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Radiotherapy and work.

User
Posted 02 Feb 2020 at 12:47

How does the radiotherapy effect you at the time of treatment. If I was to go down this road on a six week cycle Mon to Friday would I be able to work in the morning? I’ve been told not to expect this but I’ve also spoken to another person and they were ok to work. 

User
Posted 02 Feb 2020 at 13:15
The first 3-4 weeks of treatment you probably won't have many side-effects at all. It's cumulative and tends to hit you about a month in, and then get steadily worse, peaking about a fortnight after treatment ends. You may suffer from fatigue, have diarrhoea, and a need to pee very frequently, possibly accompanied by a burning pain due to bladder irritation. Not serious, but you may not feel like working through it.

Best wishes,

Chris
User
Posted 02 Feb 2020 at 15:20
John worked throughout and didn't need any time off at all. He had his RT appointment at 8.30 or 9am every morning and then drove straight to the office. Towards, the end, he did need to nap at his desk occasionally but his staff took it in their stride. He also continued with the gym every day and carried on playing rugby although having to give up alcohol for the duration made him a bit miserable in the clubhouse afterwards 😂
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard
User
Posted 02 Feb 2020 at 18:17

Someone on here wrote about radiotherapy - never pass a toilet, never trust a fart.  I found that to be very wise advice.  I certainly could not have worked during radiotherapy, but we all react differently.

User
Posted 03 Feb 2020 at 10:24

I had HDR followed by 15 sessions EBRT. The day was quite disrupted by the appointments. At my hospital you were assigned the appointment time only upto 5 days in advance, I guess it gave them more flexibility in planning machine time. Sometimes appointments were delayed, traffic in Manchester is bad, so allowing time for journeys etc. used more time.


In short the 15 minutes of RT took about 3 hours off the working day in an unpredictable fashion.


I gave up trying to work during treatment, because of the disruption.


If you want to work during treatment, try it, but don't be afraid to give up if it gets too hard. 


I was back at work a day after RT had stopped. No significant side effects. 


 

Dave

User
Posted 03 Feb 2020 at 17:07
My PSA was 32 at diagnosis, and 6 months on bicalutimide had brought it down to 13 prior to RT (bicalutimide doesn’t stop testosterone production, so you don’t get the dramatic falls in PSA that the injections produce). My PSA in October, 7 months after RT, had fallen to 2.0, which my oncologist was very happy with. The goal is a nadir reading below 2, and the nadir generally doesn’t occur until around 18 months after treatment. My next test is in May, so thus far things are looking good. I’m stopping HT in 2 weeks’ time, after 18 months of it.

Best wishes,

Chris
User
Posted 03 Feb 2020 at 17:39
Hi Ian
Jonathan became increasingly exhausted through his EBRT. For him it followed chemotherapy, brachytherapy and hormone treatment. It also involved 2 hours travel plus needing to be at the treatment centre for up to 2 hours to complete the 10 minutes of actual treatment.
He drove himself to Brighton a few times at the beginning but less than half way through I needed to completely adjust my work commitments so that I could drive him there every day.
Most days he was able to do a few hours work from home.
Quite severe bowel side effects kept him awake at night, which of course added to the exhaustion.
He wasn’t really expecting this - niaively possibly - as previous experience had led him to believe that chemo would be the worst part of his treatment.
1 month on from the end of his treatment he is still experiencing extreme fatigue although his bowel symptoms have improved considerably ( he remains on hormone treatment).
From reading this forum it seems to me that men respond and react very differently to treatments. It’s very unpredictable and my advice would be to expect the best and plan for the possibility that there will be some challenges.
Wishing you all the very best
Jane
User
Posted 03 Feb 2020 at 22:20

I was retired when I started on this road and I have often wondered how I would have coped if still  at work. I think I might have managed OK providing my employer cut me some slack. Shorter days for example. I was a middle manager at work and I think I would have been open to an arrangement where you came in after RT or went home early to receive it.


But we are all different. My side effects were there and the fatigue lasted for some time afterwards but not completely debilitating.

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User
Posted 02 Feb 2020 at 13:15
The first 3-4 weeks of treatment you probably won't have many side-effects at all. It's cumulative and tends to hit you about a month in, and then get steadily worse, peaking about a fortnight after treatment ends. You may suffer from fatigue, have diarrhoea, and a need to pee very frequently, possibly accompanied by a burning pain due to bladder irritation. Not serious, but you may not feel like working through it.

Best wishes,

Chris
User
Posted 02 Feb 2020 at 15:20
John worked throughout and didn't need any time off at all. He had his RT appointment at 8.30 or 9am every morning and then drove straight to the office. Towards, the end, he did need to nap at his desk occasionally but his staff took it in their stride. He also continued with the gym every day and carried on playing rugby although having to give up alcohol for the duration made him a bit miserable in the clubhouse afterwards 😂
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard
User
Posted 02 Feb 2020 at 17:12
John’s made of sterner stuff than me, Lyn 😁. I had nearly a year off work on full pay (as you may recall I had other stuff going on too) and then took early retirement!

