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Brachytherapy question

beccabtown's picture
beccabtown
Posts: 234
Joined: May 2016

I had my last external radiation treatment today (yay!) and start brachy on Monday. I have a question about side effects of brachy. Does it make you urinate more, especially right afterward? I have a two-hour trip home and would like to plan for any immediate effects. Thanks. 

Soup52's picture
Soup52
Posts: 906
Joined: Jan 2016

I don't remember it being a problem for me.

MAbound
Posts: 1153
Joined: Jun 2016

Congratulations on finishing the longer part of your RT! :-) You're finishing as I'm about to start my 6 1/2 week journey on Monday. (image-guided 3D-CRT), so I have no advice to offer, just well wishes. Do they give you any kind of a break before you go back on Chemo?

beccabtown's picture
beccabtown
Posts: 234
Joined: May 2016

Thanks, MAbound!

They probably would have given me some time off, but I asked to keep things moving. I want to finish my main treatments this year for insurance reasons. I plan to restart chemo just as soon as they'll let me. 

Lou Ann M's picture
Lou Ann M
Posts: 996
Joined: Feb 2015

At least that I,can remember.  Brachytherapy was the easiest of all my,treatments.

Hugs and prayers, Lou Ann

TeddyandBears_Mom's picture
TeddyandBears_Mom
Posts: 1801
Joined: Jun 2015

No issues for me either. I had a 1.5 hour drive and didn't have any problems. In fact, I drove myself to the center.

You will do great!

Love and Hugs,

Cindi

janaes
Posts: 800
Joined: May 2016

I just had my first bracytherapy yesterday.  I had no problems the rest of the day and so far so good for today.

beccabtown's picture
beccabtown
Posts: 234
Joined: May 2016

Thanks, everyone. Good to know.

 

Scotgirl's picture
Scotgirl
Posts: 31
Joined: Oct 2016

As for the RT, you could experience vaginal spotting, frequency of bowel movements and urgency with your urination for a couple of days.  Yes, the schedule Dr. B gave you is the one she wants to keep.  The RT must be given on the off weeks of chemotherapy.  In general, it is extremely well-tolerated with little side effects.

beccabtown's picture
beccabtown
Posts: 234
Joined: May 2016

Had my first brachy today. No real discomfort during or after. I do wonder whether these radiologists get any kind of special training in gynecologic procedures before they start to do this. (I'm guessing not! I suppose it's something that everyone who has been through medical school thinks they can do.)

Beverly30
Posts: 18
Joined: Nov 2016

Hi,

I'm new here and not sure how everything works. I'm trying to find out if I want to go through my next suggested radiation treatment. I has stage 1b endometrial an error. I'm currently recovering from a complete hysterectomy .  my next step is vaginal brachytherapy. I'm 62 aND I'm not sure I want to go down that road. I guess it's for preventative reasons. I'm not sure of how many treatments are going to be recommended yet. My Dr. Won't referred me over until I'm totally healed from surgery. Any info as to what I can expect would be appreciated. 

Nellasing
Posts: 529
Joined: Oct 2016

Welcome to the group- so sorry you have had to find us but so glad you did.  I am recent as well and don't probably have great info for you since I have decided not to do radiation.  I was diagnosed with endometrial adenocarcinoma, complete hysterectomy end of April, Stage 3a, grade 3, 6 round chemo carbo/taxol which finished Sept. 21. 

There is a bunch of interesting links regarding radiation from henhill under the thread Questions about caring for a patient with radiation enteritis.  I know I've seen other info. on here but it tends to run together.  If you put radiation in the search at the top it should bring up all types of info.  

The other ladies should be popping by soon- if you don't get the info you want- why don't you just post your own question- they are AWESOME about answering.

Stay strong- come back often for support and encouragement.  I try to live in THE DAY I am in- it's the only one any of us is guaranteed and I look for the joy and things to be thankful for- helps me not to be overcome with fear of the future ;)  (((HUGS))) and prayers!

 

Beverly30
Posts: 18
Joined: Nov 2016

Thank you for the information .  I'm very thankful I don't need chemo at this time. it was caught very early. I just need more info on the radiation bit. 

MAbound
Posts: 1153
Joined: Jun 2016

I don't know if you followed a thread I started about the time you joined this board called "Still Terrified" (http://csn.cancer.org/node/305795) where I was wrestling with whether on not to agree to the external radiation therapy that my medical oncologist was advocating for me or not. The stuff you read about it on this forum and elsewhere had me scared witless about it. I really did not want it and questioned its value and need after systemic treatment. I got a lot of good advice to consider from other women along with more articles to read.

I had been having a hard time finding anything to support why radiation was such a go-to treatment for stage III & IV endometrial cancer until I got pointed to search 'multimodality therapy and endometrial cancer' that was part of the title in one of the articles that was shared with me by DrienneB. Sometimes you've got to word the search just right in google to find what your looking for, I guess. An especially helpful article that popped up was:

file:///C:/Users/Owner/Downloads/Cancer_Network_-_The_Value_of_Pelvic_Radiation_Therapy_After_Hysterectomy_for_Early_Endometrial_Cancer_-_2014-07-08.pdf 

It really reaffirmed what Moekay had written to me regarding recurrance risks based on grade, subtype, tumor size, and myometrial, cervical, and lymphovascular invasions. 

I know that you've made your decision about radiation already, but I thought you might also like to have this information for your files. 

