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external radiation simulation

gracefuli
Posts: 2
Joined: Dec 2009

Monday i go for my external radiation simulation. Can you please share what this entails, besides a CT without barium. I'm to get 5 weeks external then 3 internal. I think they said that the internal setup would be closer to that time. And when do i need the dilator?

I also want to thank all of you who write regularly. I've been one of those readers- without posting before now. My sister thought I was making myself crazy, "reading all those stories that aren't you". But they all helped me be prepared when they surprised me with internal radiation. Yes, i'm nervous but not nearly as frightened as I would be without reading your notes before hand! Thanks again.
grace

Lisa 00
Posts: 116
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi Grace,
I will try to explain what goes on at the set up appointment for the external radiation as best I can remember.
Without your pants on they lay you down on this flat table with an x-ray head above your pelvis (don't worry, they should give you a paper gown). The doc will place a tube up in the vagina that is radio opaque so that they can visualize the vaginal cuff area (the top of the vagina). They will take a few x-rays then at the end place about 3 very tiny ink tattoos on your skin in the pelvic region.
Then you're pretty much done. It's really not bad at all. Stock up on immodium for the diarrhea that I got about 2 weeks in and it lasted the whole rest of the 5 weeks. I would just take it when I got up in the morning and things were pretty manageable.
Oh, and if you get urinary problems that feel like you have a urinary tract infection, get the tablets from the drug store that help alleviate that annoying problem.
Oh, and zofran will help if you feel nautious. Your radiologist can prescribe that.
They wait until the very end, after internal radiation, to give you the dilator.
Good luck!

gracefuli
Posts: 2
Joined: Dec 2009

Thank you so much. the oncol radiologist never said anything about a vaginal tube during the CT. I don't think he even mentioned the ink spots- although I believed this had to be part of it. I just don't like surprises like that!

Thank you! Was everyones experiance similiar to this?

Grace
Stage 3 grade 3

Lisa 00
Posts: 116
Joined: Jul 2009

Grace,
I would have thought that a couple of people would have chimed in by now to report their experience. But I think they passed because they probably didn't have much more to add. It's usually the internal radiation that people are worried about!
I think the docs don't tell you everything because they feel like they don't have the time to discuss it.
You'll be fine on Monday. Then your radiation won't even start for a few days or a week because they are doing their mapping out and programming for you.
Lisa

kkstef's picture
kkstef
Posts: 706
Joined: May 2008

Grace....if you go up to the search box.... Uterine cancer and type in external radiation simulation, you will find lots of comments by the women on this site who have experienced this.

Hope you find the experience better than anticipated!

Thinking of you! Karen

TiggersDoBounce's picture
TiggersDoBounce
Posts: 413
Joined: Oct 2009

Not everyone has the tube up the vagina step....

Grace, how long did it take the diarrhea symptoms to go away? I am in week 7 and really struggling....tell me it gets better...

Laurie

deanna14
Posts: 738
Joined: Oct 2008

By now you have already had simulation for your external rad. Not so bad, huh? The only thing I might add is about the diarrhea. I managed pretty well at not having too much after I figured out what I could and couldn't eat. The nurses told me to use imodium and let them know when I started having diarrhea. No if, but when... then they gave me some information on a low residue diet. That was the most helpful info they could have given me. I pretty much steered clear of fiber... then I didn't have too much more trouble with diarrhea. It was kind of hard as I love my fruits and veggies, but when you are finished you will gradually be able to tolerate fiber again.
The fatique was the hardest part for me. I seemed to go along pretty good for a few hours after radiation... then it was nap time. Be kind to your body and rest when you need it.
Good luck and God bless!
Hope this helps

susie1143's picture
susie1143
Posts: 109
Joined: Aug 2009

I haven't been on lately since I started my job. My Brachy ended November 13, 2009 and really no major problems. I agree to stock on Immodium since that diarhea was the worse. For me it lasted about 2 weeks. I find now I'm a little short winded but that could still be from surgery in Aug. I actually had a question for the ladies regarding starting exercising after brachy. It's been about 2 months and wasn't sure if I can start a exercise program.

As far as the dilator, the doctor will let you know when to use one. My doctor wasn't concerned about using the dilator since I am married and have sex on a regular basis. I joke with my husband and tell him that it's time for my physical therapy. Even so the nurse handed me one and I do use it every morning.

The hardest part for me was the not knowing. Some doctors do brachy inpatient and others outpatient. My doctor did outpatient and I only had 4 total treatments. The nurse was wonderful and tried her best to keep my covered.

Hope this helps,
Susie

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