Stephen's Story

White British
Sexual Orientation
Relationship status
Married/In a Civil Partnership

Tips and advice for any bladder or bowel side effects of treatment

After the first 4 EBR sessions (Mon-Thu) I noticed I was having difficulty passing urine. On the Friday I reported this to the radiologists and I was referred to one of the specialist nurses. I was told I would need to get some tablets but no one (in a huge hospital) was available to sign a prescription. By the Monday when i got the pills I was in agony and suffering sleep deprivation, but was told to take the first tablet the next morning. My advice for anyone in the same situation would be to take one immediately as the relief when I did take one the next morning was almost instant. I was able to pass a strong stream of urine for the first time in days.

Tips and advice for any sexual side effects of treatment

I also had hormone therapy injections. This is apparently used as a chemical castration drug and that's effectively what happened. A year after the first injection I am only just starting to get soft erections.

Tips and advice for any physical side effects of treatment

If you have hormone treatment you WILL get hot flushes. My wife sympathised with me. I also had fatigue and I just had to slow down.

How this treatment impacted my life the most

The inability to pass urine for 3-4 days was awful, and the delays caused by "nobody available to sign a prescription" really exacerbated that. I could not sleep and was in constant pain during that time.

If I had to do it all over again, would I choose the same treatment?


Why did I give this answer?

The potential 20% chance of being urinary incontinent for the rest of my life with prostatectomy surgery was the biggest factor in choosing radiotherapy. That and the fact I found out about, and chose to use the SpaceOAR Hydrogel (rectal) Spacer to minimize the side effects of the radiation therapy. I had to find out about this myself and pay for this privately in Scotland, even though it is NICE approved in England. That grated me. I compare my outcome to a friend who had a similar treatment path (he was about 10 months ahead of me), but he was not told about the rectal spacer. He had much greater bowel problems than I did (so the spacer seemed to work) and he still had bowel problems 6 months after radiotherapy ended whereas my minor bowel problems ceased within 2-3 weeks.

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