Jun 17, 2009 - 2:16 pm
One down and 2 to go! I feel fine and a little silly for how much I've stressed worrying about this, dreading it even more than my chemo. It's quite an experience, and seems to be a little different for each of us who have it done. My total time at the hospital was 1 hour, and total time the radioactive material in my body was a little over 7 minutes. I had to get into a hospital gown, naked from the waist down. In 1 room I had another positioning CT-scan, (which I will get each time). An oncologist inserted the vaginal cylinder I was fitted with at my simulation. During the CT-scan they stopped twice to jiggle and poke the vaginal cylinder in deeper to make it match up with the 'simulation CT-scan' that I had 2 weeks ago in preparation for this. Once they had a scan they liked, they slid me onto a gurney with the tube still in and the piece of the table below me also slid onto the gourney, I guess so I wouldn't jiggle out of position. They wheeled me into the next room with the thick doors and the 'radioactive symbols everywhere and hooked up a wire into the cylinder that would robotically deliver the radioactive material when they were ready. A special 'physics' oncologist came in to geiger-counter me and explain how many seconds the radioactive material would be in me and what to expect in the way of noise, sensation, and flashing lights. I was all supported with comfy pillows (and I'm very flexible from decades of doing yoga), so I wasn't uncomfortable but it seemed like it took them forever to get ready to start the treatment. I found myself tensing up and had to consciously make myself relax my legs muscles and neck muscles and my adenaline was pumping as I lay there. The treatment itself was just a vibrating noise and a little pressure. Then the physics-onc came back in to geiger-counter me again to make sure I wasn't radioactive, and the tech removed the cylinder and helped me down from the table. My legs were a little wobby from the stress (all mental, not physical), but I feel just fine. No burning or cramping.
I don't get my dilators until after the last treatment. The nurse explained that the body will try to heal itself from the radiation by producing fibrous tissue, and you just have to make sure that doesn't happen. I plan to use the 'natural' method AND the dilators because I want to be ME again as soon as possible. But, so far, so good. I can do this 2 more times.