeks on from last rads and still dressing wounds on a large area across the front of the breast every day with Mepilex dressings and hydrogel. There is slow improvement with some new skin now showing but other areas seem to be breaking down again which is very frustrating just when I thought it was all going to finally heal. It just seems to be taking so long and hurting so much.
Breast care nurse didn't have any advice other than to call radiotherapy team. They said to carry on as we are doing I asked about aloe vera and it's not recommended. I saw my oncologist last week and he says to give it another 2 weeks then go back if not completely healed as he feels it is taking too long. I feel that too. No idea what else they can do. News from the CT scan is that there is no change from the previous (pre-rads) scan, no improvement. Hard to say then whether it has all been worth it.
I have used the Aloe Vera gel. Brilliant and so cooling to the skin I only had the 5 treatments so skin discoloured
but not burnt
Hello i can state you are not a wimp, unfortunately there are no magic creams out there that will help with the erythem (burning of the skin) Your gpcan prescribe a hydro gel and mepilex lite which i have found very useful for my patients. Larger breasted ladies do get a worst run of it with radiotherap, but im saddened to hear that your radiographers didnt assist you properly. None of our patients are sent away without the right dressings and creams to help heal the skin and they are reviewed byspecialist radiographers weekly. What an awful experience for you, i do hope that other peopl donthave to suffer in this way. Although the nature of all the cut backs mean larger time pressures and cut corners.
Thought I'd update again- 6 weeks on now from last rads and I think we have finally turned a corner. Breast is still sore and hot and I'm still having to do dressings every day, seeing the practice nurse twice a week but now I feel I am at last finding some improvement. New skin is appearing from under the burnt bits. I've had a fair bit of skin peeling under the breast but the splits have healed nicely, it's just the one larger area over and around the nipple that's still quite raw and sore . Hopefully the next few weeks will see it all healed up and feeling more 'normal' whatever that is. It's been a long hard slog not helped by GP and chemist conspiring to make getting hold of the dressings a full time and very frustrating job. Thanks to all for the messages of support. I'm now waiting for CT scan appointment then a review with my onc and we will see if it has all been worth it.
I'm sorry to read about what you are going through.
Perhaps it might help just to talk over how you're feeling with one of our Helpliners. They can offer practical information and emotional support. Opening times are 9-5 on weekdays and 10-2 on Saturdays. The number is 0808 800 6000
Very best wishes