I am six weeks post IMRT/IGRT. The treatments are painless. The fourth week I jokingly asked the radiation techs if they were just making the machine rattle and hum or were they actually giving me dose of radiation. The fifth week removed my doubts. That week I had diarrhea, difficulty with urination and fatigue. Imodium and flomax cleared up the first two. Clearing up the first two allowed me to rest so the third was taken care of as well. By the sixth week I was feeling good again.
Like you I have tried in vain to find a picture or a description of a radiated prostate. My uro says that is mostly scar tissue and does shrink up. The onco says that there is still some viable prostate tissue left and that is why your PSA will never be zero like with surgery. If you find a picture or a description please post the link.
Secondary cancer of the bladder and colon are about 1.5% as I recall and takes about five years to show up. Seems to me to be an acceptable risk. My heart surgery was 5% chance of not making it off the table so these odds look pretty good.
During my treatment I kept up my exercise program for all but the fifth week. Hard to run three miles when you can't get too far from the commode. And, admittedly, all those trips to the can at night had me worn out. I would suggest that you try to walk for 30 minutes a day. It will help to lift your mood as well.
I am also taking a course of Lupron. Two shots down and four to go. But whose counting? Libido (whatever that is) was gone by the 6th week. I still appreciate a nice looking lady but just don't get a revved up as I used to. Hot flashes? You bet... starting to enjoy them. Weight gain? Put on ten pounds that I am desperately trying to lose.
Like Bill I do not obsess over the disease. I cannot control it. I can only react as necessary. Can" recall the exact phrase but the poem says "to have strength to change the things you can, endure those you cannot change, and wisdom to know the difference."
Tony, focus on the future and not the temporary discomfort. It will pass rapidly. I feel as good now as I did before my treatment. You will too.
I wish you an uneventful treatment and a complete recovery. Keep us posted on your progress or just a note if you are down and need an ear.
PSA 21.5 (first and only test resulted from follow up visit to emergency room for kidney stone. first time for kidney stone too)
Started IMRT/IGRT on July 10, 2008. 45 treatments scheduled
First 25 to be full pelvic for a total dose of 45 Gray to lymph nodes.
Last 20 to prostate only. Total dose to prostate 81 Gray.
Completed IMRT/IGRT 09/11/08.