Charlotte McGary & Sharon Faiola-Petersen
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Introduction by Sharon . . .

The characters in "The Dream Crystals of Gandara" experience many kinds of healing in their strange and wondrous world—the healing of broken bodies, fractured relationships, and aching hearts and souls. As you lose yourself in the pages of our book, we hope you, too, will find Gandara to be a uniquely healing place.

For Charlotte and me, the writing of "Dream Crystals" was a tremendously healing experience. Escaping into Gandara provided much-needed breaks from life's big and little traumas, and it helped give us the strength we needed when we faced our most painful challenges, including battles with breast cancer.

Believing that the power of healing (as with love and forgiveness) grows whenever it's freely given, I offer the following healing balm to you. Despite its silly name, it works seriously well. Please feel free to pass it along.

Sharon's Boob Balm For Radiation Burns

I developed this two-part, all-natural application to counteract the effects of radiation "sunburn" during my six-week radiation treatment. I used it every day and, by the end of treatment, my skin showed no signs of discoloration or damage. To my advantage, I am half Italian and rarely sunburn, so this formula might be best for those with a similar skin type. My friend Charlotte, who has extremely sensitive skin and burns very easily, took this formula and added a topical medication to it. Her variation follows mine.

Before proceeding: Please consult your radiation oncologist. Test for skin sensitivities by dabbing a small amount of each ingredient on the underside of your wrist. This report of personal experiences should not substitute for the professional advice of your healthcare provider.

Step 1: Apply pure lavender essential oil (must be all-natural, preferably of the Lavandula angustifolia variety)

Immediately following radiation—before getting re-dressed—sprinkle 4 to 6 drops (per breast) on your fingers and spread lightly over the entire radiated area, including your armpit. It will absorb almost instantly. (If your hands are extra dry, you may wish to use disposable gloves, so your fingers won't drink the oil!) The lavender essential oil should quickly soothe any burn-like effects and the scent should be calming. Caution: Essential oils are very concentrated. Always use sparingly.

Step 2, at least 1 hour after Step 1: Apply "All Good Goop" by Elemental Herbs (available at PCC, Whole Foods, Super Supplements, Pharmaca, or visit

Smear a thin layer of "Goop" over the affected area—a little goes a long way! Because this can be a bit messy, you may want to apply the salve after you've gotten home and out of your nice clothes. If "All Good Goop" is not available, look for an all-natural, organic salve (not a cream) with similar ingredients, including calendula (particularly healing)—all in a base that serves as a protective layer on your skin and will not absorb or disappear too quickly.

Charlotte's 3-Step Variation for Extra-Sensitive Skin


Follow Sharon's Boob Balm formula but add an extra step between Steps 1 and 2. Although Sharon recommends waiting at least an hour between each step, Charlotte's schedule wouldn't allow it, so she applied each step immediately after the other and still saw excellent results similar to Sharon's.

  • After Step 1: Apply about ½-1 tsp. of the over-the-counter medication, Miaderm Radiation Relief by Aiden Industries ( 877-642-7727). Your physician may be able to secure a free sample for you. Although not a natural product, two of its top ingredients are the traditionally healing botanicals calendula and aloe vera.

  • After using the Miaderm, proceed to Step 2 of Sharon's Boob Balm.

Sharon Faiola-Petersen and Charlotte McGary are both breast cancer survivors and former patients of radiation oncologist Eric W. Taylor, MD, of EvergreenHealth, Kirkland, WA. They are coauthors of the uplifting science fiction/fantasy novel, "The Dream Crystals of Gandara," available through Amazon. Sharon and Charlotte insist that the two radiating suns above the world of Gandara were part of the book long before either author had to deal with their own "glowing" orbs!

Paperback and Kindle editions available through

download a pdf of the full "boob balm for radiation burns" here.



Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center:

Biological Activities of Lavender:

Full article PDF

Essential Oil Therapies:

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia Miller):

Lavandula angustifolia Miller (English lavender):

* Aromatherapy experts suggest that the best lavender essential oil for healing burns comes from the "Lavandula angustifolia" species (also known as English Lavender).

* An inconclusive and controversial 2007 study indicated that lavender oil use over time might create a weak estrogen-like effect. However, there have been several rebuttals to those findings, particularly a 2009 study indicating no such effect. See:


National Assoc. for Holistic Aromatherapy:

Inst. of Integrative Aromatherapy:

Pacific Institute of Aromatherapy, Kurt Schnaubelt, Ph.D:

Also see Dr. Schnaubelt's blog:


Aroma Web:



Natural Standard:


National Consortium of Breast Centers:


American Cancer Society:

Cancer and Careers:

Cancer Care:

Cancer Information Service:

National Coalition of Cancer Survivors: