Brachytherapy in-patient

Hello everyone, this is my first post! 

I was diagnosed March this year and Friday just gone I completed my 5 chemo and 25 rads. So far so good. 

I'm due to start my brachy on Tuesday next week as an in-patient over 4 days. Due to covid it's been outsourced and I'm in a private BMI Hospital. 

I'm so scared by it! More scared and worried than I was when I was told I had cancer. It just all sounds awful and lying still for 4 whole days etc worries me. 

Does anyone have any positive stories! I know it must be done but a small part of me wants to not do it ☹️

Just make sure there's a plan by your team -

docs and nurses have experience and have dealt with patients having this done before. What kind of pain meds are you going to have or be at your disposal? Are you having a push button morphine set up for you? Make sure you have pain meds and even muscle relaxants available... Just in case.

Ask for them team doing it to wet the packing before they take it out and you are given meds before they take the tubes out. 

Is there anyway you can have it done 6hr apart? This will help with treatment time? I was down to have three over 3 days, but I did my research and found they could give you two zapps as long as it was 6hrs apart so I cut a day out. I'm sure if you are having it done in a private hospital they are use to patients like us and maybe even more on the ball than the NHS? I had brachy 2 weeks ago in an NHS hospital and they restricted a few things and I was on a ward that had no idea of what was actually happening. A few of the nurses had insight and they were brilliant. Some however, needed a kick as did the doctor. But it sounds you are going to a specialist hospital that does this. As long as you have experienced doctors and nurses, good pain killers (if you need them) muscul relaxers and even sedatives to help you sleep you'll be fine. 

Ps...i was exactly the same as you. 

Ask your team to see if you can have 2 zapps in 1 day to cut the time down. Even phone the private hospital up and see if you can speak to someone. We are hear for you. The ladies on here are amazing. 

You can do it!! It's by no means a walk in the park but you will get through it. 


My brachy was split in 2 x 24 hours and the staff was so kind and caring for me. I chose to have an epidural instead of general anesthesia, I was awake the whole procedure when they inserted the applicator. 


By the time they were done calculating my epidural wore out and although I had access to a morphine pump I managed to just have paracetamol. Didn't need anything when they took the whole thing out either.


My experience wasn't as bad as I pictured it to be. It was really doable. You can do it!!! Wishing you all the best!

Hello! I had my brachytherapy as an in patient and honestly it wasnt too bad. I worked myself up about it so much beforehand and almost talked myself out of it, but I did it! And would do it again if I had to. The time passed much quicker than I thought it would. The nurses came in and out and kept me topped up with pain relief so ensure I was completely comfortable at all times. I watched TV, played on my tablet and slept quite a lot! The things I thought felt strange were getting up and walking after laying flat for a few days, (my legs went to jelly) and the catherter being removed, but they gave me gas and air for the removal of everything which helped! I really hope it all goes well for you <3 

Hey lovely, 

well done on getting through all the chemorads just the final hurdle to go!! You're almost done woohoo! 

I had the same treatment that it sounds like you are going to have, this is my story. (Sorry it’s a bit long..) 

I got to the hospital on the Monday had to wait a while to get my bed by then I'd missed my tea :( luckily I brought snacks, I had to stop eating by 10pm. At some point in the evening I had a suppository enema and continuous obs. 

I was in a private room with a tv, which was broken as were my light switches by my bed so I wish that I'd had a face mask coz I hate sleeping with the light on, and if you have long hair maybe french plait it coz mine was matted to my scalp by the end of 4 days. 

The next morning I was wheeled down to theatre to have the rods inserted and woke up in recovery with no pain but flat on my back (my consultant raised the head of the bed a bit which the nurses kept putting back down but I kept raising a bit after they left) I was wheeled back back to my room for a bit then had my first treatment which involves being wheeled through the hospital (in my case) to the radiotherapy section and then wheeled into a room where tubes are attached to the rods and then when everyone leaves you can hear the radioactive balls roll into place but it's just like radiotherapy not painful In the slightest and no where near as noisy, lasts maybe 5 minutes. 

The next day I went for a scan to check rod placement and treatment plan and then about an hour later I was taken down for my second treatment, I was monitored constantly and catheterised and had a morphine pump, which they forgot about until the end of the second day but really I wasn’t in the slightest bit of pain. 

I had 4 treatments over 3 days and though I wouldn’t choose repeat the experience it was completely doable and if I needed to do it again I would without hesitation. It was scan, wait, treat. I think this way they make sure they are targeting the right areas with the correct dosage. 

Really you’re so busy, being wheeled to scan and treatment and someone doing obs and then people constantly coming and going and  more obs the time goes pretty quick. 

The worst parts for me was I wasn’t allowed to eat anything other than dry toast, I did not eat the dry toast that is sacrilegious! I did have a few sweets but tbh I guess it’s hard to go for a number two When you have to be flat. They give you codeine which helps bung you up I think.

The frustrating parts were the health care assistants kept moving everything away to give me a wipe down and forgetting to move it back. And a couple of times they got shitty with me because I couldn’t relax, I found it hard to allow someone to manoeuvre me around with rods shoved up my foof whilst attempting to make small talk. 

They also kept leaving the lights on and I couldn’t turn them off, it’s the silly bits that I found hard not the treatment itself, but I doubt you will have difficultly with any of that, as you will be in a different hospital. 

There was one amazing porter who was really slow and patient but some were speed demons and the bumps can be a bit uncomfortable. 

