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Toilet (t)issues

Posted 22 Jan 2015 at 10:26
I'm starting RT on Monday afternoon and they say to empty one's bowels late morning/early afternoon. Well, I'm very regular in my habits and empty them early morning. I don't see how I can change my habits to suit!

Over my six and a half weeks of appointments, many are early morning which is fine, so not a problem for those, but there are some weeks when they are all mid-afternoon

Posted 22 Jan 2015 at 12:56

Emptying my bowels was one of the most challenging things to get right during my RT. My appointments were sometimes at different times of the day which I found was quite difficult to get my bowels right. If you get chance, have a read of my daily posts that I posted during my RT. It's in two parts, can't remember the exact title but you might find it of interest.

I wish you all the luck in the world for you in your treatment. I'm sure it will go well for you and you'll enjoy it. I did.


Posted 22 Jan 2015 at 13:51

Hi gregoryg,

I'm an 'early bird' as well.
Most of my appointments were 2/3/4pm.
Not a problem.
I was kicked out once as I had a lot of gas which was distorting the bladder area.
- easy sorted.

All the best with your RT, and have fun. Steve knows what I mean :)


Posted 22 Jan 2015 at 17:28


You will be aware advice is given to limit damage or move bowel out of way. Could be worth mentioning your issue as they may be able to change appointment times or give piece of mind the few times will not cause any long term issues.

Just had result of bowel routine screening - all fine nigh on 10 years after RT

Good luck with RT


Edited by member 22 Jan 2015 at 17:54  | Reason: Not specified

Posted 22 Jan 2015 at 20:04

My OH was given enemas to use before he left the house for the first few weeks.

It would seem that this is not always the case, but may be one solution?

Good luck with it.

Alison x

Posted 22 Jan 2015 at 20:19

My team gave me a bag of 40 Microlax enemas to use about 1 1/2 hrs before the RT. As my course was 33days at 2 Gy I still have a few left! I also had my appointments late afternoon and went after work (2 miles from the hospital) so I did the deed at work before I left.

RT can irritate both bowels and bladder and they might make you drink water before hand (mine did) so if you have a long journey home afterwards make sure you know where a few public toilets are, just in case. Mine was 35 miles so I was glad of Sainsburys, Tesco and Morrisons!

One last thing when having RT never trust a fart!

Good luck with your treatment

Edited by member 22 Jan 2015 at 20:20  | Reason: Not specified

Posted 23 Jan 2015 at 13:40

Thank you for your kind messages of support.
I spoke to the RT department this morning and they said not to worry - perform as usual and they'll be doing CT scans for the first two days anyway
My yoga teacher has a client who works at a breast cancer clinic and she advises using Rad Brom 30 for the radiation and Belladonna 30 for burns afterwards, so I've ordered some of that. The yoga teachers husband used it when he had his prostate radiated a few years ago and said it was helpful.

Posted 23 Jan 2015 at 14:45

Gregory, don't take the belladonna without discussing with your oncologist. There are a number of contraindications - people with prostate or urinary problems shouldn't take it, medical advice is needed if you are taking any prescribed medicine (are you on hormone treatment?) and it can cause constipation or diarrhoea which would chuck all of your onco's careful computer planning into disarray and increase the risk of side effects later.

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

Posted 24 Jan 2015 at 11:35

Hi Gregory,

Don't assume that you will get burns or anything else we all have differing responses to radiation that is  what the Rapper study is trying to find out about.

I did not get any significant burning, there might have been a slight reddening towards the end where each beam went in but that might have been my imagination and I was never sore.

The team will monitor what is happening with your treatment right the way through and and give advice at any time, at every treatment there is a good five minutes while they are getting things ready and you can ask questions if you want, you will meet others having treatment and can compare notes. In my hospital I had a talk with a senior radiologist every week where she would very specific questions about how I doing and I could ask her about anything that bothered me.

Treatment now is very accurate and designed to minimise damage to surrounding tissues while maximising the dose where it is needed.

I would advise you to listen to your oncology and radio therapy teams, and unless you have very strong reasons not to, take their advice. They are doing this work everyday and seeing hundreds of people every month and unless you are going to do a great deal of research their knowledge is the most reliable you will find.     

Good luck with your treatment, you might even "enjoy" it



Posted 25 Jan 2015 at 15:46
Thanks for your support and advice - I will talk to the team before taking any of the medications



Posted 25 Jan 2015 at 16:21
Hi Guy,

Good Luck for tomorrow.


Posted 25 Jan 2015 at 21:50

I have just finished Friday) my 37 sessions of RT have come thru pretty much ok.

If its any help this was my routine.

Shower in the morning using Simple Shower gel
After drying off rub pelvic area with E45 lotion.
Drive to hospital on arrival drink 2 cups of water
Administer micro enema ( wait for action to begin rush to loo)
30 mins before treatment time check into system IMPORTANT check that the machine is running on time
Then begin drinking radiologist recommended 4 cups I would drink 1 litre.
Wait for call have treatment
After treatment make sure you use the loo before leaving hospital
Simple rule for treatment Empty Bowel Full Bladder.

Go home and rest before turning in for the night I would re-apply E45

I was lucky to be treated at the Churchill in Oxford they have 6 Varian Rapidarc machines
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tL9iHTN9bnE If your interested in what happens

Side effects
Passing blood from anus nothing to worrying.
Urgent need to pee directly after treatment and in last 2 weeks ( take Ibuprofen helps)
No skin burns or any other problems

Hope this helps

Remember there are plenty of us here that have been through it 

Good Luck


Posted 26 Jan 2015 at 13:03
Thanks for all the tips etc - what a great site this is!

I'm due off shortly for my first session. Just had the results of my PSA test from Friday. Now 0.081 up from 0.075 from 2 months ago ( before that it was 0.083 and before that 0.104), so I'm glad I decided to go the RT route



Posted 26 Jan 2015 at 18:51

Hope today went ok Guy....I'm sure it did

This is the start of finally eliminating it ;-)


Posted 26 Jan 2015 at 21:14
It went well apart from the appointment being late and me being desperate to pee. I was in a lot of discomfort trying not to move! In future I'll try and time the fluid intake a bit better!

I went on my motorbike as my treatment is in Hereford which gets choked up with traffic. Let's hope the snow stays away as I won't risk the bike then



Posted 13 Feb 2015 at 16:53
A three week progress report.

I've now had 14 treatments (1 was cancelled as the machine broke down). I had to wait an hour and a half today as the machine had broken again but this time they managed to fix it! Apart from a lot of wind (but then I've always had a fair bit anyway), no side effects yet. I did think I was getting some bowel problems as I had a couple of days where I had to go more regularly and urgently, but today it seems to have settled down. Only 19 treatments left!



Posted 13 Feb 2015 at 17:10

Well done, hope it continues to go well for you.

Enjoy your weekend off.


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