Just started rads

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JUJU8872
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 349
   Posted 7/22/2005 11:24 AM (GMT -7)   
-- today was my third. Is it my imagination or can this already feel somewhat burned? I did very well with chemo and intend to do well now, but I am just wondering if burning this soon is possible. I am supposed to have 33 treatments, but for some reason, I have 36 appointments. Will ask the dr next week.
 
Also, my markings are quite large, numerous and dark. (I am a little tall and thin -- no not skinny, just a little thin.) They are showing through light clothing and staining bra and clothes. I made the mistake of mentioning this to the technician today and got the typical reply that I get from all medical people and that charming family of mine. "Yes, but this treatment will make sure you can continue wearing clothes."  Remarks such as these have happen to me so frequently that I never speak of how I feel to ANYONE but you guys. Every now and then think I am going to explode with these feelings. I hope I can control them. The last time I exploded at my family and have not spoken to anyone of them in 6 weeks. And I really do not need to take this out on the medical people.
 
Hoping for a good weekend.
 
JUJU sad

debbiR
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Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 730
   Posted 7/22/2005 12:05 PM (GMT -7)   
JuJu: I am so mad reading what your rad techs said to you that I am having a difficult time typing. First of all, there is no reason for comments like that. None what so ever!!! Yes, it is true that the treatments will help you continue to wear clothes but perhaps they should change places w/ you and see what it is like. My rad onco (whom I now detest) said something similar to me when I was going thru rads and I told him that I really didn't need his smart a** comments. I needed a straight, honest answer. And if he couldn't give it to me then I would go elsewhere and find someone that would. I also mentioned that I would file a report with the AMA and whatever other group could investigate him. His attitude did change after that for the better. As for families, we all encounter problems during treatment w/ them. They can't understand what we are going thru..emotionally or physically. I haven't asked my family for help since my original diagnosis in 2001. It doesn't hurt for you to let people know how you feel. Also, remember it also is good for you to let them know exactly what you need from them, if they offer to help.
 
I still have some of the marks from the rads. The only thing I can tell you is to wear some type of t-shirt (watch the shoulder seams) under your shirt. This way the dye will not ruin your good clothes. If you are fair skinned, perhaps the rads could already be burning. Has your rad onco given you any meds to put on your skin? The last few rads are probably "boosts" to the area where your tumor was. That is the reason for the extra appointments.
 
Come here and vent anytime.
 
Hugs..Deb
 


gma
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Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2921
   Posted 7/22/2005 12:07 PM (GMT -7)   
I can't help you with the radiation question, but I can tell you I changed temperment with the diagnosis of cancer. I realized at first I drove more aggressively, then I realized I was more outspoken than I had ever been. Next I realized I would share my real feelings much more freely. And now I call it RAGE. I can get so angry!!!! The doctor prescribed some Wellbutrin when I told her how I felt rage so easily, but I just couldn't take it for some reason I felt too antzy. I have been taking Lexapro for about two weeks now and it seems to be mellowing me out. So if people continue to get to you, you might consider asking for something. Meanwhile, people say stupid things without thinking sometimes. Usually the girls here warn about the ruining of clothing with the marking dye. I am sorry no one thought to warn you. Be sure to ask for something for your burning. I am sure you will get some suggestions here, too. Hugs MK


Tavish
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Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2272
   Posted 7/22/2005 12:40 PM (GMT -7)   
I think my breast started turning light pink after the 4th one or so, and I felt the tenderness in the tissue. My skin did fine, I never looked more than pink...no burning, no blisters, no problems. Yes, it is possible to have some changes right away....

And shame on that tech for such a snotty answer! All she had to do was say "Oh I know it stinks to have the marks, but hang in there, it will be over soon..." or something....all she had to do was acknowledge your feelings and offer some encouragement. My techs were great, I never felt like a piece of meat or cattle as someone else said. Their attitude makes all the difference.

When I was wig shopping before chemo, one lady said "Oh honey, don't worry, it will grow back...." that was so NOT the answer I needed. I knew it would grow back, but had she offered a little compassion, rather than discounting my feelings and poo-pooing it, I may have given her my business.

