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early days of radiotherapy

26 REPLIES 26
Maryland
Member

Re: early days of radiotherapy

Hi.....my radiotherapy dept suggested using good old cooled boiled, salted water to help soothe redness and stinging....had 23 rads....and it really helped to dry the soreness up. As others have said keep moisturising up for at least 4 - 6 weeks afterwards as RT keeps on working. Onwards and upwards 🙂

Southcoastbeachgirl
Member

Re: early days of radiotherapy

Well done Ann. Great to get all the rads out of the way. Take care of ourself over the coming weeks as I believe the effects can get worse afterwards as the rays continue to do their job. I really hope the Flamazine helps ease your discomfort and go topless when you can. It certainly helps to let the air at the sore skin. I have done 10 put of 19 so halfway now. Not too bad at the moment. Skin sore at times but not unbearable. Take care x
Ann_W
Member

Re: early days of radiotherapy

Hi all
15 of 15 finished yesterday, bone scan next week and 5yrs of letrozole. The letrozole is making me gain weight I think cos I have gained 2 or 3 lb every week for past 3wks. All blouses now too tight but that could be also cos boob is rather swollen as well as being red raw and stinging. Nurse gave me some Flamazine to put on seeing as now finished with rads. Its helping a little
Ann W
Ann_W
Member

Re: early days of radiotherapy

Hi lucinda
Thanks for replying I,ve already asked about refunded expenses but because I have more than £6 K in the bank I can not apply. Ive just got 2 more treatments and them I,m finished hopefully. Ive got a bone scan on the 21st but thats just to see what the letrozole is doing I think


Ann W xxx
lucinda
Member

Re: early days of radiotherapy

Ann if you find the cost of travelling is a problem have you thought of applying for a Macmillan grant.You have to ask a professional to fill out the form on your behalf,but travelling is one of the things they will help with.

Lemongrove
Member

Re: early days of radiotherapy

I agree with what everyone has said. The only thing I would add is remember to moisturise the exit point as well. RT goes in one side and exits the other.

Ann_W
Member

Re: early days of radiotherapy

Hi southcoastbeachgirl
Had 13 of 15 rads yesterday and boob really red and painful but not blistered yet thankfully but I have a really sensitive nipple that I cant even bear anything against it so have to resort to going topless inside the house ( luckily no one around to complain about that sight and I do keep the curtains closed) Radiographer gave me Flaminal ointment but not helping, just have to hope it doesnt last long.
I understand about your long travel I have a 110mile round trip each day and its costing a fortune in diesel and parking fees but cant claim for that I,ve been told.
Ann W xx
lucinda
Member

Re: early days of radiotherapy

I had 30 rads a couple of years back,last 5 being a booster dose.I found pure aloe vera really good and very cooling and my team approved (must be pure H&B sell it).My skin was really sore and blistered below boobs(my ample size did not help) and rads nurses gave me dressings to put on after treatment.In the end I was putting on a thick gel called nuskin which the hospital prescribed.You really do need to keep using long after treatment.Also please be careful in the sun...it really is easy to burn for a long time following rads.

L xx

Southcoastbeachgirl
Member

Re: early days of radiotherapy

Hello everyone I have now completed 7 of 19 rads. Glad it's Friday and two days off. As this has been my first full week, have definitely felt my energy levels reducing as the week went on. I think it's as much the mental effects as the physical plus the 60 mile a day round trip. Skin not too bad really. Gets more sore by evenings and happy to go without a bra to ease any mild discomfort. Have finally got the Sorbaderm recommended by hospital. Had to be ordered in and with bank holiday last weekend it took a week from requesting prescription to getting the cream. Why they didn't tell me about it at the planning scan, I don't know. It would have enabled me to be using it from the start instead of a week in. It is a barrier cream, so using that twice a day plus aquaeous cream in the shower. i can now detect a darkening of the skin on my left side and a feint red line which indicates the top of the area getting the treatment. Other than that not bad really. Enjoy the weekend everyone
GMT
Volunteer
Volunteer

Re: early days of radiotherapy

I used a crystal deodorant that you can buy from holland and Barrett . It doesn't stop you sweating but you don't smell!! Radiographer in the hospital recommended it. Sorry cant remember the name , it comes in a stick form and you have to wet the crystal and then apply.
Good luck to all starting your rads
Gaynor xx

