Feeling ill before RT starts (Is having a bad cold a problem?)

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English Alf
Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 2218
   Posted 4/24/2010 3:00 AM (GMT -6)   
RT scheduled to start on Monday morning in Amsterdam (two hour journey door to door each way).

However I am not enjoying the weekend as I have got a bad cold. Coughing, sneezing, a nose that is running like a tap, sore throat, lost my voice etc, I only got about an hours sleep last night as well. So not keen to even go outside, let alone go to Amsterdam.

It's been interesting getting ill like this as apart from the PCa I've not have anything much the matter with me healthwise for over 12 months.

I also note that the RT doc has put me on what he described as an "unhealthy" diet and am wondering if this has helped me get this bad cold.

If I still feel like this on Monday morning I guess I will have to check with the hospital if they want me when I am ill and could spread germs to other patients. (I know it's probably only a touch of flu and will go away in a couple of days, but I also know that if I was sitting in the waiting room waiting for RT I would not want the person next to me to be coughing and sneezing all over me! And during the Mexican flu scare all patients were given instructions that they and visitors/members of their families etc should not go to the hospital if they had flu, not even for appointments.)

Any one else had flu or other non-PCa related illnees/sickness/ at the same time as treatment? Was it a problem?

Age at Dx 48 No Family history of Prostate Cancer
Married 25 years, and I cannot thank my wife enough for her support.
April 2009: PSA 8.6 DRE: negative. Tumour in 2 out of 12 cores. Gleason 3+3.
RALP (nerve-sparing) at AVL-NKI Hospital Amsterdam on 29th July 2009. Stay 1 night.
Partial erections on while catheter still in. Catheter out on 6th Aug 2009.
Dry at night after catheter came out
Post-op Gleason 3+4. Tumour mainly in left near neck of bladder.
Left Seminal Vesicle invaded, (=T3b!)
no perineraul invasion, no vascular invasion. clear margins,
Erection 100% on 15th Aug 2009, but lots of leaking
Stopped wearing pads on 21st Sept 2009
Pre-op style intercourse on 24th Oct 2009 !! No use of tablets, jabs, VED etc.
Nov 17th 2009 PSA = 0.1
Mar 17th 2010 PSA = 0.4!!! referred to radiation therapist

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 4/24/2010 8:30 AM (GMT -6)   
I would call the clinic and ask if they would prefer that you delay your start date until you are feeling better. In all likelihood, they'll tell you that as long as you are able to make it in for your treatment, it's fine for you to attend. They may ask you to wear a mask (to avoid spreading germs from coughing or sneezing) and will probably have hand sanitizing stations (gel pumps) through the department that you can use as soon as you enter the department.

We have signs asking visitors not to come in if they are ill, but we generally don't postpone appointments unless someone feels too lousy to come in. Just make sure you wash your hands or use the gel. Hope you fel better soon!! :)
-Husband's 1st PSA done (age 45) at routine physical  PSA 3.8
-DRE at physical indicated no abnormality other than slightly enlarged
-Consult with urologist Jan. 2010---DRE negative, PSA 3.89
-Biopsy Feb. 10, 2010:  T1c, Gleason 3 + 3, 2/10 cores pos. (5% in one core, <5% on other core) 1% of core volume positive, gland size     38.84
-consult with "open" prostatectomy uro March 2010
-2 consults with rad. onc. for Brachy March, Apr. 2010....also discussed AS
-latest PSA reading April 8 4.63
-consult with "robotic" uro Apr. 12....tentative surgery date booked July 8
-Have also booked tentative Brachy date of July 20th.
-undecided as yet

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2243
   Posted 4/24/2010 8:42 AM (GMT -6)   
I want feeling great when I started but chose to get on with the tx. Wasnt feeling as bad as you are though. I have to laugh as the has been the worst pollen season in some time in Georgia but the SRT must have knocked that out of me as well as I have an occasional sneeze and runy nose, but it is quite mild. Listen to your body and it will tell you if starting Monday is a good idea or not. By the way, what diet did your Dr put you on?
Dx with PCA 12/08 2 out of 12 cores positive 4.5 psa
59 yo when diagnosed, 61 yo 2010
Robotic surgery 5/09 Atlanta, Ga
Catheter out after 10 days
Gleason upgraded to 3+5, volume less than 10%
2 pads per day, 1 depends but getting better,
 started ED tx 7/17, slow go
Post op dx of neuropathy
T2C left lateral and left posterior margins involved
3 months psa.01, 6 month psa.4, 6 1/2 month psa.5
Starting IMRT on 1/18/10, Completed 39 tx at 72 gys on 3/12/10
Great family and friends

