My MSK Precise / SBRT Journey -- Trea... - Prostate Cancer N...

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My MSK Precise / SBRT Journey -- Treatment #2

Hope4Happiness profile image

I had my second SBRT session on Monday, 11/8, and just about 18 hours later, I am feeling pretty good. Last night, I was pretty tired/fatigued and conked out after only a few hours after arriving home.

This morning, I feel a little fatigued/run down, but nothing major. The one aspect that has changed, of course, is the urgency to urinate has increased. I've got to ensure that a bathroom is always with throwing distance! That said, I'm going to force myself to at least jog/walk a couple of miles today.

The treatment itself was very quick this time -- I feel I was on the table a total of 20 minutes. 10 minutes for set up and then another 10 for the actual treatment.

The biggest problem before the treatment was the timing. MSKCC seemed to be running behind schedule again, and it threw me off. I was supposed to start my actual treatment at 4pm, so I was given a large cup of water to drink at 3;15pm to fill my bladder in time for the procedure.

The problem was, at 4pm, the assistant came out and said that they were running behind and they'd probably take me about 4:15-4:20. Unfortunately, I think I would have wet my pants if I tried to hold it that long, so I was told to empty just a little of my bladder and then drink just half a cup of water to make up the difference.

This was tough -- I really didn't know if I would be able to stop urinating once I let go. The urgency to go in general had increased greatly since my first treatment the previous Friday, and my "control" in this area had surely decreased since that first treatment as well.

So, I did the best I could, and the assistant came back about 4:30. I was doing OK, but midway through the prep/treatment while lying under the SBRT machine, the urge to go was really becoming overwhelming. It was tough and as soon as my treatment concluded, I was like the "roadrunner" darting for the bathroom!

Overall, the treatments themselves have been a breeze, it's just the "logistics" of that "full bladder prep" that are crucial! Timing is everything! ;)

16 Replies

Thanks so much for the detailed retelling of your experience. Really helpful and appreciated. (And you were right about the MRI -- from my question in another thread -- and I was relieved I was able to do it; did it on Sunday at MSK.)

So it sounds like the treatment, while not painful, doesn't lend itself to you going to work throughout, am I correct? I was told, for example, that you could do it in the morning and still work that day. But if you need to run to the bathroom urgently that doesn't sound doable. Also, if you're exhausted it doesn't sound easy either. If you're working remotely -- but still in a job that at least for a few hours requires attentiveness -- and the bathroom is a few feet away, is it doable? Thanks again, so appreciated.

Regarding work -- I consider myself quite lucky. I have been working remotely full-time since 3/2020. Previous to that, I was working from home two days a week, so my home office has been set up and fully functional for quite a while now.

I think I could work in the office if I was able to curb my self-consciousness about running to the bathroom every 20 minutes, but most folks are in their own worlds doing their thing at work that they really don't keep tabs on somebody's bathroom habits.

What would probably wear me out would be commuting to NYC on trains in the midst of rush hours. The commuting part would actually be tougher than the actual work.

I live in Manhattan and it's a quick commute to work, 20 minutes maybe. Been working remotely as well since 3/2020, but we've now been able to go in voluntarily, though it's not compulsory yet (I have done three times). I will have the ability to stay remote throughout this process, regardless -- not sure when I will start treatment -- and was wondering if that was best if I begin when we're back to work fully (which will be likely January.)

I guess more generally too, even working at home, a chunk of my day requires a lot of attentiveness and literally three hours straight of talking and conversations -- with breaks, but still -- and I'm wondering about energy level.

Great that their machine is so fast. I had SBRT on a Cyberknife and believe it was more like 40 minutes on the table. Two of the five sessions I couldn't hold it and had to pause to pee and drink again. Technicians took it all in stride and said not to get to such discomfort.

Five months out now and no urinary issues so I guess it went OK.

Glad you brought this subject up, while not a big health issue, I found it very annoying during my 5 Radiation treatments as well.In one of the treatments, I was bearing down so hard on the table to not urinate I am afraid I probably slightly moved which is scary during treatment.

Technicians offered me a clamp one day, don’t be afraid to ask for that.

I am 3+ months post Radiation and yes I make more frequent trips to the bathroom than before. I used to get up once a night, now it is twice. My RO said at 6 months out I will be about where it will be for the future. Hoping for continued improvement.

Yet, incontinence is not an issue at all thank goodness.

thanks you your story, keep them coming ... good luck .....

H2H- congrats on Day 2!i am likely not far behind you.

seems there a few NYCers on this list- any reason for leaning toward MSK Precise versus NYU's Cyber Knife? have there been any studies bw the 2 or is it anecdotal?

why does the Precise treatment have shorter sessions?

many thanks for anyone's thoughts/insights!


j-o-h-n profile image
j-o-h-n in reply to chrisNYC

We own stock in MSK............

God Bless All of our Military Veterans.

Good Luck, Good Health and Good Humor.

j-o-h-n Thursday 11/11/2021 6:58 PM EST

I brought long-term BPH symptoms to SBRT two years ago. (Had the same reaction to filled bladder during treatment. Painful and difficult but otherwise not a big deal.) I was surprised how long the urinary issues took to calm down. In my case, a year and a half. I’m still getting up too often at night. A good night is only twice. But depending on food/water/diet, it can be more often. So there may be an underlying bladder issue there. Very reluctant to get scoped after radiation, and get different points of view about the risks of that. Mostly, it’s manageable and the over-riding issue of course: PSA at two years out is negligible.

Sitting in the MSK pre op waiting to go and have the spacer and markers inserted with Zelefsky. Such nice people here.

good luck!! keep us informed

DO NOT try singing "Office Krupke" from West Side Story and substituting "Dr. Zelefsky" in the lyrics. He no like that!!!

*** Click on watch on youtube ***

God Bless All of our Military Veterans.

Good Luck, Good Health and Good Humor.

j-o-h-n Thursday 11/11/2021 7:06 PM EST

Yes I did that also. I keep pee bags called brief relief everywhere but if u have to go just tell the cop writing the ticket u have cancer!

Start my 1st treatment tomorrow at 11:00. Thanks for the report.

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