Honestly this is the bit I have been dreading.
This is when I could readily disembark the Rollercoaster, after all I have had four weeks of radiotherapy: surely that’s enough?
At first I couldn’t quite work out why: after all I have had cervical smears & internal examinations during my adult life & while they are uncomfortable & a bit embarrassing; its over soon enough & could save your life.
For heaven’s sake! I had a hysterectomy & that is (trust me) one of the most undignified things you can have surgically speaking – but it’s ok because you are anaesthetised & you can switch off. I can’t comment on brachy treatment under anaesthetic, because I had a hysterectomy as part of my Rollercoaster which is why I get to stay awake (lucky me!).
I talked it through with a couple of female relatives & friends because it was baffling me. With their help I was able to tease out what was bothering me about it. I realised that it’s because the treatment is given over five days, while awake & that I will have another woman inserting a probe into my vagina & not for pleasure.
Call me fussy, but I think it would have helped to have had a bit of understanding & reassurance in the patient information you get.
As it was, on the last day of the external radiotherapy one of the radiographers remarked (very cheerfully) that I was finishing that day & “just have the Brachy” to do; I owned up to my apprehensions. He was really kind & reassuring, telling me that there was “nothing to worry about” & commending the specialist radiographer who will give the treatment.
My response (made with good humour I promise) was that while I would accept his professional opinion as a radiographer, as he doesn’t have a vagina I would have to make up my own mind & get back to him! The gentle banter which followed did a lot to make me feel a little less stressed by the prospect: but until it is underway I reserve the right to be apprehensive!