When I first started radiation therapy and got the low-down on what to expect, I was told that it would take a few weeks before my skin started to react. In my posting of the radiation process I did not talk much about how my skin was reacting, because it had only just started to react.
I’m a few weeks in now so I thought I’d post an update on all that. My skin has reacted exactly as expected – not worse, not better, but on schedule (of course!). When I went in for the mapping session, coming home with Sharpie all over me, I could see where I should expect the redness to appear. I started to notice some redness about two weeks ago, and it followed exactly the lines of the Sharpie – with nice straight lines between the red and not-red areas. In the “main” breastal area, it seems to have caused the pores themselves to be inflamed, creating a polka-dot effect.
It does not really hurt but it is itchy in spots. Bras are irritating; underwire-free bras are recommended, but I own very few of those. I’m finding my sports bras (which have underwire, but also have wide bands/straps) to be the most comfortable. Dr. Zap specifically said I should take my bra off when I get home, as if I weren’t doing that already and have been for … oh, let’s see … my ENTIRE LIFE. Duh.
Overall it’s really not that bad. I will take a little skin irritation over chemo any day, thank you very much. Twenty sessions down and only eight to go … but who’s counting???