Monday, October 22, 2012


         If you are just stopping in, this is the twenty third post in my 31 Day Series:  I Wear Pink.  I was diagnosed with breast cancer on February 18, 2009.   This series is about my journey with breast cancer.  You can find the previous posts here.

Day 23: Broil

          I was told that radiation could make me feel tired.  I thought, I have six kids.  My youngest two didn't sleep through the night until they were four.  I can do tired.  Except that I wasn't just tired, I was lay down on the floor tired.  I needed a nap most days when I got home from school and radiation.  And not just a little nap, a two hour nap.  I would wake up in time to eat dinner with the kids and then have enough energy to get myself ready for bed.  I found that I needed to take a day off in the middle of the week just to rest.  I was fortunate to be able to do that.  I had a wonderful substitute who worked well with my students.  I knew when I wasn't able to be there they were in good hands.  My school and principal were very supportive.
     My biggest difficulty with radiation though was the burning.  I am a very fair skinned blonde who easily freckles.  My skin really is the color of milk in the areas usually covered by clothing.  After the second week of radiation I looked like I had a sunburn.  At first, I was relieved to see the redness.  To me it meant that the radiation must be working in killing any remaining cancer cells that might still be lurking in my breast.   My skin reddened over the entire radiation field.  It looked as though a line was drawn across my chest and underarm.  Some areas blistered, peeled and oozed.  I was prescribed cream to put on my breast to help with the burning.  Weekends were a brief reprieve.
      I would suggest that anyone who is undergoing radiation treatment be vigilant with care for their skin.  Use the lotions and creams prescribed by the doctor.  Do not use deodorant.  Use only mild soaps and shampoos.
     I have also heard mention of eating foods with curry during radiation treatment.  The curcumin in curry is what gives it it's yellow color.  Curcumin is a known anti-inflammatory compound.   If I had heard of that when I was having radiation, I likely would have tried it.
     Several weeks after I had finished radiation my radiated skin had turned from red to light tan.  Over time the skin has gone back to it's usual white color.

Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed;
    save me and I will be saved,
    for you are the one I praise.  ~Jeremiah 17:14

1 comment:

momstheword said...

Wow, I'm sorry you blistered! It sounds like they should be giving people an anti-inflammatory medicine before treatment.

My brother burned a little during radiation too, although my dad didn't seem to have any trouble with it.

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