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Brachytherapy

Phyllis1
Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2017

 I had a complete hysterectomy two weeks ago for endometrial cancer it was a grade one stage to it was more than halfway through the lining and started to get to the top of the cervix  The recommendation from the oncologist and from the tumor board is 25 external beam radiation treatments followed by three Brachtherapy. That we all begin one month from now so that I have time to recover from my surgery  The doctor said fatigue and diarrhea would probably be the side effects from the external radiation. She said in 16 years of practice she's only had three patients who are unable to do the Brachtherapy. She said that I would then have to use dilators as you can imagine this is my first appointment with her I had a lot of questions and I was sitting there in tears for most of the appointment I thought I'd have the surgery everything will be fine and that would be it just go on and live my life  now when I go online and see what has to be done with the dilators I am more than afraid of those three treatments and having to have this aftercare that I must do for life  I have read were other people say they're in pain it was the most difficult thing they've had to do and I'm afraid this is all being done so that if there are any cancer cells left behind the radiation pills them and prevent a recurrence but yet I still have to see her every three months for the first year and then it goes down to twice a year and then to once a year well if they really believe that this would take care of the problem then why would you need to see them so very many times it's just so confusing  and so overwhelming if anyone out there has gone through this BRACHTHERAPY please let me know your experience she told me to not go on the Internet to not look at sites because everyone's experience is different I find it difficult to believe that internal radiation wouldn't cause side effects when in fact  scar issue is with the side effect would be is it painful what goes on please help thank you ladies 

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

that you had to find your way to his club, but welcome. This is a great place to come for information and support and to vent.  I found brachytherapy the easiest part of the whole treatment process.  I had no side effects from it either when I was receiving it or long term.  It is a little embarressing but not painful at all. The actual treatment lasted only about four minutea. Getting ready lasted longer.  I was fitted with a cylinder devise that resembled a giant Tampon.  This was hooked to a machine that resembled a robot.  A physicist came out with a Geiger counter to chech radiation before and after..  I was given "very special panties to wear" they hold the giant tampon on place.  They played music of my choice.  Like everything dealing with cancer, everyone has different experiences.

a lot of cancer cells are microscopic so radiation is one way to try and get rid of all of those sneaky Little devils.  The check ups are important so that in the case that one of the little microscopic devils managed to survive. If it does recurr it is best to catch it early 

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

I had chemo and then the brachytherapy (3). It was what I was most nervous about too! It was not as bad as I had worked it up to be at all. The first one was 15 minutes, and the next two were about 5. I listened to music and prayed and God helped me through it all. I was also concerned about the dialator since I have never even used a tampon, but it wasn't that bad. The radiologist wasn't as thorough as my onc/gyn. Thankfully my Onc/Gyn said it was either the dialator 3 times a week or being "active" with my husband twice a week. I chose the later! lol So if you are married (you didn't say so I don't know) you wouldn't have to use the dialator if you can be active :D

KatnHat's picture
KatnHat
Posts: 27
Joined: Jan 2017

Hi Phyllis, I had 5 weeks of radiation (M-F) followed by 3 brachytherapy treatments. It's been almost 3 months since my last treatment and I feel good now! But I did have some problems with nausea and vomiting with the regular radiation, just for the last two weeks (I was also exposed to norovirus, so that could have been some of the problem). I did have pain with the brachytherapy; when they stuck that cylinder up me, it was quite painful and stinging. I've had a chronic problem with vaginal dryness so that was probably why. Plus I've never given birth so my vagina may be a little tighter than others (not bragging! lol). Anyway, I asked my doc for topical pain meds and she complied with lidocaine spread over the entrance to my vagina. It made a huge difference. It still was a little uncomfortable, but mostly because I couldn't move much and the gurney was hard! If you have any kind of vaginal dryness or pain, ask for lidocaine before insertion. I use the dilator every three days and it's the small one. I'm hoping to work up to the middle one. My husband is like extra large (again, not bragging!), so intercourse is out of the question right now. I'm hoping to discuss a good solution to the vaginal dryness when I meet next with my gynecologist/surgeon, which will be next month. Good luck! Kat

 

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

Hi KatnHat, I have never given birth either, and have never used tampons, so anything in me other than my husband was not comfortable lol The papers they gave me after brachytherapy suggested using different things, and astroglide was the one I chose. Be sure you buy water based gel. Have your husband use it on him and you. It will make all the difference in the world. (you can buy it at Wal-mart). Hope that  helps!

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

Viamin E vaginal suppositories did the trick for dryness for me. You can order them on Amazon. 

KatnHat's picture
KatnHat
Posts: 27
Joined: Jan 2017

Thanks for the good suggestions. Much appreciated. I was also advised to try "Pjur," which is silicone based.

TeddyandBears_Mom's picture
TeddyandBears_Mom
Posts: 1700
Joined: Jun 2015

Hey Kat - great picture! Wonderful smile and your hair looks so thick. :-)

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