Discovering my 'new normal' after breast cancer diagnosis at 34.
Showing posts with label radiation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label radiation. Show all posts

12 July 2011

RBWH: Radiation Planning

I took some photos of my skin after my radiation planning session, which took place at my hospital, the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital (RBWH), on 16 June 2009.

The main thing I remember from the session was having to lie VERY STILL and that it was COLD in the room. One of the technicians had lovely warm hands, which made a huge difference to my comfort. I got my little tattoos that day - you can see one tiny blue dot on my sternum and one under my arm. The tattoos didn't hurt: just a prick with a needle and a dab with some ink and they were done.

What's really interesting is that later, when the skin became red from the treatment, the red marks are EXACTLY within these lines. They said it would be accurate, and the were right! NB Blue patch is still from the SNB dye on 13 Feb 2011.

You can see more photos of my treatment on my website:

11 April 2011

Radiation: Skin Basics

With radiation therapy, I found the key was to moisturise moisturise moisturise ... everywhere!

The products I found most useful were the "Skin Basics" range, which you can buy in most pharmacies and even in some supermarkets.

1. Aqueous Lotion
I used this for washing the sensitive skin during radiation therapy. I started using it long before the skin became thin and red so I could adjust to it. It's not like a normal shower gel or cleanser in that it doesn't foam, so that took some getting used to. But it was lovely and soft on my skin AND I have since found that it is perfect for shaving my legs! I chose the pump bottle because it was easy to use in the shower.

Ingredients:  Purified Water, Paraffin Soft white, Paraffin Liquid, Emulsifying Wax-anionic, Phenoxyethanol.

2. Sorbolene Cream
I used the rich cream as a moisturiser after showering and after treatment. I didn't know how much of my skin was being radiated when treatment started and my advice for anyone would be to moisturise absolutely everywhere near and around the treatment area. I missed a patch and you can see on my photos that it's much redder and more raw than other parts of my skin. I chose the 100% pure cream in a tub. I used it a lot and I didn't want any additional ingredients such as glycerine, aloe vera or vitamin E. (I also used this product prior to radiation to moisturise my hands and feet when I was taking Taxotere.)

Ingredients: Purified Water, Paraffin Light Liquid, Paraffin Soft white, Cetomacrogol 1000, Cetostearyl Alcohol, Propylene Glycol,  Diazolidinyl Urea, Methyl Hydroxybenzoate, Propyl Hydroxybenzoate

3. Zinc and Caster Oil
I wasn't able to use this until after my treatment had finished, but it was a wonderful thick and heavy moisturiser which made my skin feel, although heavy and greasy, nice and cool and healing.

Ingredients: Zinc Oxide 75mg/g.
Also contains Peanut (Arachis) Oil, Castor Oil 500mg/g, Cetostearyl Alcohol, Beeswax White.