Radiotherapy 3

My only symptom was a wet bed on a couple of occasions six months or more apart. Following the second, my GP gave me a prostate examination and passed me through to Broomfield for a biopsy and scan. These showed positive, leading to the recommendation that I have hormone treatment and radiography, at my GP surgery and Colchester Hospital respectively. I cannot recall being given any other option.

I completed the three injections and 37 radiography sessions as prescribed. Six weeks after completion of radiography, a blood test showed that my PSA rating had gone down from 9.5 to virtually zero and that hormone treatment could be stopped forthwith.

What was it all like? As far as I can tell, clinically excellent. After having signed up for radiography but before starting, I wondered whether I really needed to be doing it. I rang my GP practice, who were very understanding and re-assuring. The new Colchester Radiography Unit had some running in problems causing delays on some days – delays and the need to have a full bladder don’t mix well! That was the worst part. Although I had read the literature, post-treatment side effects came as a bit of a surprise. As I was due to fly to Australia, my GP prescribed some painkillers, which I took only twice, and ointment for my bum which I used every day. Side effects are steadily getting better and nothing now worries me. In a couple of months I shall be due for a 6-month check-up.

I noted at the end of treatment that, ‘It was hard sometimes not to feel like a bottle of beer on a production line’. Because of that, I would recommend the Walnut Club as a friendly support network, especially for those like me whose families live at a distance.