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The radiation machine and me

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Radiation Graduation!!

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Masking up for radiotherapy

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Even the burns from radiation couldn't ruin this moment!

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Oh the things we endure on our quest for a cure. I was in this thing as many days as Noah was on the ark. Worth every minute.

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For all our Ladies in WhatNext land. We need your help.

What practical tips can you give for someone preparing to have radiation after having a lumpectomy?

Please post your answers below. And as always, thanks so much for your help in supporting others on their journey!

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Pinocchio Waffleface! Look at that nose! Great picture of my head during CyberKnife treatment today. Fortunately I only required one day of treatment. I now have the mask at home with me as a war trophy and can wear it this Halloween to scare the daylights out of everyone.

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Did you get marked up for Radiation Treatments? Did it bother you to walk around with these marks all over you, did you feel like a circus exhibit?

What were some of the questions people asked about them?

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How many of you have had the priviledge of wearing one of these?

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Osteoradionecrosis...Have you ever heard of it? Me either until my oncologist told me I couldn't have my teeth pulled because the Radiation that had saved my life, would cause the jawbone to not heal, and in turn cause Necrosis, or rottening of the jawbone where the teeth had been pulled.

When you have Radiation treatment to the Jaw, face or throat area there is a good chance your jaw bone will be exposed to the Radiation. When this happens, the Saliva Glands are damaged if not killed off completely, your mouth doesn't stay moist with natural saliva, which in turns causes advanced decay of your teeth. Even with regular normal dental care the teeth decay.

The answer now has been to go ahead and pull your teeth before having Radiation treatment to your Head and Neck area, this way there will be no problems with tooth decay, and needing to pull one or all of your teeth. If you do decide to try to have them pulled, Hyperbaric Oxygen treatments are suggested by the Oncologists. This will infuse oxygen into your body and encourage the jawbone to heal. However, it is a very expensive treatment, often not covered by insurance. One quote was $48,000.00 for 30 treatments.

So for me, I am on an experiment process. Teeth are being surgically removed, a couple at a time, and the healing process is being watched. If all goes well, I will be able to have them all taken out.

So the word of advice here, is ask your medical team about your dental situation. Should you have your teeth removed?

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