Brachytherapy experiences?

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Hi.

Would any lovely ladies who have completed Brachytherapy please share their experiences with me - good and bad? I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed (this seems to happen as each new phase of treatment approaches) and I urgently need some reality and context to help put things into some sort of perspective.

I have Stage 3C1 cervical cancer and have so far done 6 weeks of weekly chemo (paclitaxel & carboplatin) and am now doing 25 external radiotherapy (just done no. 9) and 5 cisplatin over 5 weeks. Immediately following this I have 4 sessions of Brachytherapy as an inpatient in 2 goes over 2 weeks and I'm feeling really low and scared about treatment and what my reality will look like afterwards in terms of likely long term side effects. 

Thank you. 

  • Hi FJS and welcome.  I am Stage 3C1 like you and am almost two years out of treatment.  I had three or four sessions of brachytherapy and my experience was not bad at all.  The worst part for me was having to lie still in a flatish position for quite a while but you really appreciate the toast and tea when it's over!!Joy.  There are different ways of administering brachytherapy - some ladies go into hospital and stay there until the treatment is over but mine was three (or four) weekly sessions and I found it do-able.  I think because the end of treatment is in sight and this is the final blast (and it's a strong one) it is much easier to tolerate mentally.  The weirdest sensation for me was when I'd had the anasthetic and I lost all feeling in my legs.  I hadn't been prepared for that the first time.  For me each session was relatively painless.  I do not have side effects as such but by the same token I'm not the same as pre diagnosis.  Please don't worry, your team will look after you so well.  They are faultless and so caring. This is the final blast to kick that cancer out into the ether and it will take a few weeks to recover from the treatment but the end result is so worth it. You have come this far  and you are nearly halfway through.  Well done.   Please keep us posted and let us know how you get on or ask us anything else that you are unsure of.  We are here for you.  Good luck xxx

  • Hi  

    I think the fear at each stage as we go through this is perfectly normal and understandable as each part of treatment is like stepping into the unknown.

    I couldn’t have the brachytherapy, although it was in my plan, and I was also pretty nervous thinking ahead to it as it did sound so scary. However, I knew it was a vital part of the plan, and it is the last big hit to this cancer so I was actually devastated not to be able to have it in the end. 

    I hope you’ve been getting on well so far and been coping well with everything. In terms of my own side effects from the chemoradiation, these disappeared pretty quickly after treatment ended-after a couple of weeks-and I had no lasting effects at all. I was changed mentally I think by having cancer and treatment, but physically I soon felt back to normal. 

    Sarah xx


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  • hi i have had this i think the feeling of the unknown is what gets to us i was the same as you my nurses in clatterbridge were amazing, there’s really nothing to it the most annoying part is lying still until it’s time to take the rods out, i had stage 1 cancer 18 months ago the only thing i have as a side effect from it is weeing myself because of the radiotherapy you will be fine 

  • Hi  and welcome to our group.

    I noticed your other post and I’m sorry to see that your anxiety and depression are feeling worse now. I think we’re so busy while we have lots of appointments and our treatments, that we focus on that..and when treatment finishes we can feel quite flat and start to worry about what we’ve been through, just processing it all. We can feel a bit cast adrift by the system, and have to get used to a new kind of post cancer reality.

    I think your feelings can be a very common reaction to everything. Are you getting any help with how you’re feeling, have you had a chat with your gp? You might find it helpful to get referred for some sort of therapy/counselling to help you work through this and how you’re feeling. I did find it very useful to have some counselling, and mine was quite a long time after my last surgery. 

    You may like to take a look at the Life After Cancer group which Mike recommended to you, where you will find people who are feeling the same though they may have had different types of cancer. 

    It’s a good step to have joined the community, so you’ll be able to connect with others who can understand, and please feel free to join in any threads in our group here. At least you will know that you aren’t alone, and I hope that will be helpful for you too.

    Sarah xx


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  • hiya yeah that’s true your mind is focused on treatments and things no one tells you about when you have finished your treatment how it will make you feel, yes im starting a group called sunflowers i have my first group session on wednesday xx

  • Oh, that’s positive news-I hope you’ll find it useful and it will help you to move on from where you are right now,

    Sarah xx


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