Treatment ongoing, mind now turning to brachytherapy

Hi all,

I just wanted to know if any ladies out there would mind sharing their experience of bracytherapy (honesty welcome!).  I have my last 7 external radios this week/early next so will be finished on 11/12.  My last chemo is thursday this week!!! Then I get time off for good behaviour and go in on 18/12 for first 2 bracy sessions, then again on 27/12.  The radiographer has been great and has already spoken to me at length about what will happen.  They normally like to admit you for 2 nights on the first session but have "swung" it so I just go in early on the first morning of treatment so I dont need to stay in the night before.  I have been given the dilators and a full explanation plus dvd lol so am good to go I suppose.  I suppose what worries me is my inability to stay still in the bed in between the treatment on 18/12 and 2nd on 19/12.  Also, is it painful?  I'm assuming painkilers are offered.  I was told entonox would be offered on removal of the tubes etc and although I know this wont be pleasant, childbirth has got to beat it in the pain steaks right? My boys also both have their birthdays on 21 & 22 Dec and from  a practical point of view, I want to know how to expect to feel as dont want to over commit to having parties or friends round for tea if I really dont feel very good after treatment.  Have been told that the effects of chemo, external rad and brachy will all likely peak together and am already very tired.

Frustrated that its such a busy time to be going through this - what a control freak?! Just want to be able to obviously look after myself but also make things as normal as poss for my beautiful boys.

As I said, honesty welcome





Hey Andrea - sounds like you are smack bang in the middle of things! Brachy for me was a bit rough - although I have not been through it may be easier for you..! They had trouble getting the rods in place when under anesthetic, and said they were quite forceful..therefore I was in some pain, but you are right, painkillers were given. I was in 2 nights and had 3 sessions (one in the afternoon on day 1 and then 2 the following day) I was able to go home that night if I felt like it, but I felt pretty average so I stayed in . It did take me a couple of days to recover..It was right at the end of chemo and radio..I was in bed for a couple of days after – and got extremely tired for the last 2 weeks treatment.

The removal was by far the worst part, but also it was very quick. I was not given entonox which might make things a little better!

I was also worried about having to stay still – but didn’t find this a problem, I had a visitor or 2 and then you are wheeled down for scans and the brachy so time did fly.  

Good luck Andrea and if you have any questions, just PM me! Vick x


Hi Andrea

I was a lot luckier than Cervy2B and my brachy was fine.

Obviously, I had been dreading it from the beginning - it sounds so utterly barbaric! The doc told me it didn't hurt, but of course I didn't believe her ... then two ladies whom I met in the hospital told me it didn't hurt - I was still a bit sceptical .... And you know what? It didn't hurt!

I was warned that my back might be painful because of lying in the same position, barely propped up, but it wasn't bad at all and they gave me stuff for it.  In my case, I had pulsed-rate brachy (this means that the radioactive material is only applied for so many minutes per hour).  They admitted me on the Wednesday afternoon, they inserted the applicators on the Thursday morning and I had to wait around for hours while they calculated the doses etc, the machine started pulsing on Thursday evening and finished just before midnight on the Friday.  However, they couldn't manage to "disconnect" me so I was pretty immobile until Saturday morning, when they took the applicators out under Entonox, which was fine.

The important thing is to keep occupied.  Take load of books, DVD players and films, laptop, etc and make sure that everything you are going to need is within arm's reach.  

I can't repeat this enough - it was not a bad experience at all.  In fact, I prefered it to my external rads.

As for the after-effects, they kept me until the Monday morning, but this is routine in my hospital.  I felt really well after they had taken the applicators out so I could move around and lie on my side!  As soon as I got home I went for a walk into town and restarted my exercise programme, so I think you should be OK for a little birthday party.  I should add that my brachy was a bit delayed, so I got my bout of "lying on the sofa" all day right at the end of my chemo-rads.

Hope all goes well for you - and don't worry about it.

Big Hugs

Hi Ladies,

thanks so much for the informative and honest replies.  I have to say that all expected side effects so far have not been as bad as imagined so hopefully this will be the same - I guess its the unknown and the thought of all the prodding and poking inside! Will definitely take lots of stuff to occupy me during my stay! Will also try and see it as a bit of a rest before my boys birthdays and xmas all commence and maybe make some plans for both boys to have a couple of friends for a party tea on their special days (21 & 22 December!!).  At least I also have a bit of a break from travelling to hospital each day after next week when my radio finishes so I can get organised etc.  Hopefully all will go as planned with no complications!

Thanks again ladies



Hi Andrea hope you are ok. You very kindly replied to my Macmillan forum post re starting chemo/ rads on the 12th feb…you adivised me to look at your post on here & the replies,which I have & found them very useful. I just wanted to say thank you! Reassured me before I kick off on the 12th xxxxx