Brachytherapy - Stage 2a

Oh no I know, thank you, I wasn’t being rude or anything.

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It is painful and uncomfortable but like others have said it is 100% necessaey for sucessful outcome. I had 3 rounds of brachy and it was sucessful. You are usually sedated when they do it so you wont feel it. It makes you very sleepy.

I don’t have a hospital phobia but I was absolutely terrified (as are most of us) about the brachy. I was stage 3C2. I did 4 sessions over 2 weeks. I’m in Scotland, I went in one morning, had a GA and got the rods inserted. I woke up an hour later, had scans etc to make sure they were in place okay then got hooked up to the radiation for 15 mins. I had to keep the rods in overnight which was a bit uncomfortable, got scanned again in the morning and then hooked up to the radiation again. I had gas and air to get the rods out, I was the most scared of this part but to be honest the worst bit was getting the GA as they couldn’t find a vein and had to go on the underside of my wrist which was very painful, but I have bad veins! To be honest I didn’t know I had a catheter in until they told me they were removing it, it was put in during the GA so didn’t feel anything having it put in or taken out.
I then did it all again the following week, and believe me if it was as bad as I imagined it to be I wouldn’t have gone back for round 2!
As others have said brachy is the cherry on top when it comes to getting rid of this horrible disease.
You need to speak up to your doctors, nurses, consultants etc about your fears and hopefully they will provide you with some additional support x

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Hi Frenchie,
I am so sorry you are having to go through this but you are in the right place. So many of us have experiences that can help other women going through the same thing. I understand about the hospital phobia. You need to voice your concerns with your nurses and doctors to see if they can do something in addition to the medication you will receive. I was diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer which was a shock because I had just had a glowing pap report just nine months prior. And I was diagnosed seven months after I lost my beautiful husband of nearly 43 years of marriage to a glioblastoma brain tumor. That being said, when I started chemotherapy and radiation I was told about the brachytherapy. I had never heard of it but when it explained I couldn’t wrap my head around it really. But when I came to the end of chemo and radiation, the brachytherapy seems pretty easy. Yes, the rods were there but I was able to get through it and had 3 sessions. All my nurses and doctors were fabulous. I saw it as the welcome end of a long treatment plan. I did have a radiation boost set after the brachytherapy. Mine wasn’t painful just uncomfortable at spots. In a way, I thought it was interesting how it worked. I didn’t have to stay overnight in the hospital the radiation session itself wasn’t too long compared to the preparation time. The days that I had the brachytheraphy were long and I spent the time reading or scrolling through Instagram to take my mind off it all. I know this is all terribly scary for you. A wise nurse told me that if I could see all the treatment as my friend and warrior that I might get through it better. Granted, I was a new widow and in shock from that, but I did see the chemotherapy, the radiation, and the brachytherapy as my weapon to kill the cancer. So, each time that radiation machine purred around me, I cheered it on silently and pictured it in my mind the cancer cells exploding and dying. My chemo treatment was pretty harsh on my body, but I got through it. You will, too. You have a whole life to live and yes, everything looks different now, but you will get through it. I am in the US and had the opportunity to go to a research teaching hospital for the latest treatment and everyone was very helpful in answering my questions. I am working on my 3rd year of being cancer free and feel good. You will make it. Ask a lot questions and don’t be shy in asking for help.

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Thank you for your kind reply. I am so sorry for the loss of your husband and then this awful thing happening to you.

I’m really suffering mentally over this, it’s excruciating. I hope somehow I find a way through.

Hi Frenchie,
My advice would be to discuss your phobia with your CNS and oncologist, they may have strategies that can help. You won’t be the first person to be in this position and you have the right to be treated with respect and dignity and to be taken seriously. I’m sure you will.
I’d also recommend you have a listen to the RadChat podcast and follow them on Instagram. The team are super kind and experts in radio/brachytherapy and may be able to offer some wisdom. Also remember that Macmillan have some very useful forums and an Ask the Expert facility.
I can only speak to my own experience and I appreciate that it’s not all that helpful but I genuinely found brachytherapy to be the least impactive of the treatments. I was largely unaware of the rods and was treated like a princess by the incredible team.
I wish you courage and strength, I truly believe you can do this xxx

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Thank you so much for your kind response. I just wish they’d give me a date to start :frowning: the waiting around is driving me absolutely crazy. I’ll have a look at that instagram for sure - thank you!

I see you’ve had a lot of response around this already, (I didn’t have the same staging as you) but around this time last year I was terrified of having brachytherapy. (Firstly I’ve had a long term fear of having a general anaesthetic in general so I was fearing this) and the whole process sounded scary. Whilst it wasn’t the nicest of procedures it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be and I guess I had the comfort that I knew this procedure was one sure way of blasting any lingering cancer cells away. I also met some lovely people in the ward I was in at the treatment hospital who I’m still in touch with now. Please tell the health professionals how you are feeling (I did at every opportunity) and they were so supportive and looked after me once I did. I hope all goes ok for you.