Okay, I’m getting close! 80% done (sorry long post)!
Nothing new to report for days 22 and 23 of radiation, other than I’m having some delayed side effects from chemo. My bottom eyelashes are starting to fall out and my fingernails are splitting and falling off. Ugh! Thankfully, I have most of my top eyelashes, but there are big gaps on the bottom where I used to have lashes. My nails actually started splitting and breaking off a week ago. I desperately tried to fix them with nail glue, but that was only a temporary fix.
Day 24: I’m definitely burned. My skin is super red, its uncomfortable, and I’m horrified looking at myself. It is especially bad underneath my armpit. Thankfully, since Monday is the 4th of the July, the offices are closed and I get 3 full days off from radiation. My radiation techs gave me more samples of Xclair, so hopefully that should help too.
Day 25: Today was the last day of receiving radiation to my entire breast. The next 10 rounds will be targeted to where my lump was. Everyone in the office keeps referring to this switch over as the “boost”. I’m not sure if that is medical slang or what. However, once I start receiving my boost, it should give my skin underneath my armpit and directly underneath my breast a break. My doc is out on vacation this week, but I briefly met with a nurse practitioner because the techs were so concerned about my burns. I was given a prescription for another ointment called Silvadine.
In between treatment day 25 and day 26, I got another break for 1 day. My mentality has changed a little bit and I’m definitely welcoming these breaks. Even though I wasn’t getting treatment on this day, I still had to go in for imaging. The techs will use the images to map out my more targeted treatments around the lumpectomy site. They also drew a bright purple circle like figure around my scar. I’m not allow to scrub that area or apply lotions to it and I’m supposed to wear old bras for the next few weeks because the purple ink may rub off. It is quite interesting when I look at this new piece of artwork. After my images were done, I met with the nurse (Jen) and a fill in doctor. Jen took a look at me and exclaimed, “Wow, you look great!” What? That’s completely opposite of everyone else’s reactions. She did note that my skin is peeling, but didn’t feel that Silvadine was required 3 times per day. Jen said that 1 application once a day only to the peeled/exposed areas should be fine. Other than that, I can continue with Aquaphor and/or A&D ointment as needed. The doc that came in and basically said the same thing.
Beach House Olympics (possibly a separate post) fell in between treatment days 27 and 28. And guess what? I went in the pool. It actually felt great to jump in and get wet. I also sat out in the sun on Sunday for about an hour and a half and didn’t feel like the sun was burning me up. Of course, I did all of this with caution – lathered up with lots of sunblock and Aquaphor to the radiated areas.
Day 28: Since my radiation treatment has switched over to the “boost”, I’ve noticed that my skin is definitely improving. I’m not using the Silvadine a whole lot – just in places where my skin has peeled and where a few small blisters have scabbed over. Everything is still really dry and peely, but it no longer feels like a burn. I met with my doctor and nurse today. They both said my skin looks good and sent me on my way. Next week, the doc is seeing patients on Friday, but my treatment ends on WEDNESDAY, JULY 20!!! So, I’ll just have to wait until mid August to see him for a follow-up.
7 more days to go – it’s almost over!