Tuesday, February 14, 2012


I can remember almost to date when I finished my chemo and radiation.  Not so much because they were so significant, although they were, but because I seemed to finish up on holidays.

I finished my last radiation treatment one year ago today.  I can hardly believe it.  Radiation for me was, well a little scary.  I still remember the first day.  I wasn't exactly sure what to expect, but as the male technician came in to get me set up in my mold, I knew it wasn't that.  I remember holding back tears of nervousness and embarrassment as I lay as still as I could.  It wasn't long though that I came to love my two technicians, Gene and Bonita.  They were so very kind and that made all the difference in the world.

After my surgery and chemotherapy, I had to have 33 treatments of radiation to the right side of my chest and shoulder area.  By the end some areas were pretty burnt, but I was surprised at how well it healed.

There are different types and reasons people have radiation.  Here is a link that explains them in better detail - Types of Radiation.

I found a few things that helped me a lot during my treatment - one was of course Aloe.  Fresh aloe that I kept in the refrigerator was wonderful as was Aloe 99.

Another skin saver was Lindi Skin Cooler Roll. This was a gel like sheet that you cut to fit the size you needed and applied directly to the skin.  I kept this in the refrigerator as well, so it was nice and cool.  I was amazed at the amount of heat it would pull from the radiated area.

I also had a prescription for biofene - I loved this stuff.

I would take naps every day and drank cold water constantly.

My skin is pretty sensitive to begin with, but during radiation your skin becomes very sensitive to touch and the rubbing of fabric.  I hunted all over for soft cotton shirts that didn't have side seams or seams that hit on my collar bone. For me I found it more comfortable to have a snug fitting tank under my shirt.  I didn't like when my skin would rest on skin (underneath your arm).  It seemed to produce heat and want to stick together.

I can also tell you from experience that as the burns begin to heal, they are much like any other serious burn - your skin will peel.  Be very careful, your clothes can stick to it and pull the skin off - not good!  I had to keep a sterile gauze over mine at the very end and sometimes would have to let water run over it to soften and release it without pulling away the skin.
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