Glad to be of some use. Did you get any information leaflets? it might tell you on there what is recommended. I'd maybe give them a ring to check, just so you've got the cream in place or maybe yours is one of the hospitals that don't recommend it, either way it would be good to know - but that's me I like being prepared.
I had 15 and didn't show any reaction until my 14th session when my skin became faintly red and a little redder after my last one.
They say your skin continues to get worse for the 2 weeks following then improves over the next two weeks, so your skin reactions should peak by the 13th then get better so you should be ok for christmas. After my last rads session my nipple became very sore (but sorted that once I realised the loose tops were causing friction) but was fine less than a week later, I'm on my 4th week following my last rads and can honestly say I am having no bother at all, no skin peeling or breakdowns at any point. Looking forward to going back to work next Monday. I hope your skin holds up as well as mine did (I do think the Aveeno helped by stopping my skin from drying out).
You'll soon be able to tick this off your list and move on.
Good luck - if I can help you at all give me a shout.
Things starting to progress well for you now, it might still seem a long way off but time will soon fly by.
At my planning meeting I had a chat with the radiologist who explained what was going to happen in the actual scan. I was given the dates and times for my rads sessions and reviews (mine were the last day of the 2nd and last week). They'll answer any questions you might have - ask them again about recommended creams as they're the ones who monitor your skin throughout).
Also ask what you should do before your sessions as each hospital seems to be different. At mine you changed into a gown and put your stuff in a shopping basket which you carried into the treatment room with you then after treatment you went straight back into the changing room and got changed again apart from your review days when you have your skin checked (which could either be before or after your rads).
In the CT scan you remove the gown and lay on the bed - you have to raise both arms above your head and hold onto the bars. The CT scan itself makes a whirling sound as it's taking the xrays (mine sounded a bit like Dr Who's tardis. The actual scanning is over and done with in about 20 mins. During the scan when they pinpoint where they need to be they will come into the room and do the tattoos. I had 3, 1 either side of my body and one on my sternum. They feel like pinpricks which aren't too bad. They also drew around my breast (before you remove it later take note of where it is as that is where the rads will be), don't be surprised at how far under your arm it goes as they have to make sure they reach all the breast tissue. During rads make sure you cover that area with your creams as it does become a little sore due to your arm causing friction by rubbing against your body (popping a cushion under your arm when you're sat or in bed can help stop this happening a bit).
I don't want to overload you but thought I'd pass on the bits I wish I'd been told before they started.
Not long now ladies, you'll smash it
Hope you are doing well. I had my planning session today. It was easier than I thought it would be. I even managed the holding my breath part of it! However, there was no mention of skincare and creams. Maybe they will cover this at my first appointment. If they don't I have already found lots of helpful information on this forum.
My first treatment is on the 8th November and I will be having 15 sessions. Hoping for everything to be over before Christmas and back to work in the New Year.
Thank you Joemic for all the information. It was really helpful.
good luck everyone x
I had my meeting to sign papers etc last week. Phone call this morning to ask me to go in tomorrow for the planning. Guessing that's the CT scan and tattoo bit, too. All feels a bit surreal ...
Thank you Joemic
This is very helpful.
I have had meeting with the consultant and signed the paperwork and my planning meeting is 5 november, where I will have a ct scan and tattoos?!!
Not sure exactly what this will involve so kind of nervous but really hoping to get this out of the way by Christmas.
All the best ladies x
I'm supposed to be starting in November, but no date yet. Haven't had my planning session, but hope it will be this week.
Thank you for this - really helpful. I haven't started yet, but was told I should get a planning appointment this week, then the treatment will start a fortnight later. I'm using bio oil at the moment. I had a mastectomy. I'll add asking if they recommend continuing with that, or changing, at my planning meeting. Waiting is the worst thing about all of this. Well, one of the worst things ...
forgot to mention, I was completely bald on my last chemo on 9th Aug but a month later I had a covering of hair and today I have a good covering, you can still faintly see my scalp but I have a lot of hair and it's about 1/2 inch long now. I use Lush new shampoo soap (it's a red circle and smells of cinnamon).
I had my 15 rads in Sept, finished on 4th Oct but thought I'd pop in and wish you all well and give a few tips that helped me through. (I had my last dose of chemo on 9th Aug and 1st rads on 16th Sept).
First tip is (if you haven't started already) is to prepare your skin, start moisturising at least twice a day (3 times if you can). Your rads team should tell you what creams they recommend but be prepared to find out that different hospitals seem to recommend different ones and some say none at all, it can become very confusing when you swap notes on what creams you were recommended; if only they would recommend the same things then we would find it much easier but alas that isn't so. I used Aveeno (not one recommended by my team but they were happy I was using it).
During rads don't use bubble bath, soap or shower gel that contains SLS (it can irritate the skin), or hot water, just warm. Don't wash the area with a sponge or flannel (it rubs the skin too much). I used dove soap, I used to lather it in my hands and carefully smooth it over my skin and rinse of with clean barely warm water from a jug, if you rinse with a shower make sure it's not on a power setting..ouch!.
If you haven't had a mastectomy wear a soft crop top type bra (you can get them from Asda, Tesco etc). I say this because I found my nipple became very sore and realised it was made worse by the friction caused by loose fitting tops. I would put cream on my breast as soon as rads finished and used a square of very soft cotton (I cut t shirts up) over my breast then would put the bra on over making sure the cotton square was under the band of the bottom of the bra, poking out of the top and under the arm, basically so none of the bra material actually touched the rads area. The cotton soaked up any sweat and prevented chaffing - particularly under the arm which does become a bit sore. When you can go bare chested do so as it helps keep the breast area cool thus reducing irritation. Unfortunately with 2 teenage boys in the house I could rarely do this until late at night but it was a relief when I could.
When sitting or sleeping try popping a cushion under your arm, it helps prevent your arm rubbing against your body.
When going through rads keep up with the water, especially straight after, it does help with the fatigue so does walking.
During rads and the first week after I moisturised with Aveeno 4 times a day and have reduced it to twice a day now. My skin held up really well with only a little redness (it looks a dirty brown now) and once I realised why my nipple was so sore that cleared up as well. I was very lucky and had no peeling or skin breaks, whether the regime I followed helped with it or not I don't know but I would follow it again if I had too.
You will all find out what works best for you but I hope you find some of what I have mentioned useful. One things for sure although it is a bind going every weekday for treatment the time flies by. If you have any problems at all let your rads team know as soon as possible, the earlier they know about it the swifter you can get it sorted.
Good luck ladies, you'll be through it before you know it.
I hope you get your dates confirmed soon, its very anxiety provoking not knowing whats happening, I've been quite fortunate so far that things have flowed well. I had my last Chemo on weds so feeling very spaced out today!
I'm feeling ok about radiotherapy so far, just hope that it stays that was as I have been quite up and down on the chemo, but I suppose thats part of the journey.
Looking forward to Look Good Feel Better session in a couple of weeks time too, I feel very fat and frumpy from all the treatment and lack of mobility so hoping that I can lose some chemo weight and grow some hair for christmas!
I haven't got my date to start yet but i think it is looking like November time. I am also going to be having 15 + 5 boosters.
My radiotherapy sessions are planned to start on 7th Nov with planning session on 30th Oct and final Chemo on 23rd Oct. Am having 15 +5 sessions so hoping to finish active treatment early Dec and feel more like the old me by xmas!!
Is anyone else starting in November?