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Internal Radiation

LoveMyBabies
Posts: 9
Joined: Sep 2009

Hi
I was diagnosed with cervical cancer June 09. My husband was deployed to Afghanistan at the time and I was home with my then 8 year old son and 6 month old daughter. I am 27 years old.
Fast Forward to today...I have had surgery. I was to have a radical hysterectomy but once inside there was a mass of cancerous lymphnodes, 15 were removed and I didn't have the hysterectomy. Recently I had another PET and it showed that it is still in my right pelvic lymphnodes and has spread to the left side as well. I am in the middle of treatment as of now. Tomorrow I will have my 4th of 6 low dose chemo treatments. (cisplatin) and my 15th external radiation treatment. Last Friday I set up to begin internal radiation the beginning of December. 1x week for 5 weeks. While continuiing my external radiation...which I believe I will still not be finished until January. I asked last week how long my treatment will last and was told 10 weeks.
Anyhow I am curious about the internal radiation, it was explained pretty thoroughly but I'd like to hear some of ya'lls experiences.
I did have an exam last week and my dr said that the tumor on my cervix has shrunk and isn't bleeding anymore. I cried I was so happy. This has been so overwhelming.

beckyracn's picture
beckyracn
Posts: 323
Joined: May 2009

Love,
I'm sorry to hear you've had such a run a bad luck this year. Sounds like your experience is a lot like mine. I had 5 internal treatments. It went very smoothly. It felt a little invasive the first time, but the nurses and doc were wonderful. There are several different ways of receiving this treatment. For me, I had a minor surgical procedure where they sewed a device onto my cervix, to hold the rod in place, that stayed in place for the duration of the treatments. Never felt it there. They did most of the set up work on one table, then a group of them would move me onto another table that I would remain on until the treatment ended. Here they inserted the rest of the devices and took the pics to confirm placement. Throughout this I had nurses with me, and could have had a friend/family with me. Then they all disappear and the treatment begins. Lasts only a short time. Then they come in and disassemble you and off you go. If you are experiencing any discomfort, you can receive pain meds. They want you to be as comfortable as possible. You can't eat anything on the days prior to treatments, but I could drink clear liquids up to 4 hours prior. On my follow up 1 week after these treatments ended, they introduced me to my dilator. I had not been informed of this prior. The treatments cause a lot of scar tissue, so you will have to use the dilator on a regular basis or have intercourse to keep the scar tissue at bay-thus preventing the vaginal canal from filling up with scar tissue. I did not find this treatment harsh at all. I cannot tell you if it caused any side effects, because I was already experiencing multiple problems for the external radiation and chemo. I hope your journey goes well.
((HUGS))

LoveMyBabies
Posts: 9
Joined: Sep 2009

Thank you for responding. I'll be in and out the same day. I believe they said it'd take a total of 3 hours. Mostly for setting up. I'll be given an IV with decadron sp?? and something else. A cathetor also I believe. Something about some little gold seeds or balls? I cannot remember will be inserted and I think he said they would stay in until my last treatment, I'm unsure. I was told all of this a couple weeks ago so its not fresh in my mind.
My first treatment will be the day after a round of chemo because they moved my date. I'm afraid I'm not going to be feeling well enough for it. Since this week I have been vommiting from the chemo.
I just can't wait to get through with this
(((HUGS))) to you as well

Lorikeet
Posts: 3
Joined: Nov 2009

I was diagnosed with cervical cancer in January, and had 5 weeks of external radiation as well as 5 weeks of cisplatin. I cancelled the 6th week because it was scheduled at the same time as my first internal radiation treatment. (I had two.) The internal radiation treatments for me entailed a hospital stay of two nights. I had a catheter because I wasn't supposed to get out of bed. In fact, I wasn't supposed to move much either. The first time I was so afraid of moving and dislodging the material that I managed to get a bedsore. The second time I was smarter, and asked if I could move from side to side a bit as long as I kept my legs together, and the doctor said that would be okay. The worst part was being unable to move much for three days. I brought a book, but I didn't sleep so well, and the clock never seemed to move much. I've heard other people who have apparently done this with some kind of out patient procedure. I don't know why they decide to do it one way or the other.

kellygr's picture
kellygr
Posts: 8
Joined: Nov 2009

I was diagnosed with cervical cancer Dec 2008.
I was also to have a radical hysterectomy but 3 lymphnodes out of the 36 that were removed came back possitive from path, 2 from the left pelvic and 1 from the left. Staging my cancer at 2B.