I had tatoos (teeny tiny ones, still got 'em), so I did not have the experience with the markers. Others did say that a tshirt was the best solution to protect their clothes. Sorry you had this bad experience.... hang in there hon!
Lori


babyseeester
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Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 826
   Posted 7/22/2005 1:34 PM (GMT -7)   
I am very fair skinned, too, but my skin has held up very well.  I have used pure aloe gel from the beginning.  My marks didn't show, probably because it's all covered by my prosthesis.  I'm sure it would be different with a lumpectomy.  My treatment team have been great.  Sorry yours made that remark.  I only have 6 more to go and part of me will miss seeing them, particulary my rads therapist, who happens to also be the chief of the dept.  He treats me because of the time I go in.  I'm the last appt. of the day and all the other therapists are gone by then. 
L & H,
Kathy


JUJU8872
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 349
   Posted 7/22/2005 6:23 PM (GMT -7)   

Thanks for the support, folks. I am taking Paxil -- helps with hot flashes and anxiety. I can only imagine what the last 5 weeks would have been like without it.

I am really marked. They start just below the center of my collarbone - no open front shirts, dresses, and nothing cut below the collar bone. I also have three lines from above where breast was down to almost waist. Also on shoulder joint. I am going to ask my rad onco just how large an area they are treating. I do know some of the marks are for around the sternum since I was marked for a lead pattern. I will also have a "boost" pattern that they will get later.

I finally decided to go and buy some "inexpensive" tee shirts to wear with pants. Bought dark ones so marks won't show and so I can wear a sports bra with "lite stuffing" when the "burn" comes.

By the way, did anyone have a "bolus" with their rads. It is a gel like pad on the breast area that directs radiation more to the skin. I will have this every other treatment for the first 2 weeks. Could this be the cause of the "burn" I feel.

JUJU


Tavish
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Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2272
   Posted 7/22/2005 6:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Juju, the radiation is pretty strong stuff, it is not unusual to see effects so quickly. I am not familiar with the bolus you described so I cannot address your question there. It is strange how the markings vary from place to place. I had 4 teeny tiny tattoos (permanent) that were used to line me up with the lasers on the wall. I had no markings for the rad field, I guess that was all correct in the computer as long as the lasers hit my dots. I did have a green paint pen used to outline the boost field, just had to be careful not to wash it off. I was able to wear my regular bras throughout rads, but as a small breasted gal, I can get away without wire, so it was not a problem. With my doc's advice, I used Fruit of the Earth aloe gel for moisture and that was all. Be sure to ask the rad onc before trying any product, they all seem to prefer something different.

Hang in there an enjoy the rad-free weekend!
Lori


skeeter1
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 97
   Posted 7/23/2005 7:02 AM (GMT -7)   
I am getting radiation treatments now too had my 14th one yesterday. Yes I got burning right  away too, and now after treatment I get light pink on my side and in my armpit at the corner or my scar from surgery. I showed my radiation techs and after my treatment they took my right to the nurse. The nurse says the pink is normal from radiation and the burning feeling. They are watching my close to see if it changes, that makes me feel better. I know they care.
I get a fine rash in the evenings, they say its a heat rash see its been in the 90's here. So now I wear at home in evening tank tops with no bra in them and thin straps so the heat can go out of my body instead of staying in, that has really helped I tried the tee shirts but they seemed to keep the heat in my body. When I get home in evening (see I work a few hours each day after treatment). I take a cool shower and wash with ivory soap that seems to take the burn away and then put radiaplex gel on. (thats is a gel prescribed by my radiologist to use 3 times a day so I don't burn). They also told me not to wear an under wire bra and find a sports bra but I have found the elastic in the bra rubs so I don't wear a bra at all under my loose fitting cotton shirts. It seems to work better for me and I feel less irritated from the rubbing. at night I sleep in a cotton grown that has thin straps simular to a tank top and that has helped too. I am small so it works fine for me to go without a bra. (just food for thought) anywhere it rubs you can get sore....
I am so sorry the rad techs are like that. my techs are great.. they don't say things like that to me and I can talk to them about anything I am feeling and they answer me honestly and don't make me feel bad at all. when I come in each day for treatment everyone is very nice to me even the receptionists at the front entrance. no excuse for them talking to you that way!!! When your see your radiologist tell him about how they talk to you and how it makes you feel. something needs to change there.... its just not right..... you should be able to ask questions and get answers that are appropriate.. sorry it just makes me mad...
I got the tatoos too I have 4 of them so every morning before my treatments I take a shower at home and wash off all my radiaplex gel with ivory soap so I have no gel on at all during my treatment and right in radiation room in the changing area I put some radiaplex gel on before I leave the treatment area each day. then I put it on once in afternoon and once at night so far I get pink and with all I have been doing it goes away by morning each day. but I always feel a little burning but not bad.
I started on effexor for menapause.. it has help me alot and so glad I am taking it. It helps my mood and has taken away the chills and sweats.. thank everyone here for helping me through my decision and helping me make the best choice for me.
Ok so gonna jet now sorry its so long just wanted to share with you what I am doing and maybe it will help you!!! god luck with your treatments......Skeeter1....ooops sorry so long!!!
 

