Preparing your life for radiation: Setting up the routine
The actual administration of radiation shouldn't be too painful. It does make require you to visit the cancer center daily, and does require you to kick-start a number of skin care routines.
The daily xRT appointment: You can ask your scheduler or radiation therapist to give you a consistent appointment every day that meets your schedule. Consistency really helped ensure I showed up on time.
Your radiation song: During the actual radiation appointment, I was able to request songs. Over time, the team knew what my songs were and it played while getting the treatment. It helped me calm myself and drown out the loud machine noises.
Post-radiation fatigue: It's real, and it's cumulative. It really does take a toll on the body. Scheduling naps, and allowing yourself to go to sleep early really helps. By the end of the week of radiation, I was exhausted. I learned the hard way that I had to go particularly slow on Thursdays and Fridays.
Daily workouts: Radiation can change the way your tissues connect to each other. Gentle stretching of the part you are getting radiated in can help ensure that long-term pain or soreness doesn't set it. Since I swim, my radiation oncologist recommended daily swimming, even a short time 10-15 minutes can make a world of a difference. I scheduled that into the day.
Soaps, deodorants and sunscreen: Radiation forced me to detox my toiletries. My care team wanted me to switch to "fragrance-free", "paraben-free" and "aluminum-free" everything. The rationale was that we needed to ensure that there were no chemicals in the products that would affect the effectiveness of radiation.
After doing a bunch of research, I ended up purchasing these products from amazon/CVS/target.
These products have of course come to become part of my daily life now. I am still doing a lot of research on other product options for those of us going through radiation, and of course cancer care broadly.