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what can I aspect from radiation for uterine cancer

TexasAnya
Posts: 9
Joined: May 2014

Help, please somebody let me know,how is the radiation therapy for endometrial cancer, I will have to start on the 1o th of June . I had breast cancer 25 momths ago and had 6 months of chemo, so I know that, but not the radiation. I'm scare to death. Thank you for any information about it. Gaby

 

 

 

 

debrajo's picture
debrajo
Posts: 792
Joined: Sep 2011

Don't know if I can help, but I have utering cancer, UPSC, and did five internal radiations.  What kind of radiation are you having, what type of cancer? For me, the branchytheropy{internal} radiation was sooo easy!  All of us are unique in our responses to treatment, but for me it was just the internal planting of three little rad. seeds, the wand inserted vaginaly, everyone left the room but me, for about two minutes it;s over.  I had no problems, some here have had stomach or bowel problems, tirdness , just a "leave me alone and let me rest" feeling.  I drove myself to and from radiation and chemo, a three hour round trip.  It really depends on your body, your cancer, how you are getting the radiation, and how much.  I didn't have external rad., but someone will be here to help you with any questions.  Hang on girl, we got your back!

denise05121953
Posts: 12
Joined: Sep 2013

hi...my daughter went thru radiation therapy for uterine cancer that went to her lungs.  she had 5 days of radiation on one lung then a break for a week and had 5 days of radiation on the other lung.  She was extremely tired after this and her lungs were sore and had no other side effects. This was in April of this year and the cancer is gone from her lungs  hope this helps a bit.  good luck to you

TexasAnya
Posts: 9
Joined: May 2014

Your comments help me a lot,I will have a same internal five times following 6 cycles of chemo. Thank you so much,

TexasAnya
Posts: 9
Joined: May 2014

Hi, I had total hysterectomy in april.  Since I already had breast cancer, the doctor told me I do have to go 5 internal radiation one week rest and 6 cycle of chemo.. So I already know about chemo, but not radiation. Now I know a little bit, But how I will react, do not know yet.You are "lucky", no problem, try to copy you.

 

 

 

 

 

Ro10's picture
Ro10
Posts: 1473
Joined: Jan 2009

Sorry you have to join us on this site, but Welcome.  I had 28 external radiation treatments.  I had the IMRT treatments.  I also had a 28 hour internal radiation treatment.  I was advised to have a full bladder before each treatment.  They said this would push the colon away from the treated area.  I did not have the diarrhea problems that others talked about.  

The initial appointment takes about an hour as the make a mold for you, so the radiation goes to the right area.  After that the treatment is less than 10 minutes.  You do remove your slacks and underwear for each treatment And put on a gown.  It is embarrassing at first, but the technicians are professional.  

I had the treatments Mon - Fri.  The first few weeks I never felt any different.  The last few weeks I was more tired and did have some nausea.  I thought maybe the nausea was from all the water I drank to have the full bladder.  As far as I can tell I have not had any long term effects from the radiation.  

The internal radiation I had to be admitted to the hospital.  I had a catheter inserted.  The cylinder with the beads of radiation was inserted.  I was in a private room and had a shield placed close to the bed.  I could not have visitors for more than 10 minutes.  It was a long 28 hours.  I could not find a comfortable position.  There was not actual pain from the cylinder, but discomfort.  I was very happy to get that cylinder out.

after the completion of radiation they gave me a tattoo.  It basically was a dot in the pelvic area.  I am not sure what that is for.  

Many people were given dilators to use after radiation.  I asked my radiation onocologist about it.  He said as long as I had regular intercourse I did not need one.  I have not had any problems with exams.

I had the sandwich treatment with 3 chemo, then the radiation, and then 3 more chemo.  I had lab drawn every couple of weeks during the radiation. I had a 3 week break between the chemo and radiation and then 3 week break after the radiation to start chemo again.   Hope this answered some of your concerns.  Come back with any other questions you may have.  Good luck with your treatments.  In peace and caring.  

TexasAnya
Posts: 9
Joined: May 2014

Now, I do not feel so alone, Thanks,

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 1213
Joined: Nov 2009

HI Gaby:

Sorry you have to go through this.  Where is the radiation taking place?   I had the HDR internal radiation.  It was no big deal at all.  It can be a little embarrassing at first when they are trying to fit you with the wand in the vagina, but the proceedure itself is painless and no real after effects.   I wasn't a candidate for pelvis radiation because I am highly proned to scarring.  They did want to give me 25 pelvic radiations, but the radiologist said no.

Also, did they offer you chemo first?  Why are they doing the radiation?   Did you have a hysterectomy?   

My best to you,

Kathy

TexasAnya
Posts: 9
Joined: May 2014

Hi Kalena, My internal will take place in the Cancer Care Center, After the five internal radiaton, one week rest and 6 cycle of chemo, I did had a radical hysterectomy on april 7th this year, so lot's of "fun" , Well, thanks, I let you know next week.

NoTimeForCancer's picture
NoTimeForCancer
Posts: 550
Joined: Mar 2013

I understand.  Radiation scared (still does) the crap out of me!  I remember meeting with the radiologist and walking out and hugging my BFF and crying.  While I don't know if it had any long term effects I did find it just to be exhausting.  I had never felt so tired in my life.  I went home and slept and that is all you can do.  Radiation does continue to "work" for up to 6 weeks after it ends, but you get better. 

Give in to the exhaustion.  For me, sleep = recovery, so I gave in to it.  I can't say I was a good patient, I was "angry" and the techs probably got a bigger dose. 

