Nervous for Brachytherapy

Hello ladies,

Been a while since I've posted. Pleased to say that on Friday I finished my 25th radiotherapy session and all 5 chemo sessions done with. I did have another three radio sessions left but my Consultant decided to cancel them, which is confusing but ahh well.

I'm just looking for some info about Brachytherapy really. I know it sounds silly after spending five weeks in the hospital most days, but I'm terrible staying overnight! I suffer badly with anxiety and such and feel like I've had so little information regarding what's happening. I'm being admitted to a ward at 10am on Wednesday for bachy on the Thursday. I have no idea what to expect, how long I'll be there or anything.

Just after any info, particularly regarding how long the brachy takes etc. Very nervous!



Hhi hani, well done on getting through your treatment... You're almost there!! Take an mp3 if you have one and books or magazines. Everyone has different experiences but I found brachy tough. You'll have an enema the night before to clear your bowel. You'll be catheterised whilst your under and have the rods in. If you are in a lot of pain you need to tell the nurses...they will look after you! Dont want to go on too much, but just ask if you want to know will be fine xx☺

I hope no one minds me posting. It's not actually me thats going through the hell, its my mum. I've found this site really helpful and it's made me feel optimistic about my mum's treatment.

She has stage 2b, 28 sessions of ext. radiotherapy planned and 5 four hour chemo and one brachytherapy like you hani. My mum's also worried about the Brachytherapy but she's worried about how she's going to feel on the chemo. the consultant said she may have thinning hair and sickness and lethargy.....

Does everyone feel the same on Chemo? I'm trying to be strong for my mum and say that she wont necessarily feel like that... I have no idea really.

I feel really positive most of the time but then i have a wobble where i think what happens if......


I feel completely guilty that its not even me who has it.  i'd take it from her if I could....

Hi Shavorne,

Of course nobody minds you posting! That's what we are all here for :-) Your mum will most likely have Cisplatin as her chemo therapy, and it's not half as bad as you might imagine. It can be tiring but as long as she takes her anti-sickness medication she is very likely to sail through. Not many people on this therapy suffer any hair loss. The consultant has to alert her to all the possible things she might experience but to be perfectly honest with you, very few people suffer much on chemo. The radiotherapy sometimes causes a bit of diarrhoea but so long as she knows to expect this it's not devastating. I'm sorry I can't help that much about the brachytherapy. I had had a radical hysterectomy prior to all the other treatments so the placing of the rods for me was very easy.

Be lucky :-)

Hi Ladies,

As Tivoli said the chemotherapy doesn't seem to be too horrendous for many. It certainly wasn't for me (after my nausea was sorted) and I had 7 doses. Interestingly my hair has always malted all over the place, so when I was told there could be some thinning I immediately worried. I needn't have bothered, I stopped malting almost completely during my treatment! Sad to say that now i'm out the other side I've started malting again!!

It seems that different places do brachy differently. I think it's safe to say that it's not nearly as bad as you imagine it to be. I had 3 session each a week apart. I had a spinal block (epidural) and was heavily sedated. I don't remember anything about the insertion of the rods. Each week the first thing I was aware of was going to CT to check placement. Definitely take a book and/or iPod as there is a wait between placing rods and actual treatment happening. This is for the clever peeps to program the treatment. Movement and feeling does start coming back to the legs while you wait. DO NOT PANIC. I still didn't feel anything 'down there'. The brachy itself was painless. I felt a slight tugging sensation when rods were removed but not even close to pain. I was catheterised for the procedure and this was clamped off so I could fill my bladder. Once I was ready to pee they removed it. 

Hope this helps

Rachel xx

Thanks Tivoli...

your right, my mum's having Cisplatin.. she went today for her 'dummy run'... she lay on the table to make sure her tattoos are lined up with the machines n wat not.... she starts radiotherapy on Monday.... She has her Chemo the week after because she needs a blood test and a chit chat with the consultant about the chemo. I wanted to sit with her during Chemo, do you think this will be allowed? I keep forgetting to ask.

Hi guys, thought I'd update.

I had a prertt bad experience with the first Brachytherapy. When I came round after theatre I was immediately sick, which didn't mix well with lying flat on my back with an oxygen mask on! I was on hourly oromorph and codeine, and still in an incredible amount of pain. I started crying during my Ct scan when they moved me as it hurt so much. When I went to the waiting room bit, I felt really stupid as the other two women had no pain and I was having a terrible time. Apparently my body wasn't accepting the morphine. During the 4 hour wait before having the actual treatment, I had to wear an oxygen mask the entire time too.

Really hoping next week is less painful!

