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Cesium Implant vs external radiation Cesium Implant vs external radiation

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  #1  
Unread 07-10-2000, 03:37 PM
Cesium Implant vs external radiation

Hello,
I met with my Oncologist finally today. I am currently almost 5 weeks post surgery. My diagnosis was Edometrial Adenocarcinoma stage 1B grade 2. I had a TAH-BSo and no lymph nodes were removed. My Ob-Gyn originally reccommended a Cesium Implant procedure. Today after talking to the oncologist, He reccommended five week external ratiation instead of the implant. His reason was that since my cancer had invaded 20% of the myometrium that it could have spread to the Lymph nodes through the blood stream and that by doing external radiation, it would catch any node involvement even it it didn't show up on a CAT Scan. (I am scheduled for that this coming Sunday and if anything shows up it will definately be the external radiation.) I will be talking to my OB-Gyn either today or tomorrow about his reccommendation. He told me that both procedures would give me 99-1 odds in favor of full recovery but if I was his wife he would do external.

I notice here that some of you with similar diagnosis have had one or the other treatments or in some cases both or neither. What options were you given? And why did you choose the option you did? What would you suggest? How hard was it for you to deal with the side effects of your radiation? What were the side effects.

Before meeting with him, I felt really comfortable with the idea of the Cesium implant radiation, and had geared my head in that direction, but now, I am not sure. I really want what will be best for me in the long run. My concerns with external radiation include dealing with working and having radiation at the same time. Will I be able to handle the fatigue, the possible burning, and bowel and bladder discomforts along with a very stressful job? At least with the implant, the side effects would be shorter and not impact my job. I should also mention here, that I live alone, and support myself and my job is scheduled to be outsourced at the end of November and I will either need to find another job with in the company or outside of the company.

thanks in advance for your help...

sharon
  #2  
Unread 07-13-2000, 08:50 PM
Cesium Implant vs external radiation

I don\'t have any insight, but I wanted to bump this to the top. And also mention that if you do a search on Molly\'s name, you\'ll see some threads where she talked about her experience (and some where others talk about theirs too).

If it were me, I think I\'d go with the one they felt gave the most insurance.{{{Sharon}}}
  #3  
Unread 07-14-2000, 12:12 PM
Cesium Implant vs external radiation

Thanks Trish.
I talked with my OB-GYN and she met with my oncologist. It looks like the way I will go depends on the results of the CAT scan I have this Sunday Morning. If they do not see any enlarged lymph nodes, they will procedure with the Cesium Implants, but if they do, it will be external radiation.
The reason they considered the external radiation was that my tumor was histological grade 1 and nuclear grade 3 which averaged out to grade 2. And with this grade
there is a small possibility that the nodes could have been infected since it had gone into the myconium which can pass it into the bloodstream.

Thanks.. sharon

  #4  
Unread 07-14-2000, 04:35 PM
Sorry - a bit long!

Wow, Sharon, you've really done your homework. Good for you. Active participation in our treatment is really important. I had Stage IIIa endometrial adenocarcinoma. I never really questioned the options - my docs recommended 25 external radiation treatments and three internal brachytherapies. I worked while I had all of them - I'm a high school guidance counselor. We scheduled the treatments right after school, so I could go straight home. The treatments lasted about a half hour total, from the minute I walked into the waiting room till I walked out the door. I had little or no problems with side effects - certainly some fatigue, and some minor diarrhea (controlled with bland diet and Immodium AD)- but nothing to get all worked up about. I truly believe a positive attitude helps - I would lie there on the table during treatments and visualize little pacmen and women gobbling up stray cancer cells. I also used the time to pray for the wonderful Hyster Sisters I've met here, and to just center my thoughts on getting well. The internal treatments were kinda weird - they first catheterized me and filled my bladder with sterile water to lift it out of the way. Then a tube was inserted in my vagina and I was wheeled to the treatment room where another machine was hooked up to the tube. This machine fed the radioactive material into the tube in my vagina. It was awkward and a little uncomfy, but not painful at all. The actual treatments lasted 8 minutes, but the whole process took about an hour by the time I undressed, they inserted and hooked up everything, blasted me, undid it all, and I got dressed again. The brachytherapies really tired me out. I had the treatments on Wednesdays spaced two weeks apart - Thursdays I was okay, but by Friday I was dragging and I would usually lump around on the weekend following a treatment, napping and taking it easy. Again, no real big problems with side effects, though. You mentioned possible "burning" in your post - the only difference I noticed in my skin as a result of the external treatments - my scar runs from just about my breast bone to the top of my hair line down below. The part of the scar that was within the radiation field - basically from my navel down - is a beautiful thin line. Above the field, it formed a keloid. Evidently radiation kills keloids. Now I wish they would have blasted me above the belly button a couple of times!
Feel free to email me directly if you like...Hang in there!
Molly
  #5  
Unread 07-15-2000, 01:34 PM
Cesium Implant vs external radiation

