Radiotherapy is various forms of ionizing radiation directed to different degrees of penetration to the tissue. Time exposure varies depending on the depth or sensitivity of the cancer. It is totally painless. Throughout this treatment I was happy and buoyant.
All was fine until a week after the final treatment. The area which had been treated, (the whole left side of my chest) was by now showing as third degree burns and looking very angry.
I was very emotional for the next two weeks as the burns began peeling. Any clothes stuck to the burn site and caused greater painful peeling. When asking what other women in this situation do, I was told that they just put up with it! To which I replied, 'I am not a "put up with it" person!'
This situation led me to create what I called "my contraption". I built a frame using bamboo sticks and small cardboard rolls and taped it to my body to hold my clothing away from the burn site.
I replaced it daily after my shower. It worked perfectly and life was again more than bearable. My Oncologist and Radiotherapist were amazed at my ingenuity, even took a photo for the record! My spirits again returned to buoyancy.
When healing was complete I was fitted with a silicone prosthesis to wear in my bra. It was weighted to balance with my remaining breast and I was very grateful to look whole again, if only from the outside. I could see there would be drawbacks especially with the active life I wanted to get back to, riding horses and doing fairly physical things around the property.
I rejoiced and said goodbye to it when gowning up for my reconstruction surgery.