Recently diagnosed prostate cancer

I am 67 y/o diagnosed in Dec. with a Gleason 6 3+3 finding. As my Dr. explained it was not dire but was certainly cancer. I had 3 options. Active surveillance, surgery or radiation. My Dr. is not a fan of surveillance, and I didn't like knowing it was in me either.

Prostate cancer radiation treatment

After weighing my options and consulting with a radiologist and research I decided on radiation. I did not like some of the things I read about surgery and possible effects and complications. I knew radiation had its downside as well but it seemed the better choice. I received my markers and began treatment 1 of 28 two weeks ago. I have now received 10 in total. First week went fine the treatments themselves are quick and painless. First week no real effects. At the end of week two I am in major discomfort.

Radiation treatment side effects

I constantly feel the need to urinate and a burning sensation. It's worse at night. I am only able to sleep, if any, in 30–45-minute increments waking up with the urge to urinate. If I am able to produce a stream at all it is weak and just enough to relieve the fullness but not enough to completely empty my bladder. My Dr. increased my Flomax to a double dosage but it has had little effect. I try not to drink anything after dinner but still feel the constant need to go. Additionally I go from constipation to diarrhea and have developed hemorrhoids and bleeding in the past week. My entire genital region feels like it's on fire constantly. I drag myself through the day barely able to function.

A patient with prostate cancer, struggling

I still have 18 more treatments to go and am scared and depressed at the thought of how bad it will be by then. I am missing out on a number of important events this month as a result and worry if I will ever recover enough to function again. Part of me just wishes I had let the cancer take its course over time and I regret not choosing the surgical option. I can't imagine it being any worse than how I feel now. I went into this optimistically but as time goes on it's starting to wear me down. I know there are others far worse off than me but just wanted to share my observations. Hopefully some that have been through this can offer some insight as what to expect going forward. Thanks!

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