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Curious about brachytherapy--I don't want to do this! Curious about brachytherapy--I don't want to do this!

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Unread 09-10-2002, 05:56 PM
Curious about brachytherapy--I don't want to do this!

Can someone tell me what brachytherapy is like? On Friday I will have my consultation with the radiation oncologist who will handle this next phase of my treatment. I spoke with his nurse yesterday and what she told me made me want to say "no way"! I'd been led to believe by others that it was not such a big deal. I feel like running away! What's it like, ladies?

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Unread 09-10-2002, 06:31 PM

Hi I work at a company that makes bracetherapy implants what are your questions and concerns? you can pm me or e mail me and we will talk. as far as bracetherapy goes it is a lot better that some of the other options and it is out patient and and you are done with it that same day and without all the extra pain of added surgery. and with a lot less side affects than chemo
Unread 09-12-2002, 04:23 AM
Me too!!!

I am going to have the same therapy, Adrienne! They won't do it immediately because I am still fighting post-surg infections, but when that is over I will have to check in to the hospital. I was told that I must stay flat on my back in the hospital bed for 3-4 days and not even be allowed to go to the bathroom while the radioactive cylinder is inside for all that time. I asked them please, give me more information, but they said the nurse in charge was on vacation. I am in the dark and scared. Please, anyone out there have to spend the 3-4 days flat in bed? I get severe lower back pain from lying on my back even for 10 minutes. Also, what would you recommend taking to your bed so you won't go psychologically insane (it sounds like being in solitary confinement, because visitors need to be limited in time).
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Unread 09-12-2002, 05:21 PM
Curious about brachytherapy--I don't want to do this!

(((Jenny))) and (((Adrienne)))

I'm so sorry that you are nervous about this procedure. I went through and did a search on brachytherapy, and there are several threads on it. So, here's the link to the list of threads I came up with: Hopefully, you will find the information you are seeking.

I remember from some of the ladies who have had brachytherapy in the past that all of their prescribed programs looked a little different. Some went for several visits for a couple of hours each, some went for one long visit. And the side effects were a varied as the women. So, just remember as you are reading, that your experience may not be the same as some of these.

Good luck to both of you!

Unread 09-12-2002, 05:59 PM
Curious about brachytherapy--I don't want to do this!


My internal treatments will be what I call the "short form". The radiation oncologist who did my external beam radiation has referred me to another radiation oncologist for the brachytherapy. He and my gyn onc have recommended 3 treatments, once a week for 3 weeks. When I talked to the nurse in rad. onc. #2's office, I was told that the actual treatment takes 10 minutes, but prep time is much longer and I could be there anywhere from an hour and a half to 3 hours. She also said that sometimes treatment is extended to 5 or 6 weeks. Rad. onc. #1 told me that this shorter treatment is just as effective as the longer regimen and is becoming more common. There's no way I could endure 30 hours flat on my back. I can't even sit still for a 30 minute TV show! I'm sure I could do it with some kind of meds to bring on total relaxation or something. I wonder if they offer that?

By the way, my consultation with rad. onc. #2 was supposed to be tomorrow afternoon. When I got home from work, my teenage daughter said the doctor had called and canceled my appointment. The office was closed when I tried to call back. The anticipation is probaby the hardest part and now I get to wait again. It's been a month since I finished the external treatments and I'm not sure I should wait too long to get started on the brachytherapy. I gave myself a little break so I could get the school year started. Now I need to get going and finish all this.

Unread 09-12-2002, 06:40 PM
Curious about brachytherapy--I don't want to do this!


Unread 09-13-2002, 06:21 AM
the waiting

Yes, Adrienne, the waiting to me is as rough as the procedures themselves. The hospitals seem to be crammed with radiation patients. I was told that my procedure is in a holding pattern until they have a bed available. I would normally get upset about having to wait this long (if I need this drastic stuff, it must be important, right?) but I am so terrified that I don't mind as much.

All the posts that I have read here suggest that most women who get a TAH/BSO get seen for a checkup at the 2 week point. They wouldn't even give me an appointment at the 6 week point, when I am scheduled to go back to work, until I got very demanding. Then they said "well, he's totally booked but we'll write your name in as an overbook". That was so cruel to say that.

Here's hoping for no cancellations! Hope all goes well for you.
Unread 09-13-2002, 06:54 AM

Hi ladies. The type of brachytherapy I had was called a cesium implant. It was the long term kind, where you stay in bed flat on your back for 2-1/2 days. If you want to know details, please email me and I will be glad to give you my experience. I will tell you that although it was not great, it was not extremely uncomfortable, because you are partially sedated the whole time. For me, one of the worst elements was the diet ... no solid foods during this time because you are not allowed to have a bowel movement. Green jello & chicken broth!!!!! But, I got thru it, and it did its work ... which was to kill cancer cells. I also had 'regular' radiation treatments after this, to make sure the cells were destroyed before my surg., because my tumor was directly above my bladder. Otherwise, they would have only done the hysterectomy, as the cancer was completely contained in the uterus.
Unread 09-13-2002, 06:59 AM
6wk checkup


I went back to my gyn. @ 10 days to have my staples removed, but I didn't have a check up at that time. Just a brief look to make sure everything looked good, no infection, and to talk to me about how I was doing. My real 'check up' was at 4 weeks, with my onc/gyn. He did an internal check [Ouch!!] as well as check outside; no bloodwork or samples of any kind taken at that point. Went back again at 4 mo. post op, had vaginal smear taken [which came back fine]; this was in June. Next scheduled to go to my onc./gyn. again in November [was orig in October, he had to reschedule due him being on vacation. Don't doctors know they can't go on vacation ... we need them!!!].
Unread 09-14-2002, 08:30 AM
Curious about brachytherapy--I don't want to do this!

Ok, I'm feeling calm and determined again. Just had a week of weakness (ew--sorry!). Of course I'll do the brachytherapy. I'll do anything to lessen the chance of a recurrance. The radiation oncologist left a message with my daughter Thursday canceling my consultation appointment, which was supposed to be yesterday. When I called the office yesterday to find out why, the front office lady said she had mistakenly scheduled me for a day when the doctor is at another hospital. These guys apparently travel around to different hospitals and clinics. Anyway, the scheduling was THEIR mistake, yet I have been relegated to the end of the list and have to wait another week and a half for an appointment. In the meantime, I'm moving from my outdoor classroom to a nice room inside the building, closer to the ladies' room. My husband and I were at school until after 8 last night moving stuff, and I'm awfully tired & sore today. Still not finished--it'll take another couple of days for the kids and me to get moved in to the new room, and I have to be ready for Open House in a week. All this activity should keep my mind off brachytherapy!


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