Radiation can be pretty hard on your skin. After about ten sessions you will start to notice your skin changing.
In my case, it started with lots of little dots, that looked like moles. My skin started to gradually darken, it looked like I had been sunbathing, I got a tan. It would progressively get darker and darker.
My armpit was the first place it really started to burn, and my skin started to peel, it went from a bad sunburn to a real burn.
The burn area was spreading as my sessions went on. The skin was coming off, hanging and peeling.
The pain was increasing as well. Mainly in my armpit and on the side of my breast. Every time you move your arm, the skin would rub. I would wear very light and loose-fitting clothes.
Before treatment, the doctors recommend you start moisturizing your skin with Aloe Vera. I would put it on three times a day. I even took the tube of Aloe with me to my daily treatment session and slather it on as soon as I finished my session.
As my treatment progressed, the doctor prescribed Silver Sulfadiazine Cream. This stuff is amazing. You apply it to the wounds and burn and it immediately soothes the area. My skin would absorb the cream and slowly heal the skin. I would put the cream on multiple times a day and continues well after my treatment, until my skin was completely healed.
Another side effect I encountered from the radiation sessions was a sore throat. It began as a little irritation in the back of my throat, similar to when you start getting strep throat. It got a lot worse, pretty quickly, to the point when it was extremely painful the swallow. I felt like trying to swallow a Lego piece with all the sharp corners.
I ate lots of liquid foods at mostly room temperature or cold. Even warm tea was too much. The doctor recommended Aloe Vera gel to drink. I bought mine at whole foods. I put it in the fridge, so it was nice and cold. It would soothe my throat for a little bit.
Two or three weeks after radiation the pain slowly started to fade, and I was able to return to my regular diet.
Over a year later, you can still see some discoloration of my skin underneath the radiated breast and under my arm. No other scarring is visible, which is incredible from what it looked like at the end of my 25 sessions.
My throat has completely healed, but I do get heart burn more frequently which is most likely because the esophagus was impacted by the radiation.
Do you have any lasting symptoms from your radiation?