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Posts: 2
Joined: May 2018

I have Stage 4 rectal cancer that has metaticized to lung and liver. I am terminal but taking chemo (5FU) to push things down the road a bit. Life expecrancy currently is in the 3-6 month range. My oncologist and radiologist want me to have radioembolization since most of my cancer is in the liver and I haven't yet decided whether to do it or not. There are several factors involved. I want to be as active as possible over the summer (the most recent Minnesota winter was brutal) as golf is my favorite warm weather past time. We have a 20 year old son who goes away to college but is home for the summer until early August, so I have a good reason to extend my life. I am worried about the length of time that the treatment will leave me tired and whether the amoutn of extended time is worth the effects of the treatment. I would greatly appreciate any information from those who have had the radioembolizatio (aka y90 or sir-spheres) treatment. Thank you.

OzarkGal's picture
Posts: 41
Joined: Oct 2017

I am in the same boat.  I meet with the radiologist tomorrow to discuss Y90.

Posts: 2
Joined: May 2018

I have decided to go ahead with the proceure. I have the mapping on 6/13 and the first treatment on 6/25. We'll see Cool



OzarkGal's picture
Posts: 41
Joined: Oct 2017

Just an FYI - there are several threads on the liver cancer discussion board about this procedure.  Common side effects seem to be nasuea and fatigue that last about a week or so.  My radiologist said that it would be like having the flu for 3 or 4 days. 

On the liver cancer discussion board:

SIRT Y90 for liver tumors - any opinions/experiences, Oct 21, 2017

Therapshere treat for inoperable primary liver cancer, Jun 4, 2002

RCC Mets to liver - Y90 Therasphere, Jan 18, 2017

Feedback on therasphere, Mar 21, 2012

debugy2k's picture
Posts: 85
Joined: Oct 2017

My mom did Y90 for her liver tumors.  I started a thread here:  https://csn.cancer.org/node/312577

No real side effects for her.  No nausea or extra fatigue.  Only thing is that you need to lay flat for like a week mainly because they enter through the thigh's large blood vessels.

If you have any specific question then feel free to message me directly.

Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6734
Joined: Feb 2009

So sorry to hear of your diagnosis.  It's up to you to make the decision of whether you want to continue with treatment or not.  Treatment has come a long way and it can extend and promote long life.  It's not easy to make that decision and you need to make it where you are comfortable for as long as you can.  Treatment is hard and it wears you down.  It's best to discuss this option with your family and then (if you pray - make that an option), and see where your head is at.  It's a hard position to be in, but I'm wishing you the best.


Posts: 11
Joined: May 2018

I have had the y90 treatment and am waiting to hearback about the follow-up.

For me, the treatment went smoother than the mapping.  But that could be because I knew what to expect.

I'm a little claustophobic. So getting the scans at nuclear-med after the first part of the mapping was a little challenging.  I think being still for that additional time contributed to my stiffness the folliowng days.  I did get some muscle relaxer med which helped but it started to wear-off during the 2nd scanning period.  

More of my details:

I was awake for both.  I had the choice of being "awake"  (loopy/groggy med) or totally out.  I had to be able to move my arms over my head and hold my breath for a few seconds during the first part of the mapping while being scanned.  Then return my arms back underneath the drape.  I did this over 8 times during mapping.  So being able to move my arms helped me feel less contained.  I also very slightly wiggled/flexed my toes, too, when I had to move my arms.

I had a towel support under my left knee while the right leg was flat.

For mapping session I was hooked up pretty quickly to IV fluids then groggy med.  So after the first part of the mapping and before i went to nuclear med I had to rquest a bed pan.  First time I've used one.  For y90 treatment, IV fluids and goggy meds were started after I got into procudure room and not until the doctors needed to start.  They gave me the option of starting anytime before that.  But I was still mentally comfy, so I waited.  I was not drugged during the draping or the mini-shave prep.  I also had the option of keeping my glasses on during the y90 treatment, which I did.  I could see a clock.  Once I was on the groggy meds time went by a lot faster when I remembered to look at clock. ;)

I had to keep my right hip and knee flat for 2+ hours.  I was given an angioseal "plug" - a tiny thing, that is inserted into the blood vessel that was accessed. For the mapping I had to keep my left leg still for the addtional 2 long scans (maybe 18 & 24 min?).  For the y90 treatment, once I got back to the room I could move my left leg/toes while waiting on the minimum 2 hours.  During the wait time for y90 , the nurses tipped the bed a little so I could drink from a straw or even eat.  I also brought squirty container applesauce to eat. I also brought both times arnica gel to put on my lower back.  For the mapping I put it on when I got back to room.  For the y90 treatment I put it on in the room before the treatment while waiting for them to come get me.

The 2+ hour wait time is based on when you stop bleeding.  Some people may need longer.

I had a 1+ hour drive back home.  The nurse suggested I recline some and stretch right leg out.  On the way home from mapping I had to stop and walk around a little because I was getting stiff & achy.  Didn't have that issue after y90 treatment.

I had is a lift restriction for a week/10 days and 1 day wait for shower and avoid stairs.  I live in a split level so I had decide is it worth it to go up/down.

For y90 treatment, I was given 5 prescriptions-- 2 were required and the others were for side-effects.  The required ones were 7 day steriods for inflammations/swelling and a broad-based antibotic.  I was very fortuate that I didn't have the nasty side-effects.  Tums and Advil worked for me.  I still had the anti-nausea tablets from chemo, if I needed them (insteading of using the anti-nausea tablets I was given).  I was a little tired for a while after the y90 tratment.  But I don't know if that was the treatment or just my lack of being able to sleep well in general.

I would suggest easy to get into clothes and shoes & your underwear might get stained (going home) depending on how well you or nurses rinsed/wiped you off. I think during mapping using the bedpan "rinsed" me off more.  After y90 I cleaned myself.  I had advil with me both times at hospital.  For mapping I didn't think to ask/tell them I had Advil so I had to wait a while before they brought me a pain med.  For y90 I just boldly said/asked "I have Advil. Can I take it now?"

Good luck with your procedure.

OzarkGal's picture
Posts: 41
Joined: Oct 2017

Your detailed account is very helpful and greatly appreciated.

Trubrit's picture
Posts: 5532
Joined: Jan 2013

Such detail will be very helpful to those facing the Y90 procedure. 



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