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Driving after radiotherapy

User
Posted 11 March 2016 09:55:33(UTC)

Just canvassing experiences on this one. In early April I will commence 20 sessions of External Beam Radiotherapy alongside my existing hormone treatment of 150 mg Bicalutamide once a day. The 20 sessions are at a higher dose than the more usual 37 sessions.

I'll be driving myself to the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre on the Wirral - a round trip of 70 miles (35 each way). Mostly motorway but it can get quite busy. I have offers of lifts for some treatments but my question for those who have had radiotherapy is this - will there come a time towards the end of the treatment when I really shouldn't be driving?

I realise this is one of those "how long is a piece of string" questions but any real world experiences will be helpful as I am the only driver in our household.

 

 

User
Posted 11 March 2016 20:22:39(UTC)

Hi Pete, I drove my O.H. first day after that he felt fine to drive tho not so many sessions(15). There is also the possibility of a hospital car or taxi. I know they do this at Clatterbridge as we were asked if we could wait to see team and allow taxi patient to go first. Take it you know free parking near cancer centre. Other parking is chargeable. Good luck with it all .El

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User
Posted 11 March 2016 21:43:55(UTC)

Hi Guys,

When having EBRT at my local hospital I drove myself every day, in those days we used to have to urinate and then drink 2 cups of water prior to every session, I very soon learned where the handy toilet stops were too and from the hospital, so it wasn't a problem.

When I later had HDR Brachytherapy at Mount Vernon, 100 miles from home on an unfamiliar route I made the mistake of driving myself, a 2 hours drive with 5 frantic searches for a toilet, I even gate crashed a corporate conference in a posh hotel, not something I would recommend!

However the nurse had kindly provided me with a couple of those papier mache urine bottles

My local hospital, a standard NHS trust, had an area of the car park set aside for cancer treatment, and whilst attending cancer treatment we got our car park ticket validated free of charge.  I can't believe this was a voluntary kind hearted initiative of my local hospital, I suspect it was national NHS policy?

:)

Dave  

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User
Posted 11 March 2016 22:24:06(UTC)

John drove himself - he had his RT sessions on the way to work each morning and not only was he fine driving, he never needed a day off. He drove to the gym after work every day as usual. The only side effect he had was to need the occasional afternoon snooze at his desk.

Having a paper mâché urine bottle in the car for emergencies is perhaps a good idea ... if you can't get one, John finds an Oasis juice bottle just the right size!

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard


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User
Posted 11 March 2016 20:22:39(UTC)

Hi Pete, I drove my O.H. first day after that he felt fine to drive tho not so many sessions(15). There is also the possibility of a hospital car or taxi. I know they do this at Clatterbridge as we were asked if we could wait to see team and allow taxi patient to go first. Take it you know free parking near cancer centre. Other parking is chargeable. Good luck with it all .El

Thanked 1 time
User
Posted 11 March 2016 21:43:55(UTC)

Hi Guys,

When having EBRT at my local hospital I drove myself every day, in those days we used to have to urinate and then drink 2 cups of water prior to every session, I very soon learned where the handy toilet stops were too and from the hospital, so it wasn't a problem.

When I later had HDR Brachytherapy at Mount Vernon, 100 miles from home on an unfamiliar route I made the mistake of driving myself, a 2 hours drive with 5 frantic searches for a toilet, I even gate crashed a corporate conference in a posh hotel, not something I would recommend!

However the nurse had kindly provided me with a couple of those papier mache urine bottles

My local hospital, a standard NHS trust, had an area of the car park set aside for cancer treatment, and whilst attending cancer treatment we got our car park ticket validated free of charge.  I can't believe this was a voluntary kind hearted initiative of my local hospital, I suspect it was national NHS policy?

:)

Dave  

Thanked 1 time
User
Posted 11 March 2016 22:24:06(UTC)

John drove himself - he had his RT sessions on the way to work each morning and not only was he fine driving, he never needed a day off. He drove to the gym after work every day as usual. The only side effect he had was to need the occasional afternoon snooze at his desk.

Having a paper mâché urine bottle in the car for emergencies is perhaps a good idea ... if you can't get one, John finds an Oasis juice bottle just the right size!

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard


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User
Posted 11 March 2016 22:25:15(UTC)

PS he also was given vouchers for free parking at the hospital for the duration of his RT

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard


User
Posted 11 March 2016 23:49:53(UTC)
Hi

After my RARP I carried a boots urine bottle with a sealable lid in the car. I also had a towel just in case I got stuck in traffic next to a coach full of people.

Thanks Chris
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User
Posted 12 March 2016 07:13:48(UTC)

I walked the five minutes it took me to the local clinic every day.... except the last session which was in Reading when I took the train from the local station. One of the other patients there started with hospital taxis but when on the second day it turned up at 8am for his 4pm appointment he decided to drive the 10 miles himself.

Obviously some will be affected in different ways but I never had any of the tiredness problems and carried on day to day life as normal. I think in general there are no issues in driving while being treated, just bear in mind you may need to find a loo fast.

 

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User
Posted 12 March 2016 08:33:43(UTC)
Hi,

I drove myself for each of my 37 sessions. However it was only 5 mins away. I was able to drink the 450 ml of water at home.
Towards the end I had bladder problems though and kept a complete change of clothes with me including 3 pairs of underpants. I also had a towel as well.
I also had a sealable bottle as well. I didn't have use any of them . I just made sure that I was as empty as possible before I left the centre.

We had a list of friends/ family who were prepared to help with lifts . I didn't have to call upon them . But if my journey had been much longer then I think I would be telling a different story.

Check out where you can stop en route home . Gate crashing a posh hotel seems a little extreme !


Good luck.

John
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User
Posted 12 March 2016 17:46:03(UTC)

Thanks for all the very helpful replies. I think I may be OK. Although a 70 mile round trip, if I can avoid rush hours, it can be done in 45 mins. I've identified a motorway service area and, a bit further on the way back, there is a posh hotel just off the motorway in case I feel like causing a bit of mayhem at a corporate conference!

I think my main concern is largely a safety one (mine and other road users) of dropping off at the wheel. I'll borrow some of my son in laws Iron Maiden cds lol.

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User
Posted 18 May 2016 16:01:09(UTC)

Just an update on my daily drive (70 mile round trip). I'm on treatment 17 of 20 and I have found the driving no real problem. I am driving a bit more conservatively possibly but I have felt alert enough. Only one emergency toilet stop which involved coming off the motorway and screeching into a pub car park and using the facilities.

I do wonder, however, if it might have caught up with me if I had done the more traditional 38 session treatment. One thing I do do is check for traffic updates online before I set off and return so I don't get stuck on the motorway.

User
Posted 18 May 2016 16:20:30(UTC)
Pete,

I just hope you have your survival kit with you. I kept a sealable bottle in the car but didn't have to use it though. I know what you mean about the no of sessions. I had 37 but fortunately was only a 5 minute drive away. Even so there were times when I got home that I opened the front door and ran inside as quickly as I could . On a few occasions I didn't even close the car door leaving the keys in the ignition !
Fortunately for me the RT centre I went to opened about 3 months before I had treatment there . Otherwise I would have had a 55 mile round trip which would have involved the M25 to the other nearest centre. And I think if I'd had to have gone there then I might have needed a driver by the end.
But you're almost at the end and soon it'll all be over and let out into the big wide world of recovery.

Keep going.

John
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