Thanks Molly. I will let everyone know on Tuesday what the results of my CAT scan along with my final decision. I feel really lucky that I have a young bright female OB-GYN who believes women should know what is going on with their bodies. She is very open about what is happening to me and I can ask her as many questions as I need to feel comfortable. I wish for the sale of all women, that all OB-GYN's had her attitude and skill. Sharon
  #6  
Unread 07-21-2000, 09:46 AM
Cesium Implant vs external radiation

Hello everyone,
I have spent a busy week. Feel like I should move back to the hospital. My CAT scan results were negative But I decided to go with the external radiation anyway. My reasoning is that If I didn't do the exteranal and down the line, It comes back in my nodes, I wouldn't be able to live with myself for not doing the more aggressive procedure.
I will go in for my simulation on July 31. I also had my 6 week checkup on Wednesday. A-OK. Can even go in the pool next week on my vacation. But no Ocean until next year. Gotta make sure that vaginal cuff is well healed for that.
I also had a mamogram yesterday. I had a little scare when
they found some changes since the last one, but after about 10 extra x-rays, and an ultra sound, they decided it was only a cyst. (Thank you God!!) and I have to come back for another procedure in 6 months.

Feeling pretty good right now. and Looking forward to spending next week on the ocean. Thank you all for your help and concern.

Peace and Love..
Sharon
  #7  
Unread 07-21-2000, 11:40 AM
Cesium Implant vs external radiation

Dear Sharon -
How I envy you spending a week at the ocean - there is something so incredibly restorative about sitting on the beach, breathing that fresh salt air, feeling the sunshine's rays, and watching the waves roll in...you can wiggle your toes in the surf this year and plan on body surfing next year!
You sound at peace with your decision - and that is so important. Please feel free to email me directly if you have any questions once you begin your treatments.
Enjoy your wonderful week! I'll be thinking of you!
  #8  
Unread 07-21-2000, 11:45 PM
Decision for external radiation

Thought you might be interested to know I made the very same decision regarding internal vs. external (vs. NO) radiation for similar reasons. I have Stage I Grade 1C (more than 2/3 of the way through the myometrium). I did have lymph node sampling as part of my surgery and, although these nodes were negative, I was told there was still some chance of recurrence in the pelvic area. I decided to go ahead with the external treatment because I just didn't think I could stand waiting around for a possible pelvic recurrence and worrying that I had failed to do the treatment that could have prevented it.

I have only done 8 treatments out of the 28 that will be required. The procedure is really fast. Today I was in and out of the place in 20 minutes!! So far, everything is just fine, except that I am starting to get a little tired. I have been told that side effects usually hit about 1/2 way through the treatments, so I may have some, but I do not expect anything severe. Some skin irritation is common, so it's good you're doing the beach now!!

I wish you the very best. Take care of yourself and be well! JILL
  #9  
Unread 07-22-2000, 11:02 AM
Cesium Implant vs external radiation

When I am sitting on the beach next week, I will be thinking of all my sisters here and willing some of the salt air and sun in their direction.

I do feel comfortable with my decision, Jill. For the same reason you do. Here hoping the next few weeks go as good for you as the first ones.

Peace and Love to all.
Sharon
  #10  
Unread 07-22-2000, 09:00 PM
Cesium Implant vs external radiation

I hope you have the very best of vacations, Sharon!!!

I'm glad you'll be sending thoughts of salt sea air back our way. We usually try hard to send good thoughts out--so we can relay the soothing waves to others!
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