5 creams, 1 deodorant and 1 bandage
That pretty much sums up my skin care during radiation.
As I’ve said in previous posts, I’m very thankful that I came out of radiation with really very minor skin irritations. Yes, my skin was uncomfortable and looked/looks horrible. But by the end of treatment, the skin was all still intact and the burn didn’t stop me from doing anything. (Although I did not take the girls swimming in a pool during radiation and will stay away from chlorinated pools for a while.)
I’ve reached the end of active treatment…what a long 11 months it’s been.
I have been tried and tested in ways I never even imagined. God has been with me each step of the way and I’m so thankful to be on this side of treatment, feeling as good as I do.
Tomorrow, for the first time in 8 weeks, I won’t have to drive up to Valley Medical for radiation. Yay!!
My last day of radiation on Friday was bittersweet. I was so happy to be done AND with only minor skin irritations, but was sad to say goodbye to so many wonderful people I have met during my time there. (I’ll see them again in a month when I go back for my last checkup though.)
I’m happy to report that after all the creams I have tried, I have something that really helps my irritated skin. It’s called Mepilex and it’s a bandage that’s just sticky enough to stay on the skin, but doesn’t harm it.
I’m wearing 2 of them – one on my collar bone and one over the incision and skin under my foob (fake boob). The area under my foob is still being treated, but I’m hoping that it won’t get much worse from the last 3 treatments. It makes it so the seatbelt doesn’t hurt my collar bone as much when I’m driving and also so I can wear a bra most of the day. Lol – probably too much information for some of you…sorry! 🙂
This morning I briefly chatted with a women while waiting for radiation. She was there to support her 87 year old mother who was just starting radiation. This is her 3rd time brining someone into this office for radiation. Through the brief conversation she said her late daughter-in-law and late husband had both received treatment here.
Everyone who I meet in that room has a story to tell, and this one just brought a flood of emotions and thoughts this morning, mostly about my Mom. Tears were running down my face (well the side of my face since I was laying down) during radiation. I was trying not to sob as I thought that might be too much movement and I didn’t want them to have to come back in and realign me. The 16 seconds of my treatment today and the minute before and after where I have to lie perfectly still felt like an eternity. (Yes, this current treatment lasts only 16 seconds. I drive an hour a day for 16 seconds of treatment. Ugh!!)
I haven’t really thought about cancer that much this past 6 weeks, which is funny since my life revolves around radiation right now. This treatment hasn’t stopped me from doing anything, except maybe sleeping a few times. So it really has felt like a job. It’s only been the last few days it’s felt more like treatment and less like a job since my skin is really bothering me.
Yesterday, I switched to a different treatment room, where they are just targeting the two scars from my mastectomy and reconstructive surgeries. I call it the room the Spa Treatment Room…little did I know for the past 6 weeks, that the room just next to me had a large screen TV with calming pictures on it and relaxing music playing in the background. WHAT????
This is a much different view than I’ve had for the past 6 weeks!
Of course, this morning I went in and Johnny Cash was playing and “Track 11” was flashing on the screen. So maybe it’s only the spa room some days. I guess I will wait and see. 🙂
I’ve said before that it’s sometimes difficult to get up in the morning and go to my “job”. I haven’t had a job with set hours in 11 years, so this having to be out of the house each morning thing has taken some getting used to.
While I was really dreading it at first since I was worried it would rob me of my summer, like chemo and surgery robbed me of the school year, it’s actually been a really nice summer so far.
I LOVE routine! Our home operates much better when we have a routine going. Radiation has forced us to be on a routine Monday – Friday and has made the summer go much smoother (at least so far). The weather has been HORRIBLE, but the girls love going to someone’s house to play every morning and many afternoons we have fun plans as well.
It’s crazy to think that I’m over half way done with radiation.
This week has been a tough one. I just don’t want to get up and go in the morning. It’s not early. It’s not painful. It’s just ANNOYING! This week, I confess, I struggled with having a good attitude about going quite a few mornings.
I try to remind myself why I’m going every day…fighting for my life…more time with my family. Some days this work well. Other days (like ones when the girls are really difficult…like a few days this week) that line of thinking doesn’t work as well and I just have to pull myself out of bed and get moving.