I always thought : you get the lumpectomy and that's over. Then you get the radiation. Then that's over. Nope.
I went into radiation with a healing lumpectomy incision. After some radiation, the incision got red and looked a little puckery. (A favorite radiation therapist told me the radiation sometimes makes the incision look better.)
Since my surgeon had only sent me to meet the radiation oncologist, he was surprised at my two month followup to learn that I'd already had radiation. By that meeting, we both thought my incision looked good. When I mentioned the little jabs of pain in the breast that seemed to be near the surgery site, he reassured me that happens and might go on for awhile.
I had hoped to meet the medical oncologist before the surgery checkup, but hadn't been able to work it out. The surgeon agreed that I could call him after seeing the medical oncologst.
The medical oncologist looked briefly at the radiated breast, and I thought I saw a quick frown. He asked me what I had used and I told him Eucerin, and that while the marks and stickers were on, I had used the Eucerin Aquaphor,which he was familiar with.
Now I look at the breast and the nipple is still red and sensitive. (The nipple had been removed for exploratory surgery decades ago, but that my or may not be significant now.)
Also, my old faithful dermatitis is back under my arms, and for some reason, I have some itching along the top of my breast near that area, as well as under my bra band. Since one radiological oncologist said cortisone was okay, I'm using it on the nipple and breast itch, as well as I always do on my dermatitis. Also, when putting on the cortisone, I feel that the area around the incision, which is the area of the boost, seems to have less sensation than the rest of the breast.
I guess I'll do another anthropology dig through the pile of radiation literature from the Cancer Center, and see if there are clues. One big remaining question: what exactly was on that "release" I signed after radiation? Does that mean I never call the radiation oncologist for anything? Guess that's okay.
Tuesday, if there's no improvement, I'll call for an appointment with the surgeon.