Sunday, January 29, 2012

Two and half years since radiation

Was trying to find out when I finished radiotherapy or radiation as everyone tends to call it, when I discovered this blog didn't have a search function. So have now added it.
I now know my last radiation was on June 22 2009, which makes it two and a half years ago.
Why I wanted to know is that about three months ago, I noticed these broken veins below my collarbone on the left side, where I had radiation. They have increased a little since I first noticed them but aren't a big deal. When I pointed this out to The Tango Man at my last visit, which was three months ago so this must have been about three and a half to four months ago that I first noticed them, he said that about 10 years or so ago this was how all radiation patients reacted, and all over the radiated area. He said patients would be amazed when he could tell them during which period they had had radiation.
That part of my chest, well really the neck area above it, is still a little itchy at times and I still use the cream the radiation oncologist recommended at the time, after I had used a cortisone-enriched cream (the pharmacist made it according to her precription).
And then of course I have borderline lymphedema from the radiation which really flares up badly if I travel long distance and which is often a hassle but is mostly ok. But it does mean I do manual lymph drainage massage twice a day, about 40-50 minutes in the morning, and 10 minutes at night. So guess radiation has impacted on my life in a big way but it is all manageable provided I don't have to wear the compression sleeve which I don't like at all, not least cos it means I can't just wear the clothes I wish to.
This is a pic taken today of my broken capillaries - is that the best way to describe them? Not sure...
Then this pic is of my general chest area on the left. It looks far worse in the pic than in real life. It looks so pink and with so many marks. The radiation oncologist did tell me that those marks were latent sun damage that the radiotherapy brought to the fore. I hardly ever go into the sun so that just brought it out as it was unblemished before. But really it's not a big deal. Just wanted to document it, not moan or alarm people, and really this pic seems to have done the opposite. Oh dear! Maybe click onto it to enlarge it; then it doesn't look so bad!


  1. I have the exact same thing on my left side...below the collarbone. I was severely burned by my radiation and then after proceeded to have reconstruction which did not take to well due to the burns. Wearing anything low cut shows it but goes on and it could be worse:)

  2. Ja, mine is also below the collarbone. I, on the other hand, was not burnt at all my the radiation treatment. Nothing, apart from an itchiness and a black mark below my armpit which lasted about 6 weeks. I know these photos look awful but really you can hardly see mine. Agree, "life goes on and it could be worse".