Top tips for radiotherapy wanted

Hi, 

I am due to start the first of my 37 radiotherapy sessions in January & appreciate most of you on here will be well in front of me treatment wise.

So, all I'm asking is for any top tips you might have for dealing with the radiotherapy  sessions.

Anything from bring a good book while you wait to things to avoid eating, I'm all ears

Many thanks in advance

Dave

  • Hi Dej2401, the hospital will probably give you a fact sheet with do’s and dont’s.

    I was told to avoid high fibre foods during radiotherapy so white bread, peeled apples etc, 

    I had to use a microenema an hour before the radiotherapy for the first ten days to get rid of gas in the rectum. I emptied my bladder and then drank three cups of water at which point I handed a card to the radiotherapy team. My treatment was due to happen 30 minutes or so after drinking the water but often it was longer. I took a book but ended up not reading much as you start chatting with the same people you see every day! 

    The thing I hadn’t thought about was don’t use normal shower gel or creams as they often contain some metal which can interfere with the delivery of the radiation. I used sanex zero or Johnson’s baby wash for 4 weeks. 
    All the best,

    Ido4

  • Hi Dave.
    My journey to and from the hospital took around 30 minutes each way by car. I found buying a urine bottle and keeping  in the car was a godsend. I would just pullover and hide it while using it, under a car blanket or coat. 

    best regards 

    Don't let your good days be spoilt by the worry of a bad day, that may or may not come along.

  • What they said, plus:

    Bowels are the biggest issue. They need to be the same every day, or the prostate may pushed out of position. How that's dealt with varies form place to place, and they will advise. But unless your bowels are 100% regular, that's the issue to be concerned about.

    Treat the words of the radiographers as Gospel: they've seen hundreds of people having the same treatment protocol, and they know what's going on. Sometimes, their advice seems odd, if not downright weird. Worry not. go with the flow, and don't be afraid to ask questions - they love it.

    Oh, and get a couple of 500ml water bottles! (I used coke bottles, they're tougher)

    - - -

    Heinous

    If I can't beat this, I'm going for the draw.

    Meanwhile, my priority is to live while I have the option.

  • Hello Dave, I would ask your G. P. for a prescription for Cetraben moisturiser (475ml) to apply to your skin during treatment. It is good. It is £12.99 so a prescription is better.

    Also my journey to the hospital was 40 minutes and the radiologist suggested I ring them each day to see if they were on time or running late so I could drink my 500mls of water 45 minutes at home and be straight in on arrival. Enema was 2 hours before appt.

    I felt the information sheets were helpful, given at the planning stage highlighting 'do' s and dont's' and side effects.

    Hope all goes well for you, best wishes, Graham. 

  • I am almost halfway through my 20 sessions, I  was told eat as normal if need be the team will let you know if a diet change is needed. I had the good old micro enemas for 7 days so had to arrive 1 hour early, use enema empty bladder then drink my water with 30 minutes before treatment.

    I have found the team are brilliant and have a good laugh with them, I also take a book for while I sit around waiting.

  • Hiya.

    I kept a daily schedule for water and enema, as I am lucky (?) enough to live near the treatment centre. 

    Did it to the minute almost, writing the times down for the week,

    not forgetting to alter it, as they may change your times/ days.  

    Do as they say to the letter and help them to help you.   

    Best wishes, the radiotherapy itself is nothing to worry about. 

  • Hi Dave

    I remember reading here to find out prior to treatment where all the toilets are on you route out of the hospital.

    Depending how I felt on the day after treatment I would-

    Either drive home (35 minutes) after visiting the toilet at the hospital if I needed it or not.

    I soon found that I was not going to make it home without a toilet, thus planning my route home that included several slip road options off the motorways that would lead me to larger shops or supermarkets that had toilet facilities.

    Enabling me to do carry on with my journey.

    Also

    I would some times feel not sure about driving home immediately after treatment, so I would read a book or pass time at the hospital until I had been to the toilet and felt confident enough to proceed home.

    Two good things to have are-

    Purchase a “Radar” key from Argos apx £6.50

    This will come in handy giving you access to disabled or locked toilets in an emergency.

    Obtain a toilet card from MacMillan always handy to have in your wallet to show people and ask to use the premises toilets.

    Feel free to read my profile

    Good luck with your journey, 

    Take care and stay safe 

    Spud

    ”you don’t know how Strong you are,

    until being Strong is your only choice”

    Bob Marley 

  • Hi Dave

    i was a radiotherapy radiographer so the only advice I can give you is to follow the radiographers advice to the letter!

    Also be patient…..sometimes when you have been put into position and the radiographers take an image to check it they may see that you have too much gas which affect the position of the prostate so you may need to get off the machine and go to the toilet.

    Sometimes there are delays and you may be bursting to empty your bladder so it’s worth getting a estimated treatment time before you go to the toilet as.If you have an empty bladder you will have to start drinking again.

    Good luck

  • Hi Exraygirl 

    Question for you that I've never got an answer to.

    I didn't have to drink fluid before my RT, some people did, just wondered what is the criteria for either drinking fluid or not.

    Thank you 

    Steve

  • Hi

    That’s a difficult one to answer as drinking is the norm for prostate cancer but my best guess is that your anatomy is such that it would have afforded you no benefit…..everyone is slightly different and your treatment plan would have been personalised for you  .

    Sorry I can’t be more specific