Southcoastbeachgirl
Member

Re: early days of radiotherapy

Have just realised that I posted my latest post about the start of my rads unde the unbearable itching after rads thread. Oops! If anyone is interested, take a look there
Southcoastbeachgirl
Member

Re: early days of radiotherapy

Hello ladies
Great to hear all your tips
I am starting the first of 19 rads tomorrow and have my pot of aqueous cream at the ready! RE: deodorant, my BCN recommended a natural mineral deodarant from Holland & Barret following surgery. I have been using it for a few weeks and it works well. Hasn't affected the scar under my arm at all and feels very natural and good for you - its called Salt of The Earth.
Ann_W
Member

Re: early days of radiotherapy

Hi suzie and Lozz
Had my 2nd of 15 rads today. Yesterday before my first one I was a load of nerves but now Ive found it wasnt bad at all. Now just waiting for all the SEs that Ive been told about. I bought loads of aqueous cream and E45 but they gave me a different cream QV its what they now recommend she says.
Ive still got lots of pain inside my boob from the operation but my clinic app is not till next Tuesday so will have to wait till then to ask about it as no one else is able to tell me whats going on.

The other downside is its 55mile to hospital and 55mile back all for 30mins treatment
JCJ
Member

Re: early days of radiotherapy

Can I advise from the position of 11 months after rads? Keep using moisturisers for a LONG time after rads. I slathered on aqueous cream 3 or 4 times a day during rads and for 2 weeks after, then I didn't bother anymore as I had no skin breakdown - just a bit of pinkness and a hot feeling at about 10 days after.

I have recently had peeling and flaking skin around the areola (scared me stupid as I thought it was symptomatic of a new cancer!!) and have been told it's due to rads damage. I have started slapping on the aqueous cream again - as I've still got 1/4 of the huge tub left! - and it's cleared up.

Different hopsitals/radiologists recommend different products that you can and can't use so listen to/read the instructions you are given by your own team and be guided by them. If in doubt, take anything in that you want to use and ask if it's OK.

You will be well looked after. The time will soon pass - and then you'll be like me, looking back on it as something you once did! 🙂 Get plenty of rest to allow your body time to heal itself.
Guest user
Not applicable

Re: early days of radiotherapy

All useful info ladies - not sure when my rads are starting yet as I haven't had an appointment to see ONC yet.
Ann I have seen you on another thread and yes we will have to compare notes!
Mindy63
Member

Re: early days of radiotherapy

I am 2 weeks-almost- since end of radiotherapy. My skin is absolutely fine and I have started using normal deoderants. No problems so far. Was recently in the sun and used factor 50-again no problems. Think my advice would be tread carefully and watch out for any reactions. Personally there's no way I would avoid deoderant for the recommended 6 weeks unless I had a reaction.

Ann_W
Member

Re: early days of radiotherapy

Hi Trisha & Lozzarooney
Thanks for your tips. I will listen intently to the radiologist next week and see what she advises, if she doesnt give me a leaflet I will have to write it all down, as at my age my memory is not what it was.
Ann x
Lozzarooney1
Member

Re: early days of radiotherapy

Hi Ann
I didn't use any deoderant under my left arm (just my right!) and just used a bar of 'Simple' soap and showered every day. I had bought Sanex deoderant and shower gel and was advised not to use them.
When I was dressed I'd put a little bit of my favourite perfume on my clothes - it helped me to feel good about myself if I could smell a nice smell lol! 🙂
Good luck with your rads - remember that you're still 'cooking' for a good couple of weeks afterwards so use the cream. I found the rads made me nauseous - but was given tablets to help. My skin breakdown happened AFTER rads had finished. However, We are all different and some are affected and some seem to 'sail' through them. I hope you'll be the latter.
When you go for your rads the radiographer will ask how you are so do let them know if you have any concerns.
A tip - I concentrated on the music being played during rads to see if I could guess the songs. It helped pass the time when you're left on your own and made it bearable. Just make sure they turn the volume up lol! 😉
Lozza x
Trisha_51
Member

