Internal radiotherapy

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Hi everyone,

I will be having internal radiotherapy at the end of my external radiotherapy and chemo, and I'm absolutely terrified. 

It isn't for over 6 weeks time, as I don't start treatment until 25th Sept, but i just can't get it off my mind. Its the thought of being connected and not being able to move for so long, possibly up to 24hr, and the discomfort which is scaring me so much. 

If there is anyone that's been through it that can give me advice on how they coped during the procedure, I'd be so grateful.

  • Hi  and welcome to our group.

    I’m sorry to see that the thought of brachytherapy is causing you so much anxiety but can understand why when it sounds such a scary procedure. 

    I wasn’t able to have this treatment after my chemoradiation  as I had a pulmonary embolism the night before I was due to be admitted for it-great timing! However as it is a standard part of the treatment, lots of ladies in the group have gone through it. You will read different stories about it affected ladies as everyone’s experience is different and the types of brachytherapy used are different in terms of number of sessions and the time it takes. 

    What I would say is that it can be an extremely effective final “hit” to the cancer, and I was devastated not to be able to have it-although I had exactly the same worries you are now experiencing. My cancer recurred fairly quickly (9 months after treatment) an£ I’ve often wondered if that would have happened if I’d been able to have brachytherapy. 

    However, for now if you can, please just try and take one day at a time. You haven’t started treatment yet, and I understand that fear of the unknown is a horrible thing. If you look for negative stories about brachytherapy you will find them, but equally there will be positive ones. People tend to post more about a negative experience than a positive when the person has moved on from it.

    Hopefully you will hear from ladies who have successful been through this and come out the other side. Ultimately, when I was due to have it I tried to think of it as one day out of my life when I may be uncomfortable but hopefully my cancer would be gone. Try not to focus on it for now-you need to get through your other treatment first. 

    Let’s hope some of the other ladies join in to share their experiences and be aware that not everyone’s experience will be a bad one. Please let us know how you get on when you start your treatment-many of us have been through what you are going to go through, so we have a lot of advice and support we can offer from our own experiences. 

    Sarah xx

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  • I'm so sorry to hear your cancer came back.  Are you still undergoing treatment?

    I'm really appreciate your message.  I'm trying to not to think too far ahead,  but it's just permanently on my mind. I will keep trying to focus on the here and now,.

    Thank you so much again for replying.

  • Hi  

    No, I’m not having any treatment as my cancer was removed with surgery more than 3 years ago. If you click on my name you can read my story. If you’d like to, it can be useful for others if you add your own story in your profile-it helps to connect with others undergoing the same treatment, and means you don’t have to answer repeated questions about stage/type/treatment as others can read it for themselves. I’ve never required any further treatment following my surgery so I’m aware I have been very lucky in that respect. 

    Try and keep thoughts of the brachytherapy way in the back of your mind if you can for now-there’s a lot to go through before you reach that stage, and although I understand it’s worrying to think of it, the worry doesn’t actually achieve anything. The here and now is what is important. 

    Sarah xx

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    Cervical Cancer Forum

    Macmillan Support Line - 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week between 8am-8pm

  • Hello cam 80

    Like you I was petrified of the thought of brachytherapy. However, when the time came to go through the procedure (one day per week for 3 weeks), it was so simple and more or less pain free. Relaxing day, so take something for keeping you occupied. I built this awful scenario up of what I thought it was going to be like, and it was  nothing like it!

    Hope your experience is similar

    Linda x

  • Thank you again, I will try and keep my mind off it xx

  • Thanks you for your reply, as its nice to hear from someone that's already been through it.

    I know there are different ways they do the procedure, one as an impatientand one as an outpatient, but I've been told I'll be in over night, so I think it will be for at least 24hrs that I'll have the applicators  bandages and catheter in, which is why I'm dreading it so much.

    I hope I have a similar experience to you and will make sure I take lots to do, and I am going to try to not worry about it until I get there 

    Thank you so much for your reassurance Heart️ xx

  • I was a day patient (8hrs). I was catherterized, and had epidural. 

  • They did ask if I'd want general or epidural.  How did you find getting the epidural?  Xx

  • I was dreading it, and I told them exactly that! They then gave me a pre-med which made me feel sleepy, so all was well 

  • Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. I'll have a think about the epidural. 

    I've read ia few more stories yesterday on Jo's trust aswell and I'm feeling slightly calmer.

    I will push this to the back of my mind for now and concentrate on the first part of the treatment. 

    Thank you both for your messages x