So, here I am one week on from having my brachytherapy treatment. I thought I’d leave it for a week so that i had a decent time period to report on. Went into hospital on the 4th Feb and went through the usual pre-op tests and so on. Worst part of that was the Covid test to be honest. Had to wait quite a while as there were several procedures taking place that day, a mixture of RP and Brachytherapy. I was quite anxious about the whole thing as i had never spent as much as one night in hospital in my whole life and can’t remember the last time i had a general anaesthetic. Anyway, after waiting from 1100 to 1530, with absolutely no food for over 24 hours and no water from 1300, i was finally taken down to surgery. The staff were fantastic. They went our of their way to put me at ease, obviously aware of my state of mind. The theatre team were very friendly and once they’d inserted the cannula into my hand, and in the middle of a sentence, i was out like a light.
I woke up in the recovery room about an hour and a half later, and my first question to the nurse was, “did they do the procedure?” I felt so good I thought there must have been a problem and they’d had to abandon it or something. I was reassured that the procedure had been done and i was now officially ‘radioactive’. Spent about half an hour in recovery before being wheeled back to the Ward around 7 p.m. - famished!
My state of mind was euphoric, even allowing for the effects of all the drugs, and i simply couldn’t believe that i was so well. After some tea and toasted (nothing ever tasted that good!), i settled in fo the night. The catheter was in and the flow was obviously taking place as the container was filling with urine, but to be honest i couldn’t even feel it. I didn’t get much sleep that night as there were obs every two hours but i had my phone for music and podcasts to keep me company. Honestly, i was on cloud nine.
Eventually around six a.m. the nurse came in to remove the catheter, which I’m prepared to admit was a little unpleasant, but soon over and done with. I must have drunk, and passed, three litres of water throughout the night. Consultant dropped in around 8 to check on me and i thanked him and told him all was well. Then it was just a matter of waiting to be taken to x-ray, to check the seeds were all present and correct - 68 of them in total. Having an ultrasound to check the amount of urine left in my bladder after filling the obligatory three bottles - not allowed to use the hospital toilets in case a seed dropped out.
Friday was a long day, only because of the waiting around, but eventually i got my discharge form and was free to go. I was still feeling very well, although a little tired from lack of sleep.
So, what’s happened since? Well, i may be very lucky, but apart from the the first two or three times i have experienced no pain while urinating. There is blood in my urine from time to time, but it seems quite random. I have no bowel issues and no abdominal pain, no incontinence, no nasty side effects whatsoever - so far. I realise that it is only the first week and that things could still take a turn for the worse, but i am nothing short of flabbergasted at how well i feel. I have been signed off work for two weeks and i am going to use that time and not rush things, but i have been out walking the dog and helping out around the place - no heavy lifting of course.
I have been taking Tamsulosin daily as instructed and am not brave enough yet to see if i can manage without it, but after my two-week ‘official’ period we may see what happens. Also i have not noticed any ED issues as such, although i haven’t been particularly looking for them either! Certainly the urination is the only area where i have noticed any issue, when i need to go i need to go, but I have been drinking over three litres of water a day, which is bound to have some effect. I also did literally hundreds of pelvic floor exercises in the weeks leading up to the procedure which may have helped.
So, whereas i am not in any position to tell others what to do, i am so far a huge fan of brachytherapy over surgery. Only time will tell if it has worked of course, but in terms of side-effects, i am a very happy bunny indeed. I hope this helps.