Re: early days of radiotherapy

Hi Ann, I've just finished my 15 rads last week. I was advised by the radiologist not to use any deodorant during rads and for a couple of weeks afterwards then gradually to reintroduce and see if there was any reaction, Other ladies on this site recommend Sanex Zero as it has no metals it. Washing the area to be irradiated I used soap from the "simple" range of cosmetics, or you could use baby soap. Shower gels for rest of body I used Sanex Zero but I think you can also use "Simple" shower gel. Aqueous cream was given by the radiologist and it was recommended that it be kept in the fridge as it has a more cooling effect. I used copious amounts at least twice a day (bought a huge tub from my local pharmacy only just over £2) and let the air get to my boobs as much as possible, much to OH's amusement - a cream slathered boob is not really a good look! Towards the end of the rads I got a bit itchy and they recommended 1 piriton tablet a day - it certainly has helped. Just waiting to see if I get any worse reactions in a week or so's time. Also been told to keep using the cream for at least two weeks after treatment has finished. Before first rads the radiologist talked to me for a while explaining all this, she also gave me a leaflet explaining how to care for my skin during rads and then at the end I was given another leaflet detailing how to look after the skin after rads which explained in detail possible reactions and the dressings which were appropriate. Best of luck with your rads Pat
Ann_W
Member

Re: early days of radiotherapy

Hi all
Went for my CT scan yesterday ,they gave me a tattoo on my right booby ( never ever thought at my age (69) I would have a tattoo even if it is only dots ) and they gave me my modesty vest to bring with me when I have my first of 15 sessions on 23rd.
Can any one tell me what make of soap, shower gel and deodorant I should be able to use as I dont know what to get. I know they will give me the cream.
Ann W
Lozzarooney1
Member

Re: early days of radiotherapy

Hi ... just thought I'd put my two pennyworth in!
Do ensure that you carry on with the creams after rads have finished as you are still 'cooking'.
My skin under the breast area has now broken 😞 so am currently using Trimovate as recommended by GP (for that area only) and Aqueous Cream for the rest. I finished my rads (15) on Good Friday.
I was advised to let the air get to it.... hmmm short of standing upside down half naked... or enlisting a hoist to keep booby permanently 'up' there's no chance of air getting there!
Tho I spose I could go call hubby to go give me a hand! 😉
Apologies if I've offended anyone... if I didn't laugh, I'd cry!
Gentle squishy hugs to all
Lozza 🙂
catseye
Member

Re: early days of radiotherapy

Hi Sue,
Make sure you get as much rest as you need, as unfortunately for a lot of people the tiredness peaks about two weeks after rads finishes.
However, if you can manage it, a bit of gentle exercise each day ie a short walk, (although it may be the last thing you feel like doing), can actually help with the fatigue.
sue63
Member

Re: early days of radiotherapy

Thanks for the advice. I am now 12 days into 23 treatments and up till the last couple have actually now been feeling much better. Now the tiredness has caught up with me and i had no idea what they meant by "real fatigue" as they called it! I now know exactly what they mean my whole body feels so heavy! Skin is not too bad now except ive had a couple of stitches from my wound which has made that area extra sore but using lots of aqueous cream.
catseye
Member

Re: early days of radiotherapy

Hi Sue,
The "boost" is extra sessions, usually five, where the treatment is targeted specifically at the site of the tumour bed, (where your lump was removed). I think it is done as extra protection against recurrence.
Sorry to hear you are already in discomfort after two sessions. Hopefully you have been given advice by your treatment team on skin care. Most advise using ony aqueous cream, but it must be done frequently. I used it two or three times a day. Also, you can use it to wash, as you should not use harsh soaps/shower gels/soak in bubble baths during treatment.
They should check your skin before treating you, but do tell them your symptoms, as sometimes they will give you different creams. Don't suffer in silence!
Good Luck.
Guest user
Not applicable

Re: early days of radiotherapy

I'm just about to start tomorrow/today so I can't help other than to say I hope it settles down and is ok for you.
Lucy_BCC
Member

Re: early days of radiotherapy

Hi Sue

Whilst you await replies please feel free to call our helpliners to talk your queries over, lines are open 9-5 weekdays and 10-2 Saturdays on 0808 800 6000

You may find the following BCC information page and publication about radiotherapy helpful too:

http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/breast-cancer-information/treating-breast-cancer/radiotherapy

Take care

Lucy

sue63
Member

early days of radiotherapy

Hi
I have just had my second on 23 treatments, i was a bit shocked i was having 23 not 15 apparently im having a boost at the end of it, keep forgetting to ask what that is. My boob is really itchy and a bit sore already after only 2 is this normal anyone?
thanks
Sue