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First Internal Radiation Today First Internal Radiation Today

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Unread 04-22-2004, 10:30 AM
First Internal Radiation Today

Hi! I had my first external radiation yesterday and first internal today post TAH-BSO for endometrial cancer. Both were extremely do-able!! No stirrups or any of that happy stuff for internal - just bending your knees. Only next time I'm going to wear socks; my feet were freezing!! Good thoughts and prayers to all going through cancer surgery, chemo or radiation. And especially thanks to all who have helped me on my journey! Carol
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Unread 04-22-2004, 07:42 PM
First Internal Radiation Today

Good for you, Carol! Glad to hear you've gotten over two big hurdles. How many internals will you have? Let us know how you're doing through your treatment.

Unread 04-22-2004, 09:53 PM
Next week is my first

Today, a woman from the hospital called to tell me what internal radiation will be like: She said it would take about 45 minutes to put some tubes in urethra and rectum and the cylinder into vagina. To be 'fitted'. She said it would feel like I have a giant tampon put in wrong. I start sweating just thinking about it. I want to run and hide, somewhere.....I pray it wont hurt. Any feed back, out there? I'm shaking in my shoes.....
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Unread 04-23-2004, 06:21 AM
First Internal Radiation Today

Hi Maureenie! I have a total of 3 internals and 25 externals. Thanks for your concern! You've been an awesome support to me and to others here on Hystersisters! Thank you!
Hi Martha! Personally, I think it's terrible that someone called you and described the internal sizing that way! I only had the vaginal so I can't comment on the urethral and rectal, but unless the person who called you has the procedure done she is only telling you what she has heard. The one thing I've learned in the last 2 months is that the waiting is the hardest part of any procedure and it has NEVER been as bad as I was expecting! Please go in there with a positive frame of mind and you'll do fine. Let us know how it goes. My thoughts and prayers are with you!
Unread 04-23-2004, 10:02 AM
Re: Next week is my first

Originally posted by Gopi_101
Today, a woman from the hospital called to tell me what internal radiation will be like: She said it would take about 45 minutes to put some tubes in urethra and rectum and the cylinder into vagina. To be 'fitted'. She said it would feel like I have a giant tampon put in wrong. I start sweating just thinking about it. I want to run and hide, somewhere.....I pray it wont hurt. Any feed back, out there? I'm shaking in my shoes.....
Dear Martha,
I don't know about the rectum tube, but I think what she means by "tube in urethra" is just the Foley catheter. A bit uncomfortable but Truly no big deal! They swab your vagina & urethral opening with Betadine solution and then slide this teeny tube into the urethra. I found that taking a deep breath first and then exhaling as they slid the tube in made me feel more comfortable.

Pretty accurate description of what my cylinder felt like, "giant tampon put in wrong." They cushioned the part of it that extends out of the vagina with a giant sanitary pad , and the main discomfort I felt was when they secured it into position. It's important for them to secure it just so, according to their measurements, so that the radiation only goes where they have calculated its target.

Don't run and hide, Martha! It'll really be okay. It's uncomfortable, but the vaginal cylinder is only in there for a small part of that 45-minute total time. I won't lie to you -- I hated it. The worst part for me was when they had to use pressure to secure the cylinder into position. That was, like, 30 seconds of intense discomfort (not really pain) every session. Take deep breaths, in and out, before they insert the cylinder. It helps the vaginal muscles relax, which makes inserting the cylinder easier. Just like when you insert a tampon, relaxing the vaginal muscles first makes it slide in easier. Same principle.

And the relief you feel when they slowly remove the vaginal cylinder after the radiation treatment is over is Absolutely Wonderful. Then they remove that Foley catheter (and I don't know about 'tube in the rectum') which is also a nice relief, and then you get to go into the bathroom and pee on your own, which is also a nice relief. My lab provided me with washcloths so I could gently dab my vagina with warm water afterwards. That also cleaned off the yellow Betadine solution so I didn't have to worry about staining my panties (although I always put a nice, thick sanitary pad on for comfort afterwards).

The main reason I didn't like the internal treatments was just because it's comparatively invasive, compared to just lying on a table for the external treatments. I am still very much a 'child' for being a 42 year old, and I took a stuffed toy kitty to internal treatments with me. They let me hug on him through the whole procedure.

Feel free to PM me if you have any questions about what I've just said, or more questions, or just need to talk about feeling scared.

Unread 04-23-2004, 01:59 PM
First Internal Radiation Today


Congrats! Sounds like things are going well. And I'm sure your attitude helps, too, not only in your experience of the radiation, but also in your body's response to it.

Some women use visualizations --very creative, and even funny-- as they go through radiation and/or chemo. You can do a search on that within the hystersisters website and find out more about it, if it interests you.

Yeah, wear socks and keep those tootsies warm!

Your experience and attitude can be a great help to others who are frightened by the prospect of surgery and treatments.

Martha, I'm glad that you are getting info here that's a lot less scary--and from women who've been through similar experiences . No one can tell you what it's like except those who've done it--and even then, everyone is different.

Unread 04-23-2004, 08:48 PM
You are amazing women...

... I absolutely admire all of you. You are heroes indeed for all that you are going through and for all that you are sharing with us. Thank you!!!

Carol and Empresse thank you so much for the explanation - it's reassuring coming from someone who is going through it. You don't hide anything but you also give others courage to go through the unknown.

Thank you for your generosity with the information and knowledge.

Wishing you good days ahead.

Unread 04-26-2004, 10:27 AM
First Internal Radiation Today

Thanks so much Marl and Soranna for your kind words!! It's amazing how kind so many people have been to me through this cancer journey! And I do consider it a journey, not a destination.

One of my co-workers has a phrase I like: "Be gentle with yourself." Isn't that awesome! So, to everyone dealing with a cancer diagnosis, surgery, chemo and/or radiation: "be gentle with yourself." And remember my thoughts and prayers are with you all!! Carol

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