Tips During Radiation

Where does emu oil come from? An emu!

Thanks Google Image for photo

The list of  “don’t do” seems long and limiting. Ask your doctor if you have any questions—even if you think they’re dumb. Ask about your risks. Ask about your treatment plan. Ask. Ask. Ask. For me, radiation was psychologically tougher than other aspects of cancer treatment. The aspect of radiation marker tattoos (to ensure the exact same spot is radiated daily) was very close to a deal breaker for me.

Take it seriously—but lighten up. Listen to yourself—but stop the monkey mind (the mind that jumps from one thought to another.) Trust your medical team—but don’t abdicate your participation on that team.

These are tips that helped me, or that I’ve heard. Ask your doctor before using them. At first, my radiology oncologist wasn’t crazy about the idea of my using emu oil everyday after radiation. He worried the oil may stay on my body, and intensify any chance of my skin burning. We came to an agreement and I used 99% aloe vera gel and emu oil throughout the day for two months. I didn’t burn or peel. After radiation treatment completed, I stopped aloe vera (which is not a moisturizer) and continued moisturizing my skin with emu oil for another month throughout everyday. My skin looks and feels silky smooth. Instead of itching, I “tapped” or “Tarzaned” the skin that itched. Immediately let your doctor know of any changes to your skin —color, infection, itchiness. Keep them in the loop with what  you are doing/using on your body. Drink lots of water, too.

As for shaving the treated area, don’t. And wait until your skin has recovered after treatment before you shave that area. If you have to shave the treated area, ask your doctor. They may suggest an electric razor. I’ve had so many “lucky twists” in my experience with cancer. Two years earlier without knowing I’d have radiation, and be told not to shave, I had laser hair removal in my axilla (armpit.) I rarely shave now. I shaved once before radiation began—and when my skin healed. Like I said, it was one of my “lucky twists” in this journey.


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