Saturday, January 23, 2010

Why I boiled my sports bras...

When I began radiation, I was handed a 2 page document of treatment instructions. As I read the list, I was horrified to learn that I wouldn't be able to shave my armpits, wear deodorant or use my favorite lavender body wash during treatment.  What I didn't know was that one of my battles would be with aquaphor.

If you've been through radiation, you may know what I'm talking about. I dreaded putting the stuff on. It's thick and greasy and gross. My instruction sheet had me applying it 3 times a day. YUCK, YUCK and YUCK.

I learned to use one hand to do the greasing. This was after an unfortunate incident. I got locked in a changing room. My hands were too greasy to get the doorknob to turn.

Next thing I learned was that everything sticks to aquaphor. Make sure you are well covered if you are eating popcorn.

I should have known better than to put my greasy camis in the washer and dryer. It turned out that they transfered grease stains to my other clothes.

I then resorted to hand washing them in my bathroom sink. This lead to several clogs and lots of plunging. On a related note, my bathtub got clogged too from my daily showers.

In my last weeks of rads I finally had it all figured out. I took out a big cauldron, filled it with water and detergent, and boiled my sports bras and camis. When the water cooled, I was able to skim the grease off the top of the water with a paper towel, saving my pipes from doom.

I am now 3 weeks post rads and have applied aquaphor for the last time. I was thrilled to find out that continued application was part of my post-treatment instructions. Despite my complaining, I am really surprised at how quickly my skin healed. I was back in a bra a week after treatment ended. Aside from a slight tan (scars and tattoos not included) there's really no difference. Aquaphor really worked miracles for my skin.



  1. I was not recommended Aquaphor by name but was recommended to moisturize. So I used Cetaphil, not too greasy and easy to apply. It also worked well for my skin. I still moisturize (2 1/2 yeasr later) this area every morning just to help keep the skin more supple.

  2. I never heard of the stuff, but used a Chinese burn ointment that was just as messy and pretty stinky. I brought plastic wrap with me & covered the affected area before getting dressed so it protected my clothes. WetOnes (or something similar)helped me clean up so I could turn the doorknob!