Elite Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25393
   Posted 4/24/2010 8:50 AM (GMT -6)   
That really depends on that clinic's policeis. Where I live, if you were still as sick as you described on the day of a treatment, they would definitely told me to stay home, and just add another day to the end of the treatments. Hopefully you will improve before Monday, but the best thing is as you suggested, call ahead. I wish you luck on that part. I am sure you are at the state where you just want to get on with the Show and I can't say I  blame you there.

I doubt any recent dietary change made you get sick. More likely a cold or flu type event. Wish you well.

David in SC

Age: 57, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 7/08 12.3, 9/08 14.5, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 - 7/7 Positive, 40-90% Cancer, Gleason 4+3
Open RP: 11/08, Rht nerves saved, 4 days in hospt, on catheters for 63 days, 5th one out 1/09
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos margin
Incontinence:  1 Month     ED:  Non issue at any point post surgery, no problem post SRT
Post Surgery  PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Post SRT PSA: 1/10 .12, 4/8 .04, next one:  July
Latest: 7/9 met 2 rad. oncl, 7/9 cath #6 - blockage, 8/9 2nd corr surgery, 8/9 cath #7 out 38 days, 9/9 - met 3rd rad. oncl., mapped  9/9, 10/1 - 3rd corr. surgery - SP cath/hard dialation, 10/5 - 11/27 IMRT SRT 39 sess/72 gys ,cath #8 33 days, Cath #9 35 days, 12/7 - Cath #10 43 days, 1/19 - Corr Surgery #4,  Caths #11 and #12  same time, 2/8-Cath #11 out - 21 days, 3/2- Cath #12 out - 41 days, 3/2- Corr Surgery #5, 3/6 Cath #13 out - 4 days, Cath #14- 27 days, Cath #15 - 26 days, Cath #16 - 4/23 put in

Post Edited (Purgatory) : 4/24/2010 8:04:23 AM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 664
   Posted 4/24/2010 9:17 AM (GMT -6)   


Regardless of what you do Monday...Best of luck to you.


Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 206
   Posted 4/24/2010 12:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Alf; So sorry to hear about this cold/flu problem at a time when your likely down somewhat with the radiation startup. Certainly the 2 hour trips to Amsterdam will turn into a miserable endurance test. I'll be thinking about you on Monday, especially since I too was to start radiation on the same day but got it postponed by 2 weeks (May 10) because of my still ongoing incontenence problem.

Best wishes Alf !

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 7087
   Posted 4/24/2010 1:18 PM (GMT -6)   

I am three visits / two treatments into the process. I'm not sure if I qualify as a good patient yet.

It was suggested that I work at home as much as possible, and avoid groups where people coughed and sneezed, as we still have flu going around, and I am very prone to sinus problems. They were concerned that I might sneeze/cough during treatment (they want you to stay in the same position for up to 15 minutes). The GP has me on a nasal spray and sinus drug to minimize that.

I can't imagine diet contributing - they did not give me a formal diet - just told me to eat what I wanted, as my tastes and desire to eat are expected to change, and they don't want me losing significant weight (that could move the "target area".) I've never bothered with pointedly "healthy" diets unless someone else was cooking.

I would call before you head out in the morning just to be sure.

