starting chemorad and so scared

hi all,

brand new to this site.  i was diagnosed with invasive squamous cell carcinoma on 1/3/14.  oops, sorry will use the EU date writing format, 3/1/14.  PET scan on 8/1/14.  staged initially at a IB.  i then saw 2 of the best gyno oncologist surgeons in my city, and they each looked at my data and said i'm more like a II B.  One said closer to a III, as he believes there is some spread starting.  neither gyno oncological surgeon will take the risk of operating on me.


i've never been this scared in my life.  i don't want to burden my friends and family with it all the time, although I have some good supports.  i guess i want to know what to expect from the 6 weeks of daily external beam radiation , weekly chemo (cisplatin, given as a booster, so 1/2 the usual dosage), and towards the end (and the scariest sounding part of all), the brachytherapy with the Iridium isotope high dose radiation. 

what are the honest side effects?  should i look at taking short term leave from work, or take it as it comes?  can i be around others during radiation (some people have told me that its best to not be around pregnant women- is this true?).  also, can i start taking estrogen during the tx to help with the instant menopause i will experience, or do i have to wait? 

i'm so scared.  because i have no idea what to expect.  and i never get scared re: my health, as i've always been healthy.  i'm 36 years old.

any experience with the external beam/ chemo/ brachy therapy would be most beneficial.  thanks much, and God bless.  do know that by helping me, you are being of great service, and itis extremely helpful to me to share the good, the bad, and overall, the truth.  thanks again.

love and light,

carolinagirl

 

 

 

Hello Carolinagirl - I  understand your fear, having gone through treatment (as you can see my history below).  I feel like a 'bit of an old pro' now!! Never thought I'd feel good about giving advice but there you go! It helps me and I certainly hope it helps others.  In my experience, and you have to be aware that everyone reacts differently, so I can only tell you my experience, knowing yours could be the same, completely different or at least in part - similar.

Chemo made me nauseaus.  For the first week after I pretty much lay about in my pyjamas.  I didn't throw up, but wretched a bit as I was ultra sensitive to smells of certain things. The second week I got less & less nauseaus and by the third week I was out & about, normality returned. 

Radiotherapy was - dare I say 'a doddle'.  Just a bit tiring as I had to take the train to the Cancer Centre, an hour & a half there and an hour & a half back.  I did have a bit of diharrohea but it was easily controlled by taking immodium.  

Brachy again was 'easy' no more invasive than inserting a tampax.  

I can't help with the menopause questions as I'd already had mine before all this started.  As for taking time off work,  I  have been off for over 15 months altogether!   Don't think that you will need the same time off - as I say everybody is different and you may only need a few months off.  My work  are absolutely brilliant - I finished all treatment on July 2013 and have been in to visit them several times and they are putting no pressure on me whatsoever to return.  I will have a 'staged' return when I do go back.  At this point - I don't really care if I never go back, I'm becoming more & more undecided on this.

Anyhow, hope this has been of some help?

God Bless

Sharon

dear Sharon,

thank you so much for your response.  it was indeed helpful to hear from someone who has directly gone through this.  i got my portocath put in yesterday, and i will start chemo and external beam radiation next week.  thank you again Sharon.  you have been very helpful :)

love and light to you,

carolinagirl

 

Hi

I have no experience of the chemorads I’m afraid but I did have the internal brachytherapy. Mine was the high dose one, it may be a bit different for you as I had a hysterectomy first but it really was not a problem at all! Took 10 minutes each time, no discomfort at all and in the grand scheme of things was the easiest thing I had to go through! Even left the last session with a going home present of a dilator :slight_smile:

Wishing you lots of strength for your treatment, I hope it all goes as well as it can for you.

Take care
Ali x

Hi there  i know its ascary time butbtry  to stay strong i was stadge 2b six weeks radio every day chemo and  bfacy and ive just hadhad the all clear x

 

 

 

 

Hi there

Im the same stage as you and Im 3 1/2 weeks into the same treatment plan.

