Ohhhhh We’re Half Way There (although Bon Jovi probably wasn’t referring to breast cancer radiation treatments!)

Friday marked the half way point for my radiation treatments – woot woot! And still, I have very little to report in the way of side effects. Remember the reflux that started on day 1? I added ginger to my diet here and there – the occasional piece of crystallized ginger (it’s covered in sugar so I don’t indulge too often), and fresh ginger thrown in recipes and steeped in my tea. I also started using homeopathic Stress Mints – 1 lozenge just before my treatment. I’m not sure if one or the other has helped, or the combination of the two. Heck, it could be a good old fashioned placebo effect and I don’t really care because I no longer have reflux! Good news all around because I didn’t have to take any of the prescription medication and that makes me smile! The ginger tea is simple:

Raw ginger
Peeled ginger – so far it’s pretty darn simple!

 

Cup of hot tea with ginger added.
Steep for about 10 min and enjoy!
You can also use just the ginger, but I like the blend.
Stress Mints from Whole Foods

I am getting quite a sunburn from the radiation though. The doc said it’s going to be pretty bad by week 6. Yikes. Here’s a photo of the burn so far (don’t worry, the bikini top is on…this is a family place)!

Arrows show tattoo dots. The burn is right in line with those.
The burn covers a square area over my left breast.

It’s getting itchy and uncomfortable enough that I’ve switched from my go-to favorite bra to a softer sport bra. My favorite has just a bit of scalloped edge at the bottom that irritates my skin. I purchased a maternity/nursing bra from Target and promptly returned it because the elastic band around the bottom really scratched. The one that is working best for me was neither in the maternity section nor in the athletic/sport section, although it looks like a sport bra to me. It was in with all of the other standard bras at Target. It’s very soft, and the elastic band around the bottom is wide and soft too. I first bought a size Small (appropriate for me under normal circumstances), but that became uncomfortably tight across the top. I was starting to go sans bra, but would rather avoid that if possible, so today I went back and bought a size Medium and it feels great!

Soft, comfy bra with wide band across bottom.
Nursing bra I returned.
Black elastic band across bottom was scratchy.

For the burn symptoms, I’ve been using Recovery Cream which is specifically made for people undergoing breast cancer radiation treatment. It definitely soothes the burn when I put it on and the relief lasts a good while. The cream was created by a woman with breast cancer who was suffering from severe skin burn due to radiation treatment and was not getting relief from any of the creams available at the time. My radiation oncologist provides me with all the Recovery Cream I need; the fact that it is doctor-approved makes it all the better. No need to worry about whether I’m using the right stuff.

And lastly, I did the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure yesterday! I’ve done the race (walk) sporadically in the past just to support the cause in general. This year was a liiiiittle more emotional and a great experience. But THAT, my dears, is another post all in itself! Coming soon!

Cheers!
Kelly