I Have A Stripper’s Tan




…well, let’s just say I have a stripper’s tan if she’s ashamed of one boob and keeps that side of her chest covered at all times. I am officially half way through radiation. 16 down, 17 to go, maybe… You know I’m a difficult patient. The last 3 treatments are supposed to be what are known as “radiation boosts” to the mastectomy scar. Apparently, breast cancer likes to recur in that region.


The term “radiation boost” does not inspire joy in my heart. I think the amount I’m getting right now is quite sufficient. Not really seeing a need for a bonus round. Of course, I’ll be reading all about it and asking lots of questions after which my poor radiation oncologist will run screaming for the local bar. And to think he didn’t drink before he met me!


Seriously, though, my skin has held up pretty well so far. At my appointment on Monday, the doctor called it a “mild reaction”. He asked what kind of lotion I was using. I told him that I had created a special concoction based on some reading I’d done. Specifically, I have been mixing Arnica gel, Bach’s Rescue Remedy cream and Traumeel gel in equal parts in a cold cream jar. I apply this liberally 4 times per day. I follow this with Miaderm except at bedtime, when I use cocoa butter.


It’s a little like learning the play book for a new NFL gig, I know, but it has gotten me to this point fairly intact. And one thing I love about Dr. Rad is that he listens without arrogance. His comment was “Well, we can’t argue with success. Keep doing whatever you’re doing.”




A Very Bad Day at the Beach

I feel pretty lucky so far. The lady who comes to treatment right before me every day has had a terrible time with her skin. She said that after about the tenth round she was so red that her skin blistered and started weeping. She’s burnt front and back and feels like she’s on fire constantly. And…as a special treat…she gets to do chemo at the same time! What torture will they come up with next?


Over the past few days, one area on my upper chest has been getting more irritated and red, but this is skin that was frequently exposed to the sun over the summer months and had developed a nice tan. I read that the epidermis cells take longer to recuperate in these spots. So, I’ve added some comfrey salve for healing and some hydrocortisone cream for itching.


In these next few weeks I’ll be busy deciding whether or not to get on the Tamoxifen train. Decisions, decisions. I’m so tired of having to make them. I wish my biggest decision this month would be whether to have the pumpkin pie or the apple





4 thoughts on “I Have A Stripper’s Tan

  1. I was happy to have fared pretty well, without any creams or anything Sounds like you might have a concoction you can market! There were a few of us who all went around the same time, and I was shocked at how bad some of them reacted. I, too, met a woman who was in tears because of the pain. Blistering skin, like she had been scalded. I felt so bad for her. They did let her stop for a while. I think of her often and wonder how she made out.

    • It’s funny you mention it. The doctor actually said “maybe you can sell this stuff and get rich”. I told him I thought that would be fair considering what I’ve had to go through.

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