Cheers,

Chris
User
Posted 02 Feb 2020 at 18:17

Someone on here wrote about radiotherapy - never pass a toilet, never trust a fart.  I found that to be very wise advice.  I certainly could not have worked during radiotherapy, but we all react differently.

User
Posted 02 Feb 2020 at 19:46
I had the first slot each morning and went into work after the treatment

Good luck

Bri
User
Posted 02 Feb 2020 at 22:31

The only additional side effect apart from those generally provided by HT was being more tired in the day due to having to get up more frequently at night (up to 8 times at peak). It also meant I had to plan my very long but slow walks knowing where the toilets were. I could have done light work but not heavy work. As I was retired this did not enter into it anyway. After a couple or so months of the RT finishing I was back to my pre treatment frequency of getting up twice nightly. I did start to produce mucus when passing stools and this declined to very occasionally and stopped almost completely within about 8 months. It was not a problem but on a few occasions happened when I passed wind - I called this 'wet farts'. I had a higher combined dose of of RT and Hadron Therapy at 78gys than would be given as standard in the UK.

Edited by member 03 Feb 2020 at 14:02  | Reason: Not specified

Barry
User
Posted 03 Feb 2020 at 10:24

I had HDR followed by 15 sessions EBRT. The day was quite disrupted by the appointments. At my hospital you were assigned the appointment time only upto 5 days in advance, I guess it gave them more flexibility in planning machine time. Sometimes appointments were delayed, traffic in Manchester is bad, so allowing time for journeys etc. used more time.


In short the 15 minutes of RT took about 3 hours off the working day in an unpredictable fashion.


I gave up trying to work during treatment, because of the disruption.


If you want to work during treatment, try it, but don't be afraid to give up if it gets too hard. 


I was back at work a day after RT had stopped. No significant side effects. 


 

Dave

User
Posted 03 Feb 2020 at 14:11

Originally Posted by: Online Community Member


Someone on here wrote about radiotherapy - never pass a toilet, never trust a fart.  I found that to be very wise advice.  I certainly could not have worked during radiotherapy, but we all react differently.



I could agree with that - very much so. Ok now, 2 months later! 


If a Loo was available, it was a good idea to use it!


PSA down to 0.06 (From 27 at it's highest in 2018)

User
Posted 03 Feb 2020 at 16:24

Yes, the bowel and bladder irritation, annoying though it is at the time, does generally subside pretty quickly. I'm now just short of a year after the end of my RT, and the only side-effect from it that I still have is an occasional glob of clear green-tinged mucus on the toilet paper.


Best wishes,


Chris

User
Posted 03 Feb 2020 at 16:56
Thanks Chris. I will just be glad to get off the Hormone therapy - last injection in 2 weeks, last me till June.
As your 12 months onwards from me, is your PSA still OK?
Not seen green, plenty of brown!!
Thanks.
User
Posted 03 Feb 2020 at 17:07
My PSA was 32 at diagnosis, and 6 months on bicalutimide had brought it down to 13 prior to RT (bicalutimide doesn’t stop testosterone production, so you don’t get the dramatic falls in PSA that the injections produce). My PSA in October, 7 months after RT, had fallen to 2.0, which my oncologist was very happy with. The goal is a nadir reading below 2, and the nadir generally doesn’t occur until around 18 months after treatment. My next test is in May, so thus far things are looking good. I’m stopping HT in 2 weeks’ time, after 18 months of it.

Best wishes,

Chris
User
Posted 03 Feb 2020 at 17:39
Hi Ian
Jonathan became increasingly exhausted through his EBRT. For him it followed chemotherapy, brachytherapy and hormone treatment. It also involved 2 hours travel plus needing to be at the treatment centre for up to 2 hours to complete the 10 minutes of actual treatment.
He drove himself to Brighton a few times at the beginning but less than half way through I needed to completely adjust my work commitments so that I could drive him there every day.
Most days he was able to do a few hours work from home.
Quite severe bowel side effects kept him awake at night, which of course added to the exhaustion.
He wasn’t really expecting this - niaively possibly - as previous experience had led him to believe that chemo would be the worst part of his treatment.
1 month on from the end of his treatment he is still experiencing extreme fatigue although his bowel symptoms have improved considerably ( he remains on hormone treatment).
From reading this forum it seems to me that men respond and react very differently to treatments. It’s very unpredictable and my advice would be to expect the best and plan for the possibility that there will be some challenges.
Wishing you all the very best
Jane
User
Posted 03 Feb 2020 at 19:28

Thanks everyone for such informative and caring replies. 

User
Posted 03 Feb 2020 at 19:38

It does seem, the treatment various quite a lot, from case to case.

User
Posted 03 Feb 2020 at 22:20

I was retired when I started on this road and I have often wondered how I would have coped if still  at work. I think I might have managed OK providing my employer cut me some slack. Shorter days for example. I was a middle manager at work and I think I would have been open to an arrangement where you came in after RT or went home early to receive it.


But we are all different. My side effects were there and the fatigue lasted for some time afterwards but not completely debilitating.

 
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