 

TexasAnya
Posts: 9
Joined: May 2014

I was angry, ready to brake every thing in my bedrom, the very first time. But I did not, we'll see next tuesday, The chimo was not that ood either in 2012 after my double masectomy, And find out more cancer 25 months later, drive me crazy. But since I get so much support, eassyer., Thanks, Gaby

Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2334
Joined: Jun 2010

Sorry you're here and I can't comment on radiation for uterine cancer because I didn't have to have it (or chemo).  But I, too, had breast cancer - at the same time and had chemo and radiation for that.  Were you on Tamoxifen or Arimidex for your breast cancer prior to uterine cancer?  What type of uterine cancer did you have?  Breast cancer?  I'm curious because I was told at the time that it's not unusual for women to have both breast and uterine cancers during the course of their lifetime - because many of the risk factors are the same.

Suzanne

 

TexasAnya
Posts: 9
Joined: May 2014

Sorry to read you had breast cancer too. Well,I had

stage 2 for my left breast, and stage 3 for the right and lot's of nodes was taken out, year later my right thyroid was taken out. No cancer, thank God. I was taking Arimidex after chimo. Than in february I was start spotting. Arimidex side affects, so stop taking that right away. Went to see my obgyn doctor. She made a biopsy, called me and ask me to go in right away. I know it, it is cancer. Than April 7th had the radical hysterectomy surgery with a robot. I had or still have, who knows  "only stage IA" Endometrial Carcinoma. It is true, happening to a lot's of woman. Sucks being us, right? I try to cope with that. I have two choices take my doctor advise, since I already had breast cancer go to have the vaginal brachytherapy, follow by 6 cycles of chemo. Or just give up. Well i stay with my doctor's advise. We cancer patient, need to support each other, since "We are the chosen one". I try anything to calm myself down. Right? I hope and wish you do not have this problem. Take good care of yourself, and check everything, thinking about side affects. Gaby.

Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2334
Joined: Jun 2010

Gaby- Interesting similarities and differences between us.  I had no chemo nor radiation (for endometrial cancer, had both for breast) for what sounds like a very similar situation to yours.  My endo cancer was Stage 1A, grade 1 endometriod adenocarcinoma.  My tumor was 3 cm which is close to the size of yours and it penetrated 1/3 of uterine wall.  I had robotic assisted hysterectomy, too.   I also had breast cancer.  There was no "because you also have breast cancer" even mentioned (except by me).  Is your grade higher than 1?  Also the size and location of your tumor may be a factor for recommending adjuvunct treatment.  I had both a gyn oncologist for that end and breast cancer oncologist for the other end - and they did talk to each other so I feel the fact that I had both was part of my overall treatment decision scenario.  I did and do feel I got by by the skin of my teeth (like it was ALMOST 1/2 way thru uterine wall, but it wasn't; and my tumor was larger than 2 cm, but not by much, and my nodes were clear and it was low grade).  Whew! 

Good luck to you as you begin your treatments.  Just FYI, my hysterectomy was July 1, 2010 and I started chemo for breast cancer on July 23, 2010.  It's now been almost 4 years and I'm doing well - no recurrence of either and not interested in seeing either of them ever again.  The more time that passes, the more confident I become, but it did take a while to get here.  And it does make me more cautious about what next?  I have a thyroid nodule, too . . . it's ok so far.

Suzanne 

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 1213
Joined: Nov 2009

Gaby, I was diagnosed with Grade 2 Stage 3a endometrial adenocarcinoma.   I had it in my uterus and my ovary.   The decision to have chemo was mine since they found it after my hysterectomy and at my staging surgery, nothing more was found.   Also, because my cancer was not following the "normal" standards, it was suggested to have the chemo as they were not sure of the origination of the cancer.   But the doctor left it to my decision.  So I did the chemo and six months later did 3 brachytherapy (HDR radiation)

Also, I had a recurrence approximately 4 years later confirmed by a biopsy and when they removed it it the tumor was negative but they found a lymph node with microscopic cells.   I was told I could have treatment if I wanted to or take a "wait and see" approach.   I took the "wait and see" approach.

But saying you don't want chemo or not taking your doctor's advice is no way giving up.  You alone have to feel right by your decision to take or not take treatments, medications, etc.   Get a second opinion if you have too if it helps your decision making.

Also, I think it is odd doing the chemo after the brachytherapy, but things always change.

Also, Gaby, I think by now you should know what stage you are since your hysterectomy was on April 7th and giving the fact that they are suggesting chemo, I would surely find out.

You actually have several choices.   1) Do what your doctor is suggesting   2)  Get a second opinion   3) just due brachytherapy  4) take a wait and see approach  

This is just my thoughts.  Like I said, you have to feel comfortable with yourself and your treatment approach.  But like Suzanne says, it takes awhile to get to a point where you feel confident about making your own treatment decisions.

SUNGRANNY
Posts: 81
Joined: Dec 2012

Hello Gaby,

I can relate to your feeling scared about radiation.  I think most of us do/did until we went through it.  I had 25 IMRT external radiation treatments.  

As others have said, rest if/when you feel tired.  Your body will need it.  Wise women such as Jazzy and others advised continue to exercise - even if just a little walk, and do stretching exercises such as Yoga.  I did walk, but due to feeling tired, work, and home demands I did not do Yoga.  Maybe it's different with internal radiation, but for me I regret I didn't do some stretching as my back, legs, and hips felt tight after the month of radiation.  

There are many wise women on this discussion board who have been through radiation and support you.

My best to you,

Sara

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