caret icon Back to all discussions

Sharing my Radiation Therapy Experience

I will be starting this new thread and as promised will be sharing my experience going through External Radiation Therapy..

As a background and for exiting or new incoming bros the detail of my diagnosis are under thread subject “External Radiation Therapy” but as summery :
66 years old, prostate volume (20.7 cc) also Gleason score of 7 (being 3 out of 12 positive, 3+4, 3+4 and 3+3), confined within prostate and last PSA reading of 12.7.

So decided to go with VMAT Therapy which is kind of more advance technique in comparison with IMRT (that is what I find by Google search).

Today was my CT simulation session and meeting with oncologist first time face to face…had a brief chat, he did one last DRE to see if he feels a bump and suggested 20 sessions of radiation which I asked to be started in two weeks if possible.

The highlight and challenging part of this first simulation session was to keep bladder full as they suggest and try not to pee for a good hour and half…at one point I couldn’t hold any longer while in waiting room and cheated and empty bladder but start drinking another bottle of water right after…(lesson learned is pack couple of bottle water in your bag) and this happened right 15 minutes before the simulation session… and ironically the second bottle and after peeing find it’s way right into bladder and twisting and pee holding dance started again…

The nurse showed up guided me to CT room and I explained the bladder holding situation…she kindly suggested if it helps go to washroom and let a little bit out and we will see if bladder is full or not ( yes try to just let few drops out on full bladder is challenge of its own) …

So they started with positioning me on table and few images and to my surprise handed me a plastic cup with marker and said go and empty bladder up to this marker… wow that moment was the high point of the day for me…so the lessen learned is no matter if they say empty bladder, drink 500ml of water an hour before simulation and hold it the full bladder thing is how fast your body sending the liquids to your bladder possibly few hours before you even started the suggested pee drink and hold pattern..

Also the nurse suggested drinking coffee in the morning of ct scan or in duration of radiation is not a good thing. Also there are few tricks on how to train your bladder are out there.

So the rest of simulation was straight forward they placed 4 ink tattoo around hip and pelvis area for positioning ct machine/ table for incoming radiation, took picture for their file and here you go….

The staff extremely nice and understanding and at least some of the previous fears and what I’m getting myself into thought are kind of gone…at least for today…I’m celebrating this first session with glass of wine and thinking ..hey don’t bitch and complain and why me questions as looking at TV screen these days and you see what real suffering looks like out there…

I will be posting again as my radiation session start.

All the best to every one.


  1. Thank you for the update and i am look forward to see how things go for you. Hang in there. i'll have a lot of questions once i get closer to having a biopsy done.
    Are you having chemo too or just the radiation?

    1. wrohr15309


      For time being and due to the fact the lesion was still confined within prostate, the 20 session of radiation is the only therapy being planned. Post radiation I will be monitored by my urologist and oncologist for a regular PSA screening, so hopefully things should work out after and PSA start declining and if not I believe the next logical step would be hormone therapy .. but all these depends on how well my prostate cancer respond to radiation..only time can tell. For now crossing my finger and hoping for a good outcome.

      1. .... Been there with the external beam radiation (40 treatments) and the need for full bladder. It was scary and challenging at first but after a while you get to know what is needed. After my second week the radiation tech told me I did not need to be at the bursting point. That was a relief. Apparently they can see what is going on inside your body when you are on the table and in treatment.


        If interested I did a series of 3 min videos on my 8 weeks of radiation + hormone therapy which can be view under videos at www.TheProstateCancerCoach.com. Several local hospitals refer folks to it. Hope it can help you as well

        1. Have recently completed 39 radiation sessions here in France, which I chose for 2 reasons: nervous about NHS provision ref Covid, and the ICO university hospital at Angers, whose cancer treatment facility is brand new and highly regarded.
          These 'seances' went great for 39 consecutive days and were combined with hormonatherapy (firmagon) - the radiation was a breeze compared to hormone stuff, which was prescribed as my cancer had gone outside the prostate but not to any bones or glands. Staff always 'sympa' and positive. I agree that the bladder-holding and bowel-emptying were unpleasant, but because there was never even minutes of waiting, I hopped only briefly and improved mind over matter!
          Since completion, my PSA and testosterone are down to virtually nil, which seems to be their acid test along with MRIs. I'm due to change to a different hormone product this month, a 3-monthly instead of monthly injection, with horrid side effects.
          I'd be interested to hear of your progress and particularly anyone who has radiation and hormone combined.
          I'm a fit 71yrs and my routine tests here showed a PSA of 20, though I had no other symptoms.
          Good cheer to everyone!

        2. I underwent 40 radiation treatments + hormone therapy (LUPRON) in 2018 some 5 years after my prostate was removed. The effects were not pleasant. I was given a 6 month shot and the effects lasted almost 14 months. So fa my post op PSA is 0.01 and all appears to be ok - if you are interested I did a video journal on my 8 weeks of treatment and my reactions to it - it can be found at www.TheProstateCancerCoach.com. The hospitals here use it a lot for guys considering radiation treatment - My pre treatment PSA was 2.7 and the cancer was deemed confined but did come back - Dennis (ProstateCancer.net TEAM)

      2. I had what was called hypofractionated treatment for my course of radiation treatment nearly 2 1/2 years ago. It sounds very similar to what you termed VMAT.......larger doses & shorter period of time to apply in general. The delivery of my treatment sounds very similar to what you describe but I don't know what the differences are, if any. My data was similar to yours prior to undergoing treatment by the way.


        I'm a happy camper so far and hope you have the same experience.

        1. ten years post prostectomy my PSA went up from 0.24 to 0.39 in 6 months. I the took 25 radiation treatments which was completed Dec 29 of last year.
          After 3 months my PSA is now down to 0.02
          I was told after surgery that I would likely need radiation in 5 years. Although no cancer cells outside the prostate there were inside the seminal gland. I made it 10 years instead of 5!
          Only issues I had with radiation was being extremely tired and horrible bladder control. Both those issue now seem to have corrected themselves a lot

        2. Same - tired after radiation

      or create an account to reply.