lindsy matthews breast cancer radiation therapy

Radiation wasn’t so rad PT 2

It felt like I was always at the Cancer Centre… because I was. I was there every day for radiation, once a week I met with my radiation oncologist to discuss how it was going and to treat any of the effects, I still had Herceptin every 3 weeks, had to do regular diagnostic testing, and was still dealing with the aftermath of my chemotherapy. Basically, life was super fun!

 

For the first few weeks, I barely felt any effects of the radiation. Yes, my skin started to look more and more red as time went on, as if I was getting a bad sunburn… but meh, manageable.

 

I had a few days where the fatigue was very strong. The technicians and doctors were constantly checking in on me about this, because it can be quite intense for some people. They say about 15% of patients have fatigue so strong it prevents them from being able to function normally. It is an immune response, where your body is kicked into overdrive to manage what’s going on… But overall, for me it wasn’t a big deal most of the time.

 

I was able to continue exercising, do life, raise kids, see friends, and all that fun stuff. I even started teaching bootcamp once a week again, just to get back on the field! It felt amazing to get out there and do my thing, feel normal and see some of my clients again after almost 7 months!

 

     

 

But then in the last two weeks things started to escalate, and my skin started to change – a lot. Every day I could feel it getting tighter and tighter around my temporary implant… and my skin started to bubble, scab and get to an almost purple colour. You could see the rectangle shape where the radiation entered my body, and there was even a rectangle on my upper back where the beam came in at a different angle.

 

     

 

This is when I had to get really serious about how I took care of the area, and it began to slow me down.

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