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Phase 1 chemo done

Posts: 141
Joined: Jan 2012

First 3 rounds of chemo completed. Now on to the next new experience----radiation. I have an appointment with the radiation oncologist next Wednesday. 5 days/6 weeks. With gas prices this high....eew. My gyn/ponc and infusion center is 25 miles. Luckily, the hospital as and outpatient about 12 muliles from me. That will help.

Anybody have any tips, suggestions, words of wisdom form me about radiation?

debrajo's picture
Posts: 1095
Joined: Sep 2011

Is it internal or external. I had five rounds of internal radiation, and really, its embarrassing (almost!), but for me it was a breeze! I had no stomach trouble the rest of the ladies had(diarrhea, gas, constipation,ect),not problems all. This was somewhat invasive privately,but oh well. I live two hours one way from my treatment and was really tired of driving, so the did three of my five in one week, Mon.,Wed., Fri. A little more tired, but felt really fine. I was doing all the usual things a housewife and mother(soccor, other sports, school things for my son who was a Sophomore)does in a day. I can not complain at all. Hope you have the same small blessings! Best Debrajo

Posts: 96
Joined: Nov 2011

Debra, did the radiation effect your blood work, I am scheduled for 3 internal and they have set them up 2 weeks apart, they said it will give me time to heal internally. I am the one who is Neutropenic, so that may have something to do with it. How long did they leave the probe inside you?
My travel time is 1 hr. I hope I have it as easy as you. Did you drive yourself?


debrajo's picture
Posts: 1095
Joined: Sep 2011

Neither the radiation nor the chemo affected my treatment! I went in anemic which is inherited for me and even with that I did not have to wait for any treatment. One time my count was a little off but went ahead with the 5th (I think) Chemo. I did so well that they were doing the radiation and chemo on the same days for two of the treatments. They are probably taking special care of you since you are Neutropenic. The probe stayed in for all of about two minutes (really!). I joked with then that I had just driven two HOURS for two MINUTES! Yes, I drove myself to and from radiation and chemo. I would get up at 4:30, leave at five, get there for blood work at 7,have the radiation at about 8, six hour drip, then home by six or seven depending on Houston traffic! Don't worry, I was sure I would glow in the dark, but I even ask them if they were SURE I was getting enough radiation and Chemo because except for joint and muscle pain from taxol I had nothing. Heck, with all the steroids they gave me I GAINED 30 pounds I SURE DIDN't need. Try to relax and I will say a special prayer you slide right on through! Best to you, debrajo

LizGrrr's picture
Posts: 124
Joined: Nov 2011

I just finished 25 external radiation treatments (5 days/5 weeks). I was scared out of my wits but the radiation onc and his staff were so awesome it rapidly became no big whoop. After the consult where I thoroughly interrogated the dr, I had a simulation that involved a pelvic exam (good times), a non-contrast CT scan with and without a vaginal marker the size of a pinky finger (again, good times), and got myself all marked up with a grease pencil.

Each day I'd go in, the tech would hold up a small towel as my changing room, and I'd pull my pants/panties down (tip: elastic waist pants make things really easy and if you write stuff on the bottom of your shoes the techs will get a kick out of that), lie on the table, they'd scoot me into position and slide a foam block under my knees and between my feet, and 5 minutes later I was done. It's a good time to close your eyes and give thanks :)

The diarrhea set in after about a week, and it didn't get bad until I got a sinus infection and the antibiotics for that was too much for my gut to handle. So I got some Flagyl and Lomotil and life was good. I've got some skin sensitivity around my abdomen but other than that no side effects.

Best wishes for a similarly uneventful treatment :)

Liz in Dallas

Ro10's picture
Posts: 1579
Joined: Jan 2009

I had 28 external radiation treatments. Getting set up for the first treatment was the longest process. They did markings and made a mold that I would use for each treatment. The actual radiation treatment was less than 10 minutes. I went into a changing room and put on a hospital gown. I removed my underwear and slacks. I would lay on the table and the treatment would be given. I was encouraged to have a full bladder for each treatment. They said it would reduce colon side effects by pushing the colon away. I did not have the diarrhea that many others had talked about. I had IMRT treatments which localized where the radiation goes. During the last weeks I did have nausea, and was more tired. My first radiation was three weeks after my third chem, and my forth chemo was 3 weeks after my 28 hour internal radiation treatment. So your body needs time to recover from each treatment.

It is embarrassing to have the markings done, and "expose" yourself for the treatments. I reminded myself that these are professionals and they are doing their job. At the end of the treatment they did give me a small dot tattoo, to indicate that radiation was done in the area. Don't know who would ever look for the tattoo. At different times they did do scans also. These were done on the same table that the radiation treatments were done.
Good luck and feel free to ask any other questions. In peace and caring.

Posts: 141
Joined: Jan 2012

Thanks for the replies. My consultation is next week. From what the gyn/onc said it will be external of the whole pelvic area. I suppose the radiation oncologist may have different ideas. 6 weeks 5 days seems so extreme.

CindyGSD's picture
Posts: 191
Joined: Aug 2011

I had 25 rounds of pelvic radiation. Other than when they did the mapping which took about an hour, the treatment only takes a few minutes. Usually they try to schedule it at the same time every day, go in the morning if you have a choice..less chance of delays.

I had no real side effects...loose stools towards the end and a burning sensation during urination which suggested some irritation to the bladder but it went away pretty quickly after I completed treatment. I didn't really feel overly tired and the nice thing is your hair will start to grow back...I actually didn't have to wear any head cover for about a month.

Take care,

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