Radiation - a whole new challenge

PamelaPPamelaP Mornington Peninsula, VictoriaMember Posts: 19
Now Radiation Burns & dressings - who said it was easy ?

Thanks all for your lovely comments & advice on holiday houses that are free (I have heard of the Otis houses as my daughter & her family went to one a few years ago). 
However it was difficult to go back into treatment after such a lovely break.  Daily radiation trips were a trial & by week 5 the burns were becoming a problem. I hadn't realised how much worse they would get in the week following my last treatment so I wasn't prepared to be going back to the hospital for another 3 weeks after my last radiation.  I have felt flat & sore & sorry for myself because I can't wear a bra & once again my right boob is hanging in the wind !  And oh the tiredness !

I found Metipel dressings with Solugel worked well except for the curvy part under my armpit where nothing would stay put.  Now the burnt skin's almost completely peeled back to new pink skin underneath I'm using QV Intensive all day every day to keep it soft & stop that scratch stretching feeling.  I'm feeling so much worse in myself that after chemo & I'm wondering if that's a common problem with other ladies ? 



  • LMK74LMK74 BrisbaneMember Posts: 748
    Hi @PamelaP, I was absolutely exhausted after finishing rads. The fatigue was really bad for me for about six weeks after. Its one hell of a process from start to finish. Take it easy and I wish you all the very best.
  • FinchFinch MelbourneMember Posts: 277
    Oh, I hope you heal and feel better soon.  I'll be asking all the questions in July when I start radiation. Take care xxxx
  • duxx1234duxx1234 BrisbaneMember Posts: 104
    Finch said:
    Oh, I hope you heal and feel better soon.  I'll be asking all the questions in July when I start radiation. Take care xxxx

  • duxx1234duxx1234 BrisbaneMember Posts: 104
    Oops don’t know what happened there!  @Finch, but I’ll be asking lots of questions when I start my 30 doses of radiation in July too!
    i thought it was going to be easier but it doesn’t sound like it!
  • PatsyNPatsyN Byron BayMember Posts: 295
    @PamelaP I finished rads on Tuesday. I feel ghastly, like a steel rod has impaled me but knowing that it's gonna get worse makes me feel nervous. I had 25 'boosted' sessions and will return next monday for dressings. Coming out of chemo you're numb, in a daze, coming out of radiation I feel like my nerve endings are on high alert.
  • CaptaingrumpypantsCaptaingrumpypants Member Posts: 21
    Oh @pamelap you sound just like me! It's awful isn't it? So many people said I'd find radiation a breeze compared to chemo, so I wasn't really prepared for how bad I would feel. I'm three weeks finished now and it's been seriously rough. The burns have had me just as incapacitated as I was after my mastectomy and the fatigue is next level. I'm not able to do much at all, and the various fitness and social activities I picked up after chemo have fallen away. Just when I was expecting to be 'getting back to normal' I'm physically struggling and depressed. My poor boyfriend has had to put up with more teary meltdowns in the last couple of weeks than he has in months.

    And I'm hating having to skip the bra and let Old Righty free-boob in public!

    Here's hoping things pick up for you (and me!) very soon x
  • PamelaPPamelaP Mornington Peninsula, VictoriaMember Posts: 19
    Oh @Captaingrumpypants I'm sorry you're having such a rough time, I totally understand how you feel it's now 8 weeks since radiation finished & I'm trying to get back to some normal sense of self but I still have days where I hid the wall & fall asleep on the couch at 11am for 3 hours.  
    Let's hope we'll both be feeling much better soon x
  • PamelaPPamelaP Mornington Peninsula, VictoriaMember Posts: 19
    Thanks so much all for your comments & support - it helps to hear other's stories & know you're not alone xx
  • RomlaRomla AdelaideMember Posts: 1,463
    I used Q.V. 2/3months after radiotherapy when my family and I went to Cairns - it was not as good as the Calendula cream available at the radiotherapy centre or the Dermaveen I used at home. I also noticed the centre replaced the Sorbolene cream with Cetaphil in my last week as it was never used - Calendula was always running out. I used cream 3 times a day and more if necessary.I had front opening post op bras which helped but became very discoloured by all the cream.

    Be careful with UV it seemed to activate the radiated breast even heat thru my rashie I noticed set it off.

    Fatigue hit at the end of my treatment and lasted for a week or so wherein I napped when I needed to . But yes you can’t jump back into your former activities as you may feel engulfed with tiredness but you will eventually.

  • UnicornkissesUnicornkisses Central CoastMember Posts: 398
    My Radiation Oncologist had me on Flamazine cream when the burns really started. Magic stuff.
    I used it with the dressings they sent me home with for two weeks after radiation finished.
    I got a script for 10 tubes for $38.80 from the Rad Onc. The pharmacy had to order it in for me though, they only carried two tubes.
    I started to feel human and not to need a sleep during the day after about 4 months post readiation. I can now go most of the time as I normally would have, though I have reduced my work load to about half. I am self employed, so can do that.
    I finished radiation at the beginning of November last year.
    I would say I am now about 80% back to what I was. 
    Perhaps also I am less inclined to overdo everything and now listen to my body, which I didn't do before, so I guess that affects how much I do compared to before diagnosis too.

    I found radiation gruelling. I think it was also that it was the last of a full year of treatment, so I was worn down, both mentally and physically. And afterwards also a little bit lost once the routine of constant treatment finished, that contributed to the emotional crash I experienced for a few months afterwards, and still do at times. 

    A lovely client of mine mine who had been through it all a few years before me said, you will have bad times, it is normal. Mine can last a few days before I manage to give myself a shake and go on with renewed enthusiasm. 
    Treat yourself gently, you have been through a lot.
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