How It Healed (Radiation Edition)

WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES

Post-op you may have read How It Healed that chronicled the progress of my incision and drain removal as it healed up, so I thought that it was only fair if I created one for my skin toxicity and it’s recovery from radiation.

I was unbelievably spared by the grace of God that my skin didn’t get any worse than it did.  Through radiation treatment, radiation is passing through your skin and is measured out so that it hits an intended area on and around where you cancer is or in my case, was. The below pictures make it quite easy to see the totality of where I was being treated as well. The area went from slightly above my ear on the cheek side, all the way down my cheek, across to my chin, over my ear, and down the majority of my neck to my collarbone.

Now while I was definitely blessed to not have it as badly as some patients,  I’m not going to lie and tell you it didn’t get pretty nasty and didn’t hurt like fiery hell throughout the process, but I made it with LOTS of cream, carefulness, and strategic sleeping.

So now as of today, I’m two weeks out from my last treatment and I’m almost completely healed up. My skin is soft as a little baby and slightly pink like one too. And I’m going to enjoy that as long as I possibly can. It’s kind of magical and has me wishing my whole face was like that, but you couldn’t pay me to have my whole face radiated. Nope, we’re done with radiation FOREVER.

Here goes…a whole lot of healing and a whole lot of graphic pictures of the process.

IMG_3383
October 14: This was the weekend before my last week of treatment. My skin had just started getting to the point of feeling raw.
52987329712__5F04997A-AFC0-4B02-B98E-5517B6303CC7
October 16: On the way to work that Monday. My face was on FIRE that day because of how raw and exposed it was getting and how quickly it was drying out even putting cream on it several times a day.

 

IMG_3412
October 17: You can see the beginnings of the dead skin detaching itself and starting to slough off. My ear was also getting extra crunchy on the inside.

 

img_3418.jpg
October 19: One of the grosser pictures I have of my neck and the day before my last day of treatment. Every morning I woke up with it looking similar to this after the Glucan cream being on it all night. The Glucan works to slough off the dead skin cells to help with skin regeneration. And in return…it creates this yucky mess that I had to clean off (verrryy carefully) in the shower. I learned quickly that it bleeds easily.

 

IMG_0053
October 20: LAST DAY OF TREATMENT. I was so super cooked at this point that everything was just dry, scabby, and tight that moving my head was a struggle and it felt like my neck just might rip open.

 

img_3478.jpg
October 20: So in my undertreat visit on my last day, Dr. Spencer gave me cuticerin gauze to wrap my neck and face up in at night. It is medicated gauze that I was to use to care for my skin as I healed up…which means I went to bed looking like this every night. Poor K.T.

 

IMG_4565 2
October 21: Day 1 post RT. The edges of the treatment area have sharpened and the redness seems more concentrated. However, this was actually a remarkable improvement from the night before.
IMG_3493
October 23: Day 3 post RT. Redness starting to dissipate especially towards the chin area and my lower neck. Scabs starting to form and some peeling starting too under my chin.

 

img_3495.jpg
October 24: Day 4 post RT. More scabbing and skin flaking off. Chin is nearly healed up and looking more normal. Earlobe is pretty much a marshmallow. Wasn’t totally sure it was still pierced at this point.

 

IMG_3517
October 25: More scabbing. Looking gnarly but the redness is actually much better in the surrounding areas. If you look closely, you can see how crusty my ear had gotten too

 

IMG_3529
October 27: Scabbed skin has come off somewhat. Affected area still shrinking a bit by day and thankfully getting less painful.

 

img_3530.jpg
November 2: Nearly two weeks post RT and I’m almost all healed up. You can barely even see my surgery scar too!

 

One thought on “How It Healed (Radiation Edition)

Comments are closed.