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Brachytherapy

DaughterSue
Posts: 24
Joined: May 2017

Hello,

I am writing to see if anyone has undergone brachytherapy?  I'm not sure if it's spelled right. 

It's regarding my elderly (78) mom. She has had a hyterectomy, chemotherapy and external radiation which she is 1/2 way done now.  This morning they said she needs to make an appointment for her next type of treatment. She was so upset as they explained she was going to have something inserted into her vagina and receive radiation "up there"  I believe the nurse told her it would be 3 treatments. 

I have researched online and it seems pretty common.  

Can anyone out there please tell me what to watch for, what to ask for, any kind of information at all. Any.... 

This is her 1st bout of cancer. It's endometrial/uterine, stage 1, but it's the serous type that can come back I guess.  

Please any kind of help at all.....her appt is Tues. We are meeting with the Dr on Monday and I want a whole list of questions to ask him. 

Thank you in advance!!!!  Worried daughter :( 

Cass83's picture
Cass83
Posts: 151
Joined: Feb 2017

I have had 2 of the 3 brachytherapies now. Other than being uncomfortable, it wasn't bad. I did take a hydroxycodene before I went, just in case :) (they said I could take tylenol or ibuprofen, but since I still had one left from my chemo leg pain, I took it) I have had no side affects, no bleeding, no pain when I urinate. It has been pretty much the easiest part of all the treatments. (The first one took the longest since I did the CT scan and everything then, the next one took 5 minutes after it was in place!) Next week is the last of my treatments!

Cass83's picture
Cass83
Posts: 151
Joined: Feb 2017

I had my last brachytherapy on June 20th. I had a total of 3. Other than being uncomfortable, I had no pain, and have had no side affects at all. I have a follow up on July 24th with both my oncology gyn and rad onc, then will go every 3 months. Life is almost back to normal, well, a new normal anyway. :) My birthday is tomorrow and this year I am so very thankful to have one!

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

Well, happy early birthday to you, Cass83! So happy to hear that your brachy treatments have gone well. Wishing you a wonderful "new" normal! Kim

DaughterSue
Posts: 24
Joined: May 2017

Well, my mom is down to doing 1 more brach and 3 more external.  Her last day will be next Wed. She is so happy. She said the 2nd brach was a little better than the 1st one. I hope you are all doing well. (as well as you are able to)  Hugs to you all. Cool

Nellasing
Posts: 529
Joined: Oct 2016

almost there- keep on chugging away- let us know how she finishes- so glad the last session was better for her!!  (((HUGS)))

DaughterSue
Posts: 24
Joined: May 2017

She's doing good and gaining her energy back. She has SUCH a positive attitude and acts like she's fine!! She goes to her oncologist for a check up July 10th. I have no idea what they will do? 

Nellasing
Posts: 529
Joined: Oct 2016

I'd imagine they will do blood work and a physical exam- that's what they do every 3 months for me.  My gyn/onc doesn't believe in doing scans unless there are symptoms.  They will more than likely also go over how they think things have gone and give you info on moving forward ie: what to look for and how often they want to see her.   So glad she's so positive- that helps so much.   Look at you both- you made it!  YAY!!!!  (((HUGS)))

DaughterSue
Posts: 24
Joined: May 2017

You're so kind, thank you....this has been tough as I lost my hubby of 28 years to colon cancer.  I feel like I'm in a nightmare. 

Nellasing
Posts: 529
Joined: Oct 2016

I am SO SORRY!  I'm sure that this all does seem like a nightmare.  I hope you are taking good care of yourself as stress is so harmful for the body and you have enough going on.  Big tight (((HUGS)))

Nellasing
Posts: 529
Joined: Oct 2016

What great timing to be all done and celebrate a birthday- so happy for you and glad you are heading for your new normal Laughing (((HUGS)))

TeddyandBears_Mom's picture
TeddyandBears_Mom
Posts: 1688
Joined: Jun 2015

Congrats Cass83 on getting to the finish line! I hope you start building up your strength quickly. Remember, it takes quite a while to find your new normal. Be kind to yourself. Happy Birthday.

Love and Hugs,

Cindi

Nixmac
Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2018

My doctor told me that they would place three applicators in me, give me an epidural and I would lie in the same position for 48 hours.  During that two days lying without moving, they would give me three high radiation treatments.  The torture for me is lying in the same position, without being able to move my legs at all for two days.  I would never be able to make it.  ALso, my uterus is at a funny angle and high up and I fear that the placement will be awkward and painful.  I also have concerns about blood clots for lying still like that so long.  Is there some other way to administer this treatment other than being in the hospital for two whole days?  Has anyone had a different experience?  Thanks everyone

TeddyandBears_Mom's picture
TeddyandBears_Mom
Posts: 1688
Joined: Jun 2015

Welcome Nixmac and so sorry you need to be here.

Many of us had brachy that did not require what you are describing.  I had 5 lower doses of radiation over a two week period. Each session only lasted about 5 minutes. It was the easiest part of my treatments.  I am 2 years post treatment and doing well. 

I think you need to get a second opinion. 

Love and Hugs,

Cindi

Northwoodsgirl
Posts: 571
Joined: Oct 2009

Nimac, What you are describing sounds antiquated. You may ask if there is a cancer radiation center that has the technology where you are mapped for the insertion of the radiation “bead” into your vagina and it only stays in place for 3 minutes or less. You are in and out of the radiation clinic in less than an hour.  There are risks associated with epidural blocks that you shouldn’ t have to be exposed to . Laying in still for 3-5 minutes on your back in a lead encased room is hard enough let alone for 48 hours! 

Lori

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