Hi Hani :-)

I am so, so sorry to hear what a rough ride you've had with the brachy, this is really very unusual indeed. For anyone else reading this who is nervous about forthcoming brachytherapy I'd like to stress that for most people it's nothing like what poor Hani has just described.

And for Hani, just a great big hug and hope next week runs easier for you sweetheart.


My mum's just started her radiotherapy. She's so tired its untrue.... Im not sure if its because shes not been sleeping with worry of if its a side effect of the treatment.  Was anyone else tired?

Hi, I've had 7 sessions of chemo, 28 sessions of radiotherapy and I have had 1 session of bracatherpy so far. I have advanced cancer so my chemo was really rough as I had a diffrent dose to what the other ladies would of had and I was very very sick cus of it but I've come out the other side and I feel fine now. You can sit with her whilst she has her chemo as i use to have my sister or nan sitting with me.....take books, magazines etc to keep you occupied as you maybe there longer than they advise (i use to be there from 9 am until 7pm sometimes but I had extra things), the radiotherapy gave me a really bad tummy and made me extremely sore down below to the point where I couldn't sit down without it hurting - I found a cream in boots which works with tour body and speeds up the healing process I can't remember what it's called but it was £9 and you have to order it in online but I can't praise it enough!!! It helped with the pain and within a week I would say the sores (I had blister like sores) had gone! I just get shooting pains going up inside of me now but I don't know if this is due to the radiotherapy or something else - so apologies if it isn't connected.

I had my bracatherpy last Tuesday and I was put to sleep really quickly (I was told I was having something to calm me down as I was so nervous! But I needn't of been as I slept after coming around then I was taken to have the bracatherpy which doesn't hurt it feels weird when they connect the machine to the rods and I became hysterical when they removed the packaging and rods as I am still sore from the radiotherapy and I had a bad experience from another op and I'm traumatised by it but the 3 nurses I had with me where brilliant. They helped me get dressed and litrally 10 minutes after coming back from having it done I was going home! I had the standard tiredness for a few days and slept a lot and I was sore as I'd had things put into me but then I felt fine so not everyone's experience is bad it's individual cases

Hi Shavorne :-)

I was shattered by exhaustion! If she needs to nap all afternoon that's fine. If she needs to read all night that's fine too. She must just do what her body is telling her. She'll get back to normal after the treatment is over don't you worry :-)

Lots of love

Again - thanks Tivoli for the reassurance. x She's been to see the Chemo nurse today and her first session will be tomorrow instead of next week..... She's having 5 four hour sessions along with the 28 sessions of chemo. my dad will be taking her tomorrow but i might go and take some newspapers n things for the last 2 hours.

i feel anxious but my mum has been a real trooper today. She was on the Chemo ward today to see the nurses before her treatment and my mum ended up giving comfort to another lady who was crying....

I'm nervous and keep thinking what happens if it doesnt work? Does that ever happen?

Hi Shavorne :-)

It's very rare that the treatment doesn't work. It's far and away more likely that it will work just fine and your mum will be fit and well again before you know it. I found it difficult to read during my chemo sessions because the canula made it difficult to turn pages. I tended just to nod off :-)

Be lucky :-)

My mum's been told that she needs an MRI scan before she starts Brachytherapy. Is this normal/routine?

Shavorne, hi,

rest assured, an MRI guided brachytherapy is as good as it gets.

Mri guided brachytherapy will ensure that they get the exact dimensions of the tumour and as such really target the tumour and not the healthy tissues nearby. 

If you want more info, i am sure the radiologist in charge will be able to give you a leaflet on this. Just call the hospital and ask to speak to the brachytherapy radiographer Who will be able to answer any questions you may have.


best wishes to you and your mum.





Thanks Naz for your reply x

My mum has same as you, 2B... no lymph node involvement they dont think. She's having 28 radio, 5 chemo and 3 brachy. Whats the brachy like? what do they do and how long does it take? x

Hi Shavorne :-)

The brachy involves inserting rods/tubes into the vagina so that they reach the site of the cancer. Once the rods are known to be in exactly the right place, little balls are rolled down inside them to rest on what is left of the cancer. The time it takes varies from place to place. Mine was very quick and simple because I had already had a radical hysterectomy so I had no cervix and no cancer remaining, it was just a belt-and-braces affair.

Hope that helps a little ;-)

Be lucky :-)

Ive just finished my chemo/radio and am due to have brachytherapy on tuesday, so being admitted tomorrow... Absolutely terrified as I have developed bi-lateral pulmonary emboli following the chemo... Consultant was awful and said im high risk from the general anesthesia they plan to give me, but he wouldn't give me any other options.  

Rootin' for you Stormy :-)

It'll be fine :-)