Only getting to wear a hospital gown completely open at the back sucked too as I said it’s the silly things 

All in all on the last day I had my treatment around lunchtime, but this point I was ready to kill someone for a pasty and a cup of tea, but went for a scan then treatment and immediately after I went to have the rods removed. They gave me the amazing gas and air I had during labour, god I love that stuff so I was happily off my tits and very reluctant to let them have it back I didn’t really notice the removal I vaguely remember there being an insane amount of packing. 

And that was it, back to my room but sat up in the bed was amazing!!! 

The nurses told me to take my time and chill because of jelly legs but I thought bugger that, straight in the shower and out of there!! 

It did feel weird to walk and a bit unsteady. I did have a sore patch where I think the packing rubbed and sweated but it cleared up in a couple of days, I was a bit worried about peeing after 3 days with a catheter but it was fine.

My sister picked me up about 2 hours after and the next day we drove to London and I got on a plane to Japan for my holiday. 

I would recommend, sweets, a bottle that you can tip up without spilling, they give you a cup with a straw but it’s hard to make even simple movements. I took books but I couldn’t read holding the book above my head. Maybe audible books, my phone was my lifesaver. 

Don’t be afraid to buzz for anything, always make sure you have a good jug of water and make them fill your bottle up too. 

It really was fine, and I am sure you’re be good too, you’ve come this far. 

I will be thinking of you and hope everything goes really well, you’re sooo close. 

Massive hugs and loads of love xx 

Thank you so much everyone. Reading all these has made me feel a lot better! 

I am having 2 zappings in one day, 6 hours apart. So one Wednesday, 2 Thursday and one Friday. So the Friday night stay at least I'll be able to sit up in bed etc.

Ill take a water bottle, good tip and I've got some sweets and monster munch to take! 


Ive downloaded 5 films on my iPad and I have audible so that's a good idea as well. As reading will be hard laying almost flat! 


Roll on Saturday and home time!

Ask if you can eat and drink as usual and ask if you can have immodium. I was allowed to eat and drink as normal. I had poo explosions on the day but I stood firm and insisted I needed imoduim and that I wasn't going down to theatre until I received it. The oncologist was summoned and the medical doctor was told to give me them as she didn't want to give them until I had a c diff sample taken. It was sorted. I took a bag of food I kept on my bed, with kindle, phone, lip balm, baby wipes, moisturiser. I made sure my charger was plugged in and I cellotaked it to the table so I couldn't loose thr end and made. Sure the call button was also strapped to the bed as well as the over head light was near for me to turn on and off. I asked for a fan and as I was in a room on my own they said I could have one. On the wards they're not allowed due to covid. I was also very cold at times - don't know if this was due to the spinal or the morphine I had. I was allowed to sit up 35/45 degrees and my legs were allowed to go sideways and move from the hip. I did suggest after the rods were in place that maybe an airbed would be of use as it allivates the pressure in areas. They agreed... But I didn't get one! I had a soreness from my catheter... So the poor rads assistant had to lube and numb my "wee hole" as he put it! The shame.... But I didn't care as it did help! The lady rads assistant deflated the bubble that holds the catheter in place as this also allivated some of the pressure/discomfort. My addise is, is to be very verbal about your needs and not giving a shite. Be polite but at the end of the day it's your body, your vagina and how you feel. 

Oh and also, pack lip balm, my lips always get so dry in hospitals! xxx

It's all done! Back home. Managed to get out of hospital late yesterday instead of today. 

I had a shower not long after they removed all the stuff, but forgot to ask about baths. I really fancy one. Is it ok to have one? 

Hi copperpot. 

Have you now finished all your treatment? 

Well done!

I hope they treated you like the queen that you are? 

Yes all finished! It went ok not exactly as per the plan. I was told I'd be having a general anaesthetic and I didn't. Had an epidural and propofol. But tbh that worked well and I had no memory of the rods etc being put in.

Pain relief was codeine and paracetamol for the 3 days. And a syringe of oramorph before I was moved for treatment. I had to go in an ambulance for a 2 min drive and into a different bit for actual treatment. That again worked well.  

For removal I was hoping for more propofol or gas and air. But didn't get that. It wasn't pleasant but was over super quick.

They forgot to give me my anti sickness tablet with the last oramorph so I spent a good few hours after being sick. Couldn't even keep water down to prove I could wee. But I got up after 20 mins and had a shower which was bliss. Then managed to wee enough for them to let me go home yesterday evening instead of today ?

Ive got one huge blister right on my inner thigh. Not going to pop it. Just let it go down on its own. So glad it's all over!  


I was on ormal morph every hour or so and injectable morphine every hour and half for 2 days. Why were you sick? What caused it? 

I wasn't sick on oral morph thankfully as I had quite a lot of it! I was so tanked up on morphine I could hardly stand... Looked like bambi and got back into the hospital bed and slept the whole night. They kept me in because of the dizzyness and the vertigo I was experiencing from it all. 

I only got oramorph when I was being moved so twice a day. It makes me sick as do most opiate based painkillers. So I was getting anti sickness tablets with it every time. 


The last day I didn't get given them with it so I was sick a lot. Rest of the time was just paracetamol and codeine which I'm generally ok with. Felt very dizzy after removal they told me to lie in bed for an hour. But I wanted to go home, so waited til they were left me alone and was up and into the shower. Luckily lots of things to hold onto ?

Congrats on being done!! And hopefully now you can relax and be kind to yourself. 
Much love xxx