So far, I have been very lucky and not experienced side effects that I had anticipated.  The first 2 weeks were fine, and because I have taken leave from work and focussing on the treatment I can take things steady.  Week 3 I started to experience some diahorrea but this is manageable with the tablets, but for me they take a few hours to kick in.  Its not everyday, but for approx 36hrs at the moment.    As time goes on I am getting a little more tired, but as side effects go these are easy to manage.

Chemo days for me are long ...... I take my food and drinks, and get up and go for a little walk to help keep any swelling down (my legs swell a little) and also to relieve the boredom .... Im lucky my other half comes with me to keep me entertained, but it is a long day.    Although they are pumping you full of fluilds I do find I get thirsty, so make sure you take your favorite drink with you - water all day for me is boring !!!

Hope your treatment is going ok

Thanks to the others who have gone further down the road than me - its a real lift to read your posts

Tracey

 

Just what I wanted to hear. I am stage 2b and just about to start the same treatment as you have had. I am scared but ready for battle to commence. Your experience has given me  your experience has given me so much confidence and strength. My doctor said that I am quite old to have cervical cancer 69 years young. I had all my smears but somehow slipped the net thank you so much x

Hey..I have 3 more radio sessions left. I feel ok. Have been suffering s little with my bladder nd bowels but it is manageable if you get the.tablets right. I don't think it is as bad ad I was expecting but I've not had the chemo. I wish u well in your treatment hun xxx

Hi! I just finished the last treatment of brachytherapy this morning, after being diagnosed with stage 3B cervical cancer last December. I have a blog that details some of my experiences hannahspath.com. 

 

Remember to eat well and keep your head up and the treatment will be over before you know it. It is a month that feels like forever and so short at the same time. And take off of work if you can! You need this time to concetrate on yourself anod your health. 

Hi

Had combined chemo/RT treatment for Stage 2B (I think mine was also nearer 3B) Dec 2003/Jan 2004

2 more external RT Feb 2004 to treat lymph nodes then Internal rads (this was before the new machines so had to be confined

to bed for 48 hours but they don't do this now).

Treatment was OK felt a bit of nausea towards the end and a bit tired.  Did not go to work/went sick but thought it best to keep myself as strss free as poss

(speak to your GP).

 

All clear May 2009

Let me know if you need any help/support or further questions

Hi

Had combined chemo/RT treatment for Stage 2B (I think mine was also nearer 3B) Dec 2003/Jan 2004

2 more external RT Feb 2004 to treat lymph nodes then Internal rads (this was before the new machines so had to be confined

to bed for 48 hours but they don't do this now).

Treatment was OK felt a bit of nausea towards the end and a bit tired.  Did not go to work/went sick but thought it best to keep myself as strss free as poss

(speak to your GP).

 

All clear May 2009

Let me know if you need any help/support or further questions

HI Debi

Fantastic to hear you have had tghe all clear - remember reading and replying to your post about this time last year when you were

at the beginning of your treatment.  I remeber mentioning the oncologist told me the treatment was goo d and that I had a very good chance and she was right...

TAKE CARE

Karen - Stage 2B 2003 RT/Chemo All clear May 2009

Hi all, A year has passed since I started my treatment for Cervical cancer stage 2b. I had 25  external radiotherapy treatments with Cisplatin once a week for 5 weeks. Then unfortunately I had a viral infection & spent 2 weeks in isolation in Hospital. Then I had 3 Brachytherapy treatments over 3 weeks under anaesthetic each time. I found it a bit gruelling at times but was fortunate to be able to stay in the hospital hostel from monday to friday for the 5 weeks of my chemoradiation treatment. This was a godsend as not only was it less tiring than having to travel 50 miles each day staying with other women going through similar treatment was really good. We supported each other through good & bad days,compared symptoms & generally had a laugh. I had two good reviews & I await my next reveiw next month. I get the jitters about a week before as we all do but fingers crossed 'Terry Tumour' as we call it has left my body. My main probs have been 'unpredictable bowels' & bloated tummy & hip & groin pain. This forum is so good because there is always someone with the same symptoms as you. I was 70 in October & I have found that I seem to be the oldest woman I know who has had Cervical cancer. I had all my smears until I was 64 when they stop doing them so I slipped the net unfortunately. Is there anyone out there a similar age???

Thank you all on the Forum for your help over the last year.

Good luck to everyone.