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 448
   Posted 4/24/2010 2:35 PM (GMT -6)   
As long as you can still lay still during the treatment,  you should be fine.  Will add to the fatigue though.
I stayed with friends closer to the facility during tratments who had a 3 y/o,  so I had a cold during a few sessions...   :-)
Best wishes on your treatment and outcome...
After 3-4 years of annual PSA 4-6, biopsy recommended
3/13/2007 - 12 point biopsy - Left 0/6  Right 1/6 Gleason 3+3 T1c
4/24/2007 - DaVinci performed at Virginia Mason hospital in Seattle
5/2/2007 - Catheter Out! Final pathology of Gleason 6  T2c Nx Mx, approx 20% of prostate involved, positive margin, but only at 2 focal points.  
6/28/2007 9 weeks incontinance... Overnite, went from 4-6 soaked pads a day from prev 8 weeks to 2 barely wet pads a day.
7/12/2007 11 weeks post-op  Minimal leakage...  one small pad a day
7/18/2007 First Post-Op PSA...  0.01 !!! 
9/10/2007 Pad free and ED at 75% with 100mg Viagra generic
6/26/2008 2nd Post-OP PSA at 14 months...  0.02 
12/2/2008 3rd Post-OP PSA at 20 months...   0.03
10/30/2009 4th Post-OP PSA at 31 months...   0.13 (moved and diff lab)
11/3/2009 Retest at my original lab...  0.11  (followup with Doc sched 11/10)
11/10/2009 Discussion indicated biochemical reccurrence and need for salvage radiation treatment. 
1/21/2010 Another PSA test at 34 months...  0.14
1/26/2010 IMRT Salvage Radiation Treatment started
                  32 sessions for 64 gys total.
3/12/2010 Finished 32 sessions...  No side effects to date except a little
tiredness.  Slight changes in bowel movements the last week...  
4/8/2010  Pretty much all side effects (were minimal) are gone now and energy has returned.  Now just wait for the upcoming PSA test.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 288
   Posted 4/24/2010 3:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Alf, about half way my radiation I caught a brief cold with a lingering cough. At the onset I asked the oncologist if I should hold off a few treatments even though I was taking all precautions (using the gel throughout the clinic, making sure I wasn't openly coughing... etc). He replied that as long as I could lay still during the treatment there wouldn't be a problem. If I wanted to skip a day or so and extend my schedule, that was fine with him too.

Good luck to you and all others starting down this road. One month has passed since my last treatment and other than some evening fatigue and occasional burning on urination, I'm pretty much back to normal.

Diagnosed 8/2008 Pre-op psa 4.2, Age 60 at dx
7 of 12 biopsies positive 3+3
DaVinci LRP 11/08
Post Op pathology clear margins, confined to prostate, absent extraprostatic extension, vascular or perineural. Gleason 3+4=7, 5-10% of 4 and location in right mid-gland.
3 month psa .1 2/09, 6 month .1 5/09, 9 month .2 8/09
broke ankle bones 6/09
9/21/09 Bone scan clear, psa still .2
11/12/09 chest xray was clear, psa however up to .3,
01/05/10 psa still .3, radiation setup done with tats, 01/19/10 started 39 sessions 70.2gy, psa at 6th week salvage IMRT up to .4

English Alf
Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 2218
   Posted 4/25/2010 1:23 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the replies,

I'd find it hard to lie still for fifteen minutes at present: lying on my back wirth a cough is a nuisance as well.
I don't think I've ever had to blow my nose as much as this in my life. I think the sudden change to warm weather has set off a bout of hay fever at the same time as a bad cold. (I was out cutting down some more bushes alst week)

And the usual tip when ill like this of "drink plenty" is the last thing my bladder needs.

The diet issue I mentioned relates to the fact that in order to calm down my guts the RT people asked me to stop eating healthy food about three weeks ago, so no citrus fruit, tomatoes, cucumbers lettuce, nuts muesli, onions, leeks, peppers, mushrooms cabbage sweetcorn etc, so a very sudden reduction in healthy stuff especially Vit C intake, and I was always told that Vit C helps prevent colds. I'm trying to get C from other sources, but a bit of a nightmare on the catering front.

(Luckily I'm saved one major difficulty relating to my whole situation as I work at home.)

It's just typical seeing I'd been doing so much to get myself extra fit. So let's hope a spot more rest today is enough to get me in shape for Monday.


Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 206
   Posted 4/25/2010 2:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Alf.
Staying at home here today, it's raining out so decided to watch the delayed coverage on the SPEED channel of the motorcycle races from Assen.

Couldn't help but thinking about you and hope you'll feel a whole lot better for tomorrow.

Jerry in Canada.

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