I’m 27 and was diagnosed with stage 3C Cervical Cancer in January 2023. I have recently completed 5 x radiotherapy, 25 x radiotherapy and am currently sitting in the ward waiting to undergo brachytherapystage over the next 2 days.
I just wanted to give a bit of hope to all other stage 3 fighters as today when I was getting ready to leave home to go to hospital I received the best news - I’ve had a complete response to treatment and I’M CANCER FREE!! I still can’t believe it and thought it would be a while, if ever until I got this news, let along before the brachytherapy but I just want whoever reads this to hang on to hope and stay positive!! It’s just absolutely amazing what all these different treatments can do!
I have a 5cm tumour (stage 3C) and I’ve been really scared my treatment won’t work. Thank you for giving me some hope
That’s amazing news before bracky aswel, was that response from your MRI scan, I’m due my mri tomorrow will get my results next week, I have one week left of treatment and my first brac on Tuesday too, so nervous, how was Brac? I was 2a cc stage. X
Yeah that was the results from my brachytherapy planning MRI I had just after I finished all radio & chemo sessions! My tumour was 4cms with lymph node involvement, it’s just amazing what all the treatment can do, even months after it’s finished it still keeps working!
That’s me just home tonight from the 2 x over night stay for brachytherapy and I can honestly say it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as what I had in my head! I was truly sh***ing myself before I went in as your mind definitely goes into overdrive with the unknown but just listen to your body, don’t be scared to ask for pain relief even if it’s just to help you sleep and you will be absolutely fine!
I went in on Tuesday afternoon and had the usual checks - blood pressure, blood test, chest x-ray & ECG done then was just an evening of chilling out in the ward. Wednesday AM went down to theatre for local anaesthetic to have the rods put in place, followed by a CT scan to make sure it was all in the right position. I’d never been under anaesthetic before and got myself totally worked up about it but after they put the medicine through the cannula I couldn’t remember a think until I woke up in recovery! The rods are uncomfortable but definitely not painful, I found the catheter to be more uncomfortable/a strange sensation since you feel like you need to get up and pee but you can’t/don’t need to but the ward will have a list of pain relief written up for you to have when you need it! I buzzed every couple of hours for oramorph to keep any pains or discomfort away and just to help get some sleep last night while the rods were in! First dose of brachytherapy yesterday followed by the last 2 today with a 6 hour gap between the two! They clip the rods up to the brachy machine for around 10 minutes, no loud noises and you honestly don’t feel a thing! The last part is having all the packing, catheter and rods removed after your last brachy session which I also got myself completely worked up about as the unit in Aberdeen don’t have gas and air on the ward like I’ve seen other hospital units do and I just had it in my head it was going to be really painful! I can safely say it wasn’t anywhere as bad as I thought it would be without any pain relief. A few minutes of discomfort and pressure and it was all over with no pain afterwards! Very strange trying to sit up and stand after 2 days lying flat, a bit wobbly on feet for a while but was discharged and home from hospital just over an hour later!
Everyone is completely different but hopefully my experience will help to put your mind at ease and if you have any questions please please ask away! I found it really helpful to take sports juice bottles eg lucozade sport with me for drinking while lying down and a cool bag with some easy to eat snacks/finger food!
Sending lots of hugs & positivity your way lovely! It’s so easy and totally natural to let your thoughts run away with itself and panic wondering if things are working or not but just keep remembering the treatment still works for weeks/months after you’ve completed it too! You’ve got this x
Thank you for all that it really has put my mind at ease now, think I’m more scared for the unknown but sounds all ok, mine is Tuesdays for 3 weeks so no over night stays just day cases, but in 7am won’t be allowed home till like between 4-5, my anastetic is a spinal block, they haven’t said anything about anything else, al be glad when it’s all finished to be honest, how did you feel during treatment? See like me I have last week of radio next week plus Brac and chemo all in same week then the following Tuesdays will be just Brac, roll on 9th may. So now you are totally finished amazing you did it, so happy for you least you can relax now till ur 6 week check and ur next scan at 3 month. Xx
Thank you so much means a lot
Wishing you all the best for your last lot treatments and hope you aren’t feeling too run down from it all! apart from the tiredness and a few bowel issues and skin breaking down at the treatment area I’ve felt not too bad from the chemo and radio! Also expected to wake up in pain today from the brachytherapy rods being taken out yesterday but everything feels ok so far! How have you been feeling through it all?? I hope your brachytherapy goes smoothly, will be thinking of you! X
Well done Ndx that you managed all these! I remember how tired I was when I completed the brachytherapy which it was the worst for me… I really hope a quick recovery and to leave everything behind you
Glad your ok, and treatment went well, yes apart from tiredness I’m feeling ok and getting by, and few loose bowels, but other than that I’m ok skin seems to be ok still too, and thank you so much, I will update after my first Brac and let you know how my day goes hopefully smoothly🤞 You get plenty of rest now let your body recover, did you get asked to use dilators? Xx
I’ve got everything crossed for you!
Yeah I got a leaflet and a bag of different sized dilators home with me, it says in the leaflet to start using them around 6 weeks after you finish treatment, not looking forward to that but it surely can’t be worse than everything we’ve been through already x
I know definitely not, I’m not looking forward to using them but needs must al keep you updated on the rest of my treatment, take care and speak again soon xx
Hi @Ndx thanks for sharing your story! Amazing news that you are cancer free!! Can I ask how you found your brachytherapy and if you were able to get much sleep with the rods in? I have my first brachy on Friday then back in the following Wednesday/Thursday for my last 2 and will be kept in overnight. I’m dreading this bit so much and the thought of lying flat for 2 days! xx
Hey @Sha159 ! Aww thank you so much! Massive good luck for your first brachytherapy on Friday I hope all goes well you’re so close to the end of treatment now, absolutely amazing!! I hope you haven’t felt too bad during your treatment so far!
If you have look back the comments on this post from a few days ago I wrote a bit about my brachytherapy experience - hopefully this will help put your mind at ease a bit! I completely worked myself up about lying flat and legs still for 2 days but I took a small pillow with me to put behind my head/neck which was a god send to prop my head up a bit so your not completely flat for eating, drinking etc. I was also scared incase I tried to move or turn during the night but it’s amazing how your body just automatically responds and knows there’s something there and just simply won’t move! I found the rods themself absolutely painless, it was the catheter I found to be most uncomfortable out of everything but I think this was only due to it accidentally being pulled as the bag fell off the bed when I was in for the CT scan after everything was in to check all was in place as before that happened everything e felt absolutely fine! Everyone’s experience seems to be completely different as I’d read somewhere else that someone found their experience quite painful so I decided to keep on top of pain relief/oramorph every couple of hours to keep any discomfort or pending pain away! This definitely helped when trying to get some sleep too, along with an eye mask to block any light out from the ward and some ear plugs! We don’t give ourselves enough credit for how strong we actually are, it’s definitely the worry of going into the unknown but I can honestly say it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as I thought it would be! I’m now 3 days post brachy and again expected to be in some pain or discomfort after having everything removed but absolutely no pain at all, just some fatigue! You are in touching reach of end of your treatment now which is absolutely amazing!! If you have any questions at all please ask away! x
Thanks so much @Ndx that defo helps put me a bit more at ease! Just need to keep telling myself that it’s 3 more days of treatment then it’s all over! x