Treatment to follow was 6 low dose chemo treatments. (cisplatin). My counts crashed dangerously after only 3 treatment stalling both chemo and radiation. I was never able to resum chemo again after that, but concluded the full 40 external radiation treatments and flew through the 5 internal radiation treatment without any physical issues. . .

Now I will not sugar coat this for you at all. I wouldn't be doing you any favors. For me, the first time I stepped into the "radiation suite", I wanted to run away screaming in fear. (I'd been told what 'they were going to do', but I was never shown the room or the equipment until the day of my first treatment.)
Please! Please! Please! Do yourself a favor and ask to see the space and the tools before that first treatment. I cried silently all the way through that first treatment only because my mind and my eyes scared me more then what was really happening to me. Really there was no pain involved at all. The medical staff was there with me the whole way. . . .even tho I was in the room alone, they talked to me on speaker and even stopped once for me because I had a cramp in my leg that they came in and massaged away.

My advice. Don't hesitate to tell your medical team exactly what you are feeling - when you are feeling it. Be comfortable, be confident.

At my 3 month follow-up I was declared CANCER FREE! 100% CURED. (Really, I had my doc repeat that to me 3 times). My PET Scan was clear. My cervix back to "normal Size". I cried all the way as I drove home from that appointment. . . .Just hearing the word 'normal'. I was then and am now 'normal' and although I always strove to be different and extraordinary, I cherish that 'normal' as if it was and is the gift of life.

yoyobrown
Posts: 8
Joined: Nov 2009

internal radiation for me was very hard,because I was told it was like a pap smear. when it was like surgery. i don't mean to sound negative, but there was so many things going on to me too place the implants in... i was in pain, i could not wait for it to be over. know its been 1 1/2 and I fill bad because it damage all my female organs, i did not know it at the time, I did not know it was going to do all that. I'm glad the cancer is gone but i'm left with feeling less as women, sex for me is horrible, its just a lot of problems. but good luck, every one bodies are different.

pebbles4814
Posts: 5
Joined: Dec 2009

you said you were starting internal the first week of December. How are you handleing it all. i hope you are better then me. my nurses where great and tried everything to take my mind off what they were doing but it still was the hardest thing i have ever in my life gone through. hope you are doing well. what to talk hit me up.
pwise813@sc.rr.com

LoveMyBabies
Posts: 9
Joined: Sep 2009

I'm sorry I didn't know I had a msg here. I have had 2 internals, they were not so bad. I did them without any pain medication. Only somewhat painful but I could handle it. I had to reschedule 3 of them due to my vomitting, or my daughter sick...and no babysitter LOL But I have them all set up. I have 4 more external and I will finish up with that next wednesday. So far they have me scheduled for one internal every week over the next couple weeks, ending it at jan. 22nd.
So far I have some GI problems and vomit some. I'm wondering if that will get worst over the next few months or will eventually get better?
Will time heal what has been damaged ?

pebbles4814
Posts: 5
Joined: Dec 2009

i cant tell you it will get better. i have been done with radiation for about 6 months now. i dont know if what i am feeling is because of the treatment or because i am just out of shape.
i can no longer sit indian style. it is hard for me to put on socks because my hips hurt when i try and put my leg on my knee. well my hip joint does. and now when i sckawt down to do something like start a fire or anything i get a charlie horse my hip joint.
my back always hurts and my shoulder has been hurting now for about a month. not sure what to make of all it. maybe if i would get my lazy ass off the couch and work out some they wouldnt hurt. so i dont know. As for the GI problems they do go away with time.
I am still learning as i go as to what to expect with treatment.
good luck to you. you will be in my prays.
paige

beckyracn's picture
beckyracn
Posts: 323
Joined: May 2009

Paige,
I'm having the same problems with my hips and knees. I spoke with my oncologist about it on my last visit and he says he doesn't believe it has anything to do with the treatments. I didn't have it before the treatments...it started during the treatments...I've seen alot of others posting that they've experienced the same thing.

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