What henhill has been dealing with after her RT is all of our worst fears, but like chemo, we don't all necessarily react to RT the same way, especially if we have access to radiation oncologists and facilities that can offer some of the newer, more focused and shaped methods of delivery. I've calmed down a lot about going through with this from where I was when I started that thread because I understand better now why this was the right choice for my circumstances and have some confidence that there is some effort being taken to minimize the risk for me. Each of us is unique and we each have to wrestle with our own treatment choices. It's hard to do, but very necessary in order to have some confidence in what we are agreeing to subject ourselves to. I know it's the only way I can carry on and focus on the happier things in my life as I go forward.

Beverly30
Posts: 18
Joined: Nov 2016

Thank you for the link. I will try and find the article. I haven't made up my mind yet. I won't be referred over until after Jan 18, 2017. I believe part of the reason it was suggested is due you my age. I just want to have enough information on the process. 

janaes
Posts: 800
Joined: May 2016

Im glad you made it through your first bracytherapy.  Do you have yours like mine? once a week for three weeks. If you do it looks like we will be alternating with our bracytherapys.  So far i still have had no side effects other than my stools were soft today.  That might be nothing to do with that either.

beccabtown's picture
beccabtown
Posts: 234
Joined: May 2016

I'm having my three brachys 3-4 days apart, so my last one will be next Monday. I need to start chemo again to finish before the end of the year.

EZLiving66's picture
EZLiving66
Posts: 1479
Joined: Oct 2015

I was Stage II, Grade 3 UPSC and my gyno/oncologist did not recommend any radiation at all after my hysterectomy even though I only made it through three chemos.  His PA told me the doctor thought he got all the cancer with the surgery and would save radiation if the UPSC metasized.  

I am constantly amazed how many different treatments there are for the same cancer depending on what country you're in, what part of the US you're from and even from different cancer centers in the same city.  It makes my head spin when you're trying to figure out what is the best treatment for YOU.  I guess you have to do what you think is best and then refuse to second guess yourself.

Love,

Eldri

Beverly30
Posts: 18
Joined: Nov 2016

I'm in  Northern California .  I just want to be sure it's the best thing to do. I want to retire and be able to do what I want to. I'm at least reading information on this site from folks that are going through it now. Most articles I find are really old. I have Kaiser insurance and so far I'm very thankful I do. They moved quickly on this. 

Bev

Soup52's picture
Soup52
Posts: 906
Joined: Jan 2016

Well, I had it all. 5 weeks of external and 3 brachytherap. For me stage 111c grade 3-4 I felt it was worth it. Yes, I do have some after effects. Constipation and I do have to use my cool cone. All and all it hadn't been that bad. I have many wonderful days and it has not kept me from enjoying my life. I'm 63 and soon to be 64. I know everyone is different. For me i need to do everything I can to live. I also have great faith in my medical oncologist.

Beverly30
Posts: 18
Joined: Nov 2016

Thank you .  I've seen a cool cone mentioned here. What is that? I've watched youtube videos about the dialators. One lady recommended one that you  an get off of Amazon by Dr Laura. Better than the one the Dr will give you. I'm 'seasoned' but I would still like to be able to use it. Is this something that the Dr will give me or do I need to purchase? 

This site is amazing!  I'm sleeping so much better talking to folks that are in the trenches of this process. 

 

Bev

CheeseQueen57's picture
CheeseQueen57
Posts: 936
Joined: Feb 2016

So I had 28 days of external radiation and 3 internal treatments that ended on Tuesday.  since then I've had burning urinatiation with still some evidence of UTI. But the new issue that has arose is also rectal burning and a feeling that I am not entirely emptying my bowels. Unfortunately this leads to a feeling of having to go to the bathroom all the time and a little bit Of incontinence   GREAT!  Anyone else experience this?  Did it eventually resolve?  What a roller coaster!

Soup52's picture
Soup52
Posts: 906
Joined: Jan 2016

I haven't had the rectal burning, but I have had and still at times have the feeling that I need a bowel movement and it isn't complete. The feeling that I might have a urinary tract infection also occurred once. I had it checked out but I didn't have one. I did use Azo also.

beccabtown's picture
beccabtown
Posts: 234
Joined: May 2016

Hi CQ, Congratulations for finishing radiation! I'm sorry to hear that you're having such unpleasant side effects. I was told that the bowel and urinary symptoms do go away for most people.

I finished up brachy on Monday, so I'm also done with radiation. I have some diarrhea (I'm thinking I'll be glad of that when chemo starts again next week) and some urinary issues (almost like a blockage, but urine does come out). I don't have the urinary problems every time, so I hope that means they will go away.

I hope your issues will clear up soon.

Best,

Rebecca

 

MAbound
Posts: 1153
Joined: Jun 2016

I see in the instructions that come with Culturelle that they recommend taking 2 daily for digestive upset or occasional diarrhea until discomfort subsides. Did any of you take 2 tablets through RT rather than one? How'd that work out for you? Today's number 9 for me. I've been taking 2 tablets daily since just before RT started and so far so good as far as diarrhea goes, although I had some trouble falling asleep last night because it seemed like my neuropathy was back again and I had some mild rectal burning for a while. Better again this morning, but I'm a bit worried as you can imagine. I have a long way to go yet.

Kvdyson's picture
Kvdyson
Posts: 789
Joined: Jan 2016

I took probiotics twice a day during external radiation - one with breakfast and one with dinner - always with food. I recall that the brand was not Culturelle and that it had to be refrigerated. I can't recall the name - thanks, chemo brain...

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