gma
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2921
   Posted 7/23/2005 10:48 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey skeeter! Our old member from Nebraska posted the other day. Her name is Marge E. She lives in Lincoln. Maybe if it is close to you, you could get in touch with each other and have lunch? I will post to her, too. Hugs MK


babyseeester
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 826
   Posted 7/23/2005 12:01 PM (GMT -7)   
I didn't have the bolus for regular rads, but have it now for the electron (boost) treatment.  Reading these posts, I realize how lucky I am, once again, because my skin has held up very well and I'm VERY fair skinned. 
L & H,
Kathy


JUJU8872
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 349
   Posted 7/23/2005 1:07 PM (GMT -7)   

I had forgotten that you, Skeeter and Babeseester, are in line with my chemo and rad treatments. I am using a skin cream that the dr recommended. It is Glucan Pro Cream -- not prescription but used in hospitals for burn patients. It is very expensive, so I hope it will be worth it. Babeseester, I believe you said your hair is back. Skeeter, how about you? It has been 4 weeks since my last chemo and there is no sign of eyelashes, eyebrows nor is there any more that the white fuzz on my head. I am getting worried about this.

JUJU

They are making me a lead template that I believe is for my electron boost. I will have 5 at the end, but 28 and 5 make 33 and I have 36 appointments. 


Post Edited (JUJU8872) : 7/23/2005 2:10:10 PM (GMT-6)


skeeter1
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 97
   Posted 7/23/2005 3:09 PM (GMT -7)   
JUJU, my hair is coming back now too but it took alittle over a month after my last treatment before I started to see new hair growth. I have my eyelashes back now and brows but my lashes aren't very long yet. my hair right now is about 1/2 inch and its dark brown with some blonde and white in it. I too was very discouraged when my hair didn't grow back right away, but one morning I woke up and there it was... at least some you could see anyway...lol...my doc told me by December I will be able to style it... thats is 7 months after my last treatment....its not long enough to know yet if it will be curly.. my radiologist says it will come back with waves or curls, see my hair has always been straight so that will be different for me...your hair will be back SOON...... let me know when it starts to grow again and you can see it  k.......skeeter1

debbiR
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 730
   Posted 7/23/2005 4:18 PM (GMT -7)   

Skeeter:  I had very, very curly hair before chemo. In fact, in 51 yrs I had never had a permanent. I had always wished for straight hair. Be careful what you wish for! lol My hair came back in straight as a board. I had no idea how to deal w/ it. It is now beginning to get some curl back but I also have a beautician that is a magician w/ haircuts.

Be patient. It will come back in and you will complain about having to do your hair before you know it.

Deb


 


babyseeester
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 826
   Posted 7/23/2005 4:31 PM (GMT -7)   
My last chemo was April 19 and I stopped wearing the wig the first week of June.  My hair had been growing all along since shaving it because I was on Taxotere.  So, I didn't actually lose it all.  It came back curly (I think) and VERY white!  But, gray hair is better than no hair.  I have my full eyebrows and lashes.  I don't remember how long that took.  I am now in my rads boosts and have a template for the treatment, as well as a bolus. 
L & H,
Kathy

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