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Lorraine is a nurse specialist and sex therapist and volunteers here to answer your...
Well husband is at last had a pre-assessment for radiotherapy and hopes it will start in 3 to 4 weeks. Just wondering what side effects and if there’s anything I should buy to be prepared.
Just so glad treatment is starting. Lockdown isn’t fun when all treatments were stopped due to Covid-19.
So glad that your husband will be starting his radiotherapy soon. Some but not all men will get bladder and/or bowel disturbances at about half way through radiotherapy. I got one night when I was up all night passing urine but other than that nothing. If your husband does find this then he should tell his radiotherapist straight away and they will prescribe something. One can get either loose bowel movements or constipation - sometimes both and the same with bladder sometimes hardly stopping and sometimes hard to start. Other than that no one I know had any other side effects. I think some got more fatigued but hard to say whether this was the HT or the radiotherapy or just the pressure of travel to and from the hospital and the actual process rather than the RT. Remember everyone is different and some of us have few, hardly noticeable problems and others may have more. As son as he or you notice anything different then tell the radiologist and they will get someone to help try and sort things out. There may be others on here who have had other problems with Radiotherapy who can give a little extra insight.
All the best to you and hubby and keep in touch along the way.
Thank you for this response. Glad that you got through radiotherapy without too many problems. I am just so glad that treatment is starting, I was worried that it had been delayed because of coronavirus. My view is we will be happy to deal with side affects if it means a good result.
Hi Helen, I finished about a year ago (RT) and had luckily few minor problems. Had a little blood round the back when wiping and some clear gel like liquid a couple of time along with some severe wind but all are recognised side effects but I did check with the Macmillan Nurse at the Urology Dept by e-mail and she rang me the next day and that put my mind at rest. Before RT I slept through most nights and after was up two or three times but that is slowly improving and again was told that would happen at the finish of RT. Everyone is different though and what some get others may not but help and advice is always available. I think a lot depends on where the beam hits you as it were but the result will hopefully make it all worthwhile.
Good luck with the treatment and I hope any side affects are minor!
Hi Helen I'm really glad that this topic has come up as I have opted for radio therapy when I finish the HT, whenever that will be is anybodies guess. I think I will be following this for the foreseeable future, perhaps with a little trepidation lol.
As Des and Reg have both said everyone is different. I had bowel problems in the second half of week 3 of 4 but, after a misdiagnosis by my GP over the phone, it was all sorted out by the nurses at the treatment centre very quickly. I had a bit of leaking in week 4 and used some incontinence pads, but really needed incontinence pants for the journey from the treatment centre to home, which was over two hours (including a ferry journey).
So, in terms of getting ready, I would buy a pack of pads and a pack of pants. He may not need them but you can always pass the unused ones on to someone else.
Have a look at my profile for a link to my RT treatment diary.
I hope the treatment goes well.
Great, I was thinking about buying incontinence pants and pads. The hospital only allows the patient in at present so my husband didn’t think to ask questions about side effects he was just so glad that treatment was starting.
Hope you continue to keep well.
When I had my RT 20 sessions, I only had one bad day of diarrhoea, otherwise no problems, although it’s a great machine, because it’s a wide angled beam it can slightly affect other organs, it can happen in a week, month or a year later.
I say this because I suffered from so tact pains, about eight ten months later, nobody knew why, and believe me I had plenty of tests, no one would say it was radiotherapy, but it was inclined, I don’t get much pain now, but it lasted for a few years. So make sure they tell you everything including side effects.
Thank you for this information. I did get some tena man pants and a waterproof cover for the bed. Being prepared will make dealing with side effects easier. To be honest my husband and I are so glad that treatment is starting soon. I think it was harder not worrying that coronavirus delays were happening. Receiving a letter saying to shield for 12 weeks made my husband realise so scared of catching it in case it would be the end for him. He is now feeling more positive and in much better form. I also feel more positive, it has been so hard not being able to help him and feel like I have been walking on egg shells.
Being able to communicate with others who have been in the same situation is great.
Hey I’am the same, when I enter a shop I fly round the thing like I have wings then out.
theres lots of us on here who have gone through the same thing, any time you have worries just come on and ask, we’re all in the same boat.
If it’s not good news about the scans don’t worry, I like others are still here to fight another day.
I found that the bowel problems I had were pretty much controlled by dietary changes. However the hospital didn't give me the list of things I shouldn't eat or drink for a couple of weeks. So if you havnt received one ask and follow it- it could make all the difference!
Thanks for your words of support.
I try to keep my husband safe by only shopping locally (weekly) and going early when nobody about. When I get home food packages are wiped clean, I shower, & wash my hair, then wash my clothes.
My husband had mask on going to radiotherapy assessment and was pleased that they thought the double layer cotton mask was a great shape and fit.
I’ll be happier once radiotherapy has started and been completed.
I appreciate the contact with the lovely people I have had contact with on this forum.
Please realise how important you all are.
Hopefully your husband will have a similar experience as mine. He will probably have a similar time each day for the RT so the same people will be in the waiting area. You will be surprised how a really supportive atmosphere is created once people start saying Hi! Towards the end I felt a little guilty as we seemed to be having such a good time and actually laughing! Who would have thought?
Don't forget to ring the bell on the last day - if the hospital has one - it gives others hope that there is an end to it all!
Take care of each other.
Sorry to monopolise your thread but I have thought of something else I wish I had taken more notice of.
The hospital will tell your husband to keep his fitness and strength up. This will be very difficult as the RT and hormone suppressing drugs will make him feel very fatigued. Whatever exercise he can do will benefit him in the longer term once the RT is over.
It's harder to get your fitness back after it's gone - as I'm finding out.
I hope I am helping at such a difficult time.
Just adding my bit. My side effects were as expected, mainly fatigue for a few days and blood in the expected places. My bowel movements were 'variable' but I've only about half a bowel following bowel cancer. (6 years ago and clear.) But that's another forum. My PSA is dropping slowly and I wish it would hurry up, but at least it's going in the right direction. I believe success rates for rt are very good! Best wishes.
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